The RED Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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THE MASTER THIEF
81
if they were to see this dead body; the best thing that I can do is to go out and bury him.'
' Just do what you think best, father,' said his wife.
So the Governor got up and went downstairs, and as soon as he had gone out through the door, the Master Thief stole in and went straight upstairs to the woman.
' Well, father dear,' said she, for she thought it was her husband. ' Have you got done already ? '
' Oh yes, I only put him into a hole,' said he, ' and raked a little earth over him; that's all I have been able to do to-night, for it is fearful weather outside. I will bury him better afterwards, but just let me have the sheet to wipe myself with, for he was bleeding, and I have got covered with blood with carrying him.'
So she gave him the sheet.
' You will have to let me have your night-gown too,' he said, ' for I begin to see that the sheet won't be enough.'
Then she gave him her night-gown, but just then it came into his head that he had forgotten to lock the door, and he was forced to go downstairs and do it before he could lie down in bed again. So off he went with the sheet, and the night-gown too.
An hour later the real Governor returned.
' Well, what a time it has taken to lock the house door, father !' said his wife, ' and what have you done with the sheet and the night-gown ? '
' What do you mean ? ' asked the Governor.
' Oh, I am asking you what you have done with the night-gown and sheet that you got to wipe the blood off yourself with,' said she.
' Good heavens !' said the Governor, ' has he actually got the better of me again ? '
When day came the Master Thief came too, and wanted to have the Governor's daughter as had been promised, and the Governor dared do no otherwise than give her to him, and much money besides, for he feared that if he did not the Master Thief might steal the very eyes out of his head, and that he himself would be ill spoken of by all men. The Master Thief lived well and happily from that time forth, and whether he ever stole any more or not I cannot tell you, but if he did it was but for pastime.
1 From P. C. Asbjornseu.
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