MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 179
' But why?' she asked.
' Because,' they said, ' it is always our custom that when persons are ill and complain of their head they should be killed at once. It is a much better way than leaving them to die a natural death.'
' Very well,' replied the woman. ' But leave, I pray you, my lungs and my liver untouched, till my son comes back. Then give both to him.'
But the men took them out at once, and gave them to the daughter-in-law, saying: ' Put away these things till your husband returns.' And the daughter-in-law took them, and hid them in a secret place.
When the old woman's daughter, who had been in the woods, heard that her mother had been killed while she was out, she was filled with fright, and ran away as fast as she could. At last she reached a lonely spot far from the town, where she thought she was safe, and sat down on a stone, and wept bitterly. As she was sitting, sobbing, a man passed by.
' What is the matter, little girl? Answer me! I will be your friend.'
'Ah, sir, they have killed my mother; my brother is far away, and I have nobody.'
' Will you come with me? ' asked the man.
'Thankfully,' said she, and lie led her down, down, under the earth, till they reached a great city. Then he married her, and in course of time she had a son. And the baby was known throughout the city as ' Mohammed with the magic finger,' because, whenever he stuck out his little finger, he was able to see anything that was happening for as far as two days' distance.
By-and-by, as the boy was growing bigger, his uncle returned from his long journey, and went straight to his wife.
'Whereare my mother and sister?' he asked; but his wife answered • 'Have something to eat first, and then I will tell you.'