148 THE SACRED MILK OF KOUMONGOE
And the gazelles all cried: ' Wretched man ! it is you whom the ogre should eat, and not your beautiful daughter.'
At last they arrived at the village where the ogre lived, and they went straight to his hut. He wras nowhere to be seen, but in his place was his son Masilo, who was not an ogre at all, but a very polite young man. He ordered his servants to bring a pile of skins for Thakane to sit on, but told her father he must sit on the ground. Then, catching sight of the girl's face, which she had kept bent down, he was struck by its beauty, and put the same question that the rabbit, and the elands, and the gazelles had done.
Thakane answered him as before, and he instantly commanded that she should be taken to the hut of his mother, and placed under her care, while the man should be led to his father. Directly the ogre saw him he bade the servant throw him into the great pot which always stood ready on the fire, and in five minutes he was done to a turn. After that the servant returned to Masilo and related all that had happened.
Now Masilo had fallen in love with Thakane the moment he saw her. At first he did not know what to make of this strange feeling, for all his life he had hated women, and had refused several brides whom his parents had chosen for him. However, they were so anxious that he should marry, that they willingly accepted Thakane' as their daughter-in-law, though she did not bring any marriage portion with her.
After some time a baby was born to her, and Thakane thought it was the most beautiful baby that ever was seen. But when her mother-in-law saw it was a girl, she wrung her hands and wept, saying :
' 0 miserable mother ! Miserable child ! Alas for you ! why were you not a boy ! '
Thakan6, in great surprise, asked the meaning of her distress ; and the old woman told her that it was the