144 THE STORY OF A GAZELLE
gazelle is like your child ; so this gazelle is not one to be done evil to. This is a gazelle in form, but not a gazelle in heart; he is in all things better than a gentleman, be he who he may."
' And he answered her, " Silly chatterer, your words are many. I know its price ; I bought it for an eighth. What loss will it be to me? " '
The gazelle kept silence for a few moments. Then it said, ' The elders said, "One that does good like a mother," and I have done him good, and I have got this that the elders said. But go up again to the master, and tell him the gazelle is very ill, and it has not drunk the gruel of red millet.'
So the old woman returned, and found the master and the mistress drinking coffee. And when he heard what the gazelle had said, he cried : ' Hold your peace, old woman, and stay your feet and close your eyes, and stop your ears with wax ; and if the gazelle bids you come to me, say your legs are bent, and you cannot walk; and if it begs you to listen, say your ears are stopped with wax ; and if it wishes to talk, reply that your tongue has got a hook in it.'
The heart of the old woman wept as she heard such words, because she saw that when the gazelle first came to that town it was ready to sell its life to buy wealth for its master. Then it happened to get both life and wealth, but now it had no honour with its master.
And tears sprung likewise to the eyes of the sultan's wife, and she said, ' I am sorry for you, my husband, that you should deal so wickedly with that gazelle' ; but he only answered, ' Old woman, pay no heed to the talk of the mistress: tell it to perish out of the way. I cannot sleep, I cannot eat, I cannot drink, for the worry of that gazelle. Shall a creature that I bought for an eighth trouble me from morning till night? Not so, old woman! '
The old woman went downstairs, and there lay the