Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review Volumes 32 and 33.djvu/207

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195
Provenience of Certain Negro Folk-Tales.

France and Lisbon and England and America, no boy was more knowing than he. He came to the king's house the day the princess was to be sent to the robbers at the well. (As soon as she should reach the well, the water would flow; but the robbers would keep her three days before killing her.) The king's house was covered with black. The boy asked why the king's house was in mourning. They told him there was a well in that city and seven robbers. And when they wanted the water to flow, they had to send them a person. The time had come to send the king's daughter. The boy asked the king for a gun and a bag to go to war, he did not tell him that he was going to save his daughter. He went to the house of the robbers. They were out, and the princess opened the door. "You had better go from here," she said. "Seven robbers live here. Six of them are bad enough; but the seventh is the worst of all, and, if he catches you, he will kill you."—"Let me stay. I'm not afraid of their killing me." The seven robbers arrived. They said, "Yesterday there was one. To-day there are two." With his cutlass the boy slashed at the robbers, and slashed and slashed until he had killed them all. He cut off the tips of their tongues and tied them in a handkerchief. He sent the girl home; he told her not to tell who had saved her. She became dumb.

Next day, early in the morning, Jõa Porcero went to the well and found the dead robbers. He cut off the tips of the tongues of seven pigs; he took them to the king; he said it was he who had killed the robbers. The king sent his soldiers to find out if this was true. The soldiers found the robbers with the tips of their tongues cut off; they reported to the king that it was true. So the king made Jõa Porcero one of his house servants. In spite of his position, the princess always looked at him askance. When she had been dumb a year or more, the king had the drum beaten in his fortifications to announce that whoever