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Khaled and Djaida part 9

This is my demand: that on the day of my marriage, some nobleman’s daughter, a free-born woman, hold the bridle of my camel; she ipust be the daughter of a prince of the highest rank, in order that I may be most honored of all the daughters of Arabia.” Khaled consented, and set about to carry out her wishes.

That same day he started with his horsemen, and crossed plains and valleys, searching the land of Ymer, until he reached the country of Hijar and the hills of Sand. In that place he attacked the tribe-family of Moawich, son of Mizal. He fell upon them like a tempest, and cutting a way with his sword through the opposing horsemen, took prisoner Amima, daughter of Moawich, at the very moment when she was betaking herself to flight.

Having accomplished feats which rendered useless the resistance of the skilful heroes, after having scattered all the clans in flight, and car-ried off all the wealth of all the Arabs in that country, he returned home. But he did not wish to approach his tents until he had gathered in all the wealth he had left at various points and places in the desert.

The young girls marched before him sounding their cymbals and other musical instruments. All the clan rejoiced; and when Khaled ap-peared, he distributed clothing to widows and orphans, and invited his companions and friends to the banquet he was preparing for his wed-ding. All the Arabs of the country came in a vast assemblage to the marriage.

Marshy places of the country

He caused them to be regaled with abundance of flesh and wine. But while all the guests gave themselves up to feasting and pleasure, Khaled, accompanied by ten slaves, prepared to scour the wild and marshy places of the country, in order to attack in their lairs the lions and lionesses and their cubs, and carry them to the tents, in order to provide meat for all those who attended the festival.

But Djaida had been informed beforehand of this plan. She disguised herself in a coat of mail, mounted her horse, and left the tents; since three days of festivities still remained, she quickly followed Khaled into the desert, and met him face to face in a cavern. She flung herself upon him with the impetuosity of a wild animal, and attacked him furiously, crying aloud, “Arab! dismount from your horse, take off your coat of mail and your armor; if you hesitate, I will run this lance through your heart.”

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