Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/39

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her assertion, saying, "Now to prove to you that what I say is the truth, I invite you to go with me to the shrine of Our Lady of Grace, and there before her miraculous statue, ask her who it was that drank your wine, I or the cat. If Our Lady says that I am the guilty party, I promise solemnly that as a punishment for my fault I will bring you home on my back, but if Our Lady says, what is really the fact, that our naughty cat was the thief, why then you must carry me home instead." The good honest man agreed to his wife's proposal, and they both started for the Chapel of the Virgin, which was some distance off. But when they came to a certain spot which was surrounded by hills and famous for its wonderful echoes, the cunning woman stopped short and said to her husband, "It is needless to go any farther, for Our Lady of Grace can hear us here as well as at her shrine. Ask her yourself to enlighten you, and I am sure she will readily grant you the favour you seek."

The man, who was honest and simple-minded, did not suspect his wife of deceit, whatever other faults she might have, and he therefore, raising his voice, cried aloud to Our Lady, "Oh, sweet Lady of Grace, tell me who it was that drank my best wine—was it my wife or the cat?"

He paused for the answer, and the mountains taking up the last words of the sentence, echoed back the words, "The cat." The man repeated the question