'A LONG-BOW STORY'
did not believe in the bunniah's tale. Thus politely pressed the great man started :
' I was going along this road one day, when I met a merchant travelling with a great train of camels laden with merchandise------'
' Very likely,' murmured the farmer ; ' I've seen that kind of thing myself.'
' No less than one hundred and one camels,' continued the bunniah, ' all tied together by their nose strings—nose to tail—and stretching along the road for almost half a mile-----'
' Well ? ' said the farmer.
' Well, a kite swooped down on the foremost camel and bore him off, struggling, into the air, and by reason of them all being tied together the other hundred camels had to follow------'
' Amazing, the strength of that kite !' said the farmer. ' But—well—yes, doubtless, yes—well—one hundred and one camels—and what did he do with them ?'
' You doubt it ? ' demanded the bunniah.
' Not a bit!' said the farmer heartily.
' Well,' continued the bunniah, ' it happened that the princess of a neighbouring kingdom was sitting in her private garden, having her hair combed by her maid, and she was looking upward, with her head thrown back, whilst the maid tugged away at the comb, when that wretched kite, with its prey, went soaring overhead; and, as luck would have it, the camels gave an extra kick just then, the kite lost his hold, and the whole hundred and one camels dropped right into the princess's left eye!'
' Poor thing !' said the farmer ; ' it's so painful having anything in one's eye.'
' Well,' said the bunniah, who was now warming to his task, ' the princess shook her head, and sprang up, clapping her hand on her eye. " Oh dear ! " she cried, " I've got something in my eye, and how it does smart! " '