THE MERRY WIVES
The husband now began to grow anxious, and thought that perhaps he was not quite well.
' No, indeed,' said she ; ' it's high time that you were in bed.'
She then got him to lie down, and piled above him all the bedclothes she could find, and gave him various medicines, while he grew worse and worse.
' You will never get over it,' said she; 'I am afraid you are going to die.'
'Do you think so?' said the carpenter; 'I can well believe it, for 1 am indeed very poorly.'
In a little while she said again, ' Ah, now I must part with you. Here comes Death. Now I must close your eyes.' And she did so.
The carpenter believed everything that his wife said, and so he believed now that he was dead, and lay still and let her do as she pleased.
She got her neighbours summoned, and they helped to lay him in the coffiu — it was one of those he himself had made; but his wife had bored holes in it to let him get some air. She made a soft bed under him, and put a coverlet over him, and she folded his hands over his breast; but instead of a flower or a psalm-book she gave him a pint-bottle of brandy in his hands. After he had lain for a little he took a little pull at this, and then another and another, and he thought this did him good, and soon he was sleeping sweetly, and dreaming that he was in heaven.
Meanwhile word had gone round the village that the carpenter was dead, and was to be buried next day.
It was now the turn of the smith's wife. Her husband was lying sleeping off the effects of a drinking bout, so she pulled off all his clothes and made him black as coal from head to foot, and then let him sleep till far on in the day.
The funeral party had already met at the carpenter's, and marched off towards the church with the