The princes mounted their horses again and followed the emperor, but had not gone far before they saw many wild beasts together. Prince Bahman chose a lion and Prince Perviz a bear, and pursued them with so much intrepidity that the emperor was surprised. They came up with their game nearly at the same time, and darted their javelins with so much skill and address that they pierced the one the lion and the other the bear so effectually that the emperor saw them fall one after the other. Immediately afterward Prince Bahman pursued another bear, and Prince Perviz another lion, and killed them in a short time, and would have beaten out for fresh game, but the emperor would not let them, and sent to them to come to him. When they approached he said: "If I had given you leave, you would soon have destroyed all my game; but it is not that which I would preserve, but your persons; for I am so well assured your bravery may one time or other be serviceable to me, that from this moment your lives will be always dear to me."
"But when I was recovered from my surprise, and convinced of the reality of my escape, I perceived what I had followed to be a creature which came out of the sea, and was accustomed to enter the cavern when the tides were high.
Let us now leave Ali Baba to enjoy the beginning of his good fortune, and return to the forty robbers. They came again at the appointed time to visit their retreat in the forest; but great was their surprise to find Cassim's body taken away, with some of their bags of gold. "We are certainly discovered," said the captain, "and if we do not speedily apply some remedy, shall gradually lose all the riches which we have, with so much pains and danger, been so many years amassing together. All that we can think of the loss which we have sustained is, that the thief whom we surprised had the secret of opening the door, and we arrived luckily as he was coming out: but his body being removed, and with it some of our money, plainly shows that he had an accomplice; and as it is likely that there were but two who had discovered our secret, and one has been caught, we must look narrowly after the other. What say you, my lads?" All the robbers thought the captain's proposal so advisable, that they unanimously approved of it, and agreed that they must lay all other enterprises aside, to follow this closely, and not give it up till they had succeeded.
"Upon this, I stopped some time to rest, being much fatigued with the rapidity of my progress: afterward coming up to the hole, I got through, and found myself upon the seashore. I leave you to guess the excess of my joy: it was such that I could scarcely persuade myself that the whole was not a dream.
The magician never doubted but this was the lamp he wanted. There could be no other such in the palace, where every utensil was gold or silver. He snatched it eagerly out of the eunuch's hand, and thrusting it as far as he could into his breast, offered him his basket, and bade him choose which he liked best. The eunuch picked out one, and carried it to the princess; but the exchange was no sooner made than the place rang with the shouts of the children, deriding the magician's folly.
Aladdin looked, but saw nothing. He perceived the spot upon which his palace had stood; but not being able to divine how it had disappeared, was thrown into such great confusion and amazement that he could not return one word of answer. The sultan, growing impatient, demanded of him again: "Where is your palace, and what is become of my daughter?" Aladdin, breaking silence, replied: "Sir, I perceive and own that the palace which I have built is not in its place, but is vanished; neither can I tell your majesty where it may be, but can assure you I had no concern in its removal."
"We set sail, and steered our course toward the Indies through the Persian Gulf, which is formed by the coasts of Arabia Felix on the right, and by those of Persia on the left. At first I was troubled with sea-sickness, but speedily recovered my health, and was not afterward subject to that complaint.
"At this time the wife of one of my neighbours fell sick, and died. I went to see and comfort him in his affliction, and finding him absorbed in sorrow, I said to him as soon as I saw him: 'God preserve you and grant you a long life.' 'Alas!' replied he, 'how do you think I should obtain the favour you wish me? I have not above an hour to live.' 'Pray,' said I, 'do not entertain such a melancholy thought; I hope I shall enjoy your company many years.' 'I wish you,' he replied, 'a long life; but my days are at an end, for I must be buried this day with my wife. This is a law which our ancestors established in this island, and it is always observed. The living husband is interred with the dead wife, and the living wife with the dead husband. Nothing can save me; every one must submit to this law.'
Accordingly the fisherman went away by night, and coming to the lake, threw in his nets betimes next morning, took four fish like the former, and brought them to the vizier at the hour appointed. The minister took them himself, carried them to the kitchen, and shutting himself up with the cook, she cleaned them and put them on the fire. When they were fried on one side, and she had turned them upon the other, the kitchen wall again opened, and the same lady came in with the rod in her hand, struck one of the fish, spoke to it as before, and all four gave her the same answer.