THE STORY OF SIDI-NOUMAN 341
The kindness heaped on me by this excellent man was far greater than I could ever have expected. He was always affectionate in his manner of treating me, and I shared his breakfast, dinner and supper, while, on my side, I gave him all the gratitude and attachment to which he had a right.
I sat with my eyes fixed on him, and he never left the house without having me at his heels; and if it ever happened that when he was preparing to go out I was asleep, and did not notice, he would call i Rufus, Rufus,' for that was the name he gave me.
Some weeks passed in this way, when one day a woman came in to buy bread. In paying for it, she laid down several pieces of money, one of which was bad. The baker perceived this, and declined to take it, demanding another in its place. The woman, for her part, refused to take it back, declaring it was perfectly good, but the baker would have nothing to do with it. ' It is really such a bad imitation,' he exclaimed at last, ' that even my dog would not be taken in. Here Rufus! Rufus! ' and hearing his voice, I jumped on to the counter. The bakei threw down the money before me, and said, ' Find out it there is a bad coin.' I looked at each in turn, and then laid my paw on the false one, glancing at the same time at my master, so as to point it out.
The baker, who had of course been only in joke, was exceedingly surprised at my cleverness, and the woman, who was at last convinced that the man spoke the truth, produced another piece of money in its place. When she had gone, my master was so pleased that he told all the neighbours what I had done, and made a great deal more of it than there really was.
The neighbours, very naturally, declined to believe his story, and tried me several times with all the bad money they could collect together, but I never failed to stand the test triumphantly.
Soon, the shop was filled from morning till night, with