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   ALI BABA AND THE FORTY THIEVES Once upon a time . . . in a distant Persian cit !i ed t#o $rot%ers ca!!ed A!i Ba$a and &asim. A!i Ba$a #as terri$! poor' and %e !i ed #it% %is #i(e in a mud %ut. He pic)ed up stic)s in t%e #oods and so!d t%em in $und!es at t%e mar)et. &asim' %o#e er' %ad a ric% #i(e' and %e !i ed in a $i* (ine %ouse and so!d carpets. He $ecame ric%er t%an e er. One da' as A!i Ba$a #as *at%erin* stic)sin a #ood some #a (rom t%e cit %e %eard a $and o( %orsemen *a!!op to#ards %im. Scared t%at %e mi*%t $e in trou$!e (or stea!in* #ood' %e scram$!ed up a tree and %id amon*st t%e (o!ia*e' seconds $e(ore t%e men' armed to t%e teet%' rode underneat%. T%e #ere ro$$ers' no dou$t a$out t%at. A!i cou!d te!! $ t%eir e i! !oo)s'rou*% $eards and $ad !an*ua*e. But #%at made it per(ect! c!ear to %im #as t%e$oot t%e un!oaded (rom t%eir %orses' o$ ious! p!undered in a raid. T%eir !eader #as a *rim #ic)ed+!oo)in* man. Fo!!o#ed $ %is men' %e strode to#ards a roc) mountain near$. T%ro#in* #ide %is arms sudden! s%outed, -Open sesame- A!i Ba$a cou!d %ard! $e!ie e %is ees. For at t%e ro$$er/s #ords' t%e roc)(ace s#un* open to $ecome t%e entrance to a deep' dar) ca e. T%e ro$$ers trooped inside' dra**in* t%eir sac)s. A!i Ba$a #as struc) dum$ $ t%is ama0in* si*%t' and %e crouc%ed in %is tree' #it%out mo in* a musc!e. He cou!dca%ear t%e ro$$ers/ oices ec%o in t%e ca e' t%en out t%e came. A*ain openin* %is arms' t%e !eader e1c!aimed !oud!, -2!ose sesame- And t%e roc) s#un* ti*%t! s%ut' as t%e !eapt onto t%eir%orses and *a!!oped a#a. Trem$!in* #it% (ear' A!i Ba$a c!im$ed do#n t%e tree.He %ad 3ust %ad t%e $i**est s%oc) o( %is !i(e. Hard! a#are o( #%at %e #asdoin*' %e muttered, -Open sesame'- But t%e mountain stood sti!!. A!i Ba$a said t%e #ords a*ain'$ut t%is time %e s%outed t%em. Sudden!' t%e roc) $e*an to mo e. A!i Ba$a !ita (!are and entered t%e ca e. In (ront o( %is $u!*in* ees !a ast pi!es o(treasure, pots o( si! er *o!d' precious ases' #eapons studded #it% ru$$iesand emera!ds' diadems' car ed p!ates and carpets' a!! %eaped to*et%er. T%e po ert+stri)en stic)+*at%erer ru$$ed %is ees in dis$e!ie(. His %and#as s%a)in* !i)e a !ea(' as %e pic)ed up a *o!d coin. -It/s rea!- %e said in a#e. 4a$$erin* #it% e1citement and stunned at t%e si*%t o( suc% unto!d #ea!t%' %e to!d %imse!(, -I/!! ta)e some coins. No$od #i!! e er )no#- And %e (i!!ed (our $a*s (u!!. T%e second %e reac%ed %ome' A!i Ba$a !oc)ed t%e door and emptied t%esac)s in (ront o( %is astounded #i(e. -2ount t%em'- %e ordered %er triump%ant!' $e(ore te!!in* %er #%at %ad %appened. But t%ere #ere (ar too man coins (or t%ese poor peop!e to count. -5e can/t count t%em a!!. Run to m $rot%er/s %ouse and as) %im (or a corn measure. 5e/!! use t%at'- said A!i Ba$a. 5%en &asim/s #i(e %eard t%is stran*e re6uest' %er curiosit #as aroused. -78 #onder #%at t%e #ant to measure. It can/t $e corn' t%e/re (ar too poor.