UDEA AND HER SEVEN BROTHERS 165
chamber where Udea was standing, and stuck under one of the nails of her own fingers. And she sank lifeless to the earth.
Meanwhile her brothers sat below waiting for her and wondering why she did not come. ' What can have happened to her !' exclaimed the eldest brother. ' Perhaps she has fallen into the fire, too.' So one of the others ran upstairs and found his sister stretched on the floor. ' Udea! Udea !' he cried, but she did not move or reply. Then he saw that she was dead, and rushed down to his brothers in the courtyard and called out, ' Come quickly, our sister is dead!' In a moment they were all beside her and knew that it was true, and they made a bier and laid her on it, and placed her across a camel, and said to the camel, ' Take her to her mother, but be careful not to halt by the way, and let no man capture you, and see you kneel down before no man, save him who shall say " string " x to you. But to him who says " string," then kneel.'
So the camel started, and when it had accomplished half its journey it met three men, who ran after it in order to catch it; but they could not. Then they cried 'Stop!' but the camel only went the faster. The three men panted behind till one said to the others, ' Wait a minute ! The string of my sandal is broken !' The camel caught the word ' string' and knelt down at once, and the men came up and found a dead girl lying on a bier, with a ring on her finger. And as one of the young men took hold of her hand to pull off the ring, he knocked out the man-eater's finger-nail, which had stuck there, and the maiden sat up and said, ' Let him live who gave me life, and slay him who slew me! ' And when the camel heard the maiden speak, it turned and carried her back to her brothers.
Now the brothers were still seated in the court bewailing their sister, and their eyes were dim with weeping
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