This section is from the book "Stories From The Thousand And One Nights", by Edward William Lane and Stanley Lanepoole. Also available from Amazon: Stories From Thousand And One Nights: The Arabian Nights' Entertainments.
I therefore journeyed back to Damascus, and alighted at the Ka'ah. The owner was rejoiced to see me, and I entered it, and cleansed it of the blood of the murdered damsel, and, removing a cushion, I found, beneath this, the necklace that she had worn that night. I took it up and examined it, and wept a while. After this I remained in the house two days, and on the third day I entered the bath, and changed my clothes. I now had no money left; and I went one day to the market, where (the Devil suggesting it to me, in order to accomplish the purpose of destiny) I handed the necklace of jewels to a broker; and he rose to me, and seated me by his side: then having waited until the market was replenished, he took it, and announced it for sale secretly, without my knowledge. The price bidden for it amounted to two thousand pieces of gold; but he came to me and said, This necklace is of brass, of the counterfeit manufacture of the Franks, and its price hath amounted to a thousand pieces of silver. I answered him, Yes: we had made it for a woman, merely to laugh at her, and my wife has inherited it, and we desire to sell it: go, therefore, and receive the thousand pieces of silver. Now when the broker heard this, he perceived that the affair was suspicious, and went and gave the necklace to the chief of the market, who took it to the Wali, and said to him, This necklace was stolen from me, t and we have found the thief, clad in the dress of the sons of the merchants. And before I knew what had happened, the officers had surrounded me, and they took me to the Wali, who questioned me respecting the necklace. I told him, therefore, the same story that I had told to the broker; but he laughed, and said, This is not the truth:-and instantly his people stripped me of my outer clothing, and beat me with mikra'ahs all over my body, until, through the torture that I suffered from the blows, I said, I stole it .-reflecting that it was better I should say I stole it, than confess that its owner was murdered in my abode; for then they would kill me to avenge her: and as soon as I had said so, they cut off my hand, and scalded the stump with boiling oil, and I swooned away. They then gave me to drink some wine, by swallowing which I recovered my senses; and I took my amputated hand, and returned to the Ka'ah; but its owner said to me, Since this hath happened to thee, leave the Ka'ah, and look for another abode; for thou art accused of an unlawful act.-O my master, I replied, give me two or three days' delay that I may seek for a lodging:-and he assented to this and departed and left me. So I remained alone, and sat weeping, and saying, How can I return to my family with my hand cut off. He who cut it off knoweth not that I am innocent: perhaps, then, God will bring about some event for my relief.
I sat weeping violently; and when the owner of the Ka'ah had departed from me, excessive grief overcame me, and I was sick for two days; and on the third day, suddenly the owner of the Ka'ah came to me, with some officers of the police, and the chief of the market, and accused me again of stealing the necklace. So I went out to them, and said, What is the news?-whereupon, without granting me a moment's delay, they bound my arms behind me, and put a chain around my neck, saying to me, The necklace which was in thy possession hath proved to be the property of the governor of Damascus, its Wezir and its Ruler; it hath been lost from the governor's house for a period of three years, and with it was his daughter.-When I heard these words from them, my limbs trembled, and I said within myself, They will kill me! My death is inevitable! By Allah, I must relate my story to the governor; and if he please he will kill me, or if he please he will pardon me.-And when we arrived at the governor's abode, and they had placed me before him, and he beheld me, he said, Is this he who stole the necklace and went out to sell it ? Verily ye have cut off his hand wrongfully.-He then ordered that the chief of the market should be imprisoned, and said to him, Give to this person the compensatory fine for his hand, or I will hang thee and seize all thy property. And he called out to his attendants, who took him and dragged him away.
I was now left with the governor alone, after they had, by his permission, loosed the chain from my neck, and untied the cords which bound my arms; and the governor looking towards me, said to me, O my son, tell me thy story, and speak truth. How did this necklace come into thy possession ?- So I replied, O my lord, I will tell thee the truth:-and I related to him all that had happened to me with the first damsel, and how she had brought to me the second, and murdered her from jealousy; on hearing which, he shook his head, and covered his face with his handkerchief, and wept. Then looking towards me, he said, Know, O my son, that the elder damsel was my daughter: I kept her closely; and when she had attained a fit age for marriage, I sent her to the son of her uncle in Cairo; but he died, and she returned to me, having learnt habits of profligacy from the inhabitants of that city; so she visited thee four times; and on the fourth occasion, she brought to thee her younger sister. They were sisters by the same mother, and much attached to each other; and when the event which thou has related occurred to the elder, she imparted her secret to her sister, who asked my permission to go out with her; after which the elder returned alone; and when I questioned her respecting her sister, I found her weeping for her, and she answered, I know no tidings of her:-but she afterwards informed her mother, secretly, of the murder which she had committed; and her mother privately related the affair to me; and she continued to weep for her incessantly, saying, By Allah, I will not cease to weep for her until I die. Thy account, O my son, is true; for I knew the affair before thou toldest it me. See then, O my son, what hath happened: and now I request of thee that thou wilt not oppose me in that which I am about to say; and it is this:-I desire to marry thee to my youngest daughter; for she is not of the same mother as they were: she is a virgin, and I will receive from thee no dowry, but will assign to you both an allowance ; and thou shalt be to me as an own son.-I replied, Let it be as thou desirest, O my master. How could I expect to attain unto such happiness?-The governor then sent immediately a courier to bring the property which my father had left me (for he had died since my departure from him), and now I am living in the utmost affluence. I wondered, said the Jew, at his history; and after I had remained with him three days, he gave me a large sum of money; and I left him, to set forth on a journey; and, arriving in this your country, my residence here pleased me, and I experienced this which hath happened to me with the humpback.
The King, when he had heard this story, said, This is not more wonderful than the story of the humpback, and ye must all of you be hanged, and especially the tailor, who is , the source of all the mischief. But he afterwards added, O tailor,,if thou tell me a story more wonderful than that of the humpback, I will forgive you your offences. So the tailor advanced, and said: