324 THE LITTLE HARE
No sooner had the nyamatsanes tumbled off to sleep than the man stole softly down and fled away as fast as his legs would carry him, and by the time his enemies were awake he was a very long way off. They sprang quickly to their feet and began to sniff the soil round the rock, in order to discover traces of his footsteps, and they galloped after him with terrific speed. The chase continued for several days and nights; several times the nyamatsanes almost reached him, and each time he was saved by his little pebble.
Between his fright and his hurry he was almost dead of exhaustion when he reached his own village, where the nyamatsanes could not follow him, because of their enemies the dogs, which swarmed over all the roads. So they returned home.
Then our friend staggered into his own hut and called to his wife : ' Ichou! how tired I am! Quick, give me something to drink. Then go and get fuel and light a fire.'
So she did what she was bid, and then her husband took the nyamatsane's liver from his pouch and said to her, ' There, I have brought you what you wanted, and now you know that I love you truly.'
And the wife answered, ' It is well. Now go and take out the children, so that I may remain alone in the hut,' and as she spoke she lifted down an old stone pot and put on the liver to cook. Her husband watched her for a moment, and then said, ' Be sure you eat it all yourself. Do not give a scrap to any of the children, but eat every morsel up.' So the woman took the liver and ate it all herself.
Directly the last mouthful had disappeared she was seized with such violent thirst that she caught up a great pot full of water and drank it at a single draught. Then, having no more in the house, she ran in next door and said, ' Neighbour, give me, I pray you, something to drink.' The neighbour gave her a large vessel quite full,