THE CUNNING SHOEMAKER 159
When he had given these directions he ran out of the back door and hid behind a barrel. A few minutes later the robbers arrived, and called loudly for the shoemaker.
'Alas! good gentlemen, he is up in the vineyard, but I will send the dog after him at once. Here! now quickly to the vineyard, and tell your master some gentlemen are here who wish to speak to him. Go as fast as you can.' And she opened the door and let the dog out.
' You can really trust the dog to call your husband ?' asked the robbers.
' Dear me, yes ! He understands everything, and will always carry any message I give him.'
By-and-bye the shoemaker came in and said, ' Good morning, gentlemen; the dog tells me you wish to speak to me.'
' Yes, we do,' replied the robber; ' we have come to speak to you about that guitar. It is your fault that we have murdered all our wives; and, though we played as you told us, none of them ever came back to life.'
' You could not have played properly,' said the shoemaker. ' It was your own fault.'
' Well, we will forget all about it,' answered the robbers, ' if you will only sell us your dog.'
' Oh, that is impossible ! I should never get on without him.'
But. the robbers offered him forty gold pieces, and at last he agreed to let them have the dog.
So they departed, taking the dog with them, and when they got back to their cave the captain declared that it was his right to have the first trial.
He then called his daughter, and said to her, ' I am going to the inn; if anybody wants me, loose the dog, and send him to call me.'
About an hour after some one arrived on business, and the girl untied the dog and said, ' Go to the inn and call my father!' The dog bounded off, but ran straight to the shoemaker.