"It was not one man," answered Ahmed, after some consideration; "there were forty thieves concerned in the robbery."
"Very well," said the king; "but who were they? and what have they done with my gold and jewels?"
"These questions," said Ahmed, "I cannot now answer; but I hope to satisfy your Majesty, if you will grant me forty days to make my calculations."
"I grant you forty days," said the king; "but when they are past, if my treasure is not found, your life shall pay the forfeit."
Ahmed returned to his house well pleased; for he resolved to take advantage of the time allowed him to fly from a city where his fame was likely to be his ruin.
"Well, Ahmed," said his wife, as he entered, "what news at Court?"
"No news at all," said he, "except that I am to be put to death at the end of forty days, unless I find forty chests of gold and jewels which have been stolen from the royal treasury."
"But you will discover the thieves."
"How? By what means am I to