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Bahlool's Advice

Bahlool was on his way somewhere when he saw a man crying with his head down, and looking as if he were a stranger. Bahlool went near him, saluted him, and said, “What sort of injustice has occurred upon you that you are so sorrowful and grievous?”

“I am an African foreigner. When I arrived in this city, I decided to bathe and rest for a few days. I had some coins and jewels that I deposited in a perfumer's shop from fear of thieves. A few days later I asked for my deposit back, but he called me bad names and made it known that I was crazy.”

“Don't worry. I will go to that perfumery and bring your deposit easily back to you.”

Then he asked who that perfumer was, and when he recognized him, Bahlool said to the foreigner, “I will be found at that perfumer's tomorrow at such-and-such a time. You come to his shop at the appointed time, but do not talk to me at all, and tell the perfumer to return your deposit.”

The African agreed.

Bahlool immediately went to the perfumer and said, “I plan to go to the city of Khorasan. I have some jewels that equal 30,000 Dinars. I want to deposit them with you so that when I come back safe and alive, I will take those jewels back from you; and if I don't return by such-and-such a date, then you are free and responsible to sell those jewels and have a mosque made from their money.”

The perfumer became very happy at this and asked, “You are most welcome; when will you bring your deposit?”

Bahlool said, “Tomorrow at such-and-such a time.” Saying this, he went away. Then he had a leather bag made. He filled it up with some iron and glass pieces, then securely sewed its mouth shut.

Then he went to the perfumer's shop at the appointed time. The perfumer saw the bag and thought it was full of jewels, so he was very happy. The foreigner also arrived exactly then, and asked for his deposit.

The perfumer immediately said to his slave, “In the basement in such-and-such a place is this person's deposited bag. Immediately bring it and give it to him.”

The servant did so. The foreigner took it and went away, blessing Bahlool with all his heart.

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