KUPTI AND IMANI
it; but the young princess went off with him smiling, and tripped along quite gaily, whilst he hobbled home with her in perplexed silence.
Directly they got to the hut the fakir began to think what he could arrange for the princess's comfort; but after all he was a fakir, and his house was bare except for one bedstead, two old cooking pots and an earthen jar for water, and one cannot get much comfort out of those things. However, the princess soon ended his perplexity by asking:
' Have you any money ? '
' I have a penny somewhere,' replied the fakir.
' Very well,' rejoined the princess, ' give me the penny and go out and borrow me a spinning-wheel and a loom.'
After much seeking the fakir found the penny and started pn his errand, whilst the princess went off shopping. First she bought a farthing's worth of oil, and then she bought three farthings' worth of flax. When she got back with her purchases she set the old man on the bedstead and rubbed his crippled leg with the oil for an hour. Then she sat down to the spinning-wheel and spun and spun all night long whilst the old man slept, until, in the morning, she had spun the finest thread that ever was seen. Next she went to the loom and wove and wove until by the evening she had woven a beautiful silver cloth.
' Now,' said she to the fakir, ' go into the marketplace and sell my cloth whilst I rest.'
' And what am I to ask for it ?' said the old man.
' Two gold pieces,' replied the princess.
So the fakir hobbled away, and stood in the marketplace to sell the cloth. Presently the elder princess drove by, and when she saw the cloth she stopped and asked the price.
' Two gold pieces,' said the fakir. And the princess gladly paid them, after which the old fakir hobbled