THE MASTER THIEF
begged the Governor to be very careful to put his finger into the tap-hole the moment he took his out.
So the Governor said that he would do his very best, and the Master Thief got on the Governor's horse.
But time passed, and it grew later and later, and still the man did not come back, and at last the Governor grew so weary of keeping his finger in the tap-hole that he took it out.
' Now I shall have ten dollars more! ' cried the old woman inside the cask ; so he soon saw what kind of mead it was, and set out homewards. When he had gone a very little way he met his servant bringing him the horse, for the Master Thief had already taken it home.
The following day he went to the Governor and wanted to have his daughter according to promise. But the Governor again put him off with fine words, and only gave him three hundred dollars, saying that he must do one more masterpiece of skill, and if he were but able to do that he should have her.
Well, the Master Thief thought he might if he could hear what it was.
' Do you think you can' steal the sheet off our bed, and my wife's night-gown ? ' said the Governor.
' That is by no means impossible,' said the Master Thief. ' I only wish I could get your daughter as easily.'
So late at night the Master Thief went and cut down a thief who was hanging on the gallows, laid him on his own shoulders, and took him away with him. Then he got hold of a long ladder, set it up against the Governor's bedroom window, and climbed up and moved the dead man's head up and down, just as if he were some one who was standing outside and peeping in.
' There's the Master Thief, mother !' said the Governor, nudging his wife. ' Now I'll just shoot him, that I will! '
So he took up a rifle which he had laid at his bedside.
' Oh no, you must not do that,' said his wife; 'you yourself arranged that he was to come here.'
' Yes, mother, I will shoot him,' said he, and lay there aiming, and then aiming again, for no sooner was the head up and lie caught sight of it than it was gone again. At last he got a chance and fired, and the dead body fell with a loud thud to the ground, and down went the Master Thief too, as fast as he could.
' Well,' said the Governor, ' I certainly am the chief man about here, but people soon begin to talk, and it would be very unpleasant