PETER BULL 127
The clerk was no fool; he looked round about to see that no one could overhear them, and said, ' Oh, yes, I can easily do that, but you must not speak to anyone about it. It must be done in all secrecy, and the priest must not know of it, otherwise I shall get into trouble, as it is forbidden. It will also cost you something, as some very expensive books are required.'
That did not matter at all, the man said ; they would not care so very much what it cost. The clerk could have a hundred dollars to begin with to buy the books. He also promised to tell no one about it, and to bring the calf round in the evening.
He gave the clerk the hundred dollars on the spot, and in the evening took the calf round to him, and the clerk promised to do his best with it. In a week's time he came back to the clerk to hear about the calf and see how it was thriving. The clerk, however, said that he could not get a sight of it, for then Peter would long after him and forget all that he had already learned. He was getting on well with his learning, but another hundred dollars were needed, as they must have more books. The peasant had the money with him, so he gave it to the clerk, and went home again with high hopes.
In another week the man came again to learn what progress Peter had made now.
' He is getting on very well,' said the clerk.
' I suppose he can't say anything yet? ' said the man.
' Oh, yes,' said the clerk, ' he can say " Moo " now.'
'Do you think he will get on with his learning?' asked the peasant.
'Oh, yes,' said the clerk, 'but I shall want another hundred dollars for books. Peter can't learn well out of the ones that he has got.'
'Well, well,'said the man, ' what must be spent shall be spent'
So he gave the clerk the third hundred dollars for books, and a cask of good old ale for Peter. The clerk