Before it came down, he jumped up, not waiting to see
if they would prevent it from crashing on top of him with
ropes or whatever.
All the little men laughed when they saw him leap to
his feet. They had apparently been testing his spiritual
strength. “Mr. Bag,” said the little headman, “you will
be good enough to become minister of police.”
This enigmatic statement seemed to mean that a man
did not need a great deal of bravery to be minister of police,
and that Bag would never be a hero. Sobered, Bag walked
out of the cave, unhindered by the cheerful little men,
and by the time he came home that evening he had all but
forgotten this little adventure.
But many years later he was to be reminded of the leader’s
words. Once again Bag found himself in an unfamiliar and
mountainous countryside. Suddenly, he saw a wonderful woman
walking ahead of him. She was a lady of great beauty.
There, scattered throughout the lovely garden, were
a dozen mutilated bodies - those of the unfortunate
victims of brutal murderers.
She frequently looked behind herself, smiling at him,
as if to make sure that he was following her. Soon, she
entered the gate of an enclosure. A moment later Bag heard
a terrible noise of beatings, shouts, and screams, and of
things falling down in confusion. Bag battered the door
but, in spite of his great strength, it took him some while
to lift it out of its hinges.
Inside the enclosure he saw a well-planted garden surrounding
a lovely cottage. Alas! Scattered in the garden and in the
house he found a dozen bodies. Their fine clothes indicated
that they had been wealthy people but their bruises showed
that they had come to a merciless end.
Bag decided at once that these good people in this
lonely house needed a decent burial, so he dug a dozen graves
with a spade that he found in a shed and buried the sad
bodies, having wrapped them properly in the white sheets
which he found in plentiful supply in the linen room. Finally,
at the back of the house, he found a thirteenth body, that
of the beautiful lady. She had apparently attempted to flee
from the massacre, but the murderers had caught up with
her and beaten her down.