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Twilight Land by Howard Pyle

Part 3 out of 5

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windows! Her highness, the princess, comes to ride; let no man
look upon her on pain of death!"

Thereupon everybody began closing their doors and windows, and,
as it was with the others, so it was with Jacob Stuck's house; it
had, like all the rest, to be shut up as tight as a jug.

But Jacob Stuck was not satisfied with that; not he. He was for
seeing the princess, and he was bound he would do so. So he bored
a hole through the door, and when the princess came riding by he
peeped out at her.

Jacob Stuck thought he had never seen anyone so beautiful in all
his life. It was like the sunlight shining in his eyes, and he
almost sneezed. Her cheeks were like milk and rose-leaves, and
her hair like fine threads of gold. She sat in a golden coach
with a golden crown upon her head, and Jacob Stuck stood looking
and looking until his heart melted within him like wax in the
oven. Then the princess was gone, and Jacob Stuck stood there
sighing and sighing.

"Oh, dear! Dear!" said he, "what shall I do? For, proud as she
is, I must see her again or else I will die of it."

All that day he sat sighing and thinking about the beautiful
princess, until the evening had come. Then he suddenly thought of
his piece of good luck. He pulled his piece of blue glass out of
his pocket and breathed upon it and rubbed it with his thumb, and
instantly the Genie was there.

This time Jacob Stuck was not frightened at all.

"What are thy commands, O master?" said the Genie.

"O Genie!" said Jacob Stuck, "I have seen the princess to-day,
and it seems to me that there is nobody like her in all the
world. Tell me, could you bring her here so that I might see her

"Yes," said the Genie, "I could."

"Then do so," said Jacob Stuck, "and I will have you prepare a
grand feast, and have musicians to play beautiful music, for I
would have the princess sup with me."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie. As he spoke he smote his
hands together, and instantly there appeared twenty musicians,
dressed in cloth of gold and silver. With them they brought
hautboys and fiddles, big and little, and flageolets and drums
and horns, and this and that to make music with. Again the Genie
smote his hands together, and instantly there appeared fifty
servants dressed in silks and satins and spangled with jewels,
who began to spread a table with fine linen embroidered with
gold, and to set plates of gold and silver upon it. The Genie
smote his hands together a third time, and in answer there came
six servants. They led Jacob Stuck into another room, where there
was a bath of musk and rose-water. They bathed him in the bath
and dressed him in clothes like an emperor, and when he came out
again his face shone, and he was as handsome as a picture.

Then by-and-by he knew that the princess was coming, for suddenly
there was the sound of girls' voices singing and the twanging of
stringed instruments. The door flew open, and in came a crowd of
beautiful girls, singing and playing music, and after them the
princess herself, more beautiful than ever. But the proud
princess was frightened! Yes, she was. And well she might be, for
the Genie had flown with her through the air from the palace, and
that is enough to frighten anybody. Jacob Stuck came to her all
glittering and shining with jewels and gold, and took her by the
hand. He led her up the hall, and as he did so the musicians
struck up and began playing the most beautiful music in the
world. Then Jacob Stuck and the princess sat down to supper and
began eating and drinking, and Jacob Stuck talked of all the
sweetest things he could think of. Thousands of wax candles made
the palace bright as day, and as the princess looked about her
she thought she had never seen anything so fine in all the world.
After they had eaten their supper and ended with a dessert of all
kinds of fruits and of sweetmeats, the door opened and there came
a beautiful young serving-lad, carrying a silver tray, upon which
was something wrapped in a napkin. He kneeled before Jacob Stuck
and held the tray, and from the napkin Jacob Stuck took a
necklace of diamonds, each stone as big as a pigeon's egg.

"This is to remind you of me," said Jacob Stuck, "when you have
gone home again." And as he spoke he hung it around the
princess's neck.

Just then the clock struck twelve.

Hardly had the last stroke sounded when every light was snuffed
out, and all was instantly dark and still. Then, before she had
time to think, the Genie of Good Luck snatched the princess up
once more and flew back to the palace more swiftly than the wind.
And, before the princess knew what had happened to her, there she

It was all so strange that the princess might have thought it was
a dream, only for the necklace of diamonds, the like of which was
not to be found in all the world.

The next morning there was a great buzzing in the palace, you may
be sure. The princess told all about how she had been carried
away during the night, and had supped in such a splendid palace,
and with such a handsome man dressed like an emperor. She showed
her necklace of diamonds, and the king and his prime-minister
could not look at it or wonder at it enough. The prime-minister
and the king talked and talked the matter over together, and
every now and then the proud princess put in a word of her own.

"Anybody," said the prime-minister, "can see with half an eye
that it is all magic, or else it is a wonderful piece of good
luck. Now, I'll tell you what shall be done," said he: "the
princess shall keep a piece of chalk by her; and, if she is
carried away again in such a fashion, she shall mark a cross with
the piece of chalk on the door of the house to which she is
taken. Then we shall find the rogue that is playing such a trick,
and that quickly enough."

"Yes," said the king; "that is very good advice."

"I will do it," said the princess.

All that day Jacob Stuck sat thinking and thinking about the
beautiful princess. He could not eat a bite, and he could hardly
wait for the night to come. As soon as it had fallen, he breathed
upon his piece of glass and rubbed his thumb upon it, and there
stood the Genie of Good Luck.

"I'd like the princess here again," said he, "as she was last
night, with feasting and drinking, such as we had before."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie.

And as it had been the night before, so it was now. The Genie
brought the princess, and she and Jacob Stuck feasted together
until nearly midnight. Then, again, the door opened, and the
beautiful servant-lad came with the tray and something upon it
covered with a napkin. Jacob Stuck unfolded the napkin, and this
time it was a cup made of a single ruby, and filled to the brim
with gold money. And the wonder of the cup was this: that no
matter how much money you took out of it, it was always full.
"Take this," said Jacob Stuck, "to remind you of me." Then the
clock struck twelve, and instantly all was darkness, and the
Genie carried the princess home again.

But the princess had brought her piece of chalk with her, as the
prime-minister had advised; and in some way or other she
contrived, either in coming or going, to mark a cross upon the
door of Jacob Stuck's house.

But, clever as she was, the Genie of Good Luck was more clever
still. He saw what the princess did; and, as soon as he had
carried her home, he went all through the town and marked a cross
upon every door, great and small, little and big, just as the
princess had done upon the door of Jacob Stuck's house, only upon
the prime-minister's door he put two crosses. The next morning
everybody was wondering what all the crosses on the house-doors
meant, and the king and the prime-minister were no wiser than
they had been before.

But the princess had brought the ruby cup with her, and she and
the king could not look at it and wonder at it enough.

"Pooh!" said the prime-minister; "I tell you it is nothing else
in the world but just a piece of good luck--that is all it is. As
for the rogue who is playing all these tricks, let the princess
keep a pair of scissors by her, and, if she is carried away
again, let her contrive to cut off a lock of his hair from over
the young man's right ear. Then to-morrow we will find out who
has been trimmed."

Yes, the princess would do that; so, before evening was come, she
tied a pair of scissors to her belt.

Well, Jacob Stuck could hardly wait for the night to come to
summon the Genie of Good Luck. "I want to sup with the princess
again," said he.

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie of Good Luck; and, as soon
as he had made everything ready, away he flew to fetch the
princess again.

Well, they feasted and drank, and the music played, and the
candles were as bright as day, and beautiful girls sang and
danced, and Jacob Stuck was as happy as a king. But the princess
kept her scissors by her, and, when Jacob Stuck was not looking,
she contrived to snip off a lock of his hair from over his right
ear, and nobody saw what was done but the Genie of Good Luck.

And it came towards midnight.

Once more the door opened, and the beautiful serving-lad came
into the room, carrying the tray of silver with something upon it
wrapped in a napkin. This time Jacob Stuck gave the princess an
emerald ring for a keepsake, and the wonder of it was that every
morning two other rings just like it would drop from it.

Then twelve o'clock sounded, the lights went out, and the Genie
took the princess home again.

But the Genie had seen what the princess had done. As soon as he
had taken her safe home, he struck his palms together and
summoned all his companions. "Go," said he, "throughout the town
and trim a lock of hair from over the right ear of every man in
the whole place;" and so they did, from the king himself to the
beggar-man at the gates. As for the prime-minister, the Genie
himself trimmed two locks of hair from him, one from over each of
his ears, so that the next morning he looked as shorn as an old
sheep. In the morning all the town was in a hubbub, and everybody
was wondering how all the men came to have their hair clipped as
it was. But the princess had brought the lock of Jacob Stuck's
hair away with her wrapped up in a piece of paper, and there it

As for the ring Jacob Stuck had given to her, why, the next
morning there were three of them, and the king thought he had
never heard tell of such a wonderful thing.

"I tell you," said the prime-minister, "there is nothing in it
but a piece of good luck, and not a grain of virtue. It's just a
piece of good luck--that's all it is."

"No matter," said the king; "I never saw the like of it in all my
life before. And now, what are we going to do?"

The prime-minister could think of nothing.

Then the princess spoke up. "Your majesty," she said, "I can find
the young man for you. Just let the herald go through the town
and proclaim that I will marry the young man to whom this lock of
hair belongs, and then we will find him quickly enough."

"What!" cried the prime-minister; "will, then, the princess marry
a man who has nothing better than a little bit of good luck to
help him along in the world?"

"Yes," said the princess, "I shall if I can find him."

So the herald was sent out around the town proclaiming that the
princess would marry the man to whose head belonged the lock of
hair that she had.

