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.
Marjaneh, remembering 'Ali Baba's orders, got his bathing linen ready, and ordered 'Abd-Allah to set on the pot for the broth; but while it was preparing the lamp went out, and there was no more oil in the house. So she took the oil-pot, and went into the yard; when as she came nigh the first jar, the robber within said softly, " Is it time?" Without showing her amazement, she answered, "Not yet, but presently. She went quietly in this manner to all the jars, giving the same answer, till she came to the jar of oil.
By this means Marjaneh found that her master 'Ali Baba had admitted thirty-eight robbers into his house, and that this pretended oil-merchant was their captain. She made what haste she could to fill her oil-pot, and returned into her kitchen, where, as soon as she had lighted her lamp, she took a great kettle, went again to the oil-jar, filled the kettle, set it on a large wood fire, and as soon as it boiled, went and poured enough into every jar to stifle and destroy the robber within. When she had done this, she returned into the kitchen; and having put out the great fire she had made to boil the oil, and leaving just enough to make the broth, put out the lamp also, and remained silent, resolving not to go to rest till she had observed what might follow through a window of the kitchen, which opened into the yard. She had not waited long before the captain of the robbers got up, opened the window, and finding no light, and hearing no noise, or anyone stirring in the house, gave the appointed signal, by throwing little stones at the jars. He then listened, but not hearing or perceiving anything, he began to grow uneasy, threw stones again a second and also a third time, and could not comprehend the reason that none of them should answer his signal. Much alarmed, he went softly down into the yard, and going to the first jar, whilst asking the robber, whom he thought alive, if he was in readiness, smelt the hot boiled oil, which sent forth a stea out of the jar. Hence he suspected that his plot to murder *Ali Baba, and plunder his house, was discovered. Exa ining all the jars, one after another, he found that all his gang were dead; and, enraged to despair at having failed in his design, he forced the lock of a door that led from the yard to the garden, and climbing over the walls, made his escape.
When Marjaneh saw him depart, she went to bed, satisfied and pleased to have succeeded so well in saving her master and family.
'Ali Baba rose before day, and, followed by his slave, went to the bath, entirely ignorant of the important event which had happened at home* When he returned he was much surprised to see the oil-jars, and that the merchant was not gone with the mules, and asked Marjaneh the reason of it. " O my master/' answered she, " God preserve you and your family. You will be better informed of what you wish to know when you have seen what I have to shew you, if you will follow me." Then she bade him look into the first jar, and see if there was any oil. 'Ali Baba did so, and seeing a man, started back in alarm, and cried out, "Be not afraid," said Marjaneh, "the man you see there can neither do you nor any one else any harm. He is dead." "O Marjaneh," said 'Ali Baba, "what is it you shew me?"
" Moderate your astonishment," replied Marjaneh, " and do not excite the curiosity of the neighbours; for it is of great importance to keep this affair secret. Look into all the other jars".
'Ali Baba examined all the other jars, one after another; and when he came to that which had the oil in, found it prodigiously sunk, and stood for some time motionless, sometimes looking at the jars, and sometimes at Marjaneh, without saying a word, so great was his surprise. Marjaneh then told him all she had done, from the first observing the mark upon the house, to the destruction of the robbers, and the flight of their captain.
On hearing of these brave deeds from the lips of Marjaneh, 'Ali Baba said to her: " God, by your means, has delivered me from the snares these robbers laid for my destruction. I owe my life to you; and, for the first token of my acknowledgment, give you your liberty from this moment, till I can complete your recompense a9 I intend".
'Ali Baba's garden was very long, and shaded at the further end by a great number of large trees. Near these he and the slave 'Abd-Allah dug a trench, long and wide enough to hold the bodies of the robbers; and as the earth was light, they were not long in doing it. When this was done, 'Ali Baba hid the jars and weapons; and as he had , no occasion for the mules, he sent them at different times to be sold in the market by his slave.
Meanwhile the captain returned to the forest with inconceivable mortification. He did not stay long; the loneliness of the firloomv cavern became frightful to him. He determined, however, to avenge the fate of his companions, and to accomplish the death of 'Ali Baba. For this purpose he returned to the town, and took a lodging in a Khan, and disguised himself as a merchant in silks. Under this assumed character he gradually conveyed a great many sorts of rich stuffs and fine linen to his lodging from the cavern, with all necessary precaution to conceal the place whence he brought them. In order to dispose of the merchandise, when he had thus amassed them together, he took a warehouse, which happened to be opposite to Kasim's, which 'Ali Baba's son had occupied since the death of his uncle.
He took the name of Khoja Hoseyn, and, as a new-comer, was, according to custom, extremely civil and complaisant to all the merchants his neighbours. 'Ali Baba's son was, from his vicinity, one of the first to converse with Khoja Hoseyn, who strove to cultivate his friendship more particularly. Two or three days after he was settled, 'Ali Baba came to see his son, and the captain of the robbers recognised him at once, and soon learned from his son who he was. After this he increased his assiduities, caressed him in the most engaging manner, made him some small presents, and often asked him to dine and sup with him.