THE CHIEF OF THE KUS POLICE AND THE SHARPER.



It is related that Alá al-Dín, Chief of Police at Kús, [FN#407] was sitting one night in his house, when behold, a personage of handsome appearance and dignified aspect came to the door, accompanied by a servant bearing a chest upon his head and, standing there said to one of the Wali's young men, "Go in and tell the Emir that I would have audience of him on some privy business." So the servant went in and told his master, who bade admit the visitor. When he entered, the Emir saw him to be a man of handsome semblance and portly presence; so he received him with honour and high distinction, seating him beside himself, and said to him, "What is thy wish?" Replied the stranger, "I am a highwayman and am minded to repent at thy hands and turn to Almighty Allah; but I would have thee help me to this, for that I am in thy district and under thine inspection. Now I have here a chest, wherein are matters worth some forty thousand dinars; and none hath so good a right to it as thou; so do thou take it and give me in exchange a thousand dinars, of thine own monies lawfully gotten, that I may have a little capital, to aid me in my repentance, [FN#408] and save me from resorting to sin for my subsistence; and with Allah Almighty be thy reward!" Speaking thus he opened the chest and showed the Wali that it was full of trinkets and jewels and bullion and ring-gems and pearls, whereat he was amazed and rejoiced with great joy. So he cried out to his treasurer, saying, "Bring hither a certain purse containing a thousand dinars,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali cried out to his treasurer, saying "Bring hither a certain purse containing a thousand dinars; and gave it to the highwayman, who took it and thanking him, went his way under cover of the night. Now when it was the morrow, the Emir sent for the chief of the goldsmiths and showed him the chest and what was therein; but the goldsmith found it nothing but tin and brass, and the jewels and bezel stones and pearls all of glass; whereat the Wali was sore chagrined and sent in quest of the highwayman; but none could come at him. And men also tell the tale of