A lock of hair! Why, every man had lost a lock of hair! Maybe the
princess could fit it on again, and then the fortune of him to
whom it belonged would be made. All the men in the town crowded
up to the king's palace. But all for no use, for never a one of
them was fitted with his own hair.

As for Jacob Stuck, he too had heard what the herald had
proclaimed. Yes; he too had heard it, and his heart jumped and
hopped within him like a young lamb in the spring-time. He knew
whose hair it was the princess had. Away he went by himself, and
rubbed up his piece of blue glass, and there stood the Genie.

"What are thy commands?" said he.

"I am," said Jacob Stuck, "going up to the king's palace to marry
the princess, and I would have a proper escort."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie.

He smote his hands together, and instantly there appeared a score
of attendants who took Jacob Stuck, and led him into another
room, and began clothing him in a suit so magnificent that it
dazzled the eyes to look at it. He smote his hands together
again, and out in the court-yard there appeared a troop of
horsemen to escort Jacob Stuck to the palace, and they were all
clad in gold-and-silver armor. He smote his hands together again,
and there appeared twenty-and-one horses--twenty as black as
night and one as white as milk, and it twinkled and sparkled all
over with gold and jewels, and at the head of each horse of the
one-and-twenty horses stood a slave clad in crimson velvet to
hold the bridle. Again he smote his hands together, and there
appeared in the ante-room twenty handsome young men, each with a
marble bowl filled with gold money, and when Jacob Stuck came out
dressed in his fine clothes there they all were.

Jacob Stuck mounted upon the horse as white as milk, the young
men mounted each upon one of the black horses, the troopers in
the gold-and-silver armor wheeled their horses, the trumpets
blew, and away they rode--such a sight as was never seen in that
town before, when they had come out into the streets. The young
men with the basins scattered the gold money to the people, and a
great crowd ran scrambling after, and shouted and cheered.

So Jacob Stuck rode up to the king's palace, and the king himself
came out to meet him with the princess hanging on his arm.

As for the princess, she knew him the moment she laid eyes on
him. She came down the steps, and set the lock of hair against
his head, where she had trimmed it off the night before, and it
fitted and matched exactly. "This is the young man," said she,
"and I will marry him, and none other."

But the prime-minister whispered and whispered in the king's ear:
"I tell you this young man is nobody at all," said he, "but just
some fellow who has had a little bit of good luck."

"Pooh!" said the king, "stuff and nonsense! Just look at all the
gold and jewels and horses and men. What will you do," said he to
Jacob Stuck, "if I let you marry the princess?"

"I will," said Jacob Stuck, "build for her the finest palace that
ever was seen in all this world."

"Very well," said the king, "yonder are those sand hills over
there. You shall remove them and build your palace there. When it
is finished you shall marry the princess." For if he does that,
thought the king to himself, it is something better than mere
good luck.

"It shall," said Jacob Stuck, "be done by tomorrow morning."

Well, all that day Jacob Stuck feasted and made merry at the
king's palace, and the king wondered when he was going to begin
to build his palace. But Jacob Stuck said nothing at all; he just
feasted and drank and made merry. When night had come, however,
it was all different. Away he went by himself, and blew his
breath upon his piece of blue glass, and rubbed it with his
thumb. Instantly there stood the Genie before him. "What wouldst
thou have?" said he.

"I would like," said Jacob Stuck, "to have the sand hills over
yonder carried away, and a palace built there of white marble and
gold and silver, such as the world never saw before. And let
there be gardens planted there with flowering plants and trees,
and let there be fountains and marble walks. And let there be
servants and attendants in the palace of all sorts and kinds--men
and women. And let there be a splendid feast spread for to-morrow
morning, for then I am going to marry the princess."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie, and instantly he was gone.

All night there was from the sand hills a ceaseless sound as of
thunder--a sound of banging and clapping and hammering and sawing
and calling and shouting. All that night the sounds continued
unceasingly, but at daybreak all was still, and when the sun
arose there stood the most splendid palace it ever looked down
upon; shining as white as snow, and blazing with gold and silver.
All around it were gardens and fountains and orchards. A great
highway had been built between it and the king's palace, and all
along the highway a carpet of cloth of gold had been spread for
the princess to walk upon.

Dear! Dear! How all the town stared with wonder when they saw
such a splendid palace standing where the day before had been
nothing but naked sand hills! The folk flocked in crowds to see
it, and all the country about was alive with people coming and
going. As for the king, he could not believe his eyes when he saw
it. He stood with the princess and looked and looked. Then came
Jacob Stuck. "And now," said he, "am I to marry the princess?"

"Yes," cried the king in admiration, "you are!"

So Jacob Stuck married the princess, and a splendid wedding it
was. That was what a little bit of good luck did for him.

After the wedding was over, it was time to go home to the grand
new palace. Then there came a great troop of horsemen with
shining armor and with music, sent by the Genie to escort Jacob
Stuck and the princess and the king and the prime-minister to
Jacob Stuck's new palace. They rode along over the carpet of
gold, and such a fine sight was never seen in that land before.
As they drew near to the palace a great crowd of servants, clad
in silks and satins and jewels, came out to meet them, singing
and dancing and playing on harps and lutes. The king and the
princess thought that they must be dreaming.

"All this is yours," said Jacob Stuck to the princess; and he was
that fond of her, he would have given her still more if he could
have thought of anything else.

Jacob Stuck and the princess, and the king and the prime-minister, all went into the palace, and
there was a splendid
feast spread in plates of pure gold and silver, and they all four
sat down together.

But the prime-minister was as sour about it all as a crab-apple.
All the time they were feasting he kept whispering and whispering
in the king's ear. "It is all stuff and nonsense," said he, "for
such a man as Jacob Stuck to do all this by himself. I tell you,
it is all a piece of good luck, and not a bit of merit in it."

He whispered and whispered, until at last the king up and spoke.
"Tell me, Jacob Stuck," he said, "where do you get all these fine

"It all comes of a piece of good luck," said Jacob Stuck.

"That is what I told you," said the prime-minister.

"A piece of good luck!" said the king. "Where did you come across
such a piece of good luck?"

"I found it," said Jacob Stuck.

"Found it!" said the king; "and have you got it with you now?"

"Yes, I have," said Jacob Stuck; "I always carry it about with
me;" and he thrust his hand into his pocket and brought out his
piece of blue crystal.

"That!" said the king. "Why, that is nothing but a piece of blue

"That," said Jacob Stuck, "is just what I thought till I found
out better. It is no common piece of glass, I can tell you. You
just breathe upon it so, and rub your thumb upon it thus, and
instantly a Genie dressed in red comes to do all that he is
bidden. That is how it is."

"I should like to see it," said the king.

"So you shall," said Jacob Stuck; "here it is," said he; and he
reached it across the table to the prime-minister to give it to
the king.

Yes, that was what he did; he gave it to the prime-minister to
give it to the king. The prime-minister had been listening to all
that had been said, and he knew what he was about. He took what
Jacob Stuck gave him, and he had never had such a piece of luck
come to him before.

And did the prime-minister give it to the king, as Jacob Stuck
had intended? Not a bit of it. No sooner had he got it safe in
his hand, than he blew his breath upon it and rubbed it with his

Crack! dong! boom! crash!

There stood the Genie, like a flash and as red as fire. The
princess screamed out and nearly fainted at the sight, and the
poor king sat trembling like a rabbit.

"Whosoever possesses that piece of blue crystal," said the Genie,
in a terrible voice, "him must I obey. What are thy commands?"

"Take this king," cried the prime-minister, "and take Jacob
Stuck, and carry them both away into the farthest part of the
desert whence the fellow came."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie; and instantly he seized the
king in one hand and Jacob Stuck in the other, and flew away with
them swifter than the wind. On and on he flew, and the earth
seemed to slide away beneath them like a cloud. On and on he flew
until he had come to the farthest part of the desert. There he
sat them both down, and it was as pretty a pickle as ever the
king or Jacob Stuck had been in, in all of their lives. Then the
Genie flew back again whence he had come.

There sat the poor princess crying and crying, and there sat the
prime-minister trying to comfort her. "Why do you cry?" said he;
"why are you afraid of me? I will do you no harm. Listen," said
he; "I will use this piece of good luck in a way that Jacob Stuck
would never have thought of. I will make myself king. I will
conquer the world, and make myself emperor over all the earth.
Then I will make you my queen."

But the poor princess cried and cried.

"Hast thou any further commands?" said the Genie.

"Not now," said the prime-minister; "you may go now;" and the
Genie vanished like a puff of smoke.

But the princess cried and cried.

The prime-minister sat down beside her. "Why do you cry?" said

"Because I am afraid of you," said she.

"And why are you afraid of me?" said he.

"Because of that piece of blue glass. You will rub it again, and
then that great red monster will come again to frighten me."

"I will rub it no more," said he.

"Oh, but you will," said she; "I know you will."

"I will not," said he.

"But I can't trust you," said she "as long as you hold it in your

"Then I will lay it aside," said he, and so he did. Yes, he did;
and he is not the first man who has thrown aside a piece of good
luck for the sake of a pretty face. "Now are you afraid of me?"
said he.

"No, I am not," said she; and she reached out her hand as though
to give it to him. But, instead of doing so, she snatched up the
piece of blue glass as quick as a flash.

"Now," said she, "it is my turn;" and then the prime-minister
knew that his end had come.

She blew her breath upon the piece of blue glass and rubbed her
thumb upon it. Instantly, as with a clap of thunder, the great
red Genie stood before her, and the poor prime-minister sat
shaking and trembling.

"Whosoever hath that piece of blue crystal," said the Genie,
"that one must I obey. What are your orders, O princess?"

