A TALE OF A THEFT 167
place, his reason came back to him for a space, and he spoke to Talib in a thin, far-away voice, and with many gasps and sighs and pauses :
c L'ttle Brother,' he said, 4 Dost thou also watch ? For not long now shall thy elder brother bear these pains. Hast thou any water ? I thirst sore. No matter, it is the fate to which I was born. Brother, I stole five dollars from a Chief. I did it because my wife wis very fair, and she abused me, saying that I gave her neither ornaments nor raiment. Brother, I was detected. I knew not then that it was my wife who gave the knowledge of my theft to the Chief,a he in whose household I was born and bred. He desired her, and she loved him, and now he has taken her to wife, I being as one already dead, and my wife being legally divorced from me. While she was yet bound to me, she sent to me food, by one of the Chiefs slaves, and from him I learned the plot which had undone me. Brother, hast thou any water ? I thirst sore, Little Brother. My mouth is hard and rough as the skin of the skate, and it is dry as the fish that has been smoked above the fire. Hast thou no water ? Mtimnah ! My wife ! Water, I pray thee ! Water ! Water !aO mother ! O mother ! O mother of mine ! Water, mother ! Water ! I die ! I die ! Mother! * * *'
His voice died away into inarticulate moaning, and, in an hour, he was dead.
Next morning his body was carried out for burial, and for a time his cage remained unoccupied.
In the cage on Talib's right, there was a man, so haggard, meagre, filthy, diseased, and brutal in hisIn the cage on Talib's right, there was a man, so haggard, meagre, filthy, diseased, and brutal in his