162 UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS
could not even speak. Then the brothers dismounted and passed through the six open doors, till they stood before the iron one, which was still shut. ' Udea, open ! ' they cried, 'it is only your brothers!' And she arose and unlocked the door, and throwing herself on the neck of the eldest burst into tears.
'Tell us what has happened,' he said, ' and how the man-eater traced you here.'
' It is all the cat's fault,' replied Udea. ' She put out my fire so that I could not cook. All about a bean! I ate one and forgot to give her any of it.'
' But we told you so particularly,' said the eldest brother, ' never to eat anything without sharing it with the cat.'
' Yes, but I tell you I forgot,' answered Udea.
' Does the man-eater come here every night?' asked the brothers.
' Every night,' said Udea, ' and he breaks one door in and then goes away.'
Then all the brothers cried together, ' We will dig a great hole, and fill it with burning wood, and spread a covering over the top; and when the man-eater arrives we will push him into it.' So they all set to work, and prepared the great hole, and set fire to the wood, till it was reduced to a mass of glowing charcoal. And when the man-eater came, and called as usual, ' Udea, what did you see your grandfather doing?' she answered, ' I saw him pull off the ass's skin and devour the ass, and he fell in the fire, and the fire burned him up.'
Then the man-eater was filled with rage, and he flung himself upon the iron door and burst it in. On the other side stood Udea's seven brothers, who said, ' Come, rest yourself a little on this mat.' And the man-eater sat down, and he fell right into the burning pit which was under the mat, and they heaped on more wood, till nothing was left of him, not even a bone. Only one of his finger-nails was blown away, and fell into an upper