1001 Arabian Nights - Volume 6 by Sir Richard Francis Burton (Translator)

By Sir Richard Francis Burton (Translator)

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For state processions a throne is set for him upon a huge elephant, eleven cubits high: and upon this he sitteth having his great lords and officers and guests standing in two ranks, on his right hand and on his left. At his head is a man hending in hand a golden javelin and behind him another with a great mace of gold whose head is an emerald[FN#87] a span long and as thick as a man's thumb. ' Then he is silent and one behind him proclaimeth, saying, 'He will die! " Quoth the Caliph, "How great is this King!

However, after a little, the raft glided into open air and I saw before me a wide valley, whereinto the river fell with a noise like the rolling of thunder and a swiftness as the rushing of the wind. I held on to the raft, for fear of falling off it, whilst the waves tossed me right and left; and the craft continued to descend with the current nor could I avail to stop it nor turn it shorewards, till it stopped with me at a great and goodly city, grandly edified and containing much people. And when the townsfolk saw me on the raft, dropping down with the current, they threw me out ropes which I had not strength enough to hold; then they tossed a net over the craft and drew it ashore with me, whereupon I fell to the ground amidst them, as I were a dead man, for stress of fear and hunger and lack of sleep.

In the evening I reported my success to my master who was delighted in me and entreated me with high honour; and next morning he removed the slain elephant. In this wise I continued, every morning shooting an elephant which my master would remove till, one day, as I was perched in hiding on the tree there came on suddenly and unexpectedly an innumerable host of elephants whose screaming and trumpeting were such that I imagined the earth trembled under them. All surrounded my tree, whose circumference was some fifty cubits,[FN#102] and one enormous monster came up to it and winding his trunk round the bole haled it up by the roots, and dashed it to the ground.

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