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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/308

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Balochi Tales.

I did go out, and I am come back again. Now I will not depart." Thenceforward he sat there in God's presence, and did not return to the earth.


XV.

The King and the Four Thieves.

[This story, with slight variations, will be found in the collection of Pashto stories known as the Kilīd-i-Afghānī, Story 40, p. 96. The king in the Pashto version is Mahmud Ghaznawl.]

A certain king had four watchmen, who kept watch at night. One night a burglary took place in the town, and the man who had been robbed came and complained to the king. The king summoned his watchmen, and said, "Have you seen any thief about while you were keeping watch?" They replied, "My lord! we have seen none." Then the king ordered that all four should be taken out and hanged; so they took them out and hanged them. Then the king thought to himself, "To-night I will keep watch in the town myself." He changed his clothes and went out, and at night he patrolled the town, and while doing so he saw four men coming towards him. The king challenged them, "Who are you?" They said, "We are thieves. Who are you?" The king said, "I am a thief too." Then they agreed together to break into a house. The king said, "Has any of you committed a burglary in this town before?" They said, "Yes, once before." "Did anyone see you?" "No one saw us." "Didn't the watchmen see you?" They said, "We have a secret, by means of which they did not see us." Then the king said, "What are your secrets?" One of them said, "If I approach a watchman and cough, the watchman becomes blind." The second said, "I have this gift: if I lay my hand on a door, the door will open." The third said, "I have this gift: if a jackal howls, or if a dog barks, I can understand their