The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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HOW A FISH SWAM IN THE AIR 151
Off' she went to the governor to complain of her hus­band.
'Oh, my lord, protect me from my husband! Ever since he found the treasure there is no bearing him. He only eats and drinks, and won't work, and he keeps all the money to himself.'
The governor took pity on the woman, and ordered his chief secretary to look into the matter.
The secretary called the elders of the village together, and went with them to the man's house.
' The governor,' said he, ' desires you to give all that treasure you found into my care.'
The man shrugged his shoulders and said: ' What treasure? I know nothing about a treasure.'
'How? You know nothing? Why your wife has complained of you. Don't attempt to tell lies. If you don't hand over all the money at once you will be tried for daring to raise treasure without giving due notice to the governor about it.'
' Pardon me, your excellency, but what sort of treasure was it supposed to have been? My wife must have dreamt of it, and you gentlemen have listened to her nonsense.'
' Nonsense, indeed,' broke in his wife. ' A kettle full of gold and silver, do you call that nonsense ?'
' You are not in your right mind, dear wife. Sir, I beg your pardon. Ask her how it all happened, and if she convinces you I'll pay for it with my life.'
' This is how it all happened, Mr. Secretary,' cried the wife. ' We were driving through the forest, and we saw a pike up in the top of a tree-----'
' What, a pike?' shouted the secretary. ' Do you think you may joke with me, pray?'
' Indeed, I'm not joking, Mr. Secretary! I'm speaking the bare truth.'
' Now you see, gentlemen,' said the husband, ' how far you can trust her, when she chatters like this.'
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