THE FOX AND THE LAPP 251
' Oh, I forgot! ' he exclaimed, turning round, as he was about to drive them in the opposite direction, ' you must be sure not to open the bag until you have gone at least five miles, right on the other side of those hills out there. If you do, you will find that all the gold and silver has changed into a parcel of charred bones.' Then he whipped up his reindeer, and was soon out of sight.
For some time the Lapp was satisfied with hearing the bones rattle, and thinking to himself what a good bargain he had made, and of all the things he would buy with the money. But, after a bit, this amusement ceased to content him, and besides, what was the use of planning when you did not know for certain how rich you were ? Perhaps there might be a great deal of silver and only a little gold in the bag ; or a great deal of gold, and only a little silver. Who could tell ? He would not, of course, take the money out to count it, for that might bring him bad luck. But there could be no harm in just one peep ! So he slowly broke the seal, and untied the strings, and, behold, a heap of burnt bones lay before him! In a minute he knew he had been tricked, and flinging the bag to the ground in a rage, he ran after the fox as fast as his snow-shoes would carry him.
Now the fox had guessed exactly what would happen, and was on the look out. Directly he saw the little speck coming towards him, he wished that the man's snow-shoes might break, and that very instant the Lapp's shoes snapped in two. The Lapp did not know that this was the fox's work, but he had to stop and fetch one of his other reindeer, which he mounted, and set off again in pursuit of his enemy. The fox soon heard him coming, and this time he wished that the reindeer might fall and break its leg. And so it did ; and the man felt it was a hopeless chase, and that he was no match for the fox.
So the fox drove on in peace till he reached the cave where all his stores were kept, and then he began to wonder whom he could get to help him kill his reindeer,