When the thieves came back to the cave, they were very surprised. Where were the four pieces of the dead man?
'Another person knows about our cave,' they thought. ' Perhaps the dead man had
friends. But who was the dead man ? We killed him before we could ask him.'
' I have an idea,' said one thief.' I'll go into the town and ask some questions. Perhaps somebody will remember a dead man in four pieces.'
The thief went into the town. He asked a lot of questions but he didn't learn anything. Then he came to the shop of the old shoemaker. He watched the old man at work.
'Your work is very good, old man,' said the thief.
'Yes,' said the shoemaker. 'I can make everything. Last week I made four pieces of a dead man into one piece.'
' Really ?' said the thief.' That's very interesting. Who was this dead man ? Where did he live ?'
' I don't know,' answered the shoemaker. 'A girl came here and took me to a house. I did my work there.'
' Take this gold,' said the thief.' Can you remember the way to the house ?'
The old shoemaker took the thief through the streets and stopped outside Kasim's door.'
This was the house,' he said.
The thief took the old man home. Then he went back to the other thirty-nine thieves and told them his story.
One evening some weeks later, a seller of oil came to the door of Kasim's house. He had twenty donkeys with him. Each donkey carried two big oil jars. The oil seller said to Ali Baba, 'Sir, I'm going to sell these jars of oil tomorrow. Please can I leave them outside your house tonight ?'
'Bring in your donkeys and your jars,' said Ali Baba. 'You can eat with us and stay here for the night.'
The oil seller brought in his donkeys and jars. Then Ali Baba took him inside.
Marjana was in the kitchen. She started to cook the dinner but the oil in her lamp went out.
' I know,' she thought.' There's a lot of oil in the jars outside. I can take a little for my lamp.'
She went outside to the jars. When she got to the first jar, a man asked from inside the jar,' Is it time ?'
Marjana was very surprised but she thought quickly. She answered,' No, it isn't time.'
Then she went to every jar. From each jar she heard the same question and gave the same answer. Only the last jar really had oil in it. Something was very wrong.
'The men in these jars are thirty-nine thieves,' Marjana thought.' The oil seller is a thief too. They are going to kill Ali Baba and his family. I have to do something.'
She carried the oil from the last jar into the kitchen and put it over the fire. When the oil was very hot, she went outside and put some hot oil into every jar. In this way, she killed thirty-nine of the forty thieves. But the last thief, the most dangerous, was upstairs with Ali Baba and his family. Later that night, Ali Baba and his family were asleep in bed. But Marjana was in her kitchen. She waited for the thief. He came downstairs and went outside. Marjana watched him. He went to the first jar and said, 'It's time.' But there was no answer from the jar. The thief looked inside and saw a dead man. He was very surprised and afraid. He ran from jar to jar and found the same thing in every jar. Then he came to the last jar. There was nothing in it. Marjana began to make a loud noise from the kitchen. The thief was afraid and climbed into the jar. Then Marjana carried more hot oil to the jar and put it on top of the thief inside. Now he was dead too.
In the morning, Marjana told Ali Baba everything.
'Thank you very much, Marjana,' said Ali Baba. 'You are a very clever girl. Will you marry my son ?'
So Marjana lived happily with the family for many years.
At the end of the story, Shahriar said to Sheherezade,'Marjana was really very clever. Some girls make clever plans, and then men will do everything for them. Not you, I hope.'
' Oh no, sir,' answered Sheherezade. 'I only want to make you happy.'
' Then tell me a new story tonight,' said Shahriar.