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Page:The Pentamerone, or The Story of Stories.djvu/173

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fields, and when the fowlers had brought down a blackbird, a snipe or a lark, she caught it up, and presented it to the king with the same message. She repeated this trick again and again, until one morning the king said to her, "I feel infinitely obliged to this lord Gagliuso, and am desirous of knowing him, that I may make a return for the kindness he has shown me." And the cat replied, "The desire of my lord Gagliuso is to give his life and blood for your Majesty's crown, and tomorrow morning without fail, as soon as the Sun has set fire to the stubble of the fields of air, he will come and pay his respects to you."

So when the morning came the cat went to the king, and said to him, "Sire, my lord Gagliuso sends to excuse himself for not coming; as last night some of his servants robbed him and ran off, and have not left him a single shirt to his back." When the king heard this, he instantly commanded his servants to take out of his wardrobe a quantity of clothes and linen, and sent them to Gagliuso; and before two hours had passed, Gagliuso went to the palace, conducted by the cat, where he received a thousand compliments from the king, who made him sit beside him, and gave him a banquet that would amaze you.

While they were eating, Gagliuso from time to time turned to the cat and said to her, "My pretty puss,