THE OGRE 349
out of sioht of the cave than he laid the table-cloth on the ground and said, 'Table-cloth, open.' In an instant the table-cloth unfolded itself and disclosed a whole mass of precious stones and other treasures.
When Antonio perceived this he said, ' Table-cloth, shut,' and continued his journey. He came to the same inn again, and calling the landlord to him, he told him to put the table-cloth carefully away, and whatever he did not to say 'Table-cloth, open,' or 'Table-cloth, shut,' to it.
The landlord, who was a regular rogue, answered, ' Just leave it to me, I will look after it as if it were my own.'
After he had given Antonio plenty to eat and drink, and had provided him with a comfortable bed, he went straight to the table-cloth and said, 'Table-cloth, open.' It opened at once, and displayed such costly treasures that the landlord made up his mind on the spot to steal it.
When Antonio awoke next morning, the host handed him over a table-cloth exactly like his own, and carrying it carefully over his arm, the foolish youth went straight to his mother's house, and said : ' Now we shall be rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and need never go about in rags again, or lack the best of food.'
With these words he spread the table-cloth on the ground and said, ' Table-cloth, open.'
But he might repeat the injunction as often as he pleased, it was only waste of breath, for nothing happened. When Antonio saw this he turned to his mother and said: ' That old scoundrel of a landlord has done me once more; but he will live to repent it, for if I ever enter his inn again, I will make him suffer for the loss of my donkey and the other treasures he has robbed me of.'
Masella was in such a rage over her fresh disappointment that she could not restrain her impatience, and, turning on Antonio, she abused him soundly, and told