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Notes on the Folklore of the Fjort, by Richard Edward Dennett, [1898], at


There were two partners in trade, but they were of different tribes; one was of the tribe of Mandamba, the other of that of Nsasso. They were going to sell a goat. On their way to market the Mandamba man said to the Nsasso man: "You go on ahead, while I go into the bush; I will tie the goat up here, and catch you up shortly."

"Ah," thought the Nsasso man, "he wants to give me the slip."

So he assented and went on ahead. But when he saw that the Mandamba man had tied up the goat and gone into the bush, he came back and took the goat, and sold it quickly. Then he returned to the Mandamba man. They met, and the Nsasso man asked the Mandamba man how it was that he had been so long.

"Oh, I have lost the goat," he replied.

"Well, how stupid it was of you not to have given me charge of the goat while you went into the bush!"

"Let us go to the market," said the Mandamba, man, "we may find the goat there" (for a suspicion of what had occurred crossed his mind).

"Very well," said the Nsasso man.

On arriving at the market they saw the goat in the hands of a certain man.

"Who sold you that goat?" said the Nsasso man.

"Why, you to be sure," said the man.

"In truth then our partnership is at an end, for you have grossly deceived me," said the Mandamba man.

And they went before the king, Nteka Matunga, and the Nsasso man said he thought the Mandamba man meant to play him a trick.

"Yes," said the king, "perhaps he did intend to do so, as you are of different families, and do not trust one another; but you did play the trick, which amounts to robbery." The king condemned the Nsasso man to be burnt, but he promised to pay the price of his life to the Mandamba man, and the latter agreed to receive payment, and thus the palaver was settled.

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