Noureddin and the Fair Persian
Taking the two fish in his hand, he returned to the vizir, who, not recognising him, would have sent him about his business. Leaving the vizir at the foot of the stairs, the Caliph went up and knocked at the door of the saloon. Noureddin opened it, and the Caliph, standing on the threshold, said:
"Scheih Ibrahim, I am the fisher Kerim. Seeing that you are feasting with your friends, I bring you these fish."
Noureddin and the Persian said that when the fishes were properly cooked and dressed they would gladly eat of them. The Caliph then returned to the vizir, and they set to work in Scheih Ibrahim's house to cook the fish, of which they made so tempting a dish that Noureddin and the fair Persian ate of it with great relish. When they had finished Noureddin took thirty gold pieces (all that remained of what Sangiar had given him) and presented them to the Caliph, who, thanking him, asked as a further favour if the lady would play him one piece on the lute. The Persian gladly consented, and sang and played so as to delight the Caliph.
Noureddin, in the habit of giving to others whatever they admired, said, "Fisherman, as she pleases you so much, take her; she is yours."
The fair Persian, astounded that he should wish to part from her, took her lute, and with tears in her eyes sang her reproaches to its music.
The Caliph (still in the character of fisherman) said to him, "Sir, I perceive that this fair lady is your slave. Oblige me, I beg you, by relating your history."
Noureddin willingly granted this request, and recounted everything from the purchase of the slave down to the present moment.
"And where do you go now?" asked the Caliph.
"Wherever the hand of Allah leads me," said Noureddin.
"Then, if you will listen to me," said the Caliph, "you will immediately return to Balsora. I will give you a letter to the king, which will ensure you a good reception from him."
"It is an unheard-of thing," said Noureddin, "that a fisherman should be in correspondence with a king.