28 WHAT THE ROSE DID TO THE CYPRESS
Swords. He would have liked to go back by the way he had come, but courage forbade, and he said, ' What has been preordained from eternity will happen to me,' and went on towards the castle. He was thinking of tying his horse to a tree which grew near the gate when a negro came out and spied him. ' Ha !' said the wretch to himself, ' this is good ; Taram-taq has not eaten man-meat for a long time, and is craving for some. I will take this creature to him.' He took hold of the prince's reins, and said : ' Dismount, man-child ! Come to my master. He has wanted to eat man-meat this long time back.' ' What nonsense are you saying ? ' said the prince, and other such words. When the negro understood that he was being abused, he cried : ' Come along ! I will put you into such a state that the birds of the air will weep for you.' Then the prince drew the Scorpion of Solomon and struck him—struck him on the leathern belt and shore him through so that the sword came out on the other side. He stood upright for a little while, muttered some words, put out his hand to seize the prince, then fell in two and surrendered his life.
There was water close at hand, and the prince made his ablution, and then said : ' 0 my heart! a wonderful task lies upon you.' A second negro came out of the fort, and seeing what had been done, went back and told his chief. Others wished to be double d, and went out, and of every one the Scorpion of Solomon made two. Then Taram-taq sent for a giant negro named Chil-maq, who in the day of battle was worth three hundred, and said to him : ' I shall thank you to fetch me that man.'
Chil-maq went out, tall as a tower, and bearing a shield of eight millstones, and as he walked he shouted : ' Ho ! blunder-head ! by what right do you come to our country and kill our people ? Come! make two of me.' As the prince was despicable in his eyes, he tossed aside his club and rushsd to grip him with his hands. He caught him by the collar, tucked him under his arm and set off with