THE GOLDSMITH'S FORTUNE 107
house, and then went into the courtyard and waited. Presently a rich stranger came along the lane, and seeing someone there, as he supposed, he said:
'Good-evening, friend! a fine night to-night!' But the goldsmith's wife said nothing. The man then repeated his words louder; but still there was no reply. A third time he shouted:
'Good-evening, friend! are you deaf?' but the figure never replied. Then the stranger, being angry at what he thought very rude behaviour, picked up a big stone and threw it at Mrs. Goldsmith, crying:
' Let that teach you manners!'
Instantly poor Mrs. Goldsmith tumbled over; and the stranger, horrified at seeing what he had done, was immediately seized by the goldsmith, who ran out screaming:
'Wretch! you have killed my wife! Oh, miserable one; we will have justice done to thee!'
With many protestations and reproaches they wrangled together, the stranger entreating the goldsmith to say nothing and he would pay him handsomely to atone for the sad accident. At last the goldsmith quieted down, and agreed to accept one thousand gold pieces from the stranger, who immediately helped him to bury his poor wife, and then rushed off to the guest house, packed up his things and was off by daylight, lest the goldsmith should repent and accuse him as the murderer of his wife. Now it very soon appeared that the goldsmith had a lot of extra money, so that people began to ask questions, and finally demanded of him the reason for his sudden wealth.
' Oh,' said he,' my wife died, and I sold her.'
' You sold your dead wife ?' cried the people.
'Yes,' said the goldsmith.
' For how much ?'
'A thousand gold pieces,' replied the goldsmith.
Instantly the villagers went away and each caught