386 THE GOOD-TEMPERED TAILOR.
red hot needles; but if you leave us at peace, and go your way, at some time or another we may be able to do you a service."
Tne tailor saw at once that there was nothing to be got from tha hollow tree. " Three empty dishes," he said, " and out of the fourth, nothing ; this is a bad dinner-time." So he dragged himself on with his hungry stomach to the town, at which he arrived about noon. At the inn he found a dinner already cooked for him, and he lost no time in seating himself at the table.
As soon as his hunger was appeased, he determined to go out and seek for work, and very soon found a master and good situation. He had, however, learnt the ground-work of his trade so thoroughly that it was not long before he became quite a noted tailor. Every one wanted to have his coat made by the clever little man. Each day gained him fresh employment, and although he would say, " I cannot rise any higher now." at last he was appointed by the king to be tailor to the court.
However, as it often happens in the world, on the very same day his former comrade was made court shoemaker. When he caught sight of the tailor, and saw that he had again two perfect eyes, his conscience so tormented him that he thought to himself: " I must dig a pit for this man ere he takes revenge on me."
But those who dig a pit for another generally fall into it themselves.
So in the evening, when "he had finished the day's work, and twilight drew on, the shoemaker slipped quietly in and obtained an audience of the king, and said : " My lord king, the tailor who is appointed to the court is, no doubt, a very clever man, but he has boasted that he can recover the golden crown belonging to the kingdom, which was lost in days gone by."
"Indeed," replied the king, "that is very pleasant news. Let the tailor know that I expect him to set about finding this crown to-morrow morning, and, unless he succeeds, he is to leave this city for ever."
" Oho !" cried the tailor, who had no idea that his enemy, the shoemaker, had influenced the king, " if this surly king desires what it is not possible for any one to perform, T shall not wait for to-morrow morning, but take myself out of the town at once."
He corded his bundle; but he did not put it on his back till he got outside the gates, for he had been so fortunate and done so