Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/317

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Collectanea. 307

The Girl begged the servants to let her in. The Negress, who had seen her come from a turret window, gave orders that the Girl should be brought before her. As soon as she saw her she knew who she was ! The Girl was then bathed, dressed beautifully, and made Lady-in-Waiting to the Negress.

Now, one day, the Negress put her head upon the Girl's lap, and asked her to stroke her hair. Now, one knows that the Negroes, be they as clean as they can, will always have some filth in their hair, for it is so very thick and bushy. The Emperor's daughter, seeing in the Negress' hair that which she had never seen since her mother bore her, became so sick that she felt she must spit. She looked right, and she looked left, but her eyes only met treasures upon which she dare not spit. She could not move away, for the Negress had fallen asleep with her head resting on the Girl's lap. So the Girl just spat into the Negress' hair !

The Negress, just like the Devil, felt it, and woke up at once. However, she looked at the Girl with pity :

" If I didn't know who you were," said she, " you would have got it this time from my hand. But as it is, I forgive you. Now go and get ready, for we are going somewhere together. Tell them to harness the horses to the cart."

The cart was ready waiting for them when they came down. So they got into it, and the Negress told the coachman where he was to go. On the way, the Negress told the Girl what she had to do at the place to which they were going.

She had scarcely finished talking, when they found themselves at the door of a very, very big castle. As soon as they got down, the Negress went straight to a room where there were two men. The one, a fat young man, lolled upon a golden bed, playing with two balls of silken thread ; the other, a very old man, was walking to and fro, unable to calm his restlessness. He stooped with age and work, was all in rags, and was so thin and small, that you would have believed him to be anything rather than a human being. It seems that with the Young Man lived the Girl's Luck, while with the Old One, lived the Luck of the Negress.

As soon as the Girl saw the Young Man playing with those balls of silken thread, she went straight to him, as the Negress