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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 4, 1893.djvu/345

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337
Székely Tales.

that they should go out hunting until the turn came for the garden, and take the duke with them; for he remembered that before the war he was very fond of hunting. They at once determined that they would go hunting. But before they set out, the major-domo told the prince that it would be well for him to leave that beautiful watch of his at home, for it might easily be spoilt in the forest, and then there was no master-workman to mend it here, as there was abroad. The prince took his advice, and left the watch in his room. But they had scarcely reached the forest when the major-domo, who had watched the prince when he was talking to his watch one night, ran home, climbed up into the prince's room by the window, took the watch out, and opened it. The genius sprang out as usual, but he asked a different question. This is what he asked:

"What are your commands, you thief, my robber-master?"

"I command you to take me to a place where even the wind seldom goes, and no one but a mouse ever comes."

In an instant the major-domo was where he wished to be, and the prince's watch with him.

The prince comes home from hunting in the evening, goes straight to his room, and looks for his watch the first thing. He looks for it, but does not find it. He turns over and looks through everything, but in vain: his watch is gone! gone! gone! Oh, the prince is sad! For what is he to do without a watch? There will be an end to his life if he does not suddenly makes himself scarce. As quick as thought he ran out of the palace, and went straight ahead.[1]

For seven days and seven nights he went on and on without stopping, he made inquiries in all directions, but did not come upon any trace of the precious treasure. On the eighth day, just at sundown, he reached a little hut. He pushes the door open. And then he finds that the

  1. Lit., where his eyes saw.