Page:Life in Java Volume 1.djvu/260

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He would have added more, but the waters bore him away, floating on their surface.

"Whilst this tragical event occurred in one part of the river, a fish and an alligator, in a lower part of it, were talking (in piscatorial fashion of course) about the scarcity of food at that particular period. 'Nothing,' said they, 'has made its way for weeks down here, not even a log of wood, what can be the reason of it V These words had scarcely escaped from their mouths when Arum an floated past. A drawn battle would probably have taken place on any other occasion between these amicable denizens of the river, but ravenous as they were they allowed this tempting morsel to pass unmolested.

"'Why,' asked Amman, who saw them as he passed—l why do you not swallow me up? I am persecuted by my stepmother, beaten and despised by my father. Kill me now, for I want to die!'

"'No, we cannot, we must not,' replied the kind