Long ago there lived a sheikh of the Aneza who was so hospitable that they called him Essaffah, or the Welcomer. One day a stranger raised his tent pole not far from the camp ofEssaffah, near enough to become his neighbor. The man was poor, but since it was the sheikh's custom to provide for all who lived in his vicinity food and drink and clothing from his own stores, thestranger lacked nothing.
For seven years the two men lived as neighbors, and to mark each year of their friendship the sheikh gave him a present of a pure-blooded mare. Whenever a raid was successful,the sheikh would give the neighbor and his sons a share of the spoils. In short, under Essaffah's protection the humble wanderer increased his possessions until he owned threee herds of one hundredcamels each. He was now a man of wealth.
Issaffah had one small, and during therse seven years she had grown to womanhood. Slim as a poplar, graceful as the deer which leads the herd, she caught theeye of one of the neighbor's sons. How eagerly he courted her, stalking her on the way to the wellhead and passing the nights outside her tent! But the girl refused him. The boy was stubborn, however,and att last the girl went to her father, asking what she sould do. "One night more and I shall find a way to rescue you and save your name," he told her.
That night when the neighbor's son whisperedto her outside her tent, the girl said, "Wait but one night more." Before the next day's dawn, Essaffah had given the shout to break camp, and by sunrise the animals wew laden and men and cattle onthe move.
Now, whenever Essaffah pitched his tent in a new camp, the neighbor had always set his own quarters a short distance to the left. Over the years the spot had come to be accepted as theneighbor's tent site. On this occation when suitable pasture was found and the new camp site chosen, Essaffah paced the ground until he spotted a swarming anthill. Then he pitched his tentcloths in the...