RICH BROTHER AND POOR BROTHER 179
On the same day the two brothers set out on their journey to the city, the rich one on horseback, with plenty of food in his knapsack, the poor one on foot with nothing but a piece of bread and four onions to eat on the way. The road was hilly and neither could go very fast, and when night fell, they were both glad to see some lights in a window a little distance in front of them.
The lights turned out to have been placed there by a farmer, who had planned to have a particularly good supper as it was his wife's birthday, and bade the rich man enter and sit down, while he himself took the horss to the stable. The poor man asked timidly if he might spend the night in a corner, adding that he had brought his own supper with him. Another time permission might have been refused him, for the farmer was no lover of humble folk, but now he gave the elder brother leave to come in, pointing out a wooden chair where he could sit.
Supper was soon served, and very glad the younger brother was to eat it, for Ins long ride had made him very hungry. The farmer's wife, however, would touch nothing, and at last declared that the only supper she wanted was one of the onions the poor man was cooking at the fire. Of course he gave it to her, though he would gladly have eaten it himself, as three onions are not much at the end of a long day's walk, and soon after they all went to sleep, the poor man making himself as comfortable as he could in his corner.
A few hours later the farmer was aroused by the cries and groans of his wife.
' Oh, I feel so ill, I'm sure I'm going to die,' wept she. ' It was that onion, I know it was. I wish I had never eaten it. It must have been poisoned.'
' If the man has poisoned you he shall pay for it,' said her husband, and seizing a thick stick he ran