54 BALL-CARRIER AND THE BAD ONE
footsteps and been upon him. So, making himself very small and thin, he hid himself behind a pile of buffalo skins in the corner, first tearing a slit through one of them, so that he could see what was going on.
He had hardly settled himself when the servant entered the room, and, as she did so, the last bag of gold on the beam fell to the ground—for they had begun to fall directly the boy had taken the first one. She cried to her master that someone had stolen both the bag and the bridge, and the Bad One rushed in, mad with anger, and bade her go and seek for footsteps outside, that they might find out where the thief had gone. In a few minutes she returned, saying that he must be in the house, as she could not see any footsteps leading to the river, and began to move all the furniture in the room, without discovering Ball-Carrier.
' But he must be here somewhere,' she said to herself, examining for the second time the pile of buffalo skins ; and Ball-Carrier, knowing that he could not possibly escape now, hastily wished that the Bad One should be unable to eat any more food at present.
' Ah, there is a slit in this one,' cried the servant, shaking the skin ; ' and here he is.' And she pulled out Ball-Carrier, looking so lean and small that he would hardly have made a mouthful for a sparrow.
' Was it you who took my gold and bridge ?' asked the Bad One.
' Yes,' answered Ball-Carrier, ' it was I who took them.'
The Bad One made a sign to the woman, who inquired where he had hidden them. He lifted his left arm where the gold was, and she picked up a knife and scraped his skin so that no gold should be left sticking to it.
' What have you done with the bridge ? ' said she. And he lifted his right arm, from which she took the bridge, while the Bad One looked on, well pleased. ' Be sure that he does not run away,' chuckled he. ' Boil some