The Thief of Bagdad

[AN ARABIAN NIGHTS FANTASY]

1
Praise be to Allah-----the
Beneficent King--------the
Creator of the Universe -
Lord of the Three Worlds!
                THE KORAN

2
Verily the works of those 
gone before us have become
instances and examples to
men of our modern day,
that folk may view what
admonishing chances befel
other folk and there-
  from take warning.
INTRODUCTION TO THE ARABIAN NIGHTS

3
A street in Bagdad, dream
city of the ancient East -

4
"If it be his purse, let
him tell what is in it."

5
"'Tis empty."

6
The magic basket -

7
"The magic rope of Ispahan -
woven from a witch's hair in
 the caverns of the Jinn."

8
"Come to prayer!
Come to prayer!
Come to prayer!"

9
"O true believers, gathered in
this sacred mosque, earn thy
happiness in the name of the
       true God ----"

10
"Toil -- for by toil the sweets
  of human life are found."

11
"Thou liest!"

12
"What I want - I take. My
reward is here. Paradise 
 is a fool's dream and 
    Allah is a myth."

13
 "Honest citizens of Bagdad,
here is a thief to be flogged."

14
"Let all thieves beware! Four
 and twenty lashes for the
  stealing of this jewel."

15
"Alms! O ye merciful! Alms!"

16
"Rouse yourself, bird of evil. I
  have brought home treasure."

17
 "It is a magic rope. With it
we can scale the highest walls."

18
In far eastern Asia, a
Mongol Prince, in his
Palace at Ho Sho --

19
"The Palace of the 
Caliph of Bagdad."

20
"It shall be mine. What
   I want - I take."

21
"Celestial Majesty, at the next
moon, suitors do go to Bagdad,
seeking in marriage its royal
          Princess."

22
"The gods of our dynasty
direct us. We shall enter
  Bagdad as a suitor."

23
"Open wide the gates of 
Bagdad! Open wide the 
  gates of Bagdad!"

24
"We be porters bound for 
the Palace of the Caliph."

25
"We bear gifts and viands
to feast the suitors who,
on the morrow, come to 
  woo our Princess."

26
"Tonight - with the 
    magic rope."

27
Beasts and scimitars
 guard the Palace.

28
When night reaches
    its noon -

29
"The Princess sleeps."

30
"The treasure - where is it?"

31
"'Tis here ----"

32
The melody of the oriental 
night dies in the dawn. And
    it is morning ----

33
"It is the birthday of our
Princess and royal suitors
come from all the East to
seek her hand in marriage."

34
On the balcony of the
Princess, a slave girl
  reads a fortune -

35
"The sands of Mecca
   shape a rose."

36
"This is the meaning: Thou
 wilt wed the suitor who
first toucheth the rose-tree
     in thy garden."

37
"'Tis here ----"

38
"'Tis here ----"

39
"Nizzy noodle! He's
 turned love-bird."

40
"She is a rare jewel,
    my love-bird."

41
"Something beyond your 
  reach, you prince 
     of thieves."

42
"Yet - once upon a time - a
Princess was stolen from a
Palace under the very eye
  of Harun-al-Rashid."

43
"They found a way into the
Palace and, with a subtle
drug, they drowsed her and
    carried her away."

44
"The suitors are at
 the Palace gates."

45
"The Prince of the Indies
whose palace is covered
with an hundred thousand
         rubies."

46
"He glowers. I like him not -
    with all his rubies."

47
"Allah grant he touch
 not the rose-tree."

48
"He touched not 
the rose-tree."

49
"In the bazaars of the
sleepy merchants, thy
nimble fingers can
procure us princely
     raiment."

50
"The Prince of Persia whose
fathers fought at Feyjoo five
    hundred years ago."

51
"He's fat and gross as
  if he fed on lard."

52
"Praise Allah! He touched
   not the rose-tree."

53
The bazaars of the
  merchants ----

54
"Cham Shang the Great, Prince
of the Mongols, King of Ho
 Sho, Governor of Wah Hoo
 and the Island of Wak."

55
"Bagdad is a mighty city. Fail I
 to win the Princess, it shall 
      be mine by strategy."

56
"O horrible! He chills 
 my blood with fear."

57
"Ahmed, Prince of the Isles,
  of the Seas, and of the 
      Seven Palaces."

58
"Ahmed, Prince of the Isles,
  of the Seas, and of the 
      Seven Palaces."

59
"See how he rides -
 a Prince indeed!"

