Page:Fairy tales and other stories (Andersen, Craigie).djvu/27

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15
GREAT CLAUS AND LITTLE CLAUS

emptying all the money into a heap in the middle of the floor. 'That will vex Great Claus when he hears how rich I have grown through my one horse; but I won't tell him about it outright.'

So he sent a boy to Great Claus to ask for a bushel measure.

'What can he want with it?' thought Great Claus. And he smeared some tar underneath the measure, so that some part of whatever was measured should stick to it. And thus it happened; for when he received the measure back, there were three new threepenny pieces adhering thereto.

'What's this?' cried Great Claus; and he ran off at once to Little Claus. 'Where did you get all that money from?'

'Oh, that's for my horse's skin. I sold it yesterday evening.'

'That's really being well paid,' said Great Claus. And he ran home in a hurry, took an axe, and killed all his four horses; then he flayed them, and carried off their skins to the town.

'Hides! hides! who'll buy any hides?' he cried through the streets.

All the shoemakers and tanners came running, and asked how much he wanted for them.

'A bushel of money for each!' said Great Claus.

'Are you mad?' said they. 'Do you think we have money by the bushel?'

'Hides! hides!' he cried again; and to all who asked him what the hides would cost he replied, 'A bushel of money.'

'He wants to make fools of us,' they all exclaimed. And the shoemakers took their straps, and the tanners their aprons, and they began to beat Great Claus.

'Hides! hides!' they called after him, jeeringly. 'Yes, we'll tan your hide for you till the red broth runs down. Out of the town with him!' And Great Claus made the best haste he could, for he had never yet been thrashed as he was thrashed now.

'Well,' said he when he got home, 'Little Claus shall pay for this. I'll kill him for it.'