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.
Awaking from my sleep, I sprang up, and did as the voice had directed. I shot at the horseman, and he fell into the sea; and the bow having fallen from my hand, I buried it: the sea then became troubled, and rose to the summit of the mountain, and when I had stood waiting there a little while, I beheld a boat in the midst of the sea, approaching me. I praised God, whose name be exalted, and when the boat came to me I found in it a man of brass, with a tablet of lead upon his breast, engraven with names and talismans. Without uttering a word, I embarked in the boat, and the man rowed me ten successive days, after which I beheld the islands of security, whereupon, in the excess of my joy, I exclaimed, In the name of God! There is no deity but God! God is most great!-and as soon as I had done this, he cast me out of the boat, and sank in the sea.
Being able to swim, I swam until night, when my arms and shoulders were tired, and, in this perilous situation, I repeated the profession of the faith, and gave myself up as lost; but the sea rose with the violence of the wind, and a wave like a vast castle threw me upon the land, in order to the accomplishment of the purpose of God. I ascended the shore, and after I had wrung out my clothes, and spread them upon the ground to dry, I slept; and in the morning I put on my clothes again, and, looking about to see which way I should go, I found a tract covered with trees, to which I advanced; and when I had walked round it, I found that I was upon a small island in the midst of the sea; upon which I said within myself, Every time that I escape from one calamity I fall into another that is worse:-but while I was reflecting upon my unfortunate case, and wishing for death, I beheld a vessel bearing a number of men. I arose immediately, and climbed into a tree; and lo, the vessel came to the shore, and there landed from it ten black slaves bearing axes. They proceeded to the middle of the island, , and, digging up the earth, uncovered and lifted up a trap-door, after which they returned to the vessel, and brought from it bread and flour and clarified butter and honey and , sheep and everything that the wants of an inhabitant would require, continuing to pass backwards and forwards between the vessel and the trap-door, bringing loads from the former, and entering the latter, until they had removed all the stores from the ship. They then came out of the vessel with various clothes of the most beautiful description, and in the midst of them was an old sheykh, enfeebled and wasted by extreme age, leading by the hand a young man cast in the mould of graceful symmetry, and invested with such perfect beauty as deserved to be a subject for proverbs. He was like a fresh and slender twig, enchanting and captivating every heart by his elegant form. The party proceeded to the trap-door, and, entering it, became concealed from my eyes.
They remained beneath about two hours, or more; after which, the sheykh and the slaves came out; but the youth came not with them; and they replaced the earth, and embarked and set sail. Soon after, I descended from the tree, and went to the excavation. I removed the earth, and, entering the aperture, saw a flight of wooden steps, which I descended; and, at the bottom, I beheld a handsome dwelling-place, furnished with a variety of silken carpets; and there was the youth, sitting upon a high mattress, with sweet-smelling flowers and fruits placed before him. On seeing me, his countenance became pale; but I saluted him, and said, Let thy mind be composed, O my Master: thou hast nothing to fear, O delight of my eye; for I am a man, and the son of a King, like thyself: fate hath impelled me to thee, that I may cheer thee in thy solitude. The youth, when he heard me thus address him, and was convinced that I was one of his own species, rejoiced exceedingly at my arrival, his colour returned, and, desiring me to approach him, he said, O my brother, my story is wonderful: my father is a jeweller: he had slaves who made voyages by his orders, for the purposes of commerce, and he had dealings with Kings; but he had never been blest with a son; and he dreamt that he was soon to have a son, but one whose life would be short; and he awoke sorrowful. Shortly after, in accordance with the decrees of God, my mother conceived me, and when her time was complete, she gave birth to me; and my father was greatly rejoiced: the astrologers, however, came to him, and said, Thy son will live fifteen years: his fate is intimated by the fact that there is, in the sea, a mountain called the Mountain of Loadstone, whereon is a horseman on a horse of brass, on the former of which is a tablet of lead suspended to his neck; and when the horseman shall be thrown down from his horse, thy son will be slain: the person who is to slay him is he who will throw down the horseman, and his name is King 'Ajib, the son of King Khasib. My father was greatly afflicted at this announcement; and when he had reared me until I had nearly attained the age of fifteen years, the astrologers came again, and informed him that the horseman had fallen into the sea, and that it had been thrown down by King 'Ajib, the son of King Khasib; on hearing which, he prepared for me this dwelling, and here left me to remain until the completion of the term, of which there now remain ten days. All this he did from fear lest King 'Ajib should kill me.
When I heard this, I was filled with wonder, and said within myself, I am King 'Ajib, the son of King Khasib, and it was I who threw down the horseman; but, by Allah, I will neither kill him nor do him any injury. Then said I to the. youth, Far from thee be both destruction and harm, if it be the will of God, whose name be exalted: thou hast nothing to fear: I will remain with thee to serve thee, and will go forth with thee to thy father, and beg of him to send me back to my country, for the which he will obtain a reward.
The youth rejoiced at my words, and I sat and conversed with him until night, when I spread his bed for him, and covered him, and slept near to his side. And in the morning I brought him water, and he washed his face, and said to me, May God requite thee for me with every blessing. If I escape from King 'Ajib, I will make my father reward thee with abundant favours. Never, I replied, may the day arrive that would bring thee misfortune. I then placed before him some refreshments, and after we had eaten together, we passed the day conversing with the utmost cheerfulness.