154 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS
went away the day you were born, and I have never heard of them since.'
Then the girl said, ' I will go and look for them till I find them.'
'My dear child,' answered her mother, 'it is fifteen years since they left, and no man has seen them. How will you know which way to go?'
' Oh, I will follow them, north and south, east and west, and though I may travel far, ye,t some day I will find them.'
Then her mother said no more, but gave her a camel and some food, and a negro and his wife to take care of her, and she fastened a cowrie shell round the camel's neck for a charm, and bade her daughter go in peace.
During the first day the party journeyed on without any adventures, but the second morning the negro said to the girl, ' Get down, and let the negress ride instead of you.'
' Mother,' cried Udea.
' What is it? ' asked her mother.
' Barka wants me to dismount from my camel.'
' Leave her alone, Barka,' commanded the mother, and Barka did not dare to persist.
But on the following day he said again to Udea, ' Get down, and let the negress ride instead of you,' and though Udea called to her mother she was too far away, and the mother never heard her. Then the negro seized her roughly and threw her on the ground, and said to his wife, 'Climb up,' and the negress climbed up, while the girl walked by the side. She had meant to ride all the way on her camel as her feet were bare and the stones cut them till the blood came. But she had to walk on till night, when they halted, and the next morning it was the same thing again. Weary and bleeding the poor girl began to cry, and implored the negro to let her ride, if only for a little. But he took no notice, except to bid her walk a little faster.
By-and-by they passed a caravan, and the negro