150 THE SACRED MILK OF KOUMONGOE
that Thakane's heart was filled with joy and gratitude, and she stayed as long as she dared, playing with her baby. At last she felt she must return to the village, lest she should be missed, and the child was handed back to the old woman, who vanished with her into the lake.
Children grow up very quickly when they live under water, and in less time than anyone could suppose, Dilah had changed from a baby to a woman. Her mother came to visit her whenever she was able, and one day, when they were sitting talking together, they were spied out by a man who had come to cut willows to weave into baskets. He was so surprised to see how like the face of the girl was to Masilo, that he left his work and returned to the village.
' Masilo,' he said, as he entered the hut, ' I have just beheld your wife near the river writh a girl who must be your daughter, she is so like you. We have been deceived, for we all thought she was dead.'
When he heard this, Masilo tried to look shocked because his wife had broken the law ; but in his heart he was very glad.
' But what shall we do now ? ' asked he.
' Make sure for yourself that I am speaking the truth by hiding among the bushes the first time Thakan6 says she is going to bathe in the river, and waiting till the girl appears.'
For some days Thakane stayed quietly at home, and her husband began to think that the man had been mistaken ; but at last she said to her husband : ' I am going to bathe in the river.'
' Well, you can go,' answered he. But he ran down quickly by another path, and got there first, and hid himself in the bushes. An instant later, Thakane arrived, and standing on the bank, she sang :
Bring to me Dilah, Dilah the rejected one, Dilah, whom her father Masilo cast out!