On the one hand, the adoption of the combination of the words Goor-Khan (a jumbled form of Khan-e Goor [Lord of the Tomb]) may be a witticism on the author’s part. He has also satirically pointed out, in his description of the New Year festivities, that they hold a Nowrooz audience because it benefits them, since “whatever New Year presents are brought in, they bring here [the Treasure House] by night [secretly].” In other terms, the people are to bring “Nowroozi” presents to Goor-Khan every New Year, which he nightly, unseen by them, transfers to the Treasure House!
Fighting the Fairies
“Bastookh said get up and let us go to my wife… So the two of them got under way, eventually reaching a mountain and a valley near it… Plentiful water flowed out of that valley to the mountain’s foothills. Bastookh said O girl, beware of touching or drinking this water for it will kill you. Roozafzoon said why is that so? Bastookh said I have heard that a great king had his abode here and that a war occurred between him and the paris. They were no match for the paris. They poisoned this water, sealed it with a spell, and were gone. When the paris came back, they drank of this water, and a number of them died. No one now drinks of this water.”19
The Achaemenian king was known as the Great King among the Greeks. After Darius made up for Cambyses’ misdeeds in Egypt and regained the Egyptians’ heart, the Iranians looked upon this land as their own. Perhaps “a war occurred between them and the paris” referred to the independent 28th through 30th Egyptian dynasties in the Iranians’ collective memory. Perhaps the poisoning of the water and the ensuing death of a number of the paris symbolized the Egyptians’ severe repression under Okhos (Artaxerxes III) and the advent of the 31st Persian dynasty. Although the Great King ordered the water to be poisoned for the paris, “no one now drinks of this water” because not only Alexander the Macedonian snatched away Egypt from the Iranians, but he also put an end to the Achaemenian Empire.
The Treasure House and the Way Out
Samak (‘Alamafrooz) returns to the City of the Eagle. He once again makes it to the hidden passage of Goor-Khan’s residence, finds the well in which Roozafzoon and Farrokhrooz have fallen, and moves back outside. Roozafzoon tells Samak about the Treasure House. Samak goes to see it. Only Goor-Khan has the key to the Treasure House. Samak breaks the lock open with the knife he carries as a brigand. The description of the interior of the Treasure House is similar to that of houses in Oriental stories, except that “he saw a bed with someone lying on it covered by a veil… He drew the veil off that person. He saluted him, thinking that he had died that very hour. He looked in front of him. He saw a deerskin scroll. He took it up. Something was written on it.”20 Although Samak is familiar with different languages and scripts, he reads the scroll with some difficulty, and learns that the corpse died “three thousand and seven hundred” years earlier. He hands over his treasure to Farrokhrooz, who “is descended from King Fereydoon” and who “has reached the age of two upon acceding to this position.”21 Farrokhrooz was then brought in the presence of that man. And the veil was taken off him. Farrokhrooz was told to kiss the man’s face.”22
Samak and his companions realize that only Farrokhrooz can take the treasure out of the Treasure House, and the three thousand year-old corpse has indicated the way out to Samak.23
Salmoon the Sage is an erstwhile student of Plato living in the court of Shah Jipal, in the Indian city of Qaf. He has seen in his calculations of the planets’ orbits that the treasure left behind by Siamak in the City of the Eagle will be opened up by one of Fereydoon’s descendants, who is the grandson of the same Marzbanshah who has now been captured.