HOW THE STALOS WERE TRICKED 327
the Stalo passed the threshold struck him such a blow on the head that he rolled over with a crash and never stirred again. The two Sodnos did not trouble about him, but quickly stripped the younger Stalos of their clothes, in which they dressed themselves. Then they sat still till the dawn should break and they could find out from the Stalos' mother where the treasure was hidden.
With the first rays of the sun the young Sodno went upstairs and entered the old woman's room. She was already up and dressed, and sitting by the window knitting, and the young man crept in softly and crouched down on the floor, laying his head on her lap. For a while he kept silence, then he whispered gently:
'Tell me, dear mother, where did my eldest brother conceal his riches?'
'What a strange question! Surely you must know, answered she.
'No, I have forgotten; my memory is so bad.'
'He dug a hole under the doorstep and placed it there,' said she. And there was another pause.
By-and-by the Sodno asked again:
'And where may my second brother's money be?'
'Don't you know that either?' cried the mother in surprise.
'Oh, yes; I did once. But since I fell upon my head I can remember nothing.'
'It is behind the oven,' answered she. And again was silence.
'Mother, dear mother,' said the young man at last, 'I am almost afraid to ask you; but I really have grown so stupid of late. Where did I hide my own money?'
But at this question the old woman flew into a passion, and vowed that if she could find a rod she would bring his memory back to him. Luckily, no rod was within her reach, and the Sodno managed, after a little, to coax her back into good humour, and at length she told him that the