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Sinbads fourth voyage.
From The Arabian Nights Entertainments
Start of Story
By Andrew Lang.
I pursued it as fast as I could, and
found myself in a narrow crack among the rocks, along which I was just
able to force my way. I followed it for what seemed to me many miles,
and at last saw before me a glimmer of light which grew clearer every
moment until I emerged upon the sea shore with a joy which I cannot
describe. When I was sure that I was not dreaming, I realised that it
was doubtless some little animal which had found its way into the
cavern from the sea, and when disturbed had fled, showing me a means of
escape which I could never have discovered for myself. I hastily
surveyed my surroundings, and saw that I was safe from all pursuit from
The mountains sloped sheer down to the sea, and there was no road
across them. Being assured of this I returned to the cavern, and
amassed a rich treasure of diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and jewels of
all kinds which strewed the ground. These I made up into bales, and
stored them into a safe place upon the beach, and then waited hopefully
for the passing of a ship. I had looked out for two days, however,
before a single sail appeared, so it was with much delight that I at
last saw a vessel not very far from the shore, and by waving my arms
and uttering loud cries succeeded in attracting the attention of her
A boat was sent off to me, and in answer to the questions of the
sailors as to how I came to be in such a plight, I replied that I had
been shipwrecked two days before, but had managed to scramble ashore
with the bales which I pointed out to them. Luckily for me they
believed my story, and without even looking at the place where they
found me, took up my bundles, and rowed me back to the ship. Once on
board, I soon saw that the captain was too much occupied with the
difficulties of navigation to pay much heed to me, though he generously
made me welcome, and would not even accept the jewels with which I
offered to pay my passage. Our voyage was prosperous, and after
visiting many lands, and collecting in each place great store of goodly
merchandise, I found myself at last in Bagdad once more with unheard of
riches of every description. Again I gave large sums of money to the
poor, and enriched all the mosques in the city, after which I gave
myself up to my friends and relations, with whom I passed my time in
feasting and merriment.
Here Sindbad paused, and all his hearers declared that the adventures
of his fourth voyage had pleased them better than anything they had
heard before. They then took their leave, followed by Hindbad, who had
once more received a hundred sequins, and with the rest had been bidden
to return next day for the story of the fifth voyage.
When the time came all were in their places, and when they had eaten
and drunk of all that was set before them Sindbad began his tale.