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you!' And with these words he twisted up
his moustachios, and tried to look as fierce
and bold as possible, while his knees were
knocking together, and his heart fluttering all
the while. On a repetition of these questions,
however, by both these men, the stranger,
with infinite gravity, took the pipe from his
mouth, and thus spoke:—

'Are you not too much frightened to hear?'

The runaways, however, had departed, and
those left behind seemed determined not to
follow them; more especially as the stranger
had made no sign as if he would draw his
sword; neither did they think he looked at
all so horrible now. They therefore one and
all called out, 'No! we are not a bit afraid,
let us hear!'

'Well then,' exclaimed the stranger, taking
a long puff at his pipe, 'strange as it may
appear to you all, my name is MISCHIEF-
MAKER! And what is very extraordinary,
whatever I do, wherever I go, wherever I am,
I always create mischief, I always have created
mischief, and shall continue to do so to the
very end of my life!' And upon this he
rolled his eyes, and puffed away at his pipe
harder than ever.

'Oh, is this all,' cried the party, 'is this all?'

'For the matter of that,' said an active
little man with twinkling eyes, 'you need be
under no uneasiness whatever. I defy you to
invent more mischief here than we have
already, for we are all more or less at enmity
with our neighbours; and as our fathers and
grandfathers were the same, we conclude it
must be owing to something that can't be
changed; for instance, the air or water of our
town; so set your heart at rest, and come
along with us, and we'll take care of you.'

'Well,' rejoined the stranger, 'I am very
glad indeed to hear what you say of your own
town; for to be candid with you, it's exactly
what I heard of you all as I came along, and
this made me think that in a place where all
were mischief-makers and busybodies already,
I could have nothing to do but (for once in
my life) live in peace. However, don't trust
methat's all I have to sayand if any evil
arises from my visit, turn me out, and I'll
seek a home elsewhere.'

An old Brahmin had come up in time to
hear this avowal. ''Tis very strange,' said
the wise man. 'This fellow is surely a
magician, and may set all the rocks of Shorapoor
dancing and tumbling about our ears, some
day. Turn him instantly away, or it may be
the worse for us all.'

'No, no,' shouted the multitude. 'That
would be inhospitable. Let him remain, and
we shall soon see what he can do.'

The little active man now came forward
again, and said slyly, 'Sir, if you really are
such a mischief-maker as you describe yourself
to be, suppose you were to give us a little
specimen of your power,—just some trifling
matter to judge by.'

'What, now?' said the stranger.

'Aye, now!' exclaimed all; 'and the sooner
the better.'

'Well, be it so,' said he; 'let me put up my
things and come along!' And with this he
arose, packed up, girded on his sword, and
strode majestically forward, followed by a
crowd continually increasing as they advanced
further into the town.

'Now don't push or press upon me so
much,' said the stranger; 'but observe what
I do, and watch the consequences.' So they
let him proceed, and as he advanced, they
soon perceived that he was forming some
deep plan, particularly as he paused every
now and then, with his forefinger between
his teeth, and nodded, and wagged his head,
as much as to say, 'I have it!' Upon which
he made straight for a shop kept by a man
who sold flour and such like things, and
accosting the dealer, inquired with great civility,
whether he had any honey? 'That I have,
Sir,' replied the shop-keeper, 'plenty fresh
from the comb; only taste it, and I'm sure
you'll buy. Here, Sir; look at this beautiful
jar, full of the finest honey that was ever seen
in Shorapoor.'

'It looks well,' replied the stranger, dipping
his hand in; 'and does not taste amiss:'
saying which he gave his finger a careless
kind of shake; but he knew right well what
he was about, as a little lump stuck upon the
outer wall.

'It really is good,' said the Mischief-Maker.
'Give me a small pot of it, that I may take
it home to my children.'

While the shop-keeper was filling a small
new pot, over which he tied a fresh green
leaf, the people who had been following, came
up, and said, 'Sir, you are only making game
of us; you are giving us no proof of what
you said. What mischief is there in buying
a little pot of honey?'

'Be quiet, my good people, and content
yourselves for a couple of minutes, while I
get my change, and put my purchase in a
safe place, and you will soon see something
wait here, and I'll be back to you directly.'
The Mischief-Maker vanished in an instant!

Now it happened that this shop was a mere
shed of a place, projecting into the street,
from the wall on which the honey had been
thrown; nor had the tempting bait been long
there, before it was smelt out by a large
hungry fly, which had been spending many
fruitless hours buzzing about the dealer's jar,
so carefully was it always covered. Here was
a glorious opportunity for a fine supper, and
down he came upon it with eager appetite
without looking about him as he oughtfor
over his head, under the cover of the wall,
among old chinks and cobwebs, there dwelt a
wily, dust-coloured lizard, who enjoyed a fly
beyond everything else in the world, and had
been particularly unsuccessful in fly-catching
all day. Watching, therefore, till the fly had
buried his mining apparatus pretty deep in
the honey, he crept down quietly, looking as