RICH BROTHER AND POOR BROTHER 183
and produced the deed of gift which made him their owner.
The judge listened quietly and asked a few questions; then he gave his verdict.
' The houses shall remain the property of the man to whom they were given, and to whom they belong. And as you,' he added, turning to the younger brother, ' brought this accusation knowing full well it was wicked and unjust, I order you, besides losing the houses, to pay a thousand pounds damages to your brother.'
The rich man heard the judge with rage in his heart, the poor man with surprise and gratitude. But he was not safe yet, for now it was the turn of the farmer. The judge could hardly conceal a smile at the story, and inquired if the wife was dead before the farmer left the house, and received for answer that he was in such a hurry for justice to be done that he had not waited to see. Then the poor man told his tale, and once more judgment was given in his favour, while twelve hundred pounds was ordered to be paid him. As for the muleteer, he' was informed very plainly that he had proved himself mean and ungrateful for the help that had been given him, and as a punishment he must pay to the poor man a fine of fifty pounds, and hand him over the mule till his tail had grown again.
Lastly, there came the two sons of the sick man.
' This is the wretch who killed our father,' they said, ' and we demand that he should die also.'
' How did you kill him ? ' asked the judge, turning to the accused, and the poor man told how he had leaped from the wall, not knowing that anyone was beneath.
' Well, this is my judgment,' replied the judge, when they had all spoken : ' Let the accused sit under the wall, and let the sons of the dead man jump from the top and fall on him and kill him, and if they will not