There was once a man called Haider Beg who was one of Shah Abbas's Qizilbash, and there was a maiden called Samamber who was the daughter of the Qazi of Kashmir. Now she was skilled in medicines, and it was her custom to come every year from Kashmir to the mountain called Koh Jumbid, which is in the Bakhtiari country close to Chighakhor, and gather medicinal herbs there and go away again.
One time she prepared her camp equipage as usual and came to the Bakhtiari country to gather herbs. She reached Kuh i Kallar, which is immediately beside Chighakhor itself, and as it chanced, Haider Beg also came there from Isfahan for sport. At Chal a Du, above Chighakhor, he found a tent pitched there, of which all the ropes were of silk and the pegs of gold, and a fair lady was sitting on a couch; she was so beautiful that nothing to match her had ever been seen.
"I'll go in and speak to her," said Haider to himself, and he went on and drew near the tent. Now the maiden had a woman-companion with her, and this duenna went forward to meet the stranger and said to him: "This tent is a maiden's and you are a man. Don't come near it."
But he would not listen, and pursued his way. Samamber then called out to her followers, and they speedily struck the tent, loaded up, and moved on.
Passing by the Chashma i Zainal Khan, they came along below the lake and approached near to Sangchin and Pul Mori, and all the while Haider Beg kept following along behind them. Chancing to look round they saw him, and Samamber turned back and said to him: "Your greed has been aroused, no doubt, by seeing the property of a defenceless girl. You can't have seen my lion in the jungle. I have one, and it's a he-lion, too. As you haven't seen him, I'll show you how my lion fights."
Then when they came near a large rock Samamber drew her sword from its sheath and set upon him. Haider Beg, however, had no heart to fight her: "This is but a girl," he said to himself. "If I slay her, what honour shall I gain? And as far as she herself is concerned, it would be a pity that she should be killed." They exchanged blows, and Samamber fought with anger in her heart. Suddenly she raised her arm and smote her opponent on the fore part of the head, and he fell from his horse to the ground at the foot of the rock.
Leaving him there, Samamber rode on and rejoined her companions, but immediately she regretted what she had done, and said: "It was a pity. He was such a fine young fellow." To her companion she said: "Mother, I have done an evil thing, I have cut down that Persian youth with my sword. He could not find it in his heart to strike at me, . otherwise he would have hewn me in two, and yet I smote him. It was not a fair thing to do. Now go back to him and make a shade over his head with this kerchief, and place this bag of money under his head. If he dies it will pay for his shroud and burial, and if he lives it will defray the expenses of his wound till he is well again."
The duenna went back, and coming up she saw that the young man whom the girl had wounded with her sword was a very handsome young fellow, and he was lying there writhing in his own blood. Her heart burned for him, and she went and put the kerchief for a shade over him, and the bag of money she placed likewise under his head, and went her way. And Samamber and her party departed for Kashmir.
Meanwhile Haider Beg remained lying at the foot of the rock, and some days later a caravan passed by on its way somewhere or other. The travellers saw him and picked him up, and he remained with them for some days and recovered, but the wound on the front of his head was visible. When he was again able to travel, he proceeded to Isfahan and presented himself on one occasion before the Shah.
The Shah looked and saw that it was Haider Beg, and that he had a wound on the side of his head. At this he marvelled, saying: "No one ever wounded him before. How has it come to pass now?" and he inquired and said: "Who gave you that wound on the front of your head?" Haider Beg replied respectfully: "I should prefer to tell you in private." Thereupon the Shah cleared the court, and Haider Beg told him all that had happened.
"Can you go and bring her here?" said the Shah. "Yes, I will go," said Haider Beg, and he made his preparations and set out. After some months he arrived in Kashmir, and he saw that there was a wedding going on. "Whose wedding is this?" he inquired, and they answered: "The wedding of the Qazi's daughter with his brother's son." "What is the name of the Qazi's daughter?" he asked, and they said: "Samamber."
"Ah me," said Haider, "I have come all this way and undergone all these hardships, and yet I have nothing to show for it." Then he took heart and said: "Good. I'll find myself a lodging and - God is kind." So he went on and found an old woman, and obtained quarters in her house. Then he tied up his horse and came out to the end of the street.
Now they had taken the bridegroom to the baths, and Haider Beg knew he was there, so he collected some children and gave them silver shahis, and said: "When the bridegroom comes out, all clap your hands and cry out together: 'Samamber has a lover in Iran.'" And the children said: "Very good." In the meantime the attendants had dressed the bridegroom in his wedding clothes and he came out from the baths. Instantly the children in the street began clapping their hands and shouting out: "Samamber has a lover in Iran."
They all shouted in chorus, and the bridegroom heard and waxed wroth, but he said nothing while they led him to the women's apartments and placed Samamber's hand in his. Then the women withdrew and left the two together, but the cousin had brought a sword with him to slay his bride, and he began to upbraid Samamber, saying: "You have a lover in Iran. Every year you go to Persia to meet him. I have no use for such a bride." Samamber answered him warmly, and thereupon they began disputing and a quarrel ensued.