"Take this man," cried the princess, "and carry him away into the
desert where you took those other two, and bring my father and
Jacob Stuck back again."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie, and instantly he seized the
prime-minister, and, in spite of the poor man's kicks and
struggles, snatched him up and flew away with him swifter than
the wind. On and on he flew until he had come to the farthest
part of the desert, and there sat the king and Jacob Stuck still
thinking about things. Down he dropped the prime-minister, up he
picked the king and Jacob Stuck, and away he flew swifter than
the wind. On and on he flew until he had brought the two back to
the palace again; and there sat the princess waiting for them,
with the piece of blue crystal in her hand.

"You have saved us!" cried the king.

"You have saved us!" cried Jacob Stuck. "Yes, you have saved us,
and you have my piece of good luck into the bargain. Give it to
me again."

"I will do nothing of the sort," said the princess. "If the men
folk think no more of a piece of good luck than to hand it round
like a bit of broken glass, it is better for the women folk to
keep it for them."

And there, to my mind, she brewed good common-sense, that needed
no skimming to make it fit for Jacob Stuck, or for any other man,
for the matter of that.

And now for the end of this story. Jacob Stuck lived with his
princess in his fine palace as grand as a king, and when the old
king died he became the king after him.

One day there came two men travelling along, and they were
footsore and weary. They stopped at Jacob Stuck's palace and
asked for something to eat. Jacob Stuck did not know them at
first, and then he did. One was Joseph and the other was John.

This is what had happened to them:

Joseph had sat and sat where John and Jacob Stuck had left him on
his box of silver money, until a band of thieves had come along
and robbed him of it all. John had carried away his pockets and
his hat full of gold, and had lived like a prince as long as it
had lasted. Then he had gone back for more, but in the meantime
some rogue had come along and had stolen it all. Yes; that was
what had happened, and now they were as poor as ever.

Jacob Stuck welcomed them and brought them in and made much of

Well, the truth is truth, and this is it: It is better to have a
little bit of good luck to help one in what one undertakes than
to have a chest of silver or a chest of gold.

"And now for your story, holy knight," said Fortunatus to St.
George "for twas your turn, only for this fair lady who came in
before you."

"Aye, aye," said the saint; "I suppose it was, in sooth, my turn.
Ne'th'less, it gives me joy to follow so close so fair and lovely
a lady." And as he spoke he winked one eye at Cinderella,
beckoned towards her with his cup of ale, and took a deep draught
to her health. "I shall tell you," said he, as soon as he had
caught his breath again, "a story about an angel and a poor man
who travelled with him, and all the wonderful things the poor man
saw the angel do."

"That," said the Blacksmith who made Death sit in his pear-tree
until the wind whistled through his ribs--"that, methinks, is a
better thing to tell for a sermon than a story."

"Whether or no that shall be so," said St. George, "you shall
presently hear for yourselves."

He took another deep draught of ale, and then cleared his throat.

"Stop a bit, my friend," said Ali Baba. "What is your story

"It is," said St. George, "about--

The Fruit of Happiness

Once upon a time there was a servant who served a wise man, and
cooked for him his cabbage and his onions and his pot-herbs and
his broth, day after day, time in and time out, for seven years.

In those years the servant was well enough contented, but no one
likes to abide in the same place forever, and so one day he took
it into his head that he would like to go out into the world to
see what kind of a fortune a man might make there for himself.
"Very well," says the wise man, the servant's master; "you have
served me faithfully these seven years gone, and now that you ask
leave to go you shall go. But it is little or nothing in the way
of money that I can give you, and so you will have to be content
with what I can afford. See, here is a little pebble, and its
like is not to be found in the seven kingdoms, for whoever holds
it in his mouth can hear while he does so all that the birds and
the beasts say to one another. Take it--it is yours, and, if you
use it wisely, it may bring you a fortune.

The servant would rather have had the money in hand than the
magic pebble, but, as nothing better was to be had, he took the
little stone, and, bidding his master good-bye, trudged out into
the world, to seek his fortune. Well, he jogged on and on, paying
his way with the few pennies he had saved in his seven years of
service, but for all of his travelling nothing of good happened
to him until, one morning, he came to a lonely place where there
stood a gallows, and there he sat him down to rest, and it is
just in such an unlikely place as this that a man's best chance
of fortune comes to him sometimes.

As the servant sat there, there came two ravens flying, and lit
upon the cross-beam overhead. There they began talking to one
another, and the servant popped the pebble into his mouth to hear
what they might say.

"Yonder is a traveller in the world," said the first raven.

"Yes," said the second, "and if he only knew how to set about it,
his fortune is as good as made."

"How is that so?" said the first raven.

"Why, thus," said the second. "If he only knew enough to follow
yonder road over the hill, he would come by-and-by to a stone
cross where two roads meet, and there he would find a man
sitting. If he would ask it of him, that man would lead him to
the garden where the fruit of happiness grows."

"The fruit of happiness!" said the first raven, "and of what use
would the fruit of happiness be to him?"

"What use? I tell you, friend, there is no fruit in the world
like that, for one has only to hold it in one's hand and wish,
and whatever one asks for one shall have."

You may guess that when the servant understood the talk of the
ravens he was not slow in making use of what he heard. Up he
scrambled, and away he went as fast as his legs could carry him.
On and on he travelled, until he came to the cross-roads and the
stone cross of which the raven spoke, and there, sure enough, sat
the traveller. He was clad in a weather-stained coat, and he wore
dusty boots, and the servant bade him good-morning.

How should the servant know that it was an angel whom he beheld,
and not a common wayfarer?

"Whither away, comrade," asked the traveller.

"Out in the world," said the servant, "to seek my fortune. And
what I want to know is this--will you guide me to where I can
find the fruit of happiness?"

"You ask a great thing of me," said the other; "nevertheless,
since you do ask it, it is not for me to refuse, though I may
tell you that many a man has sought for that fruit, and few
indeed have found it. But if I guide you to the garden where the
fruit grows, there is one condition you must fulfil: many strange
things will happen upon our journey between here and there, but
concerning all you see you must ask not a question and say not a
word. Do you agree to that?"

"Yes," said the servant, "I do."

"Very well, said his new comrade; "then let us be jogging, for I
have business in the town to-night, and the time is none too long
to get there."

So all the rest of that day they journeyed onward together,
until, towards evening, they came to a town with high towers and
steep roofs and tall spires. The servant's companion entered the
gate as though he knew the place right well, and led the way up
one street and down another, until, by-and-by, they came to a
noble house that stood a little apart by itself, with gardens of
flowers and fruit-trees all around it. There the travelling
companion stopped, and, drawing out a little pipe from under his
jacket, began playing so sweetly upon it that he made one's heart
stand still to listen to the music.

Well, he played and played until, by-and-by, the door opened, and
out came a serving-man. "Ho, piper!" said he, "would you like to
earn good wages for your playing?"

"Yes," said the travelling companion, "I would, for that is why I
came hither."

"Then follow me," said the servant, and thereupon the travelling
companion tucked away his pipe and entered, with the other at his

The house-servant led the way from one room to another, each
grander than the one they left behind, until at last he came to a
great hall where dozens of servants were serving a fine feast.
But only one man sat at table--a young man with a face so
sorrowful that it made a body's heart ache to look upon him. "Can
you play good music, piper?" said he.

"Yes," said the piper, "that I can, for I know a tune that can
cure sorrow. But before I blow my pipe I and my friend here must
have something to eat and drink, for one cannot play well with an
empty stomach."

"So be it," said the young man; "sit down with me and eat and

So the two did without second bidding, and such food and drink
the serving-man had never tasted in his life before. And while
they were feasting together the young man told them his story,
and why it was he was so sad. A year before he had married a
young lady, the most beautiful in all that kingdom, and had
friends and comrades and all things that a man could desire in
the world. But suddenly everything went wrong; his wife and he
fell out and quarrelled until there was no living together, and
she had to go back to her old home. Then his companions deserted
him, and now he lived all alone.

"Yours is a hard case," said the travelling companion, "but it is
not past curing." Thereupon he drew out his pipes and began to
play, and it was such a tune as no man ever listened to before.
He played and he played, and, after a while, one after another of
those who listened to him began to get drowsy. First they winked,
then they shut their eyes, and then they nodded until all were as
dumb as logs, and as sound asleep as though they would never
waken again. Only the servant and the piper stayed awake, for the
music did not make them drowsy as it did the rest. Then, when all
but they two were tight and fast asleep, the travelling companion
arose, tucked away his pipe, and, stepping up to the young man,
took from off his finger a splendid ruby ring, as red as blood
and as bright as fire, and popped the same into his pocket. And
all the while the serving-man stood gaping like a fish to see
what his comrade was about. "Come," said the travelling
companion, "it is time we were going," and off they went,
shutting the door behind them.

As for the serving-man, though he remembered his promise and said
nothing concerning what he had beheld, his wits buzzed in his
head like a hive of bees, for he thought that of all the ugly
tricks he had seen, none was more ugly than this--to bewitch the
poor sorrowful young man into a sleep, and then to rob him of his
ruby ring after he had fed them so well and had treated them so

But the next day they jogged on together again until by-and-by
they came to a great forest. There they wandered up and down till
night came upon them and found them still stumbling onward
through the darkness, while the poor serving-man's flesh quaked
to hear the wild beasts and the wolves growling and howling
around them.

