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Sinbads First Voyage.
Start of Story
One day after my return, as I went down to the quay, I saw a ship which
had just cast anchor, and was discharging her cargo, while the
merchants to whom it belonged were busily directing the removal of it
to their warehouses. Drawing nearer I presently noticed that my own
name was marked upon some of the packages, and after having carefully
examined them, I felt sure that they were indeed those which I had put
on board our ship at Balsora. I then recognised the captain of the
vessel, but as I was certain that he believed me to be dead, I went up
to him and asked who owned the packages that I was looking at.
"There was on board my ship," he replied, "a merchant of Bagdad named
One day he and several of my other passengers landed upon
what we supposed to be an island, but which was really an enormous
whale floating asleep upon the waves
No sooner did it feel upon its back the heat of the fire which had been kindled, than it plunged into
the depths of the sea. Several of the people who were upon it perished
in the waters, and among others this unlucky Sindbad. This merchandise
is his, but I have resolved to dispose of it for the benefit of his
family if I should ever chance to meet with them."
"Captain," said I, "I am that Sindbad whom you believe to be dead, and
these are my possessions!"
When the captain heard these words he cried out in amazement,
"Lackaday! and what is the world coming to? In these days there is not
an honest man to be met with. Did I not with my own eyes see Sindbad
drown, and now you have the audacity to tell me that you are he! I
should have taken you to be a just man, and yet for the sake of
obtaining that which does not belong to you, you are ready to invent
this horrible falsehood."
"Have patience, and do me the favour to hear my story," said I.
"Speak then," replied the captain, "I'm all attention."
So I told him of my escape and of my fortunate meeting with the king's
grooms, and how kindly I had been received at the palace. Very soon I
began to see that I had made some impression upon him, and after the
arrival of some of the other merchants, who showed great joy at once
more seeing me alive, he declared that he also recognised me.
Throwing himself upon my neck he exclaimed, "Heaven be praised that you
have escaped from so great a danger. As to your goods, I pray you take
them, and dispose of them as you please." I thanked him, and praised
his honesty, begging him to accept several bales of merchandise in
token of my gratitude, but he would take nothing.