Sacred Texts  Sagas and Legends  Basque  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at


Like many others in the world, there was a gentleman and lady. They had several children. There was one whom they did not love so much as they did the others, because he said that he heard a voice very often. He said also that this voice had told him that a father and a mother

p. 138

would be servants to their son, but without saying that it was they. When the mother heard that she got very angry, taking it for herself. They were very rich, and they had two men-servants. This mother told these servants to go with her son and kill him, and bring his heart back to the house.

The next day she said to her son:

"You must go for a walk to such a place with these servants, and you may stop there till twelve o'clock."

The lad goes off quietly with the servants, and when they had gone a little distance, the two servants begin to talk loudly, and to dispute, and get angry. He goes up to them, and sees what they are quarrelling about. The one wished to kill him, and the other did not. They fought, and the one who did not wish to kill him got the better of the other. And they said that they would kill a big dog which they had with them, and that they would carry his heart to their mistress. Before the servants returned the mother had already begun to be sorry.

Our young man wandered from place to place, and wandering like that, he said to himself that he must go to Rome. He meets with two men who tell him that they are going to Rome too, and they will make the journey together. They loved this young lad very much, because they saw that there was something in him different from the rest. When night came they all go to a house hidden in a thick forest. They ask shelter for the night. They tell them to enter, and give them a good supper. Our young lad hears the voice, and it says to him:

"You are in a very unhappy place here. It would have been better if you had not come here."

The other men said to him, "What is that? What is that?"

"Nothing at all. It would have been better to have gone elsewhere."

When they had finished supper, they show them to bed, but our young gentleman does not go to sleep. He hears in the middle of the night a great noise made by the robbers,

p. 139

who were returning home laden with silver. The woman said to them:

"Go gently. We have three men here, and they say that one of them is very rich."

Our young man hears that. He wakes his comrades, and they jump out of the window and escape. They walk on the whole day. When night comes they see a beautiful house, and they ask to be lodged there that night. They said to them:

"Certainly, with pleasure, but you will not have much rest; we have a daughter who for seven years shrieks out in pain night and day."

These men say to the young man: "Will not you cure her--you?"

He said to them: "I will try."

(The narrator had forgotten how this was done).

They were very rich. When he had cured the young girl, this poor father said to him:

"Sir, it is you who are now the master of this house. Give your orders, and whatever you wish shall be done."

Our young gentleman thanks him very much, and tells him that he is going to Rome, but that he cannot say what he will do later after that. This young lady had a beautiful ring on her finger. The father cut this ring in two, and gave him one-half. They depart, and at length they arrive close to Rome, and as they come near all the bells begin to ring of themselves. Everyone comes out:

"Where is he? What is this? It is the Holy Father 1 who must be coming!"

They take our young gentleman and make him the Holy Father.

The mother of this man was growing sadder and sadder, she was slowly languishing away, and they could no longer recognise her. She had never told her husband what she had done, but she asked him to go to Rome; and she ended

p. 140

by telling him what a terrible thing she had done, and that she believes that she will get pardon there, if he would go with her with the two servants who had also sinned. They arrive at Rome. This poor mother had such great grief, and such a weight at her heart that she wished to make her confession aloud in the middle of the church at Rome. 1 Chance willed it that her son was in this church. When he hears that he goes opening his arms to the arms of his mother, saying to her:

"I forgive you, I am your son."

The joy and the happiness kill the father and mother on the spot. He takes the two servants home with him, and gives to him who did not wish to kill him the half of the young lady's ring, and he married her, and lived happily in the midst of riches. He told the servant who wished to kill him to go to the mountain and to be a charcoal-burner, and he is still there making charcoal; and this charcoal which you see here was brought from his house.


139:1 The usual term for "the Pope;" the French, "Le Saint-Père."

140:1 This is a curious testimony to an ancient practice. In the same way the Basques call "La Fête Dieu," "Corpus Christi Day;" "Phestaberria," "The New Feast," though it was instituted in the thirteenth century.

Next: The Mother and Her (Idiot) Son; Or, The Clever Thief