THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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THE GOLDSMITH'S FORTUNE           109
'Oh, oh!' thought the greedy village people; 'if there are buffaloes to be had for the taking we'll go after some too.' Encouraged by the goldsmith they nearly all ran off the very next morning to the river; and, in order that they might get down quickly to the beautiful place the goldsmith told them of, they tied great stones on to their feet and their necks, and one after another they jumped into the water as fast as they could, and were drowned. And whenever any one of them waved his hands about and struggled the goldsmith would cry out:
'Look! he's beckoning the rest of you to come; he's got a fine buffalo!' And others who were doubt­ful would jump in, until not one was left. Then the cunning goldsmith went back and took all the village for himself, and became very rich indeed. But do you think he was happy? Not a bit. Lies never made a man happy yet. Truly, he got the better of a set of wicked and greedy people, but only by being wicked and greedy himself; and, as it turned out, when he got so rich he got very fat; and at last was so fat that he couldn't move, and one day he got the apoplexy and died, and no one in the world cared the least bit.
(Told by a Pathan to Major Campbell.)
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