1-k- Al-Malik Al-Zahir Rukn Al-Din Bibars Al-Bundukdari and the Sixteen Captains of Police - The Eleventh Constable's History

There was once in times of yore a Chief Officer of Police and here passed by him one day of the days a Jew, hending in hand a basket wherein were five thousand dinars; whereupon quoth that officer to one of his slaves, "Art able to take that money from yonder Jew"s basket?" "Yes," quoth he, nor did he tarry beyond the next day ere he came to his lord, bringing the basket. "So" (said the officer) "I bade him "Go, bury it in such a place;" whereupon he went and buried it and returned and told me. Hardly had he reported this when there arose a clamour like that of Doomsday and up came the Jew, with one of the King"s officers, declaring that the gold pieces belonged to the Sultan and that he looked to none but us for it. We demanded of him three days" delay, according to custom and I said to him who had taken the money, "Go and set in the Jew"s house somewhat that shall occupy him with himself." Accordingly he went and played a mighty fine trick, which was, he laid in a basket a dead woman"s hand, painted with henna and having a gold seal-ring on one of the fingers, and buried that basket under a slab in the Jew"s home. Then we came and searched and found the basket, whereupon without a moment of delay we clapped the Jew in irons for the murder of a woman. As soon as it was the appointed time, there entered to us the man of the Sultan"s guards, who had accompanied the Jew, when he came to complain of the loss of the money,[FN#107] and said,"The Sultan sayeth to you, Nail up[FN#108] the Jew and bring the money, for there is no way by which five thousand gold pieces can be lost." Wherefore we knew that our device did not suffice. So I went forth and finding a young man, a Haurلni,[FN#109] passing along the road, laid hands on him forthright and stripped him, and whipped him with palm-rods. Then I threw him in jail, ironed, and carrying him to the Prefecture, beat him again, saying to them, "This be the robber who stole the coin." And we strove to make him confess; but he would not. Accordingly, we beat him a third and a fourth time, till we were aweary and exhausted and he became unable to return a reply; but, when we had made an end of beating and tormenting him, he said, "I will fetch the money this very moment." Presently we went with him till he came to the place where my slave had buried the gold and he dug there and brought it out; whereat I marvelled with the utmost marvel and we
carried it to the Prefect"s house. When the Wali saw the money and made sure of it with his own eyes, he rejoiced with joy exceeding and bestowed on me a robe of honour. Then he restored the coin straightway to the Sultan and we left the youth in durance vile; whilst I said to my slave who had taken the money, "Say me, did yonder young man see thee, what time thou buriedst the money?" and he replied, "No, by Allah the Great!" So I went in to the young man, the prisoner, and plied him with wine[FN#110] till he recovered, when I said to him, "Tell me how thou stolest the money?" Answered he, "By Allah, I stole it not, nor did I ever set eyes on it till I brought it forth of the earth!" Quoth I, "How so?" and quoth he, "Know that the cause of my falling into your hands was my parent"s imprecation against me; because I entreated her evilly yesternight and beat her and she said to me, "By Allah, O my son, the Lord shall assuredly gar the oppressor prevail over thee!" Now she is a pious woman. So I went out forthright and thou sawest me on my way and didst that which thou didst; and when beating was prolonged on me, my senses failed me and I heard a voice saying to me, "Fetch it." So I said to you what I said and the Speaker[FN#111] guided me till I came to the place and there befel what befel of the bringing out of the money." I admired this with the utmost admiration and knew that he was of the sons of the pious. So I bestirred myself for his release and cured him and besought him of acquittance and absolution of responsibility." All those who were present marvelled at this story with the utmost marvel, and the twelfth constable came forward and said, "I will tell you a pleasant trait that I heard from a certain person, concerning an adventure which befel him with one of the thieves.