Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/52

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Tales of Old Lusitania - chapter 10 headpiece.jpg


PATRANHA.

(A POPULAR STORY.)




There was once a man who tenanted a farm belonging to a nobleman. This man had two sons, one was an idiot and the other was preparing for the priesthood. It happened that on a very dry season, when rain had been scarce, and consequently the land was parched and the crop a short one, the poor honest farmer, finding that he would be unable to pay his noble landlord the usual measures of wheat in payment of his rent, went to speak to his landlord to state his difficulties and to tell him that he would be unable to pay his rent at the time, and hoped he would give him time in which to do so. The nobleman, who seems to have had a kind heart, and was not hard upon his tenants, and moreover was fond of a joke, told the man that he would forgive him the whole debt if he could manage to invent a lie which would be the length of a Pater Noster. The simple man replied, "My Lord, I have a son who is continually pouring over books on falsehood, and various