Open main menu

Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/57

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

45
THE VALUE OF AN EGG.

me; but as for you, O devil, I neither want your help nor your company, so pray do not stand in my way."

After many years he was returning home, and he came to the same inn where he had left his meal unpaid for. Going in, she said to the landlady, "I wish to pay you my debt."

"Pray, what debt is it, for I have no recollection?"

"The last time I was here I had a farthing's worth of eggs, which I did not pay for."

"Oh, now I remember," replied the landlady. "And do you think to pay me for the eggs with one farthing? Wait a bit, and I will have the bill made out. Six eggs were equal to so many fowls that laid eggs." And reckoning thus, she made out a notable bill, for it was a yard long, what with the charge for the chickens those eggs would have produced and the eggs those chickens in time would have laid.

Our traveller glanced over the bill, and found that the charges amounted to several thousand reals; and as he hadn't sufficient money with him to pay the bill, he was put in gaol.

The day on which he was to be tried, a man appeared at the bars of his prison window and said to him: "I suppose you have no one to plead for you? You must engage a counsel, for you will be taken before a magistrate this very day. However, you