Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/296

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Balochi Tales.

thing. Thus, when she put her hand on her head, she meant, ' I live in the town of Choti';[1] and when she put her hand on her eyes, she meant, 'My name is Naina Bai';[2] and when she put her hand on her arm, she meant, 'I am by caste a Chūrīgar.'[3] Come, let us start, and I will arrange matters between you." So they filled two saddlebags, and mounted their mares, and came to Choti town, inquiring as they went along. There they made themselves out to be merchants, and alighted at an old woman's house, and unloaded their baggage, and went into the town in the guise of Khojas.[4] They got some silk and women's goods, and began selling them in the town; and, seeking as they went, they arrived at last at the Chūrīgars' ward, and there made this proclamation: "We deal in silk, and in beads, and in thread; who'll buy?" The women-folk gathered to buy, and when any of them brought a rupee's worth of goods, they gave her two rupees' worth; everyone got double value. Naina Bai heard of this, and she, too, came out to buy. As soon as she saw the prince she recognised him, and at once went home and put back her money, and came back again with her skirt full of corn, and asked for some silk. In payment she gave him three measures full of corn, and the fourth only three-quarters full. The goat-herd saw who it was, and immediately gave her all the goods they had, and said to the prince, "Let us rise and go home." When they got outside the town he asked the prince whether he had recognised anyone. The prince said he had not. Then the goatherd said, "That was Naina Bai, who brought the corn to barter for goods, and

  1. The word Choti in Balochi means "hair", and is also the name of a town in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan.
  2. Another punning allusion; the word Nain meaning "eye" in several Indian dialects.
  3. The Chūrīgar is a maker of bangles of lac or metal, which are worn by women on the forearm. Naina Bai conveys this information by placing her hand on her arm.
  4. A Khoja is a Muhammadan merchant.