But all the while the angel--his travelling companion--said never
a word; he seemed to doubt nothing nor fear nothing, but trudged
straight ahead until, by-and-by, they saw a light twinkling far
away, and, when they came to it, they found a gloomy stone house,
as ugly as eyes ever looked upon. Up stepped the servant's
comrade and knocked upon the door--rap! tap! tap! By-and-by it
was opened a crack, and there stood an ugly old woman, blear-eyed
and crooked and gnarled as a winter twig. But the heart within
her was good for all that. "Alas, poor folk!" she cried, "why do
you come here?" This is a den where lives a band of wicked
thieves. Every day they go out to rob and murder poor travellers
like yourselves. By-and-by they will come back, and when they
find you here they will certainly kill you."

"No matter for that," said the travelling companion; "we can go
no farther to-night, so you must let us in and hide us as best
you may."

And in he went, as he said, with the servant at his heels
trembling like a leaf at what he had heard. The old woman gave
them some bread and meat to eat, and then hid them away in the
great empty meal-chest in the corner, and there they lay as still
as mice.

By-and-by in came the gang of thieves with a great noise and
uproar, and down they sat to their supper. The poor servant lay
in the chest listening to all they said of the dreadful things
they had done that day--how they had cruelly robbed and murdered
poor people. Every word that they said he heard, and he trembled
until his teeth chattered in his head. But all the same the
robbers knew nothing of the two being there, and there they lay
until near the dawning of the day. Then the travelling companion
bade the servant be stirring, and up they got, and out of the
chest they came, and found all the robbers sound asleep and
snoring so that the dust flew.

"Stop a bit," said the angel--the travelling companion--"we must
pay them for our lodging."

As he spoke he drew from his pocket the ruby ring which he had
stolen from the sorrowful young man's finger, and dropped it into
the cup from which the robber captain drank. Then he led the way
out of the house, and, if the serving-man had wondered the day
before at that which the comrade did, he wondered ten times more
to see him give so beautiful a ring to such wicked and bloody

The third evening of their journey the two travellers came to a
little hut, neat enough, but as poor as poverty, and there the
comrade knocked upon the door and asked for lodging. In the house
lived a poor man and his wife; and, though the two were as honest
as the palm of your hand, and as good and kind as rain in spring-time, they could hardly scrape
enough of a living to keep body
and soul together. Nevertheless, they made the travellers
welcome, and set before them the very best that was to be had in
the house; and, after both had eaten and drunk, they showed them
to bed in a corner as clean as snow, and there they slept the
night through.

But the next morning, before the dawning of the day, the
travelling companion was stirring again. "Come," said he; "rouse
yourself, for I have a bit of work to do before I leave this

And strange work it was! When they had come outside of the
house, he gathered together a great heap of straw and sticks of
wood, and stuffed all under the corner of the house. Then he
struck a light and set fire to it, and, as the two walked away
through the gray dawn, all was a red blaze behind them.

Still, the servant remembered his promise to his travelling
comrade, and said never a word or asked never a question, though
all that day he walked on the other side of the road, and would
have nothing to say or to do with the other. But never a whit did
his comrade seem to think of or to care for that. On they jogged,
and, by the time evening was at hand, they had come to a neat
cottage with apple and pear trees around it, all as pleasant as
the eye could desire to see. In this cottage lived a widow and
her only son, and they also made the travellers welcome, and set
before them a good supper and showed them to a clean bed.

This time the travelling comrade did neither good nor ill to
those of the house, but in the morning he told the widow whither
they were going, and asked if she and her son knew the way to the
garden where grew the fruit of happiness.

"Yes," said she, "that we do, for the garden is not a day's
journey from here, and my son himself shall go with you to show
you the way."

"That is good," said the servant's comrade, "and if he will do so
I will pay him well for his trouble."

So the young man put on his hat, and took up his stick, and off
went the three, up hill and down dale, until by-and-by they came
over the top of the last hill, and there below them lay the

And what a sight it was, the leaves shining and glistening like
so many jewels in the sunlight! I only wish that I could tell you
how beautiful that garden was. And in the middle of it grew a
golden tree, and on it golden fruit. The servant, who had
travelled so long and so far, could see it plainly from where he
stood, and he did not need to be told that it was the fruit of
happiness. But, after all, all he could do was to stand and look,
for in front of them was a great raging torrent, without a bridge
for a body to cross over.

"Yonder is what you seek," said the young man, pointing with his
finger, "and there you can see for yourself the fruit of

The travelling companion said never a word, good or bad, but,
suddenly catching the widow's son by the collar, he lifted him
and flung him into the black, rushing water. Splash! went the
young man, and then away he went whirling over rocks and water-falls. "There!" cried the comrade,
"that is your reward for your

When the servant saw this cruel, wicked deed, he found his tongue
at last, and all that he had bottled up for the seven days came
frothing out of him like hot beer. Such abuse as he showered upon
his travelling companion no man ever listened to before. But to
all the servant said the other answered never a word until he had
stopped for sheer want of breath. Then--

"Poor fool," said the travelling companion, "if you had only held
your tongue a minute longer, you, too, would have had the fruit
of happiness in your hand. Now it will be many a day before you
have a sight of it again."

Thereupon, as he ended speaking, he struck his staff upon the
ground. Instantly the earth trembled, and the sky darkened
overhead until it grew as black as night. Then came a great flash
of fire from up in the sky, which wrapped the travelling
companion about until he was hidden from sight. Then the flaming
fire flew away to heaven again, carrying him along with it. After
that the sky cleared once more, and, lo and behold! The garden
and the torrent and all were gone, and nothing was left but a
naked plain covered over with the bones of those who had come
that way before, seeking the fruit which the travelling servant
had sought.

It was a long time before the servant found his way back into the
world again, and the first house he came to, weak and hungry, was
the widow's.

But what a change he beheld! It was a poor cottage no longer, but
a splendid palace, fit for a queen to dwell in. The widow herself
met him at the door, and she was dressed in clothes fit for a
queen to wear, shining with gold and silver and precious stones.

The servant stood and stared like one bereft of wits. "How comes
all this change?" said he, "and how did you get all these grand

"My son," said the widow woman, "has just been to the garden, and
has brought home from there the fruit of happiness. Many a day
did we search, but never could we find how to enter into the
garden, until, the other day, an angel came and showed the way to
my son, and he was able not only to gather of the fruit for
himself, but to bring an apple for me also."

Then the poor travelling servant began to thump his head. He saw
well enough through the millstone now, and that he, too, might
have had one of the fruit if he had but held his tongue a little

Yes, he saw what a fool he had made of himself, when he learned
that it was an angel with whom he had been travelling the five
days gone.

But, then, we are all of us like the servant for the matter of
that; I, too, have travelled with an angel many a day, I dare
say, and never knew it.

That night the servant lodged with the widow and her son, and the
next day he started back home again upon the way he had travelled
before. By evening he had reached the place where the house of
the poor couple stood--the house that he had seen the angel set
fire to. There he beheld masons and carpenters hard at work
hacking and hewing, and building a fine new house. And there he
saw the poor man himself standing by giving them orders. "How is
this," said the travelling servant; "I thought that your house
was burned down?"

"So it was, and that is how I came to be rich now," said the one-time poor man. "I and my wife had
lived in our old house for many
a long day, and never knew that a great treasure of silver and
gold was hidden beneath it, until a few days ago there came an
angel and burned it down over our heads, and in the morning we
found the treasure. So now we are rich for as long as we may

The next morning the poor servant jogged along on his homeward
way more sad and downcast than ever, and by evening he had come
to the robbers' den in the thick woods, and there the old woman
came running to the door to meet him. "Come in!" cried she; "come
in and welcome! The robbers are all dead and gone now, and I use
the treasure that they left behind to entertain poor travellers
like yourself. The other day there came an angel hither, and with
him he brought the ring of discord that breeds spite and rage and
quarrelling. He gave it to the captain of the band, and after he
had gone the robbers fought for it with one another until they
were all killed. So now the world is rid of them, and travellers
can come and go as they please."

Back jogged the travelling servant, and the next day came to the
town and to the house of the sorrowful young man. There, lo and
behold! Instead of being dark and silent, as it was before, all
was ablaze with light and noisy with the sound of rejoicing and
merriment. There happened to be one of the household standing at
the door, and he knew the servant as the companion of that one
who had stolen the ruby ring. Up he came and laid hold of the
servant by the collar, calling to his companions that he had
caught one of the thieves. Into the house they hauled the poor
servant, and into the same room where he had been before, and
there sat the young man at a grand feast, with his wife and all
his friends around him. But when the young man saw the poor
serving-man he came to him and took him by the hand, and set him
beside himself at the table. "Nobody except your comrade could be
so welcome as you," said he, "and this is why. An enemy of mine
one time gave me a ruby ring, and though I knew nothing of it, it
was the ring of discord that bred strife wherever it came. So, as
soon as it was brought into the house, my wife and all my friends
fell out with me, and we quarrelled so that they all left me.
But, though I knew it not at that time, your comrade was an
angel, and took the ring away with him, and now I am as happy as
I was sorrowful before."

By the next night the servant had come back to his home again.
Rap! tap! tap! He knocked at the door, and the wise man who had
been his master opened to him. "What do you want?" said he.

"I want to take service with you again," said the travelling

"Very well," said the wise man; "come in and shut the door."

And for all I know the travelling servant is there to this day.
For he is not the only one in the world who has come in sight of
the fruit of happiness, and then jogged all the way back home
again to cook cabbage and onions and pot-herbs, and to make broth
for wiser men than himself to sup.

That is the end of this story.

