It all started when they heard that the famous pirate Omar had succeeded in ambushing and overpowering the flagship of King Raymond and that he was bringing it to his own king, Aaron the True-believer. On board, so they heard, was King Raymond's daughter, the beautiful Isabella, on her way to wed King Mark in distant Thule. Her dowry too was on the ship, a comsiderable fortune. So Oin-Oin and Chlwsknsk sailed out against Omar. After four days of favorable winds they met up with him and the captured ship. They ran up their Corsair-corsair flag, the Rok of Sindbad snatching a lion, and, when they were in shouting distance, demanded Omar's submission.
Omar had long been waiting for the opportunity to fight the famous Corsair-corsairs and had no intention of giving up without a fight. A bloody battle followed, many men lost their lives, Omar himself lost an arm, his ship sprang a leak and was burning too. So he was forced to surrender.
Once Omar and his surviving men were stowed away below decks in chains, Oin-Oin and Chlwsknsk explored the royal flagship and discovered many Frankish survivors, much treasure (including the sealed treasure chest of the princess), and finally the princess herself. The moment they saw her they both fell in love with her. She was wearing a white silk dress, her hair was long and blond, her eyes were shining, her mouth well-shaped, her cheeks lightly rouged--a wonderfully charming and fresh-blooming face. Under her dress they discerned the swelling of a full bosom; her feet, as fine as lances, appeared hardy able to bear her weight; her hips were as columns. All in all, she was beautiful enough to shame the moon and excite the sun to jealousy.
Dividing up the booty had never presented any problem for Oin-Oin and Chlwsknsk. Gold would be divided equally, other valuables would be shared by lot, women and men would be sold and the proceeds distributed; even if either of them liked a woman so much that he wanted to keep her, they would find a way to agree. They would throw dice and choose according to the throw, but usually that was not necessary because one of them liked one woman, the other another.
But this time it fell out that they both wanted to keep Isabel; neither was willing to surrender her to the other. They argued back and forth for a time until Oin-Oin said "I don't believe we are going to reach an agreement. You are bound and determined to have her and so am I. So the best thing is to throw dice or draw straws. The winner gets her and the loser will have to accept it without grumbles or complaint or envy. It would be scandalous to let a woman sow the seeds of discord between two friends so close as we are."
Chlwsknsk made a counterproposal once he had walked all around Isabel, carefully examined her from all angles, front and back, and thoughtfully pinched her ass. "You know, I have another idea. I'm really crazy to own this beautiful princess. But since you care for her so much, here's a proposition. You get Princess Isabel, I get her treasure chest and all it contains, no matter what is in it. We'll divide the rest of the loot in our usual way. Do you agree?"
Oin-Oin was a little taken aback at his friend's about-face, considering how determined Chlwsknsk had seemed to get Isabel for himself. But he hurriedly agreed before Chlwsknsk had a chance to change his mind. "What do I need this wedding chest for," he thought. "The Frankish king probably didn't fill it to the brim with gemstones, and even if he did, I have only one life. I don't want to spend my only life in bed with a lot of jewelry, but with this picture-perfect princess. I bet the chest just holds tablecloths and bedsheets and nightgowns."
So they agreed. Chlwsknsk had the chest brought to his cabin and Oin-Oin the princess to his. They held a feast with their crew and the next day they sailed back home. Oin-Oin had the tact not to approach the princess on the voyage, so long as he and Chlwsknsk were still on the same ship. Chlwsknsk for his part kept silent about what was in the chest, even through he had surely broken it open. Oin-Oin was shy about asking because he would just as soon not know if the chest really did contain an enviable amount of treasure.
So they reached their native town and sold the Franks and Omar's men in the market there. Omar himself they sent off to Aaron the True-believer, since a one-armed man wouldn't fetch much in the market. Also Chlwsknsk considered that Omar was a brave man who deserved to be honored in this way. Omar of course saw this generous act in a different light. He cursed the two of them as common thieves and murderers. They had a hearty laugh at Omar's prophesy: the two were destined to get no pleasure from their loot, Oin-Oin would die an early death and Chlwsknsk would lose at least one hand.
When this business was settled, each withdrew to his own palace. They did not intend to go buccaneering again until they had consumed the major part of their booty. But it was not long before Oin-Oin came calling on Chlwsknsk. It was their custom, even on land, to be together more often than apart. "How is it going, dear Oin-Oin? Are you getting lots of pleasuring from your princess? Is she in an interesting condition yet? Have you persuaded her to convert to the true faith?"
It seemed to Oin-Oin that Chlwsknsk asked these questions with a sly smile. "She isn't pregnant yet, and I haven't converted her. I'm not in a hurry to accomplish either deed. But, for your information, I've fucked her just about every night since we landed. Her body naked fulfills what we saw in her clothed. She is by far the most beautiful woman I have ever seen."
