Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/38

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Tales of Old Lusitania - chapter 32 headpiece.jpg


Once upon a time there lived a man whose wife was so fond of drink that, do what he would, he could never keep his wine cellar full. One day, as he was leaving home to buy some oxen, he earnestly entreated his wife not to go into the cellar and drink the remaining bottles of wine, because they were of a fine vintage, and he was keeping them for an especial occasion; but the moment he had left the house she went and invited a neighbour to join her in drinking up her husband's choicest wine.

As may be supposed, when the man returned home and found that all his wine was gone, he was very angry with his wife; he took up a thick stick to beat her with, but as he was preparing to carry out his purpose the wife cleverly turned him away from it, saying, "My dear husband, why should you wish to beat me when I am quite innocent of the crime of consuming your wine. It was not I that did it, but our old cat, who has lately shown a great liking for intoxicating drinks." As the man would not believe that story, she repeated