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Sinbads seventh voyage.
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I had indeed good reason for my terror when, an instant later,
the largest of the animals wound his trunk round the stem of my tree,
and with one mighty effort tore it up by the roots, bringing me to the
ground entangled in its branches. I thought now that my last hour was
surely come; but the huge creature, picking me up gently enough, set me
upon its back, where I clung more dead than alive, and followed by the
whole herd turned and crashed off into the dense forest. It seemed to
me a long time before I was once more set upon my feet by the elephant,
and I stood as if in a dream watching the herd, which turned and
trampled off in another direction, and were soon hidden in the dense
underwood. Then, recovering myself, I looked about me, and found that
I was standing upon the side of a great hill, strewn as far as I could
see on either hand with bones and tusks of elephants. "This then must
be the elephants' burying place," I said to myself, "and they must have
brought me here that I might cease to persecute them, seeing that I
want nothing but their tusks, and here lie more than I could carry away
in a lifetime."
Whereupon I turned and made for the city as fast as I could go, not
seeing a single elephant by the way, which convinced me that they had
retired deeper into the forest to leave the way open to the Ivory Hill,
and I did not know how sufficiently to admire their sagacity. After a
day and a night I reached my master's house, and was received by him
with joyful surprise.
"Ah! poor Sindbad," he cried, "I was wondering what could have become
of you. When I went to the forest I found the tree newly uprooted, and
the arrows lying beside it, and I feared I should never see you again.
Pray tell me how you escaped death."
I soon satisfied his curiosity, and the next day we went together to
the Ivory Hill, and he was overjoyed to find that I had told him
nothing but the truth. When we had loaded our elephant with as many
tusks as it could carry and were on our way back to the city, he said:
"My brother--since I can no longer treat as a slave one who has
enriched me thus--take your liberty and may Heaven prosper you. I will
no longer conceal from you that these wild elephants have killed
numbers of our slaves every year. No matter what good advice we gave
them, they were caught sooner or later. You alone have escaped the
wiles of these animals, therefore you must be under the special
protection of Heaven. Now through you the whole town will be enriched
without further loss of life, therefore you shall not only receive your
liberty, but I will also bestow a fortune upon you."
To which I replied, "Master, I thank you, and wish you all prosperity.
For myself I only ask liberty to return to my own country."
"It is well," he answered, "the monsoon will soon bring the ivory ships
hither, then I will send you on your way with somewhat to pay your
So I stayed with him till the time of the monsoon, and every day we
added to our store of ivory till all his ware-houses were overflowing
with it. By this time the other merchants knew the secret, but there
was enough and to spare for all. When the ships at last arrived my
master himself chose the one in which I was to sail, and put on board
for me a great store of choice provisions, also ivory in abundance, and
all the costliest curiosities of the country, for which I could not
thank him enough, and so we parted. I left the ship at the first port
we came to, not feeling at ease upon the sea after all that had
happened to me by reason of it, and having disposed of my ivory for
much gold, and bought many rare and costly presents, I loaded my pack
animals, and joined a caravan of merchants. Our journey was long and
tedious, but I bore it patiently, reflecting that at least I had not to
fear tempests, nor pirates, nor serpents, nor any of the other perils
from which I had suffered before, and at length we reached Bagdad. My
first care was to present myself before the Caliph, and give him an
account of my embassy.
He assured me that my long absence had
disquieted him much, but he had nevertheless hoped for the best. As to
my adventure among the elephants he heard it with amazement, declaring
that he could not have believed it had not my truthfulness been well
known to him.
By his orders this story and the others I had told him were written by
his scribes in letters of gold, and laid up among his treasures. I
took my leave of him, well satisfied with the honours and rewards he
bestowed upon me; and since that time I have rested from my labours,
and given myself up wholly to my family and my friends.
Thus Sindbad ended the story of his seventh and last voyage, and
turning to Hindbad he added:
"Well, my friend, and what do you think now? Have you ever heard of
anyone who has suffered more, or had more narrow escapes than I have?
Is it not just that I should now enjoy a life of ease and tranquillity?"
Hindbad drew near, and kissing his hand respectfully, replied, "Sir,
you have indeed known fearful perils; my troubles have been nothing
compared to yours. Moreover, the generous use you make of your wealth
proves that you deserve it. May you live long and happily in the
enjoyment in it."
Sindbad then gave him a hundred sequins, and hence-forward counted him
among his friends; also he caused him to give up his profession as a
porter, and to eat daily at his table that he might all his life
remember Sindbad the Sailor.
This ends the seventh and last voyage of Sinbad the sailor.
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