THE POOR SOLDIER AND THE RICH MAN.
LIKE many others in the world, there was a man and his wife. They had an only son. The time for the conscription arrived. He went away with much regret. At the end of the seven years he was returning home with five sous in his pocket. As he was walking along a poor man came up to him, and asked charity in the Name of God. He gave him a sou, telling him that he had only five sous, but that he could not refuse at the Name of God. A moment after another poor man presents himself, and asks charity in the Name of God. He gives to him, telling him repeatedly:
"I, who had only five sous to take home after seven years of service--I have already given away one of them; but I cannot refuse you--I shall have still enough left to get a breakfast with."
And he goes on, but a moment after comes another poor man, and he gives again. This poor man says to him:
"You will go to such a house, and you must ask charity of M. Tahentozen in the Name of God. He gives charity to no one; but he will ask you in from curiosity, and to hear the news. When you have told him all that you have seen, he will ask you where you have come from. You must say that you come from Heaven, but that you have seen nothing there but poor and maimed people, and that in hell there was nothing but rich men; and that at the gate of hell there are two devils sitting in arm-chairs, 'and I saw one arm-chair empty, and I went and asked whom it was for; and there came two devils from the gate, limping as if they were lame, and they said: "This is for M. Tahentozen. He never gives anything in charity, and, if he does not change, his place is there."'"
Our soldier goes as he has been told, and asks charity in the Name of God. But the servant, as she always did, sent him away. The master, having heard someone, asks the servant who is there. The servant answers that it is a soldier who asks for charity. He tells her to bring him up, in order to ask the news. Our soldier tells him all that the poor man had told him to say. And there upon the rich man begins to reflect, and he keeps the soldier at his house, and makes him rich, and the rest (of his money) he divides among the poor.
Gachina, the Net-maker.