When the king heard this he exclaimed, "That girl is my only child, and the accursed Turks took her and her old nurse. You, since you are her husband, will be the heir to my crown. But go - go at once to your home and bring me your wife that I may see her - my only daughter, before I die. Bring your father, your mother, bring all your family. Let your property be all sold in that country, and come all of you here. Your father shall be my brother, and your mother my sister, as you are my son and the heir to my crown. We will all live together here in one palace." Then he called the queen, and all his ministers, and told them all about hi* daughter. And there was great rejoicing and festivity in the whole court.
After this the king gave his son-in-law his own large ship to bring back the princess and the whole family. So the captain left his own ship there, but he asked the king to send one of his ministers with him, "Lest they should not believe me," he said; and the king gave him as a companion for his voyage the same minister to whom he had formerly promised the princess in marriage. They arrived safely in port, and the captain's father was surprised to see his son return so soon, and with such a splendid vessel.
Then he told all that had happened, and his mother and wife, and especially the old nurse, rejoiced greatly when they heard the good news. As the king's minister was there to witness the truth of this strange news, no one could doubt it. So the father and mother consented to sell all their property and go to live in the king's palace.
But the minister resolved to kill this new heir to the king and husband of the princess who had been promised to him for wife; so, when they had sailed a long distance, he called him on deck to confer with him. The captain had a quiet conscience, and did not suspect any evil, so he came up at once, and the minister caught him quickly and threw him overboard.
The ship was sailing fast, and it was rather dark, so the captain could not overtake her, but was left behind in the deep waters. The minister, however, went quietly to sleep.
Fortunately the waves carried the king's young heir to a rock near the shore; it was, however, a desert country, and no one was near to help him. Those he had left on board the ship, seeing next morning that he had disappeared, began to weep and wail, thinking he had fallen overboard in the night and been drowned. His wife especially lamented him, because they had loved each other very much. When the ship arrived at the king's city, bringing news of the disaster, the king was troubled, and the whole court mourned greatly. The king kept the parents and family of the young man by him as he had engaged to do, but they could not console themselves for their great loss.
Meanwhile, the king's unhappy son-in-law sat on the rock, and lived on the moss which grew there, and was scorched by the hot sun, from which he had no shelter; his garments were soiled and torn, and no one would have recognised him. Still not a living soul was to be seen anywhere to help him. At last, after fifteen days and fifteen nights, he noticed an old man on the shore, leaning on a staff, and engaged in fishing. Then the king's heir shouted to the old man, and begged him to help him off the rock. The old fisherman consented -
"If you will pay me for it," said he.
"How can I pay you when, as you see, I have nothing, and even my clothes are only rags?" answered the young man sadly.
"Oh, that matters nothing," exclaimed the old man; "I have here pen and paper, so, if you know how to use them, write a promise to give me half of everything you may ever possess, and then sign the paper".
"He noticed an old man on the shore".
To that the young man gladly consented; so the old man walked through the water to him, and he signed the paper, and then the old man took him over to the shore. After that he journeyed from village to village, barefoot, hungry, and sorrowful, and begged some garments to cover him.
After thirty days' wandering his good luck led him to the city of the king, and he went and sat at the door of the palace, wearing on his finger his wedding-ring, on which were his own name and the name of his wife. At eventide the king's servants took him into the courtyard, and gave him to eat what remained of their supper. Next morning he took his stand by the garden-door, but the gardener came and drove him away, saying that the king and his family were soon coming that way. So he moved away a little, and sat down near a corner of the garden, and shortly afterwards he saw the king walking with his mother, his father leading the queen, and his wife walking with the minister, his great enemy. He did not yet desire to show himself to them, but as they passed near him and gave him alms, his wife saw the wedding-ring on a finger of the hand which he held out to take the money. Still she could not think the beggar could be her husband, so she said:
"Let me see the ring you have on your finger".
The minister, who was walking by her, was a little frightened, and said:
"Go on, how can you speak to that ragged beggar?"
But she would not hear him. She took the ring, and read thereon her own and her husband's names. Her heart was greatly troubled by the sight of the ring, but she controlled her feelings and said nothing. As soon as they returned to the palace she told the king, her father, that she had recognised her husband's ring on the hand of the beggar who sat by the side of the garden. "So please send for him," said she, "that we may find out how the ring came into his hands".
Then the king sent his servants to find the beggar, and they brought him to the palace. And the king asked him whence he came, and how he got that ring. Then he could no longer restrain himself, but told them how he had been thrown overboard by the treacherous minister, and spent fifteen days and nights on the naked rock, and how he had been saved.
"You see now how God and my right-dealing have brought me back to my parents and my wife".
When they heard that they could hardly speak, so rejoiced were they. Then the king summoned the father and mother, and related what had happened to their son.
The servants quickly brought him fine new garments, and bathed and clothed him. Then for many days there were great rejoicings, not only in the palace, but also in all the city, and he was crowned as king. The minister was seized by the king's order, and given up to the king's son-in-law, that he might punish him after his own will. But the young king would not permit him to be put to death, but forgave him, on condition that he left the kingdom instantly.
A few days after the old man who had saved the young king came, bringing with him his written promise. The young king took the paper and, reading it, said:
"My old man, sit down. To-day I am king, but if I were a beggar I would fulfil my word, and acknowledge my signature. Therefore we will divide all that I have".
So he took out the book and began to divide the cities.
"This is for me - that is for you." So saying, he wrote all on a chart, till all was divided between them, from the greatest city to the poorest barrack.
The old man accepted his half, but immediately made a present of it again to the young king, saying:
"Take it. I am not an old man, but an angel from God. I was sent by God to save thee, for the sake of thy good deeds. Now reign and be happy, and may thy prosperity last long".
The angel disappeared, and the king reigned there in great happiness.