286 THE BOY WHO FOUND FEAR AT LAST
earth,' answered the maiden, ' and was never afraid as other men were ! But to whose health do you drink ? '
' To the youth on whose shoulders I climbed at the edge of the pool, and who threw me off with such a jerk, that I lay unconscious on the ground for hours,' replied the second. ' But you, my sister,' added she, turning to the third girl, ' to whom do you drink ? '
' Down in the sea I took hold of a ship and shook it and pulled it till it would soon have been lost,' said she. And as she spoke she looked quite different from what she had done with the chain in her hands, seeking to work mischief. ' But a youth came, and freed the ship and bound me to a rock. To his health I drink,' and they all three lifted their cups and drank silently.
As they put their cups down, the youth appeared before them.
' Here am I, the youth whose health you have drunk ; and now give me the bracelet that matches a jewelled band which of a surety fell from the arm of one of you. A Jew tried to take it from me, but I would not let him have it, and he dragged me before the kadi, who kept my bracelet till I could show him its fellow. And I have been wandering hither and thither in search of it, and that is how I have found myself in such strange places.'
' Come with us, then,' said the maidens, and they led him down a passage into a hall, out of which opened many chambers, each one of greater splendour than the last. From a shelf heaped up with gold and jewels the eldest sister took a bracelet, which in every way was exactly like the one which was in the judge's keeping, and fastened it to the youth's arm.
' Go at once and show this to the kadi,' said she, ' and he will give you the fellow to it.'
11 shall never forget you,' answered the youth, ' but it may be long before we meet again, for I shall never rest till I have found fear.' Then he went his wray, and