Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/453

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[No. 41.]

Title of Story —Story of Liongo.

Dramatis Personae.— Liongo.— His mother. -His nephew.— People.— Soldiers. — Slave girl.— Chief man. — Men.

Abstract of Story.— (l) when Stanga was flourishing city, a strong and great man, Liongo, lived there, oppressing people, who, unable to stand it, seized and bound him, putting him in prison, but he soon escaped, and harassed people outside town, so that they could not go into country for wood or water, llesorting to a stratagem, they brought him to town, binding him Avith chains and fetters, and tying him to a post. He was left there many days, his mother sending food regularly, soldiers always watching him. Many months passed ; every night he used to sing such beautiful songs that every one went to hear them, every day he composed fresh ones, but no one knew meaning except Liongo, his mother, and her slave. — (2) One day the soldiers took food from slave-girl, ate it, giving her scraps, for which Liongo was grateful. He told girl to go to his mother, and ask her to make a cake, and put in middle files, that he might cut fetters and escape. His mother made many fine cakes and a bran one, in which she put files ; soldiers took fine cakes from girl, but bade her take bran one to her master, who took out files. Liongo hearing people of the town say they wished him to be killed, asked the soldiers when he would be. On hearing to-morrow, he told them to call his mother, the chief man in town, and townspeople, that he might take leave. — (3) When all were assembled, he asked for a horn, cymbals, and an upato (plate of metal beaten with a stick), which he gave to people to play, and he sang. When music was in full swing ; he took a file and cut fetters and chains, people not knowing it through delight in music ; when they^looked up he was free, and throwing down instruments they ran to catch him, but he knocked their heads together and killed them. After taking leave of mother, Liongo went into forest and harassed and killed people. — (4) Crafty people were sent to make friends with and then kill him, and they said to him, " Let us entertain one another," and Liongo said, " If I eat of an entertainment, what shall I give in return — I, who am excessively poor ? " and they said each should climb into koma-tree in turn and throw down fruit, for they had plotted that when Liongo was in tree to shoot him with arrows ; but he saw through it with his intelligence, and -when it was his turn, took his bow and arrows and shot so many boughs ofE that in time whole koma-tree was down. Men wondered what they should do, as he had seen through their plan; they left him, saying, " Liongo the chief, you have not been taken in, you are not a man, you have got out of it like a devil." Men told headman in town they could do nothing. — (5) After wondering who could kill him they thought his nephew might, sent him to ask Liongo what would kill him, promising nephew kingdom