Page:Grimm Goblins (1876).djvu/155

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107
THE JEW IN THE BUSH.

agree to your proposal." So he took the purse, put up his fiddle, and travelled on very well pleased with his bargain.

Meanwhile the Jew crept out of the bush half-naked and in a piteous plight, and began to ponder how he should take his revenge and serve his late companion some trick. At last he went to the judge, and complained that a rascal had robbed him of his money, and beaten him into the bargain; and that the fellow who did it carried a bow at his back and a fiddle hung round his neck. Then the judge sent out his officers to bring up the accused wherever they should find him; and he was soon caught and brought up to be tried.

The Jew began to tell his tale, and said he had been robbed of his money. "No, you gave it me for playing a tune to you," said the countryman; but the judge told him that was not likely, and cut the matter short by ordering him off to the gallows.

So away he was taken; but as he stood on the steps he said, "My Lord Judge, grant me one last request." "Anything but thy life," replied the other. "No," said he, "I do not ask my life; only let me play upon my fiddle for the last time." The Jew cried out, "Oh, no! no! for heaven's sake don't listen to him! don't listen to him!" But the judge said, "It is only for this once, he will soon have done." The fact was, he could not refuse the request, on account of the dwarfs third gift.

Then the Jew said, "Bind me fast, bind me fast, for pity's sake." But the countryman seized his fiddle, and struck up a tune, and at the first note, judge, clerks, and jailer, were in motion; all began capering, and no one could hold the Jew. At the second note the hangman let his prisoner go, and danced also, and by the time he had played the first bar of the tune, all were dancing together—judge, court, and Jew, and all the people who had followed to look