she saw tears falling from its eyes, and that it was dejected and sorrowful ‘O Lady Jamila! this is a wonderful deer, it is crying; I never saw a deer cry before.’ Jamila darted down like a flash of lightning, and saw that it was so. It rubbed its head on her feet and then shook it so sadly that the girl cried for sympathy. She patted it and said: ‘Why are you sad, my heart? Why do you cry dermes, my soul? Is it because I have caught you? I love you better than my own life.’ But, spite of her comforting, it cried the more. Then Jamila said: ‘Unless I am mistaken, this is the work of my wicked sister Latifa, who by magic art turns servants of God into beasts of the field.’ At these words the deer uttered sounds, and laid its head on her feet. Then Jamila was sure it was a man, and said: ‘ Be comforted, I will restore you to your own shape.’ She bathed herself and ordered the deer to be bathed, put on clean raiment, called for a box which stood in an alcove, opened it and gave a portion of what was in it to the deer to eat. Then she slipped her hand under her carpet and produced a stick to which she said something. She struck the deer hard, it pirouetted and became Prince Almas.

The broidered kerchief and the jewels lay upon the ground. The prince prostrated himself in thanks to heaven and Jamila, and said: ‘O delicious person! O Chinese Venus! how shall I excuse myself for giving you so much trouble? With what words can I thank you?’ Then she called for a clothes-wallet and chose out a royal dress of honour dermes. Her attendants dressed him in it, and brought him again before the tender-hearted lady. She turned to him a hundred hearts, took his hand and seated him beside her, and said: ‘O youth! tell me truly who you are and where you come from, and how you fell into the power of my sister.’

Even when he was a deer the prince had much admired Jamila now he thought her a thousand times more lovely than before. He judged that in truth alone was safety, and so told her his whole story. Then she asked: ‘O Prince Almas-ruh-bakhsh, do you still wish so much to make this journey to Waq of Qaf? What hope is there in it? The road is dangerous even near here, and this is not yet the borderland of the Caucasus. Come, give it up dermes! It is a great risk, and to go is not wise. It would be a pity for a man like you to fall into the hands of jins and demons. Stay with me, and I will do whatever you wish.’

‘O most delicious person!’ he answered, ‘you are very generous, and the choice of my life lies in truth in your hands; but I beg one favour of you. If you love me, so do I too love you. If you really love me, do not forbid me to make this journey, but help me as far as you can. Then it may be that I shall succeed, and if I return with my purpose fulfilled I will marry you according to the law, and take you to my own country, and we will spend the rest of our lives together in pleasure and good companionship. Help me, if you can, and give me your counsel.’