Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/117

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103
GRAIN-O'-MAIZE.

brigands approach he slipped into one of the panniers which contained the bags of money; and when the robbers reached their hiding place, which was an old deserted mansion, as he was so tiny, he got out of the pannier and hid himself in a fold of one of the bags, from which he saw the robbers, with huge bunches of keys, let themselves into the house and go through several rooms and as many doors, leading into stone corridors and grim paved yards, until they reached one massive door which led into a dark chamber, scantily furnished with a few chairs and a large table; on this table they laid the money bags and counted their treasure. At this moment Grain, unperceived, hid himself under the table, and suddenly cried in a shrill voice: "Stop thieves! stop thieves!"

On hearing this the brigands were alarmed, and took to their heels, leaving the bags of money behind them and thinking only of saving their lives. Grain was so amused at the big fellows all scampering away for fear of him that he was nearly choked with laughter. But on finding himself sole possessor of so much money, he instantly went to the stables for the mules, filled their panniers with the money bags, and started off without loss of time towards home.

On arriving at his father's house, as it was still night, Grain-o'-Maize thumped and kicked at the door several times before he was heard. At last