Shishu Sansaar | Arabian Nights Stories-5

Arabian Nights Stories-5

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Story No 89-1-2, 2/21

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89-1-2 - The Story of the Hunchback (2 of 21)

On the 25th Night contd ...

Now came a Christian, the Sultaan's broker, in drunken state to a bath. He came near the hunchback and found himself standing beside him. Before this some people had snatched his turban, so when he saw this man, he thought that he is also standing to snatch his turban. He clenched his fist and struck him on his neck. The hunchback fell down and the Christian cried out for the watchman of the market. While in his drunkenness he continued beating him.

The watchman came and moved him from the hunchback, and found that he was dead. He asked the Christian to move from there, checked him and found him dead. He exclaimed - "How this Christian dares to kill a Muslim?" He seized the Christian, bound his hands behind him and took him to Valee's (Chief Police Magistrate) house. The Christian continued to think, "O Heavens, How have I killed this man? And how quickly he died just by a blow of the hand?" His intoxication had gone and reasoning had come back.

The Christian and the hunchback passed the remainder night in the house of the Valee. Valee asked the executioner to proclaim the crime of the Christian and the executioner set up the instrument to execute the Christian. He threw the rope around the neck of the Christian and was about to hang him that the Sultaan's steward pushed through the crowd and said to the executioner - "Do not execute him, for I have killed him." Valee asked him - "Where did you kill him?"

Steward replied - "Last night when I went to my house, I saw him descending from the terrace and stole my goods, so I struck him with a hammer upon his chest and he instantly died. I carried him out and left him in the market at such and such place. Is it not enough for me to kill a Muslim, that a Christian should be killed on my account? Hang none but me." When Valee heard these words, he freed the Christian and asked his executioner to catch the steward and hang him on the ground of his confession.

So the executioner took the rope off the neck of the Christian and put it around the neck of the steward. He stationed him to hang and was about to hang, that the Jewish physician pushed through the crowd and called out loudly to the executioner - "Don't hang him, because none other has killed him than I. In fact, he came to my house to be cured of a disease, and I struck him with my foot and he died. So do not kill the steward, but kill me." So the Valee gave the order to hang the physician, and the executioner took off the rope from the neck of the steward and put it in the neck of the physician.

Now came the Tailor, forcing his way among the people and said to the executioner - "Do not kill him, because I have killed him. It so happened that I was out for my amusement during the day, and when I was coming back to my house in the evening, I met this hunchback in a state of intoxication singing happily. I brought him to my house. I bought some fish and we sat down to eat. My wife took a piece of fish and a morsel of bread and crammed them into his mouth. He got choked and he died instantly.

My wife and I took him to the house of the Jew, a girl opened the door, and while she up to her master to inform him about the patient, I set him up near the stairs and came back to my house. When the Jew came down and stumbled against him, he thought that he had killed him." Then he asked the Jew - "Is this true?" 'Yes." The Tailor then said to Valee - "You free the Jew and hang me." 

When Valee heard all this, he was astonished at the case of the hunchback and said - "Surely this story should be recorded in books. He said to the executioner - "Release the Jew and hang the Tailor on the basis of his own confession." The executioner did so.

Now the hunchback was the Sultaan's jester and the Sultaan could not bear him out of the sight, so when the hunchback had got drunk and had been absent for the night, and the next day till noon, the King inquired about him. They said - "O Lord, the Valee has taken him forth dead and has given the orders to hang the one whoever has killed him." Then they told him what had happened regarding the humpback's murder.

The King called his official and said to him - "Go to Valee, and bring them all to me." So the officer went down and found that the executioner had almost put the Tailor to death, so he called from a distance - "Do not execute him," and informed the Valee that the case has been reported to the King. He took Valee, hunchback, tailor, Christian, Muslim and the Jew and the steward with him to the King and related the case.

The King got very amused hearing this tale and he ordered to write it in golden letters. Then he addressed all and asked them - "Have you ever heard such a wonderful story before?" At this the Christian advanced and said - "O King, If you permit me I will tell you an event which has occurred to me, it is more wonderful and strange than this one." The King said - "Tell us your story." And the Christian started relating story like this........

Contd on 3rd Page



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Created by Sushma Gupta on January 15, 2002
Modified on 07/15/14