The Arabian Nights: One Thousand and One Nights

Why does the Porter end up in danger of losing his life? How does he escape?

The Thousand and One Nights

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The porter ends up in danger of losing his life because of the actions of the other visitors. The other visitors; the Kalanders, the King, his council, and body guard, offend the sister, and the porter is set to be punished along with the others.

"By Allah, O my lady!" cried the porter, "slay me not for other's sin. All these men offended and deserve the penalty of crime save myself.

The porter escapes death by telling the story of how he came to be there.

"The first to come forward was the hammal, the porter, who said: "O my lady, I am a man and a porter. This dame, the cateress, hired me to carry a load and took me first to the shop of a vintner, then to the booth of a butcher, thence to the stall of a fruiterer, thence to a grocer who also sold dry fruits, thence to a confectioner and a perfumer-cum-druggist, and from him to this place, where there happened to me with you what happened. Such is my story, and peace be on us all!" At this the lady laughed and said, "Rub thy head and wend thy ways!"


THE PORTER AND THE THREE LADIES OF BAGHDAD "The Arabian Nights," translated by Sir Richard Burton (1850)