THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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148                DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND
the miserable merchant still sitting as he had seen him sit hours before. Surely something must be the matter with a man who sat all night in the open street, and Kooshy Earn resolved to see what it was; so he went up and shook the merchant gently by the shoulder. ' Who are you ?' asked he—' and what are you doing here—are you ill ? '
' I'll ?' said the merchant in a hollow voice, ' yes; ill with a sickness for which there is no medicine.'
' Oh, nonsense !' cried Kooshy Earn. ' Come along with me, I know a medicine that will cure you, I think.' So the young man seized the merchant by the arm, and hoisting him to his feet, dragged him to his own lodging; where he first of all gave him a large glass of wine, and then, after he had refreshed him with food, bade him tell his adventures.
Meanwhile the merchant's companions in the market­place, being dull-witted persons, thought that as he did not return he must have gone home by himself; and as soon as they were tired of waiting they went back to their village and left him to look after his own affairs. He would therefore have fared badly had it not been for his rescuer, Kooshy Earn, who, whilst still a boy, had been left a great deal of money with no one to advise him how to spend it. He was high-spirited, kind-hearted, and shrewd into the bargain; but he threw away his money like water, and generally upon the nearest thing or person in his way, and that, alas ! most often was himself! Now, however, he had taken it into his head to befriend this miserable merchant, and he meant to do it; and on his side the merchant felt confidence revive, and without further ado told all that had happened.
Kooshy Earn laughed heartily at the idea of any stranger entrusting his wealth to Beeka Mull.
' Why, he is the greatest rascal in the city,' he cried, ' unless you believe what some of them say of me!
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