THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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GEASP ALL, LOSE ALL                 241
suddenly the tree rose up again and flew away, leaving them upon the sea-shore staring after it, each with his cloth heavy with priceless jewels.
Morning broke in the city, and great was the con­sternation in the palace when the chamberlains declared that the rajah had gone out the evening before and had not returned.
' Ah !' said one, ' it is all right! Musli wazir will know where he is, for it was he who was the king's companion.'
Then they went to the wazir's house, and there they learnt that the wazir had left it the evening before and had not returned; ' but,' said a servant, ' Lena the banker will know where he is, for it was with him that Musli went.'
Then they visited the house of Lena, and there they learnt that the banker had gone out the evening before, and that he too had not returned ; but the porter told them that he was accompanied by Dena the oil-seller, so he would know where they were.
So they departed to Dena's house, and Dena's wife met them with a torrent of reproaches and wailings, for Dena too had gone off the evening before to Lena's house and had not returned.
In vain they waited, and searched—never did any of the hapless four return to their homes ; and the confused tale which was told by Dena's wife was the only clue to their fate.
To this day, in that country, when a greedy man has overreached himself, and lost all in grasping at too much, folks say:
' All has he lost!—neither Deua, nor Lena, nor Musli, nor Kahre remain.' And not five men in a hundred know how the proverb began, nor what it really signifies.
[Major Campbell, FeroslieporeJ OL.                                                                                                    R
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