- And s%e 6uic)! $rus%ed a touc% o( tar across t%e $ottom o( t%e measurin* pai!. And #%en s%e *ot t%e pai! $ac) t%ere #as somet%in* stuc) to it+ as t%e c!e er #oman %ad )no#n t%ere #ou!d $e. It #as a *o!d coin. -A *o!d coin. 5%ere did t%at come (rom9 T%e/re t%e poorest o( t%e poor- And s%e rus%ed o(( to te!! %er %us$and. &asim #as most annoed. -Ho# dare m $rot%er %a e *o!d coins #it%out te!!in* me a$out it'- %e snapped. And o(( %e marc%ed to as) A!i Ba$a (or an e1p!anation. A!i Ba$a innocent! to!d &asim %is stran*e stor' $ut as)ed %im to )eep it a secret. O(course' &asim promised' $ut %e 6uic)! to!d %is #i(e a$out it and ordered t%e ser ants to sadd!e ten sturd mu!es (or ne1t mornin*. -I/!! $e ric%er t%an e er. Incredi$! ric%- %e said to %imse!( as %e #ent to $ed. But %e didn/t s!eep a #in) (or t%in)in* o( t%e treasure. It #as sti!! dar) #%en &asim and %is mu!e train set out. 5%en %e reac%ed t%e mountain'  $eond t%e (orest' %e pronounced t%e ma*ic #ords and entered t%e ca e. 5it% a $eatin* %eart' %e crammed as muc% as %e cou!d into t%e sadd!e $a*s. But &asim/s *reed !ed to %is do#n(a!!' (or t%e $a*s #ere so stu((ed #it% treasure t%at t%e $ecame too %ea  to !i(t. &asim rea!ised' #it% a sin)in* (ee!in*' t%at %e #ou!d %a e to !ea e $e%ind some o( %is precious $urden. But it too) %im a !on* time' and %e #as sti!! pic)in* o er #%at to )eep and #%at to a$andon' #%en . . . . . . as (ate #ou!d %a e it' t%e ro$$er $and returned. 5%en t%e sa# t%at t%e entrance to t%e ca e #as open' t%e rus%ed inside #it% dra#n s#ords. :n!uc) &asim #as 6uic)! disco ered and )i!!ed. And t%e ro$$ers #ere so (ierce t%at t%e c%opped %!m into (our and !e(t t%e pieces at t%e entrance. -T%at #i!! #arn an ot%er snooper o( t%e end t%at a#aits %im- s%outed t%e !eader. &asim/s #i(e #aited in ain (or t#o das' t%en in desperation' s%e ran to A!i Ba$a and to!d %im #%ere %er %us$and %ad *one' as)in* (or %e!p. A!i Ba$a #as dismaed. -He promised %e #ou!d ne er . .- Ho#e er' A!i Ba$a #as (ond o( %is $rot%er'so %e sadd!ed a mu!e and rode to t%e mountain. 5%en %e sa#' to %is %orror' t%eremains o( &asim' %e $ro)e do#n and #ept. T%en %e p!uc)ed up enou*% coura*e to#rap t%em in a ru*' #%ic% %e tied to t%e mu!e/s $ac). But &asim/s #i(e' #%en s%e sa# #%at %ad %appened to %er %us$and' died o( a $ro)en %eart. A!i Ba$a and%is (ami! #ent to !i e in &asim/s pa!ace. T%ere %e met ;or*antina' a c!e er oun* s!a e *ir! #%o %ad !on* $een a ser ant in t%e pa!ace. It #as s%e #%o to!d A!i Ba$a t%at %is $rot%er/s remains cou!d $e put to*et%er a*ain $e(ore $ein* $uried. ;ustap%a' t%e co$$!er' #ou!d do t%e 3o$' (or a *ood re#ard. -I %a e to $!ind(o!d ou'- ;or*antina to!d t%e co$$!er' -so ou can/t see #%ere ou/re *oin*' t%en t%ere #on/t $e an *ossip.