Only the door-keeper lived there, an old soldier named Scheih Ibrahim, who had strict orders to be very careful whom he admitted, and never to allow any one to sit on the sofas by the door.
"I beg you to get us something to eat that we may make merry together." Being very avaricious, Scheih Ibrahim determined to spend only the tenth part of the money and to keep the rest to himself.
Scheih Ibrahim spread the table in front of a sofa, and all three ate together.
"Heaven forbid," said Scheih Ibrahim, "that I should come in contact with wine!
At sight of the gold, Scheih Ibrahim set off at once to execute the commission.
Both had fine voices, and Scheih Ibrahim listened to them with great pleasure-- first from a distance, then he drew nearer, and finally put his head in at the door.
About that time the Persian, perceiving that the room was lit by only one miserable tallow candle, asked Scheih Ibrahim to light some of the beautiful candles in the silver arms.
She did not stop, however, till she had lit all the eighty, but Scheih Ibrahim was not conscious of this, and when, soon after that, Noureddin proposed to have some of the lustres lit, he answered:
"Commander of the Faithful," he said, "I must tell you that four or five days ago Scheih Ibrahim told me that he wished to have an assembly of the ministers of his mosque, and asked permission to hold it in the pavilion.
Great was his surprise to see Scheih Ibrahim, whose sobriety he had never doubted, drinking and singing with a young man and a beautiful lady.
Presently Scheih Ibrahim asked the beautiful Persian if anything were wanting to complete her enjoyment of the evening.
Scheih Ibrahim immediately took a lute from a cup-board and gave it to the Persian, who began to play on it, singing the while with such skill and taste that the Caliph was enchanted.