mess of this business I will stripe your back till it is black and blue, and that without any colour, but with this bare stick that I hold in my hand; and the marks shall last for a whole year. Therefore, you had better not forget."
The next morning the cattle-dealer came, and the wife had no occasion to sav much to him. When he had seen the cows, and had asked the price, he said, " I am quite willing to take the animals. They are very cheap." Then she unfastened the chain, and drove them out of the stable.
But when they reached the yard gate, and the driver wished to lead them out, the wife seized him by the sleeve, and said, "You must first give me the two hundred dollars, or I cannot let them go with you."
"All right," answered the man. "But I have forgotten to buckle on my money-pouch this morning. Do not be uneasy. You shall have security till I pay. I will take two cows with me, and leave the third behind with you, so that will be a good guarantee for my return."
The woman was deceived. She allowed the man to march off with the two cows, and said to herself, " How pleased Hans will be when he sees how cleverly I have managed."
The farmer came home as he had said on the third day, and asked immediately whether the cows had been sold.
"Yes, most certainly, dear Hans," answered the wife, "and for two hundred dollars, as you told me. They are scarcely worth so much, but the man took them without the slightest objection to the price."
"Where is the money?" asked the farmer.
"I have not got it yet," she replied. "He had forgotten his money-bag j but he will bring it soon, and he has left good security behind him."
"What has he left?" asked the farmer.
" One of the three cows," she said. " He would not take that one till he had paid for the other two. I have managed very cleverly. I have kept back the smallest cow because it eats the least."
In a rage and fury, the man lifted his stick to inflict upon his wife the stripes with which he had threatened her. Suddenly he let it fall again without touching h$r2 and said, " You are the most