The Perfidious Vizier
” The slave replied, “I hear and obey, and with feelings of love and honour will I do it.” Then the slave absented himself for a while, and approached in the form of an ’Efreet. And when the young man saw him his reason fled, and he was stupefied; but the son of the king of the Jinn said to him, “No harm shall befall thee. Mount thy courser. Ascend upon his shoulders.” The young man then mounted upon the slave’s shoulders, and the son of the king of the Jinn said to him, “Close thine eyes.” So he closed his eyes, and the slave flew with him between heaven and earth, and ceased not to fly along with him while the young man was unconscious, and the last third of the night came not before he was on the top of the palace of his father-in-law. Then the ’Efreet said to him, “Alight.” He therefore alighted. And the ’Efreet said to him, “Open thine eyes; for this is the palace of thy father-in-law and his daughter.” Then he left him and departed. And as soon as the day shone, and the alarm of the young man subsided, he descended from the roof of the palace; and when his father-in-law beheld him, he rose to him and met him, wondering at seeing him descend from the top of the palace, and he said to him, “We see other men come through the doors, but thou comest down from the sky.” The young man replied, “What God (whose perfection be extolled, and whose name be exalted!) desired hath happened.” And when the sun rose, his father-in-law ordered his vizier to prepare great banquets, and the wedding was celebrated; the young man remained there two months, and then departed with his wife to the city of his father. But as to the cousin of the damsel, he perished by reason of his jealousy and envy.