Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/74

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'64 Some Notes on East African Folklore.

month, and on the fifteenth day of the second month I will repay you all your money,' The rich man said, ' Write here a paper with your own hand, and you must also have it witnessed.' The man fetched witnesses, and then the rich man said, 'And if you fail to pay this money, what shall I do to you?' The poor man said, ' I will give you leave to cut off a piece of flesh from my thigh.' So the witness signed with his own hand, and the poor man like- wise, and the rich man likewise. Then the rich man gave him a thousand rupees, and he took his leave and went away.

" The poor man went to his father-in-law's house and gave him the money, and then he had a very grand wedding, just like that of a rich man. When the wedding was over — two, or three, or ten days later — the owner of the money sent his soldiers with a letter, saying, ' The time is up — to-morrow morning you must come with my money.' The poor man received the letter and said, 'Go — to-morrow morning I will come myself.' So the soldiers returned and gave the message to their master. Now, the bride loved her husband very much, and since the wedding day they had been v^ery happy together ; but to-day she saw that he was no longer joyful, he was overwhelmed with grief. The bride asked him, ' Sir, what is the matter with you to-day ? ' The bridegroom took the letter and gave it to her, and when she had read it she was much grieved and said to him ' Explain to me the meaning of this letter.' He said, ' This money is the money of our wedding, for mine was not enough....' (Here follows the account of the transaction already given.) The bride said, ' This is a strange business.' The bridegroom took leave of his father-in-law and set off. But now the wife set about devising means to rescue her husband. What did she do ? She went away and took off her clothes and put on men's clothes and shaved off her hair, and took gum and smeared it on her chin and stuck hair on to it, and took a cap and a sword and a dagger and