In Alexander City there live a swindling dyer named Abu Kir and a barber named Abu Sir. Abu Kir's shop is closed because of his cheating. Not realizing why the shop is closed, Abu Sir agrees to Abu Kir's plan that they will leave the city and start again. Whoever finds work will feed the other.
They board a galleon, where Abu Sir shaves people for a job, and Abu Kir sleeps, saying that he's sick. This continues after they arrive in a city. After a few days, Abu Sir actually falls ill. Abu Kir then steals all his savings, goes out and buys expensive clothes. He winds up starting a dyery which is called the Sultan's Dyery and is quite successful.
Abu Sir recovers and makes his way to the dyery, expecting to be welcomed because he's an old friend. Abu Kir now lazes around and has his servants do the dying; when he sees the barber, he accuses him of robbery and has him beaten.
Abu Sir arranges with the King to build a Hammam-bath. It is wildly successful. One day Abu Kir arrives and asks why he was never invited. When Abu Sir reminds him of the time he had him beaten at the dyery, Abu Kir claims he didn't recognize him. Abu Sir forgives him. Abu Kir promptly tells the King that Abu Sir is going to poison him. The King believes this and has Abu Sir put in a sack and thrown into the sea. However, the captain tasked with this is a friend of Abu Sir and releases him. In return, Abu Sir helps him with fishing.
Abu Sir finds the King's dangerous magic ring, which could kill people and fell into the sea. He accidentally kills some servant boys with it before he realizes what's going on. He returns it to the King, and all is revealed. Abu Kir receives the punishment originally destined for Abu Sir and is drowned. Abu Sir returns home to Alexandria, where he finds and buries the body of Abu Kir. When Abu Sir dies, he is buried next to him.