THE TAILORS THREE SOJVS. 165
quite still, evidently not understanding what was said to him. The poor young miller's face fell. He knew now that his real donkey had been stolen, and this one placed in its stead. He could therefore only explain, and, with every apology, send his relations away as poor as they came. His father also was obliged to continue his sewing and cutting out, and the young man obtained work at a miller's close by.
The third brother had bound himself apprentice to a turner, and as this is a difficult trade to learn, he remained longer than his brothers had done. They wrote to him, however, and told him how unfortunate they had been, and how the innkeeper had stolen from them such valuable possessions.
At last the young brother was free to travel, and before he started on his journey, his master offered him as a farewell gift a bag, and said, " I give you this as a reward for your industry and steady conduct, and there is a stick in the bag."
"I can carry the bag on my shoulders," replied the youth, "and it will be of great service to me, but what do I want with the stick, it will only make it heavier ?"
"I will tell you," replied his master, "if anyone attempts to ill-treat you, you have only to say, ' Now, stick, jump out of the the bag/ and immediately it will spring upon the shoulders of your assailant and give him such a thrashing, that he will not be able to move for days afterwards—unless you stop it—for the stick will go on till you say, i Now, stick, into the bag again/ "
The youth, on hearing this, thanked his master for his present and started on his travels. He found it very useful, for if any one ventured to molest him, he had only to say, " Out of the bag, stick," and out it sprung upon the shoulders of the offender, beating him sharply and quickly, and although he felt the pain, he could not see who struck him.
One evening the young turner arrived at the inn where the landlord had so cruelly robbed his brothers. He went in, and laying his bag on the table, began to talk of the wonderful things he had seen and heard in the world during his travels. " Indeed," he said, " some have found tables which could spread themselves with a great feast when ordered to do so, and others have possessed donkeys who could coin gold from their mouths, besides many other wonderful things, which I need not describe; but they are