Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 22, 1911.djvu/254

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2 20 Collectanea.

married. Then the father said, — "It (should) not (have been) the daughter of the King of the Water, but the daughter of the King of the Heavens." The boy commenced crying. He kept on crying until the leper came, and said, — " What has he done to you ? " He said, — " My father says I must marry the daughter of the King of the Heavens." She said, — "Who will take me up there?" (who will mount to me). The Wild Cat said, — "Catch hold of my tail, and I will (that I may) take you to the Heavens." She ascended, and found the King of the Heavens. She said, — " I have come to (see) you. I have a son. I heard that you had marriageable daughters." He assembled them, and said, — "Come and choose." They were indeed fifty. She took the eldest, the heiress of the house. The King said, — " Count out your money, and take her." They came to the house, and they were married. The boy sent the news to his father. He said, — " (It should) not (have been) the daughter of the King of the Heavens, but the daughter of the King of Agaddas." ^ The leper went to the King of Agaddas, and said, — " I have a son at home. Give me your daughter (for him)." He said, — "I shall not give you the girl until I have seen your son." She went and brought the son. He (King of Agaddas) said, — "Very well. Put them in a strong room for a fortnight. If he does not eat any corn, he will be her husband." They entered the room. The door was shut on them, and locked. Every night the boy's mother used to bring him food and drinking-water. The girl did not know. She (leper) used to enter softly and rouse him. When he had eaten and drunk, she would take away the calabash. They reached the last day of their confinement, (when) she (girl) said, — " I notice the smell of corn." He said, — "Where would I get it? It is kola nut." When night came, she said, — " To-day I shall lie in front, close to the door." The leper entered and roused her. She thought it was her son. She got up, and plunged her hand into the soup. She flicked her hand against the wall. She did not see the leper, and said, — " You are eating corn." He said, — "Where could I get (any) in this town?" He did not know the leper had roused her. She said, — "To-morrow you will die, you will be killed." He said, — "Oh, all right, kill me, (but) where ^Agaddas or Agadez is the capital of Air (Asben).