MOHAMMED WITH THE MAGIC FINGER 195
guest I will kill her,' said the Arab, and went to his bed.
When everybody was asleep, Mohammed got up, killed the ram, and took out his liver, which he broiled on the fire. He placed a piece of it in the girl's hands, and laid some more on her night-dress while she slept and knew nothing about it. After this he began to cry out loudly.
' What is the matter? be silent at once!' called the Arab.
' How can I be silent, when my ram, which I loved like a child, has been slain by your daughter?'
' But my daughter is asleep,' said the Arab.
' Well, go and see if she has not some of the flesh about her.'
' If she has, you may take her in exchange for the ram;' and as they found the flesh exactly as Mohammed had foretold, the Arab gave his daughter a good beating, and then told her to get out of sight, for she was now the property of this stranger.
They wandered in the desert till, at nightfall, they came to a Bedouin encampment, where they were hospitably bidden to enter. Before lying down to sleep, Mohammed said to the owner of the tent: ' Your mare will kill my wife.'
' Certainly not.'
' And if she does? '
' Then you shall take the mare in exchange.'
When everyone was asleep, Mohammed said softly to his wife : ' Maiden, I have got such a clever plan! I am going to bring in the mare and put it at your feet, and I will cut you, just a few little flesh wounds, so that you may be covered with blood, and everybody will suppose you to be dead. But remember that you must not make a sound, or we shall both be lost.'
This was done, and then Mohammed wept and wailed louder than ever.