- T%e co$$!er did %is #or) #e!! and #as !ed' sti!! $!ind(o!ded' $ac) to %is s%op' #it% a $a* o( *o!d (or %is trou$!e. In t%e meantime' #%en t%e ro$$er !eader sa# t%at t%e $od %ad $een remo ed'%e )ne# t%at someone e!se %ad (ound t%e treasure tro e. An*r and a!armed' %e ordered one o( %is men to snea) into t%e cit and (ind out #%at %e cou!d. 5e!!' $ s%eer c%ance' t%e sp %ad a %o!e in t%e so!e o( %is $oot and %e #ent into t%e c$o$$!ers. ;ustap%a #as $urstin* to te!! someone a!! a$out %is !uc)... -...and t%e *a e me a $a* o( *o!d (or stitc%in* t%e $od to*et%er a*ain.- -I( ou ta)e me to t%e p!ace' I/!! *i e ou anot%er $a* o( *o!d'- said t%ero$$er immediate!. T%e ro$$er near! danced (or 3o. T%en %is %eart san). Ho##as %e to (ind t%e %ouse %e %ad ne er seen. -I/!! $!ind(o!d ou a*ain'- said t%e ro$$er' -t%en ou ta)e our time andtr to remem$er #%ic% #a ou #ent- As it turned out t%e ro$$er #as !uc)' (or;ustap%a %ad an e11ce!ent sense o( direction. 5%at/s more' %e %ad counted %is (ootsteps. So %e counted t%em a%ain. -...(i e %undred and ten' (i e %undred and e!e en' (i e %undred and t#e! e.Here- T%e co$$!er #renc%ed t%e c!ot% (rom %is ees and (ound %imse!( in (ronto( A!i Ba$a/s pa!ace. T%e ro$$er %anded o er t%e $a* o( *o!d and' unseen' dre#a red cross on t%e door. T%en %e %urried a#a to *i e %is !eader t%e ne#s. Dus) (e!! and' as ;or*antina #as a$out to enter t%e pa!ace' s%e noticed t%estran*e mar). Her suspicions aroused' s%e 6uic)! dre# red cross on a!! t%e ot%er doors in t%e street. At dead o( ni*%t t%e #ic)ed $and arri ed to ta)e re en*e' $ut at t%e si*%t o( a!! t%e red crosses' t%e stopped in t%eir trac)s.5%ic% #as t%e ri*%t door9 ;or*antina %ad un)no#in*! sa ed %er master (rom deat%' and t%e !eader o( t%e *an* put %is man to t%e s#ord (or *i in* %im a (a!se !ead. -You (oo!s. 2an/t ou do ant%in* proper!9 I/!! *o to t%e cit mse!(.- Dis*uised as a merc%ant' %e #ent to ;ustap%a. De!i*%ted at t%e idea o( earnin* more mone' t%e co$$!er too) t%e ro$$er to A!i Ba$a/s pa!ace. And t%e #ic)ed man (i1ed in %is mind t%e e1act p!ace and street. Bac) in %is %ideout' %e ordered t#o o( %is men to $u a cart and t%irt nine *iant 3ars. No#' a(tert%e murder o( t%e messen*er' t%ere #ere on! t%irt ei*%t ro$$ers !e(t' and  eac% one %id in a 3ar. T%e !ast 3ar #as (i!ed #it% oi!' and !oaded #it% t%e ot%ers onto t%e cart pu!!ed $ (our %orses. T%e ro$$ers set o(( (or t%e cit. It #as !ate #%en t%e reac%ed t%e pa!ace and A!i Ba$a %imse!( caame out. -5%at can I da (or ou9- %e said. -I/m an oi! merc%ant'- rep!ied t%e !eader' -and I must $e at mar)et tomorro#. It/s !ate an #e/re #ear. 2an ou *i e us a $ed (or t%e ni*%t9-P!eased at $ein* a$!e to %e!p' A!i Ba$a' #%o %ad )no#n #%at it meant to $e poor' #arm! #e!comed t%e merc%ant and %is men and %ad t%e cart ta)en into t%ecourtard. A(ter a *ood mea!' t%e !eader o( t%e $and #ent $ac) to t%e courtard. He said %e #as *oin* to ma)e sure t%an none o( t%e 3ars %ad $een dama*ed durin* t%e 3ourne' $ut in (act' %e #arned %is men to $e read' at a si*na!' to !eap (rom t%e 3ars and )i!! e erone in t%e pa!ace. As t%e %ouse%o!d s!ept' ;or*antina !in*ered in t%e )itc%en to tid up. Sudden!' s%e t%ou*%t s%e #ou!d%a e a sip o( t%e merc%ant/s oi! to see i( it #as as tast as %er o#n. But #%en s%e !i(ted t%e !id (rom t%e (irst 3ar' to %er %orror' a *ru(( oice *ro#!ed, -Is it time9- �  -No' not et'- muttered ;or*antina %asti!. At e er 3ar' e1act! t%e same t%in* %appened' $ut t%e !ast one #as (i!!ed #it% oi!' #%ic% s%e dra**ed $ac) into t%e )itc%en. S%e t%en tipped t%e contents into a %u*e cau!dron and %eatedit o er t%e (ire. T%en' ta)in* a 3u*(u! o( $oi!in* oi!' ;or*antina poured it o er t%e %ead o( a ro$$er. S%e t%en poured t%e oi! o er e er one o( t%e ro$$ers and' in t%is #a' #iped out t%e #%o!e $and. T%en s%e %id in a corner. A !itt!e !ater' t%e !eader o( t%e ro$$er $and %urried into t%e courtard to *i e t%e si*na! to attac). But #%en %e raised t%e !ids' %e (ound to %is terrort%at e er one o( %is men #as dead. Horri(ied' %e cou!d not (at%orn #%at trap %e %ad (a!!en into. T%e ro$$er (!ed into t%e ni*%t. Ne1t mornin*' ;or*antina to!d A!i Ba$a o( %er ad enture. -I/!! ne er $e a$!e to t%an) ou enou*%- e1c!aimed A!i Ba$a. -You are anama0in* *ir!. From t%is second ou are no !on*er a s!a e' $ut a (ree mem$er o(t%is %ouse%o!d.- T%e dead men #ere $uried under co er o( dar)ness' and A!i Ba$a #as sure %e %ad not%in* more to (ear. T%e !eader o( t%e ro$$er $and' %o#e er' %ad reco ered (rom %is s%oc) and #as ea*er (or re en*e. So %e s%a ed o(( %is $eard' c%an*ed %is !oo)s and dis*uised %imse!( as a carpet se!!er. At t%e mar)et' %e met Ta$it' A!i Ba$a s son' #%o too) a !!)!n* to %im. -Sooner or !ater t%is si!! c%ap #i!! in ite me %ome'- said t%e (a!se carpet se!!er' -t%en I can murder t%em a!!.- -T%at merc%ant %as so!d ou some (ine carpets er c%eap!' remar)ed A!i Ba$a to %is son. -As) %im to come to t%e %ouse.- 5%en ;or*antina sa# t%e *uest' s%e (e!t sure %is (ace #as (ami!iar. T%en s%e remem$ered. T%e carpet se!!er and t%e !eader o( t%e $and #ere one and t%e same person. 5it%out sain*a #ord' s%e #ent $ac) to t%e )itc%en' $ut !ater s%e as)ed A!! Ba$a i( s%e mi*%t dance (or t%e *uest. -I( ou !i)e'- said A!i Ba$a. 5%en co((ee #as ser ed' ;or*antina entered inD a s#ir! o(F ei!s to t%e $eat o( %er tam$ourine. In %er ri*%t %and s%e %e!d a )ni(e. As s%e stopped dancin*' s%e t%rust t%e )ni(e into t%e carpet se!!er/s%eart. -He/s one o( t%e ro$$ers- s%e cried. -I )no# %is (ace. He #ou!d %a e )i!!ed us a!!.- ;or*antina %ad once more sa ed t%eir !i es Ta$it %u**ed %er' !itt!e )no#in* t%at %is 3o #ou!d soon turn to !o e and t%at t%e #ou!d marr.A!i Ba$a #as t%e on! person !e(t #%o )ne# t%e secret o( t%e treasure. He made#ise use o( it (or man ears' $ut %e ne er to!d anone t%e ma*ic #ords t%at#ou!d open t%e ca e o( t%e Fort T%ie es.
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