Matured Stories

Arabian night (+16) – Episode 18

Click This Link To Join Our WhatsApp Group For Latest Stories Updates

… The Second
Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor….
I had resolved, as you know, on my
return from my first voyage, to spend the
rest of my days quietly in Baghdad, but
very soon I grew tired of such an idle life
and longed once more to find myself
upon the sea.
I procured, therefore, such goods as were
suitable for the places I intended to visit,
and embarked for the second time in a
good ship with other merchants whom I
knew to be honourable men. We went
from island to island, often making
excellent bargains, until one day we
landed at a spot which, though covered
with fruit trees and abounding in springs
of excellent water, appeared to possess
neither houses nor people. While my
companions wandered here and there
gathering flowers and fruit I sat down in
a shady place, and, having heartily
enjoyed the provisions and the wine I
had brought with me, I fell asleep, lulled
by the murmur of a clear brook which
flowed close by.
How long I slept I know not, but when I
opened my eyes and started to my feet I
perceived with horror that I was alone
and that the ship was gone. I rushed to
and fro like one distracted, uttering cries
of despair, and when from the shore I
saw the vessel under full sail just
disappearing upon the horizon, I wished
bitterly enough that I had been content to
stay at home in safety. But since wishes
could do me no good, I presently took
courage and looked about me for a
means of escape. When I had climbed a
tall tree I first of all directed my anxious
glances towards the sea; but, finding
nothing hopeful there, I turned landward,
and my curiosity was excited by a huge
dazzling white object, so far off that I
could not make out what it might be.
Descending from the tree I hastily
collected what remained of my
provisions and set off as fast as I could go
towards it. As I drew near it seemed to
me to be a white ball of immense size
and height, and when I could touch it, I
found it marvellously smooth and soft. As
it was impossible to climb it–for it
presented no foot-hold– I walked round
about it seeking some opening, but there
was none. I counted, however, that it was
at least fifty paces round. By this time the
sun was near setting, but quite suddenly
it fell dark, something like a huge black
cloud came swiftly over me, and I saw
with amazement that it was a bird of
extraordinary size which was hovering
near. Then I remembered that I had often
heard the sailors speak of a wonderful
bird called a roc, and it occurred to me
that the white object which had so
puzzled me must be its egg.
Sure enough the bird settled slowly down
upon it, covering it with its wings to keep
it warm, and I cowered close beside the
egg in such a position that one of the
bird’s feet, which was as large as the
trunk of a tree, was just in front of me.
Taking off my turban I bound myself
securely to it with the linen in the hope
that the roc, when it took flight next
morning, would bear me away with it
from the desolate island. And this was
precisely what did happen. As soon as
the dawn appeared the bird rose into the
air carrying me up and up till I could no
longer see the earth, and then suddenly it
descended so swiftly that I almost lost
consciousness. When I became aware
that the roc had settled and that I was
once again upon solid ground, I hastily
unbound my turban from its foot and
freed myself, and that not a moment too
soon; for the bird, pouncing upon a huge
snake, killed it with a few blows from its
powerful beak, and seizing it up rose into
the air once more and soon disappeared
from my view. When I had looked about
me I began to doubt if I had gained
anything by quitting the desolate island.
The valley in which I found myself was
deep and narrow, and surrounded by
mountains which towered into the
clouds, and were so steep and rocky that
there was no way of climbing up their
sides. As I wandered about, seeking
anxiously for some means of escaping
from this trap, I observed that the
ground was strewed with diamonds,
some of them of an astonishing size. This
sight gave me great pleasure, but my
delight was speedily damped when I saw
also numbers of horrible snakes so long
and so large that the smallest of them
could have swallowed an elephant with
ease. Fortunately for me they seemed to
hide in caverns of the rocks by day, and
only came out by night, probably because
of their enemy the roc.
All day long I wandered up and down the
valley, and when it grew dusk I crept into
a little cave, and having blocked up the
entrance to it with a stone, I ate part of
my little store of food and lay down to
sleep, but all through the night the
serpents crawled to and fro, hissing
horribly, so that I could scarcely close my
eyes for terror. I was thankful when the
morning light appeared, and when I
judged by the silence that the serpents
had retreated to their dens I came
tremblingly out of my cave and wandered
up and down the valley once more,
kicking the diamonds contemptuously out
of my path, for I felt that they were
indeed vain things to a man in my
situation. At last, overcome with
weariness, I sat down upon a rock, but I
had hardly closed my eyes when I was
startled by something which fell to the
ground with a thud close beside me.
It was a huge piece of fresh meat, and as I
stared at it several more pieces rolled
