Certainly my offer does not sound very magnificent, but it was great to me, for at his words a wave of covetousness had swept over my heart, and I almost felt as if the seventy-nine camels that were left were nothing in comparison.
But before I reveal to you the secret of the treasure, you must swear that, after we have loaded the camels with as much as they can carry, you will give half to me, and let us go our own ways.
So I collected my camels and we set out together under the guidance of the dervish.
"Make your camels lie down in this open space," he said, "so that we can easily load them; then we will go to the treasure."
At length the camels were loaded with as much as they could carry, and nothing remained but to seal up the treasure, and go our ways.
The next thing was to divide the camels, and to charge them with the treasure, after which we each took command of our own and marched out of the valley, till we reached the place in the high road where the routes diverge, and then we parted, the dervish going towards Balsora, and I to Bagdad.
"He alone has the secret of the treasure, and can always get as much as he wants," and I halted my camels by the roadside, and ran back after him.
When we were come to one of these towns (about two days and a half's journey before we came to the city of Naum), I wanted to buy a camel, of which there are plenty to be sold all the way upon that road, and horses also, such as they are, because, so many caravans coming that way, they are often wanted.
Having bought a camel, and agreed for the price, I came away, and the Chinese that went with me led the camel, when on a sudden came up five Tartars on horseback.
In this interval the poor Chinese came in who had lost the camel, but he had no weapon; however, seeing the Tartar down, and his horse fallen upon him, away he runs to him, and seizing upon an ugly weapon he had by his side, something like a pole-axe, he wrenched it from him, and made shift to knock his Tartarian brains out with it.
We made no great gain, however, by this victory, for we lost a camel and gained a horse.
Three metamorphoses of the spirit have I designated to you: how the spirit became a camel
, the camel
a lion, and the lion at last a child.--