Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/155

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139
THE MAGIC SLIPPERS.

When they saw supper laid, they cried: "Halloo! Who prepared this supper? If any one is here, let them show themselves."

The poor girl came out of her hiding place trembling with fear, and stood before the robbers. But the men, struck with admiration at her beautiful face and charming figure, asked her what great distress had brought her there alone and apparently friendless. She then told them her history and how she was without a friend in the world; and the robbers, full of compassion, kindly said to her: "Fear not, and grieve no more; you shall stay with us and we promise to protect you and treat you as our sister."

What could the poor girl do but consent to their proposal. She stayed with the men and made herself useful by preparing their meals and keeping house for them. The robbers became every day more fond of their newly adopted sister, who was so gentle and good; they treated her with all respect, and were careful she should enjoy every comfort they could afford her.

I must now tell you that the girl's mother knew an old woman who often came to her inn, and whose business was to go about doing errands and carrying messages.

"Tell me," said the landlady one day to the old woman, "You, who travel everywhere and see so