"I like your story, holy sir," said the Blacksmith who made Death
sit in a pear-tree. "Ne'th'less, it hath indeed somewhat the
smack of a sermon, after all. Methinks I am like my friend
yonder," and he pointed with his thumb towards Fortunatus; "I
like to hear a story about treasures of silver and gold, and
about kings and princes--a story that turneth out well in the
end, with everybody happy, and the man himself married in luck,
rather than one that turneth out awry, even if it hath an angel
in it."

"Well, well," said St. George, testily, "one cannot please
everybody. But as for being a sermon, why, certes, my story was
not that--and even if it were, it would not have hurt thee,

"No offence," said the Blacksmith; "I meant not to speak ill of
your story. Come, come, sir, will you not take a pot of ale with

"Why," said St. George, somewhat mollified, "for the matter of
that, I would as lief as not."

"I liked the story well enough," piped up the little Tailor who
had killed seven flies at a blow. " Twas a good enough story of
its sort, but why does nobody tell a tale of good big giants, and
of wild boars, and of unicorns, such as I killed in my adventures
you wot of?"

Old Ali Baba had been sitting with his hands folded and his eyes
closed. Now he opened them and looked at the Little Tailor. "I
know a story," said he, "about a Genie who was as big as a giant,
and six times as powerful. And besides that," he added, "the
story is all about treasures of gold, and palaces, and kings, and
emperors, and what not, and about a cave such as that in which I
myself found the treasure of the forty thieves."

The Blacksmith who made Death sit in the pear-tree clattered the
bottom of his canican against the table. "Aye, aye," said he,
"that is the sort of story for me. Come, friend, let us have it."

"Stop a bit," said Fortunatus; "what is this story mostly about?"

"It is," said Ali Baba, "about two men betwixt whom there was--

Not a Pin to Choose.

Once upon a time, in a country in the far East, a merchant was
travelling towards the city with three horses loaded with rich
goods, and a purse containing a hundred pieces of gold money. The
day was very hot, and the road dusty and dry, so that, by-and-by,
when he reached a spot where a cool, clear spring of water came
bubbling out from under a rock beneath the shade of a wide-spreading wayside tree, he was glad
enough to stop and refresh
himself with a draught of the clear coolness and rest awhile. But
while he stooped to drink at the fountain the purse of gold fell
from his girdle into the tall grass, and he, not seeing it, let
it lie there, and went his way.

Now it chanced that two fagot-makers--the elder by name Ali, the
younger Abdallah--who had been in the woods all day chopping
fagots, came also travelling the same way, and stopped at the
same fountain to drink. There the younger of the two spied the
purse lying in the grass, and picked it up. But when he opened it
and found it full of gold money, he was like one bereft of wits;
he flung his arms, he danced, he shouted, he laughed, he acted
like a madman; for never had he seen so much wealth in all of his
life before--a hundred pieces of gold money!

Now the older of the two was by nature a merry wag, and though he
had never had the chance to taste of pleasure, he thought that
nothing in the world could be better worth spending money for
than wine and music and dancing. So, when the evening had come,
he proposed that they two should go and squander it all at the
Inn. But the younger fellow--Abdallah--was by nature just as
thrifty as the other was spendthrift, and would not consent to
waste what he had found. Nevertheless, he was generous and open-hearted, and grudged his friend
nothing; so, though he did not
care for a wild life himself, he gave Ali a piece of gold to
spend as he chose.

By morning every copper of what had been given to the elder
fagot-maker was gone, and he had never had such a good time in
his life before. All that day and for a week the head of Ali was
so full of the memory of the merry night that he had enjoyed that
he could think of nothing else. At last, one evening, he asked
Abdallah for another piece of gold, and Abdallah gave it to him,
and by the next morning it had vanished in the same way that the
other had flown. By-and-by Ali borrowed a third piece of money,
and then a fourth and then a fifth, so that by the time that six
months had passed and gone he had spent thirty of the hundred
pieces that had been found, and in all that time Abdallah had
used not so much as a pistareen.

But when Ali came for the thirty-and-first loan, Abdallah refused
to let him have any more money. It was in vain that the elder
begged and implored--the younger abided by what he had said.

Then Ali began to put on a threatening front. "You will not let
me have the money?" he said.

"No, I will not."

"You will not?"


"Then you shall!" cried Ali; and, so saying, caught the younger
fagot-maker by the throat, and began shaking him and shouting,
"Help! Help! I am robbed! I am robbed!" He made such an uproar
that half a hundred men, women, and children were gathered around
them in less than a minute. "Here is ingratitude for you!" cried
Ali. "Here is wickedness and thievery! Look at this wretch, all
good men, and then turn away your eyes! For twelve years have I
lived with this young man as a father might live with a son, and
now how does he repay me? He has stolen all that I have in the
world--a purse of seventy sequins of gold."

All this while poor Abdallah had been so amazed that he could do
nothing but stand and stare like one stricken dumb; whereupon all
the people, thinking him guilty, dragged him off to the judge,
reviling him and heaping words of abuse upon him.

Now the judge of that town was known far and near as the "Wise
Judge"; but never had he had such a knotty question as this
brought up before him, for by this time Abdallah had found his
speech, and swore with a great outcry that the money belonged to

But at last a gleam of light came to the Wise Judge in his
perplexity. "Can any one tell me," said he, "which of these
fellows has had money of late, and which has had none?"

His question was one easily enough answered; a score of people
were there to testify that the elder of the two had been living
well and spending money freely for six months and more, and a
score were also there to swear that Abdallah had lived all the
while in penury. "Then that decides the matter," said the Wise
Judge. "The money belongs to the elder fagot-maker."

"But listen, oh my lord judge!" cried Abdallah. "All that this
man has spent I have given to him--I, who found the money. Yes,
my lord, I have given it to him, and myself have spent not so
much as single mite."

All who were present shouted with laughter at Abdallah's speech,
for who would believe that any one would be so generous as to
spend all upon another and none upon himself?

So poor Abdallah was beaten with rods until he confessed where he
had hidden his money; then the Wise Judge handed fifty sequins to
Ali and kept twenty himself for his decision, and all went their
way praising his justice and judgment.

That is to say, all but poor Abdallah; he went to his home
weeping and wailing, and with every one pointing the finger of
scorn at him. He was just as poor as ever, and his back was sore
with the beating that he had suffered. All that night he
continued to weep and wail, and when the morning had come he was
weeping and wailing still.

Now it chanced that a wise man passed that way, and hearing his
lamentation, stopped to inquire the cause of his trouble.
Abdallah told the other of his sorrow, and the wise man listened,
smiling, till he was done, and then he laughed outright. "My
son," said he, "if every one in your case should shed tears as
abundantly as you have done, the world would have been drowned in
salt water by this time. As for your friend, think not ill of
him; no man loveth another who is always giving."

"Nay," said the young fagot-maker, "I believe not a word of what
you say. Had I been in his place I would have been grateful for
the benefits, and not have hated the giver."

But the wise man only laughed louder than ever. "Maybe you will
have the chance to prove what you say some day," said he, and
went his way, still shaking with his merriment.

"All this," said Ali Baba, "is only the beginning of my story;
and now if the damsel will fill up my pot of ale, I will begin in
earnest and tell about the cave of the Genie."

He watched Little Brown Betty until she had filled his mug, and
the froth ran over the top. Then he took a deep draught and began

Though Abdallah had affirmed that he did not believe what the
wise man had said, nevertheless the words of the other were a
comfort, for it makes one feel easier in trouble to be told that
others have been in a like case with one's self.

So, by-and-by, Abdallah plucked up some spirit, and, saddling his
ass and shouldering his axe, started off to the woods for a
bundle of fagots.

Misfortunes, they say, never come single, and so it seemed to be
with the fagot-maker that day; for that happened that had never
happened to him before--he lost his way in the woods. On he went,
deeper and deeper into the thickets, driving his ass before him,
bewailing himself and rapping his head with his knuckles. But all
his sorrowing helped him nothing, and by the time that night fell
he found himself deep in the midst of a great forest full of wild
beasts, the very thought of which curdled his blood. He had had
nothing to eat all day long, and now the only resting-place left
him was the branches of some tree. So, unsaddling his ass and
leaving it to shift for itself, he climbed to and roosted himself
in the crotch of a great limb.

In spite of his hunger he presently fell asleep, for trouble
breeds weariness as it breeds grief.

About the dawning of the day he was awakened by the sound of
voices and the glaring of lights. He craned his neck and looked
down, and there he saw a sight that filled him with amazement:
three old men riding each upon a milk-white horse and each
bearing a lighted torch in his hand, to light the way through the
dark forest.

When they had come just below where Abdallah sat, they dismounted
and fastened their several horses to as many trees. Then he who
rode first of the three, and who wore a red cap and who seemed to
be the chief of them, walked solemnly up to a great rock that
stood in the hillside, and, breaking a switch from a shrub that
grew in a cleft, struck the face of the stone, crying in a loud
voice, "I command thee to open, in the name of the red

Instantly, creaking and groaning, the face of the rock opened
like a door, gaping blackly. Then, one after another, the three
old men entered, and nothing was left but the dull light of their
torches, shining on the walls of the passage-way.

