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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/206

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his brothers to leave the carcase of his dear beast for him. He then pulled off the skin and turned it into a hide, and putting it on his shoulders started for a neighbouring market-town to sell it. On his way he was caught in the rain, and the hide became dripping wet. At length he reached a sort of cave, and, feeling tired, put the hide at the mouth of it. Inside the cave were robbers who had come there to divide their booty. The hide was wet, and when he put it at the mouth of the cave it made a noise and darkened the cave. The robbers thought they had been found out, and ran away, leaving the booty to the lucky man. Entering the cave, he found gold and silver and precious stones. At once he put them all into a bundle, and, leaving the hide there, took his way home with his newly-gained riches. Now he was a rich man, and his brothers were very jealous of him. One day they went to him, and asked him what he had done with the hide. He told them that he had sold it at a very high price to a man who lived in the Brahmans' quarter in a neighbouring town. They ran home at once and killed their buffaloes, and, carrying their hides on their shoulders, went to sell them in the Brahmans' quarter their brother had pointed out. Arriving there they called out loudly : " Buffalo-hides for sale ! " Great was the surprise of the Brahmans on hearing such words, and coming out of their houses they gave them a sound beating for bringing such unclean things near their houses. They were very angry with their brother, and hurried back as fast as they could, and going straight to his house set fire to it. The house was soon reduced to ashes, but the brother escaped with his life. He collected the ashes in a bag, and putting the bag on his head made his way to a neighbouring town. He went to the palace of the Raja, and after exchanging greetings with the porter at the gate, said to him : " I have brought jewels and other valuable presents from our Raja to your Raja ; please look after the bag, I am going out to wash, and shall come back very soon. But pray, allow no one to touch the bag in my absence, or the valuables will turn into ashes." Having said this, he went away, and after strolling about for some time came back and opened the bag. He had scarcely half-opened it when he began to cry " I am ruined, I am ruined. I told you beforehand that if any body touched it in my absence it would turn into ashes, and so it has happened. Now what shall I do ? I have lost thousands