Chlwsknsk replied, "My loot was much less impressive. In the chest, I found only a set of underwear and a bra. They were brand new and unworn, so I couldn't even get a hardon from them. There was a key too; what can you do with a key that has no lock to fit into? I've thought about throwing it away, but then it occurred to me that you might know what to do with it."
"Perhaps I can. Let me see it."
"Gladly. I wear it on a gold chain around my neck. Here it is."
"Hmm. I can't think what use this key might be. But you might as well let me have it. Maybe I'll find something in my share of the loot that I can get open with it."
"Oh, is there something locked up in your share of the loot, that you haven't gotten open yet?"
"I'm not sure, I haven't worked through all my loot yet."
"That's strange. I heard you sold off all the property in your loot the moment you got home."
"You are misinformed. There's a portion still at home that's in an unsalable condition."
"Really? It didn't strike me that there was so much unmarketable stuff in our loot. I managed to sell my booty a long time ago, and there wasn't a unsalable piece in the whole lot. I'm sorry to hear that you had so much worse luck than I."
"That's as may be. Are you willing to let me borrow the key and see if I can find a use for it, or don't you want me to help you find one?"
"You know, Let me be straight with you. I have a theory about what this key is good for. I once heard that the Franks keep their wives in iron belts. Indeed, I once saw such a wife in such an iron belt. So when we found Princess Isabel I thought that her dress bulged in an odd way, one that I could best explain by the assumption that she was wearing just such an iron belt, or rather iron panties. I made sure of this by feeling her up. You probably didn't even notice. So I thought, 'We've gone through the whole cargo without finding a key. It wouldn't make sense to place the key in a chest that has a lock with a key that has to be hidden too. The only place the key could be is the sealed wedding chest.' So I arranged things so that you got the princess and I got the chest and the key. Tell me, am I right? Is Isabel really wearing a chastity belt?"
"And did you succeed in breaking it open?"
"No, the damn thing is so tight that you can't get it off her without doing her serious damage, using standard smithy tools. I haven't been able to think about anything else since I discovered the belt, except how to get it off. It seems totally impossible to get off without the original key. Worse, the belt protects not just her rosebud, but her irresistible ass too. I'm shut out fore and aft."
"You have her coral lips to console you."
"So I thought at first. But she invoked the Virgin, whom the unbelieving Franks insanely believe to be the mother of God --- all praise to Him Who is immortal and has neither parents nor children. She promised to bite off my cock if I tried anything like that. Despite my threats, that I would surely behead her if she did, she called on St. Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins, screamed to high heaven and carried like a banshee. So I thought I'd better not try."
"My poor Oin-Oin. So you haven't ever slept with her. You were lying to me when you told me just now how you fucked her almost every night."
"Well, you know, I had some luck there. Her bosom is so large and generously proportioned that it was easy to fuck her by rubbing my penis between her breasts -- after tying her up, of course, so she'd hold still. I tried out her knees and her armpits, and I found a way to bind up her feet so that the simulated a vagina. But none of it really works. Sometimes I would lay her on top of another slave and penetrate the other slave while my hands and lips were fondling her breasts. All games that I would find satisfying if I had adopted them voluntarily. But because I have no alternative they feel like a sad substitute for the real, unattainable, thing."
"So you might be prepared to sell her to me?"
"Sell her to you? Never. Even without being able to fuck her, I've come to love her so much, and she is so pretty, that I won't release her for anything in the world."
Chlwsknsk tried a while longer to persuade his friend to sell Isabel, but without success. Oin-Oin was adamant, and they almost came to blows, and each considered in his heart whether to take what he needed by force. And since each suspected the other, they took to reinforcing the guards of their palaces, to protect themselves from an attack.
Such was the state of affairs when a young fellow named Ali got wind of it. "How can we let a charming blooming princess die as a dried-up old virgin, just because two old scoundrels and assassins can't agree?" he shouted, and became determined to win the princess for himself. So the next morning he went to Chlwsknsk and said, "Honored Sir, I have heard that you can't sleep at night because the thought of Princess Isabel tortures you so. The prospect of being attacked by your friend Oin-Oin doesn't help you sleep either. Give me a hundred thousand Dinar, and I will get Isabel for you, and security from your friend Oin-Oin too. I'll worm my way into his palace and his confidence, and abduct the princess. But first I'll construct a hiding-place for your key so safe that Oin-Oin will never find it."