What happened inside the cavern the fagot-maker could neither see
nor hear, but minute after minute passed while he sat as in a
maze at all that had happened. Then presently he heard a deep
thundering voice and a voice as of one of the old men in answer.
Then there came a sound swelling louder and louder, as though a
great crowd of people were gathering together, and with the
voices came the noise of the neighing of horses and the trampling
of hoofs. Then at last there came pouring from out the rock a
great crowd of horses laden with bales and bundles of rich stuffs
and chests and caskets of gold and silver and jewels, and each
horse was led by a slave clad in a dress of cloth-of-gold,
sparkling and glistening with precious gems. When all these had
come out from the cavern, other horses followed, upon each of
which sat a beautiful damsel, more lovely than the fancy of man
could picture. Beside the damsels marched a guard, each man clad
in silver armor, and each bearing a drawn sword that flashed in
the brightening day more keenly than the lightning. So they all
came pouring forth from the cavern until it seemed as though the
whole woods below were filled with the wealth and the beauty of
King Solomon's day--and then, last of all, came the three old

"In the name of the red Aldebaran," said he who had bidden the
rock to open, "I command thee to become closed." Again, creaking
and groaning, the rock shut as it had opened--like a door--and
the three old men, mounting their horses, led the way from the
woods, the others following. The noise and confusion of the many
voices shouting and calling, the trample and stamp of horses,
grew fainter and fainter, until at last all was once more hushed
and still, and only the fagot-maker was left behind, still
staring like one dumb and bereft of wits.

But so soon as he was quite sure that all were really gone, he
clambered down as quickly as might be. He waited for a while to
make doubly sure that no one was left behind, and then he walked
straight up to the rock, just as he had seen the old man do. He
plucked a switch from the bush, just as he had seen the old man
pluck one, and struck the stone, just as the old man had struck
it. "I command thee to open," said he, "in the name of the red

Instantly, as it had done in answer to the old man's command,
there came a creaking and a groaning, and the rock slowly opened
like a door, and there was the passageway yawning before him. For
a moment or two the fagot-maker hesitated to enter; but all was
as still as death, and finally he plucked up courage and went

By this time the day was brightening and the sun rising, and by
the gray light the fagot-maker could see about him pretty
clearly. Not a sign was to be seen of horses or of treasure or of
people--nothing but a square block of marble, and upon it a black
casket, and upon that again a gold ring, in which was set a
blood-red stone. Beyond these things there was nothing; the walls
were bare, the roof was bare, the floor was bare--all was bare
and naked stone.

"Well," said the wood-chopper, "as the old men have taken
everything else, I might as well take these things. The ring is
certainly worth something, and maybe I shall be able to sell the
casket for a trifle into the bargain." So he slipped the ring
upon his finger, and, taking up the casket, left the place. "I
command thee to be closed," said he, "in the name of the red
Aldebaran!" And thereupon the door closed, creaking and groaning.

After a little while he found his ass, saddled it and bridled it,
and loaded it with the bundle of fagots that he had chopped the
day before, and then set off again to try to find his way out of
the thick woods. But still his luck was against him, and the
farther he wandered the deeper he found himself in the thickets.
In the meantime he was like to die of hunger, for he had not a
bite to eat for more than a whole day.

"Perhaps," said he to himself, "there may be something in the
casket to stay my stomach;" and, so saying, he sat him down,
unlocked the casket, and raised the lid.

Such a yell as the poor wretch uttered ears never heard before.
Over he rolled upon his back and there lay staring with wide
eyes, and away scampered the jackass, kicking up his heels and
braying so that the leaves of the trees trembled and shook. For
no sooner had he lifted the lid than out leaped a great hideous
Genie, as black as a coal, with one fiery-red eye in the middle
of his forehead that glared and rolled most horribly, and with
his hands and feet set with claws, sharp and hooked like the
talons of a hawk. Poor Abdallah the fagot-maker lay upon his back
staring at the monster with a face as white as wax.

"What are thy commands?" said the Genie in a terrible voice, that
rumbled like the sound of thunder.

"I--I do not know," said Abdallah, trembling and shaking as with
an ague. "I--I have forgotten."

"Ask what thou wilt," said the Genie, "for I must ever obey
whomsoever hast the ring that thou wearest upon thy finger. Hath
my lord nothing to command wherein I may serve him?"

Abdallah shook his head. "No," said he, "there is nothing--unless--unless you will bring me
something to eat."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie. "What will my lord be
pleased to have?"

"Just a little bread and cheese," said Abdallah.

The Genie waved his hand, and in an instant a fine damask napkin
lay spread upon the ground, and upon it a loaf of bread as white
as snow and a piece of cheese such as the king would have been
glad to taste. But Abdallah could do nothing but sit staring at
the Genie, for the sight of the monster quite took away his

"What more can I do to serve thee?" asked the Genie.

"I think," said Abdallah, "that I could eat more comfortably if
you were away."

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie. "Whither shall I go? Shall
I enter the casket again?"

"I do not know," said the fagot-maker; "how did you come to be

"I am a great Genie," answered the monster, "and was conjured
thither by the great King Solomon, whose seal it is that thou
wearest upon thy finger. For a certain fault that I committed I
was confined in the box and hidden in the cavern where thou didst
find me to-day. There I lay for thousands of years until one day
three old magicians discovered the secret of where I lay hidden.
It was they who only this morning compelled me to give them that
vast treasure which thou sawest them take away from the cavern
not long since."

"But why did they not take you and the box and the ring away
also?" asked Abdallah.

"Because," answered the Genie, "they are three brothers, and
neither two care to trust the other one with such power as the
ring has to give, so they made a solemn compact among themselves
that I should remain in the cavern, and that no one of the three
should visit it without the other two in his company. Now, my
lord, if it is thy will that I shall enter the casket again I
must even obey thy command in that as in all things; but, if it
please thee, I would fain rejoin my own kind again--they from
whom I have been parted for so long. Shouldst thou permit me to
do so I will still be thy slave, for thou hast only to press the
red stone in the ring and repeat these words: By the red
Aldebaran, I command thee to come,' and I will be with thee
instantly. But if I have my freedom I shall serve thee from
gratitude and love, and not from compulsion and with fear."

"So be it!" said Abdallah. "I have no choice in the matter, and
thou mayest go whither it pleases thee."

No sooner had the words left his lips than the Genie gave a great
cry of rejoicing, so piercing that it made Abdallah's flesh
creep, and then, fetching the black casket a kick that sent it
flying over the tree tops, vanished instantly.

"Well," quote Abdallah, when he had caught his breath from his
amazement, "these are the most wonderful things that have
happened to me in all of my life." And thereupon he fell to at
the bread and cheese, and ate as only a hungry man can eat. When
he had finished the last crumb he wiped his mouth with the
napkin, and, stretching his arms, felt within him that he was
like a new man.

Nevertheless, he was still lost in the woods, and now not even
with his ass for comradeship.

He had wandered for quite a little while before he bethought
himself of the Genie. "What a fool am I," said he, "not to have
asked him to help me while he was here." He pressed his finger
upon the ring, and cried in a loud voice, "By the red Aldebaran,
I command thee to come!"

Instantly the Genie stood before him--big, black, ugly, and grim.
"What are my lord's commands?" said he.

"I command thee," said Abdallah the fagot-maker, who was not half
so frightened at the sight of the monster this time as he had
been before--"I command thee to help me out of this woods."

Hardly were the words out of his mouth when the Genie snatched
Abdallah up, and, flying swifter than the lightning, set him down
in the middle of the highway on the outskirts of the forest
before he had fairly caught his breath.

When he did gather his wits and looked about him, he knew very
well where he was, and that he was upon the road that led to the
city. At the sight his heart grew light within him, and off he
stepped briskly for home again.

But the sun shone hot and the way was warm and dusty, and before
Abdallah had gone very far the sweat was running down his face in
streams. After a while he met a rich husband-man riding easily
along on an ambling nag, and when Abdallah saw him he rapped his
head with his knuckles. "Why did I not think to ask the Genie for
a horse?" said he. "I might just as well have ridden as to have
walked, and that upon a horse a hundred times more beautiful than
the one that that fellow rides."

He stepped into the thicket beside the way, where he might be out
of sight, and there pressed the stone in his ring, and at his
bidding the Genie stood before him.

"What are my lord's commands?" said he.

"I would like to have a noble horse to ride upon," said Abdallah--"a horse such as a king might

"To hear is to obey," said the Genie; and, stretching out his
hand, there stood before Abdallah a magnificent Arab horse, with
a saddle and bridle studded with precious stones, and with
housings of gold. "Can I do aught to serve my lord further?" said
the Genie.

"Not just now," said Abdallah; "if I have further use for you I
will call you."

The Genie bowed his head and was gone like a flash, and Abdallah
mounted his horse and rode off upon his way. But he had not gone
far before he drew rein suddenly. "How foolish must I look," said
he, "to be thus riding along the high-road upon this noble steed,
and I myself clad in fagot-maker's rags." Thereupon he turned his
horse into the thicket, and again summoned the Genie. "I should
like," said he, "to have a suit of clothes fit for a king to

"My lord shall have that which he desires," said the Genie. He
stretched out his hand, and in an instant there lay across his
arm raiment such as the eyes of man never saw before--stiff with
pearls, and blazing with diamonds and rubies and emeralds and
sapphires. The Genie himself aided Abdallah to dress, and when he
looked down he felt, for the time, quite satisfied.

He rode a little farther. Then suddenly he bethought himself,
"What a silly spectacle shall I cut in the town with no money in
my purse and with such fine clothes upon my back." Once more the
Genie was summoned. "I should like," said the fagot-maker, "to
have a box full of money."

The Genie stretched out his hand, and in it was a casket of
mother-of-pearl inlaid with gold and full of money. "Has my lord
any further commands for his servant?" asked he.

"No," answered Abdallah. "Stop--I have, too," he added. "Yes; I
would like to have a young man to carry my money for me."

"He is here," said the Genie. And there stood a beautiful youth
clad in clothes of silver tissue, and holding a milk-white horse
by the bridle.

"Stay, Genie," said Abdallah. "Whilst thou art here thou mayest
as well give me enough at once to last me a long time to come.
Let me have eleven more caskets of money like this one, and
eleven more slaves to carry the same."

