The Perfidious Vizier
” Then the horseman ordered him to mount with him. He therefore mounted; and the horseman said to him, “Come with me to my abode: for thou art my guest this night.” The young man replied, “Inform me who thou art before I go with thee.” And the horseman said, “I am the son of a king of the Jinn, and thou art son of a king of mankind. And now, be of good heart and cheerful eye on account of that which shall dispel thine anxiety and thy grief, for it is unto me easy.”
So the young man proceeded with him from the commencement of the day, forsaking his troops and soldiers (whom the vizier had left at their halting-place), and ceased not to travel on with his conductor until midnight, when the son of the king of the Jinn said to him, “Knowest thou what space we have traversed during this period?” The young man answered him, “I know not.” The son of the king of the Jinn said, “We have traversed a space of a year’s journey to him who travelleth with diligence.” So the young man wondered thereat, and asked, “How shall I return to my family?” The other answered, “This is not thine affair. It is my affair; and when thou shalt have recovered from thy misfortune, thou shalt return to thy family in less time than the twinkling of an eye, for to accomplish that will be to me easy.” The young man, on hearing these words from the Jinnee, almost flew with excessive delight. He thought that the event was a result of confused dreams, and said, “Extolled be the perfection of him who is able to restore the wretched, and render him prosperous!” They ceased not to proceed until morning, when they arrived at a verdant, bright land, with tall trees, and warbling birds, and gardens of surpassing beauty, and fair palaces; and thereupon the son of the king of the Jinn alighted from his courser, commanding the young man also to dismount. He therefore dismounted, and the Jinnee took him by the hand, and they entered one of the palaces, where the young man beheld an exalted king and a sultan of great dignity, and he remained with them that day, eating and drinking, until the approach of night.