THE STORY OF BIG KLAUS
said he. ' Now you won't get the best of me again !' And he went home.
' What a very wicked man ! ' thought Little Klaus. ' He was going to kill me ! It was a good thing for my grandmother that she was dead already, or else he woiild have killed her! '
Then he dressed his grandmother in her Sunday clothes, borrowed a horse from his neighbour, harnessed the cart to it, sat his grandmother on the back seat so that she could not fall out when he drove, and away they went. When the sun rose they were in front of a large inn. Little Klaus got down, and went in to get something to drink. The host was very rich. He was a very worthy but hot-tempered man.
' Good morning ! ' said he to Little Klaus. ' You are early on the road.'
' Yes,' said Little Klaus. ' I am going to the town with my grandmother. She is sitting outside in the cart; I cannot bring her in. Will you not give her a glass of mead ? But you will have to speak loud, for she is very hard of hearing.'
' Oh yes, certainly I will 1' said the host; and, pouring out a large glass of mead, he took it out to the dead grandmother, who was sitting upright in the cart.
' Here is a glass of mead from your son,' said the host. But the dead woman did not answer a word, and sat still. ' Don't you hear ? ' cried the host as loud as he could. ' Here is a glass of mead from your son !'
Then he shouted the same thing again, and yet again, but she never moved in her place; and at last he grew angry, threw the glass in her face, so that she fell back into the cart, for she was not tied in her place.
' Hullo !' cried Little Klaus, running out of the door, and seizing the host by the throat. ' You have killed my grandmother ! Look ! there is a great hole in her forehead ! '
t Oh, what a misfortune ! ' cried the host, wringing his hands. i It all comes from my hot temper ! Dear Little Klaus ! I will give you a bushel of money, and will bury your grandmother as if she were my own; only don't tell about it, or I shall have my head cut off, and that would be very uncomfortable.'
So Little Klaus got a bushel of money, and the host buried his grandmother as if she had been his own.
Now when Little Klaus again reached home with so much money he sent his boy to Big Klaus to borrow his bushel measure.