"They are here," said the Genie; and as he spoke there stood
eleven more youths before Abdallah, as like the first as so many
pictures of the same person, and each youth bore in his hands a
box like the one that the monster had given Abdallah. "Will my
lord have anything further?" asked the Genie.

"Let me think," said Abdallah. "Yes; I know the town well, and
that should one so rich as I ride into it without guards he would
be certain to be robbed before he had travelled a hundred paces.
Let me have an escort of a hundred armed men."

"It shall be done," said the Genie, and, waving his hand, the
road where they stood was instantly filled with armed men, with
swords and helmets gleaming and flashing in the sun, and all
seated upon magnificently caparisoned horses. "Can I serve my
lord further?" asked the Genie.

"No," said Abdallah the fagot-maker, in admiration, "I have
nothing more to wish for in this world. Thou mayest go, Genie,
and it will be long ere I will have to call thee again," and
thereupon the Genie was gone like a flash.

The captain of Abdallah's troop--a bearded warrior clad in a
superb suit of armor--rode up to the fagot-maker, and, leaping
from his horse and bowing before him so that his forehead touched
the dust, said, "Whither shall we ride, my lord?"

Abdallah smote his forehead with vexation. "If I live a thousand
years," said he, "I will never learn wisdom." Thereupon,
dismounting again, he pressed the ring and summoned the Genie. "I
was mistaken," said he, "as to not wanting thee so soon. I would
have thee build me in the city a magnificent palace, such as man
never looked upon before, and let it be full from top to bottom
with rich stuffs and treasures of all sorts. And let it have
gardens and fountains and terraces fitting for such a place, and
let it be meetly served with slaves, both men and women, the most
beautiful that are to be found in all the world."

"Is there aught else that thou wouldst have?" asked the Genie.

The fagot-maker meditated a long time. "I can bethink myself of
nothing more just now," said he.

The Genie turned to the captain of the troop and said some words
to him in a strange tongue, and then in a moment was gone. The
captain gave the order to march, and away they all rode with
Abdallah in the midst. "Who would have thought," said he, looking
around him, with the heart within him swelling with pride as
though it would burst--"who would have thought that only this
morning I was a poor fagot-maker, lost in the woods and half
starved to death? Surely there is nothing left for me to wish for
in this world!"

Abdallah was talking of something he knew nothing of.

Never before was such a sight seen in that country, as Abdallah
and his troop rode through the gates and into the streets of the
city. But dazzling and beautiful as were those who rode attendant
upon him, Abdallah the fagot-maker surpassed them all as the moon
dims the lustre of the stars. The people crowded around shouting
with wonder, and Abdallah, in the fulness of his delight, gave
orders to the slaves who bore the caskets of money to open them
and to throw the gold to the people. So, with those in the
streets scrambling and fighting for the money and shouting and
cheering, and others gazing down at the spectacle from the
windows and house-tops, the fagot-maker and his troop rode slowly
along through the town.

Now it chanced that their way led along past the royal palace,
and the princess, hearing all the shouting and the hubbub, looked
over the edge of the balcony and down into the street. At the
same moment Abdallah chanced to look up, and their eyes met.
Thereupon the fagot-maker's heart crumbled away within him, for
she was the most beautiful princess in all the world. Her eyes
were as black as night, her hair like threads of fine silk, her
neck like alabaster, and her lips and her cheeks as soft and as
red as rose-leaves. When she saw that Abdallah was looking at her
she dropped the curtain of the balcony and was gone, and the
fagot-maker rode away, sighing like a furnace.

So, by-and-by, he came to his palace, which was built all of
marble as white as snow, and which was surrounded with gardens,
shaded by flowering trees, and cooled by the plashing of
fountains. From the gateway to the door of the palace a carpet of
cloth-of-gold had been spread for him to walk upon, and crowds of
slaves stood waiting to receive him. But for all these glories
Abdallah cared nothing; he hardly looked about him, but, going
straight to his room, pressed his ring and summoned the Genie.

"What is it that my lord would have?" asked the monster.

"Oh, Genie!" said poor Abdallah, "I would have the princess for
my wife, for without her I am like to die."

"My lord's commands," said the Genie, "shall be executed if I
have to tear down the city to do so. But perhaps this behest is
not so hard to fulfil. First of all, my lord will have to have an
ambassador to send to the king."

"Very well," said Abdallah with a sigh; "let me have an
ambassador or whatever may be necessary. Only make haste, Genie,
in thy doings."

"I shall lose no time," said the Genie; and in a moment was gone.

The king was sitting in council with all of the greatest lords of
the land gathered about him, for the Emperor of India had
declared war against him, and he and they were in debate,
discussing how the country was to be saved. Just then Abdallah's
ambassador arrived, and when he and his train entered the
council-chamber all stood up to receive him, for the least of
those attendant upon him was more magnificently attired than the
king himself, and was bedecked with such jewels as the royal
treasury could not match.

Kneeling before the king, the ambassador touched the ground with
his forehead. Then, still kneeling, he unrolled a scroll, written
in letters of gold, and from it read the message asking for the
princess to wife for the Lord Abdallah.

When he had ended, the king sat for a while stroking his beard
and meditating. But before he spoke the oldest lord of the
council arose and said: "O sire! If this Lord Abdallah who asks
for the princess for his wife can send such a magnificent company
in the train of his ambassador, may it not be that he may be able
also to help you in your war against the Emperor of India?"

"True!" said the king. Then turning to the ambassador: "Tell your
master," said he, "that if he will furnish me with an army of one
hundred thousand men, to aid me in the war against the Emperor of
India, he shall have my daughter for his wife."

"Sire," said the ambassador, "I will answer now for my master,
and the answer shall be this: That he will help you with an army,
not of one hundred thousand, but of two hundred thousand men. And
if to-morrow you will be pleased to ride forth to the plain that
lieth to the south of the city, my Lord Abdallah will meet you
there with his army." Then, once more bowing, he withdrew from
the council-chamber, leaving all them that were there amazed at
what had happened.

So the next day the king and all his court rode out to the place
appointed. As they drew near they saw that the whole face of the
plain was covered with a mighty host, drawn up in troops and
squadrons. As the king rode towards this vast army, Abdallah met
him, surrounded by his generals. He dismounted and would have
kneeled, but the king would not permit him, but, raising him,
kissed him upon the cheek, calling him son. Then the king and
Abdallah rode down before the ranks and the whole army waved
their swords, and the flashing of the sunlight on the blades was
like lightning, and they shouted, and the noise was like the
pealing of thunder.

Before Abdallah marched off to the wars he and the princess were
married, and for a whole fortnight nothing was heard but the
sound of rejoicing. The city was illuminated from end to end, and
all of the fountains ran with wine instead of water. And of all
those who rejoiced, none was so happy as the princess, for never
had she seen one whom she thought so grand and noble and handsome
as her husband. After the fortnight had passed and gone, the army
marched away to the wars with Abdallah at its head.

Victory after victory followed, for in every engagement the
Emperor of India's troops were driven from the field. In two
months' time the war was over and Abdallah marched back again--the greatest general in the world.
But it was no longer as
Abdallah that he was known, but as the Emperor of India, for the
former emperor had been killed in the war, and Abdallah had set
the crown upon his own head.

The little taste that he had had of conquest had given him an
appetite for more, so that with the armies the Genie provided him
he conquered all the neighboring countries and brought them under
his rule. So he became the greatest emperor in all the world;
kings and princes kneeled before him, and he, Abdallah, the
fagot-maker, looking about him, could say: "No one in all the
world is so great as I!"

Could he desire anything more?

Yes; he did! He desired to be rid of the Genie!

When he thought of how all that he was in power and might--he,
the Emperor of the World--how all his riches and all his glory
had come as gifts from a hideous black monster with only one eye,
his heart was filled with bitterness. "I cannot forget," said he
to himself, "that as he has given me all these things, he may
take them all away again. Suppose that I should lose my ring and
that some one else should find it; who knows but that they might
become as great as I, and strip me of everything, as I have
stripped others. Yes; I wish he was out of the way!"

Once, when such thoughts as these were passing through his mind,
he was paying a visit to his father-in-law, the king. He was
walking up and down the terrace of the garden meditating on these
matters, when, leaning over a wall and looking down into the
street, he saw a fagot-maker--just such a fagot-maker as he
himself had one time been--driving an ass--just such an ass as he
had one time driven. The fagot-maker carried something under his
arm, and what should it be but the very casket in which the Genie
had once been imprisoned, and which he--the one-time fagot-maker--had seen the Genie kick over the

The sight of the casket put a sudden thought into his mind. He
shouted to his attendants, and bade them haste and bring the
fagot-maker to him. Off they ran, and in a little while came
dragging the poor wretch, trembling and as white as death; for he
thought nothing less than that his end had certainly come. As
soon as those who had seized him had loosened their hold, he
flung himself prostrate at the feet of the Emperor Abdallah, and
there lay like one dead.

"Where didst thou get yonder casket?" asked the emperor.

"Oh, my lord!" croaked the poor fagot-maker, "I found it out
yonder in the woods."

"Give it to me," said the emperor, "and my treasurer shall count
thee out a thousand pieces of gold in exchange."

So soon as he had the casket safe in his hands he hurried away to
his privy chamber, and there pressed the red stone in his ring.
"In the name of the red Aldebaran, I command thee to appear!"
said he, and in a moment the Genie stood before him.

"What are my lord's commands?" said he.

"I would have thee enter this casket again," said the Emperor

"Enter the casket!" cried the Genie, aghast.

