"I will serve you all my life!" screamed Gouie; "I will do everything you bid me!"
"Will you return to me in a year and a day and become my captive, if I allow you to escape?" asked Keo.
"I will! I will! I will!" cried Gouie.
"Swear it by the bones of your grandfather!" commanded Keo, remembering that black men have no tusks to swear by.
And Gouie swore it by the bones of his grandfather.
Then Keo swam to the black one, who clambered upon his back again. In this fashion they came to the bank, where Keo told his mother and all the tribe of the bargain he had made with Gouie, who was to return in a year and a day and become his slave.
Therefore the black man was permitted to depart in peace, and once more the Jolly One lived with his own people and was happy.
When a year and a day had passed Keo began watching for the return of Gouie; but he did not come, then or ever afterwards.
For the black man had made a bundle of his bracelets and shell necklaces and little gold ornaments and had traveled many miles into another country, where the ancient and royal tribe of hippopotamuses was unknown. And he set up for a great chief, because of his riches, and people bowed down before him.
By day he was proud and swaggering. But at night he tumbled and tossed upon his bed and could not sleep. His conscience troubled him.
For he had sworn by the bones of his grandfather; and his grandfather had no bones.
THE MAGIC BON BONS
There lived in Boston a wise and ancient chemist by the name of Dr. Daws, who dabbled somewhat in magic. There also lived in Boston a young lady by the name of Claribel Sudds, who was possessed of much money, little wit and an intense desire to go upon the stage.
So Claribel went to Dr. Daws and said:
"I can neither sing nor dance; I cannot recite verse nor play upon the piano; I am no acrobat nor leaper nor high kicker; yet I wish to go upon the stage. What shall I do?"
"Are you willing to pay for such accomplishments?" asked the wise chemist.
"Certainly," answered Claribel, jingling her purse.
"Then come to me to-morrow at two o'clock," said he.
All that night he practiced what is known as chemical sorcery; so that when Claribel Sudds came next day at two o'clock he showed her a small box filled with compounds that closely resembled French bonbons.
"This is a progressive age," said the old man, "and I flatter myself your Uncle Daws keeps right along with the procession. Now, one of your old-fashioned sorcerers would have made you some nasty, bitter pills to swallow; but I have consulted your taste and convenience. Here are some magic bonbons. If you eat this one with the lavender color you can dance thereafter as lightly and gracefully as if you had been trained a lifetime. After you consume the pink confection you will sing like a nightingale. Eating the white one will enable you to become the finest elocutionist in the land. The chocolate piece will charm you into playing the piano better than Rubenstein, while after eating you lemon-yellow bonbon you can easily kick six feet above your head."
"How delightful!" exclaimed Claribel, who was truly enraptured. "You are certainly a most clever sorcerer as well as a considerate compounder," and she held out her hand for the box.
"Ahem!" said the wise one; "a check, please."
"Oh, yes; to be sure! How stupid of me to forget it," she returned.
He considerately retained the box in his own hand while she signed a check for a large amount of money, after which he allowed her to hold the box herself.
"Are you sure you have made them strong enough?" she inquired, anxiously; "it usually takes a great deal to affect me."
"My only fear," replied Dr. Daws, "is that I have made them too strong. For this is the first time I have ever been called upon to prepare these wonderful confections."
"Don't worry," said Claribel; "the stronger they act the better I shall act myself."
She went away, after saying this, but stopping in at a dry goods store to shop, she forgot the precious box in her new interest and left it lying on the ribbon counter.