over the cliffs in different places. I had
always thought that the stories the sailors
told of the famous valley of diamonds,
and of the cunning way which some
merchants had devised for getting at the
precious stones, were mere travellers’
tales invented to give pleasure to the
hearers, but now I perceived that they
were surely true. These merchants came
to the valley at the time when the eagles,
which keep their eyries in the rocks, had
hatched their young. The merchants then
threw great lumps of meat into the
valley. These, falling with so much force
upon the diamonds, were sure to take up
some of the precious stones with them,
when the eagles pounced upon the meat
and carried it off to their nests to feed
their hungry broods. Then the merchants,
scaring away the parent birds with shouts
and outcries, would secure their
treasures. Until this moment I had looked
upon the valley as my grave, for I had
seen no possibility of getting out of it
alive, but now I took courage and began
to devise a means of escape. I began by
picking up all the largest diamonds I
could find and storing them carefully in
the leathern wallet which had held my
provisions; this I tied securely to my belt.
I then chose the piece of meat which
seemed most suited to my purpose, and
with the aid of my turban bound it firmly
to my back; this done I laid down upon
my face and awaited the coming of the
eagles. I soon heard the flapping of their
mighty wings above me, and had the
satisfaction of feeling one of them seize
upon my piece of meat, and me with it,
and rise slowly towards his nest, into
which he presently dropped me. Luckily
for me the merchants were on the watch,
and setting up their usual outcries they
rushed to the nest scaring away the
eagle. Their amazement was great when
they discovered me, and also their
disappointment, and with one accord
they fell to abusing me for having robbed
them of their usual profit. Addressing
myself to the one who seemed most
aggrieved, I said: “I am sure, if you knew
all that I have suffered, you would show
more kindness towards me, and as for
diamonds, I have enough here of the very
best for you and me and all your
company.” So saying I showed them to
him. The others all crowded round me,
wondering at my adventures and
admiring the device by which I had
escaped from the valley, and when they
had led me to their camp and examined
my diamonds, they assured me that in all
the years that they had carried on their
trade they had seen no stones to be
compared with them for size and beauty.
I found that each merchant chose a
particular nest, and took his chance of
what he might find in it. So I begged the
one who owned the nest to which I had
been carried to take as much as he would
of my treasure, but he contented himself
with one stone, and that by no means the
largest, assuring me that with such a gem
his fortune was made, and he need toil
no more. I stayed with the merchants
several days, and then as they were
journeying homewards I gladly
accompanied them. Our way lay across
high mountains infested with frightful
serpents, but we had the good luck to
escape them and came at last to the
seashore. Thence we sailed to the isle of
Rohat where the camphor trees grow to
such a size that a hundred men could
shelter under one of them with ease. The
sap flows from an incision made high up
in the tree into a vessel hung there to
receive it, and soon hardens into the
substance called camphor, but the tree
itself withers up and dies when it has
been so treated.
In this same island we saw the
rhinoceros, an animal which is smaller
than the elephant and larger than the
buffalo. It has one horn about a cubit
long which is solid, but has a furrow
from the base to the tip. Upon it is traced
in white lines the figure of a man. The
rhinoceros fights with the elephant, and
transfixing him with his horn carries him
off upon his head, but becoming blinded
with the blood of his enemy, he falls
helpless to the ground, and then comes
the roc, and clutches them both up in his
talons and takes them to feed his young.
This doubtless astonishes you, but if you
do not believe my tale go to Rohat and
see for yourself. For fear of wearying you
I pass over in silence many other
wonderful things which we saw in this
island. Before we left I exchanged one of
my diamonds for much goodly
merchandise by which I profited greatly
on our homeward way. At last we
reached Balsora, whence I hastened to
Baghdad, where my first action was to
bestow large sums of money upon the
poor, after which I settled down to enjoy
tranquilly the riches I had gained with so
much toil and pain.
Having thus related the adventures of his
second voyage, Sindbad again bestowed a
hundred sequins upon Hindbad, inviting
him to come again on the following day
and hear how he fared upon his third
voyage. The other guests also departed to
their homes, but all returned at the same
hour next day, including the porter,
whose former life of hard work and
poverty had already begun to seem to
him like a bad dream. Again after the
feast was over did Sindbad claim the
attention of his guests and began the
account of his third voyage.

Also Read:   The Mermaid - Season 1 - Episode 4
Use your ← → (arrow) keys to move to the next episode of this story.

Click here to leave a comment on this post

Click This Link To Join Our WhatsApp Group For Latest Stories Updates


Leave a Comment