DSCHEMIL AND DSCHEMILA 39
whole month's journey from her native town. Here he shut her into a castle, and told her not to fear, as her life was safe. Then he went Lack to his wife, leaving Dschemila weeping over the fate that she had brought upon herself.
Meanwhile the other girls had reached home, and Dschemila's mother came out to look for her daughter.
'What have you done with her?' she asked anxiously.
' We had to leave her in the wood,' they replied, ' for she had picked up an iron mortar, and could not manage to carry it.'
So the old woman set off at once for the forest, calling to her daughter as she hurried along.
' Do go home,' cried the townspeople, as they heard her; ' we will go and look for your daughter; you are only a woman, and it is a task that needs strong men.'
But she answered, ' Yes, go ; but I will go with you! Perhaps it will be only her corpse that we shall find after all. She has most likely been stung by asps, or eaten by wild beasts.'
The men, seeing her heart was bent on it, said no more, but told one of the girls she must come with them, and show them the place where they had left Dschemila. They found the bundle of wood lying where she had dropped it, but the maiden was nowhere to be seen.
' Dschemila ! Dschemila !' cried they ; but nobody answered.
' If we make a fire, perhaps she will see it,' said one of the men. And they lit a fire, and then went, one this way, and one that, through the forest, to look for her, whispering to each other that if she had been killed by a lion they would be sure to find some trace of it; or if she had fallen asleep, the sound of their voices would wake her ; or if a snake had bitten her, they would at least come on her corpse.
All night they searched, and when morning broke and