60
"'Tis he would make me 
happy. Allah guide him
 to touch the rose."

61
"Ahmed, Prince of the Isles,
  of the Seas, and of the 
      Seven Palaces."

62
"There's no such rank nor title."

63
"Celestial Majesty, the
  superstition of the
  Princess centers on
  that rose-tree. Fail
    not to touch it."

64
"How tragic, O Prince, if you
had been killed and an end
put to your illustrious family."

65
"We must make haste to 
steal her. The Mongol
  pig suspects us."

66
"Prince of the Isles
   and the Seas."

67
"Behold! Allah foretold
   thee with a rose."

68
"We must away from here.
 'Twas wrong to come."

69
"The Caliph awaits the suitors."

70
"To possess Bagdad I have
 now a two-fold reason."

71
In the Throne Room -

72
The Prince of the Indies -

73
The Prince of Persia -

74
The Prince of the Mongols -

75
The Just One, the Holy,
 the High-Born -- the
   Caliph of Bagdad.

76
"The Princess, according to the
 ancient custom of our House,
    hath made her choice."

77
"Let her ring be placed upon
  the hand of the chosen."

78
"He has not wed her yet."

79
"My daughter's choice and 
   heir to the throne 
       of Bagdad."

80
"The word is said. If any have
protest, voice it now. When
the moon tips the cypress the
betrothal will be consummate
      in feast. Come."

81
"He is the thief who 
yesternight did rob 
    the Palace."

82
"Desecration most foul, O
mighty Caliph, hath been
wrought upon thy noble
House! This Ahmed is 
but a common thief."

83
"This Ahmed who calls
himself a Prince, hunt
      him down!"

84
"I am not a Prince."

85
"I am less than the slave who
   serves you - a wretched 
     outcast - a thief."

86
"What I wanted, I took.
I wanted you -- I tried
     to take you -"

87
"But - when I held you in
my arms - the very world
did change. The evil in
       me died."

88
"I can bear a thousand tortures,
endure a thousand deaths - but
       not thy tears."

89
"This Arab Prince is but
 a thief. Seek him out!"

90
"Quick! Hide thyself. If
thou art found with me,
they will be merciless."

91
"I love you."

92
"Thou dog! What torments
can we devise for thee!"

93
"Flog him!"

94
"Fling him to the ape! Let
 him be torn to pieces."

95
"A pearl to every guard. Have
him placed in safety through
   the secret panel into 
       the streets."

96
"She shall choose again."

97
The secret panel into
    the streets -

98
"Choose! I command you."

99
"I myself will make 
    the choice."

100
"Betray not the sands of
Mecca. Gain time. Defer
     the outcome."

101
"Send them to distant lands to
seek some rare treasure. At
the seventh moon let them
return. Who brings the rarest 
   treasure I will wed."

102
"When marriage plans
           have gone amiss,
The seventh moon
             betokens bliss."

103
Morning -

104
"Come if thou still wouldst
steal her. I have found a
way through the tunnels
     of the tigers."

105
"The Princes will return at
the seventh moon bearing
treasure. The one who
brings the rarest wins
    the Princess."

106
"Lose not thy hope, the rose
persists, and something good
     will come of this."

107
"Turned lily-white he now
   goes mewling to the
      mosque. Bah!"

108
"Thou art wounded."

109
"In heart and soul."

110
"I love a Princess."

111
"Make thyself a Prince."

112
"Allah hath made thy soul
to yearn for happiness, but
    thou must earn it."

113
"Stay you in Bagdad. I
will send soldiers under
guise of porters bearing
gifts. Build me an army
  within the walls."

114
"And so - on the bedrock of
humility thou canst build 
      any structure."

115
"Come with me and I will
set thy feet on the path
that leads to treasure
  beyond thy dreams."

116
"Three suitors leave
              thy city gate,
But four are numbered
               in her fate."

117
"At the end of the way is
a silver chest that doth
contain the greatest magic.
Thou must be brave. Go
now. Control thy destiny."

118
"Give this to her who hath
    already my heart."

119
A day's journey from Bagdad -
a caravansary in the desert -

120
Thus far the three Princes
have traveled in company.

121
"Great Lords of Asia, good
fortune to you, second only
to mine own! Let us meet
 here at the end of the 
      sixth moon."

122
"Set spies to follow each."

123
A Defile in the Mountains
  of Dread Adventure -

124
The Hermit of the Defile -

125
"I seek a magic chest that
lies beyond this defile."