Chlwsknsk agreed and Ali built a secure site in which Chlwsknsk hid the key. Ali build more fortifications and towers and battlements and moats, and in the course of all the building operations he once secretly took the key out of its hiding place and copied it onto a piece of wax. Then he went to Oin-Oin and said, "Honored Sir, I have heard that love for Princess Isabel makes you sick, so that you can't get down even a bite of food. The prospect of a possible attack by Chlwsknsk doesn't help either. Give me a hundred thousand Dinars, and I'll get you the key you desire so much."
Oin-Oin accepted the offer and Ali explained his plan to him. "I did win Chlwsknsk's confidence, but he doesn't let even his closest associates see the key, which, so I am assured, he keeps hidden at an unassailable site. So the only way is by deceit --- if Chlwsknsk thought that he had the princess in his power he would surely get the key from the secret hiding-place. Then I would have a chance to take an impression of the key, and you would finally get to enjoy the princess after a key is made from such an impression. Naturally I don't expect you to agree to let Isabel herself fall into Chlwsknsk's hands. We can get away with dressing up one of your female slaves to look as much as possible like Isabel. I'll bring this slave to Chlwsknsk and let him know that I've abducted Isabel. None of his servants know what Isabel looks like, they only know his descriptions of her. So noone would realize the deception, and Chlwsknsk would fetch his key from its hiding-place, and by the time he realizes that I've brought him the wrong Isabel, I'll be long gone with the key or at least an impression of it."
Oin-Oin accepted the plan, but Ali had another condition. "Of course, the slave has to look something like Isabel, and she can't be a scared little rabbit of a thing. She has to be a woman with the courage to carry off this plan. It would be best if I could pick the slave myself because I know what description Chlwsknsk gave to his servants and what sort of woman they are expecting. I really need to pick out for myself the woman with whom I am going to undertake such a dangerous project."
"Well, my harem is at your command. Find the one you think most suitable."
So Ali went into Oin-Oin's harem and asked: "Which of you is Isabel?" One of the ladies responded, and he knew by her chastity belt that she was the right one. Incidentally once he saw her he would have picked her whether she was Isabel or not: he thought her the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
He said to her, "Listen, if you want, I can free you from this palace and that chastity belt. But you'd have to commit to marrying me and converting to Islam. You should know that I'm not a poor man. I have two hundred thousand dinar, which is enough to ensure a secure livelihood for a man and his wife. Think of it this way: you're better off marrying me than staying here and turning into an old prune with this old pirate. God created men and women to give pleasure to one another, and Islam doesn't recognize monks and nuns. How about it, will you be my wife? Will you let me set you free?"
Isabel thought Ali was a likely-looking straight-talking fellow. What he said made sense to her. She had no reason to assume that her intended King Mark would make a better husband. So she didn't have to think long or hard.
Ali made her up to look a little like Isabel, and a little as if she wasn't Isabel, and covered her head with a veil. Then he led her to Oin-Oin and said, "Doesn't she look just like Isabel? It's true that the nose may be a little too big, and the calves a little too fat, and there's a quaver in her voice when she speaks. But as far as humanly possible I've made her look like Isabel."
And since people always see what they want to see, Oin-Oin believed that the woman standing before him wasn't truly Isabel. He even imagined that her nose really was a bit bigger than Isabel's, and her calves a bit fatter, even though they were unchanged. "You've accomplished a miracle, Ali. I myself am not deceived, but anyone else would take her for the real Isabel. Good luck with your plan."
And Ali and Isabel left the palace and hurried to a far city. While still on the road, Ali brought out the key which he had had made by a smith, using the wax impression. He unlocked the chastity belt and took Isabel's virginity.
In Baghdad, their destination, Ali became a respected citizen. Isabel and Ali came to love each other and stayed happliy together for the rest of their lives.
Of course, Oin-Oin noticed that Isabel had been kidnapped, an act that he believed had been instigated by Chlwsknsk. Of course, Chlwsknsk denied it. So they ended as enemies, hired warriors and attacked each other until the spies they sent against each other convinced them that neither of them had Isabel.
That ended the hostilities that had by then consumed most of their fortunes, but their old friendship eluded them. To get their finances in order, they both went a-pirating again, but separately. They had never pirated separately before.
It seemed as if their luck had deserted them when they separated. Oin-Oin was captured on his very first voyage by a Spanish ship, whose crew took the Corsair-corsair for a run-of-the-mill corsair, the kind you execute. So they beheaded him without much ado. Chlwsknsk lost his ship in a bad storm on his very first voyage and didn't survive with much more than his life. He took to begging for a while, then tried his hand as a thief in the countryside. He was found out on his first expedition, because he hadn't learnt the robbery trade. His punishment was a hacked-off hand. Much later, he heard that Omar was high in honor with King Aaron the true-believer and enjoyed a hefty income from him.
Jan Thor; translated by Gary
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