'A LONG-BOW STORY'
more, with the dust some grains of wheat, and, what with the dust and the heat and the wet, that wheat sprouted and began to grow! '
' Wheat does when it gets a fair chance,' said the bunniah.
' Yes; and the next thing we knew was that there was a crop of wheat on that horse's back as big as any≠thing you ever saw in a hundred-acre field, and we had to hire twenty men to help reap it! '
' One generally has to hire extra hands for reaping,' said the bunniah.
' And we got four hundred maunds of wheat off that mare's back !' continued the farmer.
' A good crop !' murmured the bunniah.
' And your father,' said the farmer, ' a poor wretch, with hardly enough to keep body and soul togetheró(the bunniah snorted, but was silent)ócame to my father, and he said, putting his hands together as humble as could be-----'
The bunniah here flashed a furious glance at his companion, but bit his lips and held his peace.
' " I haven't tasted food for a week. Oh ! great master, let me have the loan of sixteen maunds of wheat from your store, and I will repay you."
' " Certainly, neighbour," answered my father ; " take what you need, and repay it as you can."'
' Well ?' demanded the bunniah with fury in his eye.
' Well, he took the wheat away with him,' replied the farmer; ' but he never repaid it, and it's a debt to this day. Sometimes I wonder whether I shall not go to law about it.'
Then the bunniah began running his thumb quickly up and down the fingers of his right hand, and his lips moved in quick calculation.
' What is the matter ? ' asked the farmer.
' The wheat is the cheaper; I'll pay you for the wheat,'