' MOT I' 143
don't let my horse alone I'll crack your skulls ! you thieves ! I know you ! Last night you took my money, so to-day I took your horse ; that's fair enough !'
Now the Afghans began to look a little uncomfortable, but Moti seemed so determined to keep the horse that they resolved to appeal to the law, so they went off and laid a complaint before the king that Moti had stolen one of their horses and would not give it up nor pay for it.
Presently a soldier came to summon Moti to the king ; and, when he arrived and made his obeisance, the king began to question him as to why he had galloped off with the horse in this fashion. But Moti declared that he had got the animal in exchange for fifty pieces of silver, whilst the horse merchants vowed that the money they had on them was what they had received for the sale of other horses ; and in one way and another the dispute got so confusing that the king (who really thought that Moti had stolen the horse) said at last, ' Well, I tell you what I will do. I will lock something into this box before me, and if he guesses what it is, the horse is his, and if he doesn't, then it is yours.'
To this Moti agreed, and the king arose and went out alone by a little door at the back of the Court, and presently came back clasping something closely wrapped up in a cloth under his robe, slipped it into the little box, locked the box, and set it up where all might see.
' Now,' said the king to Moti, ' guess !'
It happened that when the king had opened the door behind him, Moti noticed that there was a garden outside : without waiting for the king's return he began to think what could be got out of the garden small enough to be shut in the box. 'Is it likely to be a fruit or a flower ? No, not a flower this time, for he clasped it too tight. Then it must be a fruit or a stone. Yet not a stone, because he wouldn't wrap a dirty stone in his nice clean cloth. Then it is a fruit! And a fruit