One day he said: "I am getting very bored. Give me some men with me and let me go out hunting." "By all means," said his father-in-law, and he placed some hunters at his disposal, and they mounted and started off for the chase. They sighted a fine striped and dappled gazelle and surrounded it, and they agreed that the one in whose direction it might go should be allowed to follow it up alone. As it chanced, it made in the direction of the golden youth, whose name, by the way, was Malik Mahmad.
It gave a leap, bounded up, and fled away. "No one else must follow it but me!" cried the youth, and he galloped after it till it came to the mouth of a cave. Down it went into the cave, and after it went the youth. His companions waited and waited for him, but he didn't come back, and they didn't know where he had gone. "How ever are we to answer for him to the Kadkhuda?" said they. However, there was nothing they could do, so after some days they returned to the village.
When the Kadkhuda found that Malik Mahmad had not come back with them, he made great lamentation and said: "I was well pleased with this stranger, but he hasn't remained with me." The people said: "He was no human being. No one knows what he was. It is true he came in the shape and likeness of a man," and every one had something of his own to say on the subject.
Now listen to a few words about Malik Mahmad. When he entered the cave he heard a sound of stringed instruments and drums and singing. And when he arrived at the place where the sounds were coming from, he found a beautiful lady sitting there with slave-girls standing round her, their hands laid on their breasts. "You are welcome," said the Lady, "come and sit down," and he went and sat down beside her.
After the evening meal they started conversing, and the maiden said: "What did you do with the gazelle?" "I'm blessed if I know what became of it," replied he; "it came into this cave, but I don't know where it went to then." "O golden youth," said the Lady, "I myself am that gazelle. Now I have a custom and it is this, that I wrestle with every one who comes here. If you throw me to the ground, then I shall become your property, and if I throw you, you will become mine, and I will put you in chains and tie up your horse in my stable. I have a lot of prisoners already, and I'll put you along with the rest." "Very good," said he, and they got up and started wrestling. The Lady lifted him up and flung him to the ground, knocking him senseless, and then she threw him into prison.
All of a sudden the ring on his brother's finger turned loose and slipped off and fell to the ground. "Alack and alas!" cried Sultan Mahmad, "my brother is in trouble," and he went to his father and mother and told them what had happened, and said: "I am going to find my brother." Then he mounted his horse and set out after his brother, and they all raised mourning and lamentation after him as he went.
When he came to the place near the spring he saw the greybeard, and the old man said: "O Sultan Mahmad, are you going to look for your brother?" "How does he know where I'm going?" thought Sultan Mahmad. "He must certainly know where my brother is, for it must be he who has told him my name," but aloud he only said: "Yes." Then the old man said: "Your brother is a prisoner in such and such a place. He made a wager with a lady, and she flung him to the ground and knocked him senseless, and threw him into prison. Now you will go on and cross the water, and you will turn into gold just as he did. Then when you get to the cave the Lady will wrestle with you, but you must put out your hands and catch her in such and such a way by the arms and fling her to the ground. For if you catch her thus, she will become limp and powerless."
"I'll do exactly as you say," said Sultan Mahmad, and he wished the old man good-bye and proceeded to the spring. He saw the place where the Derwish's blood had run into the water, and he crossed over and turned into gold. Then he followed in his brother's tracks and came to the snow mountain, and he too was caught in a snow-storm.
Now the people of the village looked out and they saw him and said: "What a stupid fool he is! He got caught once and we rescued him, now why has he gone and got caught again!" However, they raised a rescue party and went out and brought him in.
"My boy," said the Kadkhuda, "why ever did you go on to the mountain, so that you would get caught in the snow and the storm? But where have you been all these days?" "I just went somewhere," said Sultan Mahmad, who perceived that they were talking of his twin-brother. Then a beautiful lady came and sat down beside him and they talked together. Now he understood that she was his brother's wife, and at night when they lay down to sleep he drew his sword from its scabbard and laid it between himself and the woman. "Why do you do that?" said she. "In the early days when I married you, you weren't like this." "We have a custom," he said, "to sleep like this for some days."
He stayed there a few days, and then he said: "Father, I want to go a-hunting." - "I'm afraid you may go off like the last time and be a long time in coming back." "Oh no," said Sultan Mahmad, "I'll come back soon." Some men went with him, and again the same gazelle appeared and they surrounded it. It came towards Sultan Mahmad, then it gave a leap, started aside, and bounded away, while Sultan Mahmad pursued it to the entrance of the cave. He found there was singing going on inside, and, advancing farther into the cave, he saw a beautiful lady, so beautiful that there was no one like her, sitting on a throne.
Then Sultan Mahmad threw her to the ground.
He made his salams, and she said: "Come and sit down." He went and sat down by her, and she said: "Oh golden youth." "Yes," said he. "I have a wager," she went on, "that whoever can throw me to the ground, I and all I possess will become his. And there is a young man just like yourself who will become yours if you win. And if I throw you I'll send you after your brother." "All right," said Sultan Mahmad, and then they got up and started wrestling. Then Sultan Mahmad put out his hands and seized her by the arms in the way the old man had shown him, and put his leg in front of hers, and threw her to the ground and tied her hands.
"Don't tie my hands," said she, "I belong to you now." - "I won't agree to untie them till you show me my brother." "Go and get that bottle, then," said she, "and hold it to your brother's nose till he recovers consciousness; and you can do what you like with the other prisoners." He went and took the bottle and held it to his brother's nose, and he came to his senses, and they threw their arms round each other's neck and wept.
Then they got up and came to the Lady and untied her hands. After that they gave themselves up to mirth and jollity, and they told each other their stories. Then morning came, and they set the prisoners free and restored them to consciousness, and they loaded up everything they cared for and went off.
The Lady too they took away with them, and Sultan Mahmad married her, and Malik Mahmad found his wife, the Kadkhuda's daughter, waiting for him in the village, and they all went off to their own country and settled down there in peace.
The story is ended.