"Enter the casket."

"In what have I done anything to offend my lord?" said the Genie.

"In nothing," said the emperor; "only I would have thee enter the
casket again as thou wert when I first found thee."

It was in vain that the Genie begged and implored for mercy, it
was in vain that he reminded Abdallah of all that he had done to
benefit him; the great emperor stood as hard as a rock--into the
casket the Genie must and should go. So at last into the casket
the monster went, bellowing most lamentably.

The Emperor Abdallah shut the lid of the casket, and locked it
and sealed it with his seal. Then, hiding it under his cloak, he
bore it out into the garden and to a deep well, and, first making
sure that nobody was by to see, dropped casket and Genie and all
into the water.

Now had that wise man been by--the wise man who had laughed so
when the poor young fagot-maker wept and wailed at the
ingratitude of his friend--the wise man who had laughed still
louder when the young fagot-maker vowed that in another case he
would not have been so ungrateful to one who had benefited him --
how that wise man would have roared when he heard the casket
plump into the waters of the well! For, upon my word of honor,
betwixt Ali the fagot-maker and Abdallah the Emperor of the World
there was not a pin to choose, except in degree.

Old Ali Baba's pipe had nearly gone out, and he fell a puffing at
it until the spark grew to life again, and until great clouds of
smoke rolled out around his head and up through the rafters

"I liked thy story, friend," said old Bidpai--"I liked it
mightily much. I liked more especially the way in which thy
emperor got rid of his demon, or Genie."

Fortunatus took a long pull at his mug of ale. "I know not," said
he, "about the demon, but there was one part that I liked much,
and that was about the treasures of silver and gold and the
palace that the Genie built and all the fine things that the poor
fagot-maker enjoyed." Then he who had once carried the magic
purse in his pocket fell a clattering with the bottom of his
quart cup upon the table. "Hey! My pretty lass," cried he, "come
hither and fetch me another stoup of ale."

Little Brown Betty came at his call, stumbling and tumbling into
the room, just as she had stumbled and tumbled in the Mother
Goose book, only this time she did not crack her crown, but
gathered herself up laughing.

"You may fill my canican while you are about it," said St.
George, "for, by my faith, tis dry work telling a story."

"And mine, too," piped the little Tailor who killed seven flies
at a blow.

"And whose turn is it now to tell a story?" said Doctor Faustus.

" Tis his," said the Lad who fiddled for the Jew, and he pointed
to Hans who traded and traded until he had traded his lump of
gold for an empty churn.

Hans grinned sheepishly. "Well," said he, "I never did have luck
at anything, and why, then, d'ye think I should have luck at
telling a story?"

"Nay, never mind that," said Aladdin, "tell thy story, friend, as
best thou mayst."

"Very well," said Hans, "if ye will have it, I will tell it to
you; but, after all, it is not better than my own story, and the
poor man in the end gets no more than I did in my bargains."

"And what is your story about, my friend?" said Cinderella.

" Tis," said Hans, "about how--

Much shall have more and little shall have less.

Once upon a time there was a king who did the best he could to
rule wisely and well, and to deal justly by those under him whom
he had to take care of; and as he could not trust hearsay, he
used every now and then to slip away out of his palace and go
among his people to hear what they had to say for themselves
about him and the way he ruled the land.

Well, one such day as this, when he was taking a walk, he
strolled out past the walls of the town and into the green fields
until he came at last to a fine big house that stood by the banks
of a river, wherein lived a man and his wife who were very well
to do in the world. There the king stopped for a bite of bread
and a drink of fresh milk.

"I would like to ask you a question," said the king to the rich
man; "and the question is this: Why are some folk rich and some
folk poor?"

"That I cannot tell you," said the good man; "only I remember my
father used to say that much shall have more and little shall
have less."

"Very well," said the king; "the saying has a good sound, but let
us find whether or not it is really true. See; here is a purse
with three hundred pieces of golden money in it. Take it and give
it to the poorest man you know; in a week's time I will come
again, and then you shall tell me whether it has made you or him
the richer."

Now in the town there lived two beggars who were as poor as
poverty itself, and the poorer of the twain was one who used to
sit in rags and tatters on the church step to beg charity of the
good folk who came and went. To him went the rich man, and,
without so much as a good-morning, quoth he: "Here is something
for you," and so saying dropped the purse of gold into the
beggar's hat. Then away he went without waiting for a word of

As for the beggar, he just sat there for a while goggling and
staring like one moon-struck. But at last his wits came back to
him, and then away he scampered home as fast as his legs could
carry him. Then he spread his money out on the table and counted
it--three hundred pieces of gold money! He had never seen such
great riches in his life before. There he sat feasting his eyes
upon the treasure as though they would never get their fill. And
now what was he to do with all of it? Should he share his fortune
with his brother? Not a bit of it. To be sure, until now they had
always shared and shared alike, but here was the first great lump
of good-luck that had ever fallen in his way, and he was not for
spoiling it by cutting it in two to give half to a poor beggar-man such as his brother. Not he; he
would hide it and keep it all
for his very own.

Now, not far from where he lived, and beside the river, stood a
willow-tree, and thither the lucky beggar took his purse of money
and stuffed it into a knot-hole of a withered branch, then went
his way, certain that nobody would think of looking for money in
such a hiding-place. Then all the rest of the day he sat thinking
and thinking of the ways he would spend what had been given him,
and what he would do to get the most good out of it. At last came
evening, and his brother, who had been begging in another part of
the town, came home again.

"I nearly lost my hat to-day," said the second beggar so soon as
he had come into the house.

"Did you?" said the first beggar. "How was that?"

"Oh! The wind blew it off into the water, but I got it again."

"How did you get it?" said the first beggar.

"I just broke a dead branch off of the willow-tree and drew my
hat ashore," said the second beggar.

"A dead branch!!"

"A dead branch."

"Off of the willow tree!!"

"Off of the willow tree."

The first beggar could hardly breathe.

"And what did you do with the dead branch after that?"

"I threw it away into the water, and it floated down the river."

The beggar to whom the money had been given ran out of the house
howling, and down to the river-side, thumping his head with his
knuckles like one possessed. For he knew that the branch his
brother had broken off of the tree and had thrown into the water,
was the very one in which he had hidden the bag of money.

Yes; and so it was.

The next morning, as the rich man took a walk down by the river,
he saw a dead branch that had been washed up by the tide.
"Halloo!" says he, "this will do to kindle the fire with."

So he brought it to the house, and, taking down his axe, began to
split it up for kindling. The very first blow he gave, out
tumbled the bag of money.

But the beggar--well, by-and-by his grieving got better of its
first smart, and then he started off down the river to see if he
could not find his money again. He hunted up and he hunted down,
but never a whit of it did he see, and at last he stopped at the
rich man's house and begged for a bite to eat and lodgings for
the night. There he told all his story--how he had hidden the
money that had been given him from his brother, how his brother
had broken off the branch and had thrown it away, and how he had
spent the whole live-long day searching for it. And to all the
rich man listened and said never a word. But though he said
nothing, he thought to himself, "Maybe, after all, it is not the
will of Heaven that this man shall have the money. Nevertheless,
I will give him another trial."

So he told the poor beggar to come in and stay for the night;
and, whilst the beggar was snoring away in his bed in the garret,
the rich man had his wife make two great pies, each with a fine
brown crust. In the first pie he put the little bag of money; the
second he filled full of rusty nails and scraps of iron.

The next morning he called the beggar to him. "My friend," said
he, "I grieve sadly for the story you told me last night. But
maybe, after all, your luck is not all gone. And now, if you will
choose as you should choose, you shall not go away from here
comfortless. In the pantry yonder are two great pies--one is for
you and one for me. Go in and take whichever one you please."

"A pie!" thought the beggar to himself; "does the man think that
a big pie will comfort me for the loss of three hundred pieces of
money?" Nevertheless, as it was the best thing to be had, into
the pantry the beggar went and there began to feel and weigh the
pies, and the one filled with the rusty nails and scraps of iron
was ever so much the fatter and the heavier.

"This is the one that I shall take," said he to the rich man,
"and you may have the other." And, tucking it under his arm, off
he tramped.

Well, before he got back to the town he grew hungry, and sat down
by the roadside to eat his pie; and if there was ever an angry
man in the world before, he was one that day--for there was his
pie full of nothing but rusty nails and bits of iron. "This is
the way the rich always treat the poor," said he.

So back he went in a fume. "What did you give me a pie full of
old nails for?" said he.

"You took the pie of your own choice," said the rich man;
"nevertheless, I meant you no harm. Lodge with me here one night,
and in the morning I will give you something better worth while,

So that night the rich man had his wife bake two loaves of bread,
in one of which she hid the bag with the three hundred pieces of
gold money.

"Go to the pantry," said the rich man to the beggar in the
morning, "and there you will find two loaves of bread--one is for
you and one for me; take whichever one you choose."

So in went the beggar, and the first loaf of bread he laid his
hand upon was the one in which the money was hidden, and off he
marched with it under his arm, without so much as saying thank

"I wonder," said he to himself, after he had jogged along awhile--"I wonder whether the rich man is
up to another trick such as he
played upon me yesterday?" He put the loaf of bread to his ear
and shook it and shook it, and what should he hear but the chink
of the money within. "Ah ha!" said he, "he has filled it with
rusty nails and bits of iron again, but I will get the better of
him this time."

By-and-by he met a poor woman coming home from market. "Would you
like to buy a fine fresh loaf of bread?" said the beggar.

"Yes, I would," said the woman.

"Well, here is one you may have for two pennies," said the

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