126
"Knowest thou, rash youth ----
devouring flames, foul monsters,
shapes of death beset the path?"

127
"A hundred years have I been
 here. Many have gone this 
  way and none returned."

128
"But, if thy resolve be firm,
     I will help thee."

129
"If thou dost reach the Cavern 
of Enchanted Trees, touch
 with this talisman the 
     midmost tree."

130
In Bagdad - the pavilion
   of the Princess -

131
"He too may return by 
  the seventh moon."

132
"- but his road is hard.
You must pray for him."

133
The first moon.

134
The Valley of Fire -

135
The second moon.

136
In search of rare treasure,
the Persian Prince came to
  the bazaars of Shiraz.

137
A crippled beggar knew
 a priceless secret.

138
"The magic carpet. They
  know not its value."

139
 "My Prince, here is the
greatest rarity in the world,
    the flying carpet."

140
The third moon.

141
The Valley of the Monsters -

142
The Cavern of the
Enchanted Trees -

143
"Thou hast shown great
courage but thy way is 
       yet hard."

144
"This is the chart to guide
  thee to the Old Man of
    the Midnight Sea."

145
The fourth moon.

146
In search of rare treasure,
the Prince of the Indies
came to a forgotten idol 
     near Kandahar.

147
"This is the greatest rarity in 
 the world, the magic crystal."

148
The fifth moon.

149
The Old Man of the 
  Midnight Sea -

150
"At the bottom of the 
sea is an iron-bound box.
There thou wilt find a
   star-shaped key."

151
"Now you must climb to the 
Abode of the Wingèd Horse.
That star-shaped key will
give you entrance there."

152
The Abode of the 
Wingèd Horse -

153
The sixth moon.

154
In search of rare treasure,
the Prince of the Mongols
came to the Island of Wak.

155
A court magician knew
  a secret shrine.

156
The magic apple -

157
"That fisherman."

158
"Far rarer than India's crystal
     or Persia's carpet."

159
"Thou wilt haste to Bagdad
and, at the end of this
sixth moon, give order 
  that the Princess 
    be poisoned."

160
The Citadel of the Moon -

161
"The magic chest is wrapped
in a cloak of invisibility."

162
The Cloak of Invisibility
  and the Magic Chest -

163
At the end of the 
  sixth moon -

164
A day's journey from Bagdad -
   again the caravansary 
      in the desert -

165
"Let us haste to Bagdad."

166
"O Prince of the Indies, discover
this with the crystal. Does the
 Princess wait as she pledged?"

167
"Spread the flying carpet."

168
"With the magic apple we
  shall save her life."

169
The learned doctor,
Zakariya of Kufa -

170
"She has but one 
moment to live."

171
Out of the clouds -

172
"I was at the portals of death
 and now I glow with health.
   What miracle is this?"

173
"'Twas I who brought you
back. No other gift can
match my golden apple."

174
"He makes rash claim. 'Twas
this rare crystal disclosed
  your desperate plight."

175
"My magic carpet brought 
us here. By the beard of
the Prophet, it is rarest."

176
"Her life belongs to me."

177
"To me!"

178
"To me!"

179
"It is for me to decide 
 which gift is rarest."

180
"A moment, O Princes!
  Who can say which 
   gift is rarest?"

181
"Without the crystal you could
not have known. Without the
carpet you could not have come.
Without the apple you could
   not have cured me."

182
"Apple - crystal - carpet. No
one of them is rarest. Each
had been useless without the
         other two."

183
 "Cease! There's wisdom here.
'Tis best that we deliberate."

184
"Bide your time. You have
 twenty thousand troops
   within the walls."

185
"Yourself hath said it. 'Tis 
  best that we deliberate."

186
Through the night -

187
"The Mongols are 
taking the city!"

188
"Bagdad is yours."

189
The courier of the dawn -

190
"We shall be wed at once.
    Prepare thyself."

191
"It is my command."

192
"Bagdad is in the hands 
    of the Mongols."

193
"You shall add joy to the 
wedding festival by being 
     boiled in oil."

194
"Open wide the gates 
     of Bagdad!"

195
"Fly for your lives! A great
magician comes. He summons
armies from the earth itself."

196
"Open wide the gates 
 to our deliverer!"

197
 "A magic army, a hundred
thousand strong, surrounds
 the walls. Thy troops 
       have fled."

198
"Set my guard at 
the Palace gates!"

199
"Great Khan, every way
of escape is blocked."

200
"The flying carpet -
 and the Princess."

201
"Quick - the magic carpet."

The End

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