to the man, and I cannot break it." However, the lead was sold to
the man for 130 dinars, and I purchased gifts worth that amount for
the old gentleman. The old man did not call on us on our return.
When I went to his house, I was told he was dead. On my enquiring
whether he had left an heir, I was told a nephew of his resided at
such and such place in the area and that his house was under the
patronage of the Qadl. I was in a quandary what to do till I sold all
the goods at Ubullah for seven hundred dinars.
One day I saw a stranger standing opposite men and asking me
whether I was such and such person. Upon hearing my reply in the
affirmative, he asked me whether I had been to China during the past
year and whether I had sold a lead ingot. Upon my confirmation of
this fact too, he said: "I had bought the ingot from you. When 1 cut
it for use, I found it hollow from inside and ten thousand dinars
came out of it. These I have brought as a present for you." To this
1 said: "You have placed me in an even greater ordeal. This lead
piece did not belong to me." I then told him the whole incident.
The young man, when he heard the story, began to smile with a look
of amazement upon his face. He then asked me whether I knew that
old man. I told him: "I know him as much as I have said." To this
he replied: "He had no heir except for me and yet he used to ill-treat
me so that I was forced to run away from Basrah. This was seventeen years ago. He did not want the money to come to me, but
through God's wish it has come to me against his desire." I returned
the seven hundred dinars to him. He went away to Basrah and to
pass his life in peace and happiness at his late uncle's house.
It is God Who prospers and assists.
KHAR SlNI AND STONES SIMILAR TO IT
Muhammad bin Zakariyya Razi says khar Sini is like Chinese mirrors
and rare, if lie has called khar Sini rare, he must have called it so in relation to our cities, for if it was totally non-existent, how could it be compared with anything, and it would have been more appropriate in that
case to call it 'unqa (which is non-existent bird).139
In the Kitab al-Nukhab it has been stated it is like rasas, both from
its characteristics of melting and colour. A friend of mine has told me
that in Karran, which is between Kabul and Badakhshan, its stones are
found to occur. When melted, they melt like tin and become tin-like in
colour. But they are brittle, and do not accept malleability and ductility.
In a letter to me Abu Sa'id Qazwini had said: "When I visualise khar
Sini, my idea moves to the material from which in Kashghar are made