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123. Three Brothers and the Life-tree.

Richard Morgan, Santa Cruz Mountains.

A woman got t'ree son. One day he said, "Mamma, I gwine out to seek fe' a little work." She said, "Yes, me chile, but care me little last son!" De mudder bake two pone an' after dey travel, de little bredder said, "Bredder, I hungry!" He said, "De only way you will get dis pone, let I pluck out one of yo' eye." De little boy said, "Pluck it out now," an' he did so. After dey walk a far way again, de little bredder cry out, "Bredder, I hungry!" He said, "De only way you will taste de odder piece, let I pluck out de odder eye." De little boy said, "What mus' I do after I hungry?" An' him pluck out de odder eye an' gi' him de balance of pone lef'. An' de two bredder walk, lef' dat poor one.

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When night come, he went feeling. He feel a tree. He went up into de tree. After midnight, he hear people talkin' come on an' stop right under de tree. So i' was two duppy. One king from de day de king was born, he blin'. De duppy said, "If people know dat dis tree was a life tree, dey would tek it an' cure de king eye."

Me'while de poor blin' boy hearing dem. De boy feel an' tek de leaf an, rub his two eye. De two eye were open. De boy came down. Nex' day morning tek two of de leaves an' went to de king yard. After he went de soldier said, "My man, what you want?" He said, "I want to see de king," Dey let him in. When he gwine to de king he said, "O king!" He said, "What do you wan?" De boy said, "I hear dat yo' eye blind; I come to open it." He said, "O my boy, you cannot open my eye again!" De boy said, "I will open it; but when I rub it you mus' not mek alarm." De boy took de leaf out of his pocket and rubbed de king eye. De king eye were open, an' de king let de boy married to his daughter.

An de same week dem two bredder which injure his little bredder eye hear dat de same young king which married lately have plenty of work. So de two bredder went in an' ax fe work. De king said, "O me men, if you come a little sooner! my son-in-law jus' go down to de village." Dey went down after him. When de men go down, 'ey saw him own bredder an' do not know him at all. Dey said, "Good-morning, king'" Dey said, "Yo' fader-in-law send we down here to get some work." De king said, "Oh, yes!" He said, "Seem like you feel hungry." Dey said, "Oh, yes, king!" He let de people den pick some breadfruit an' dey roast it. Me'while dey eating dey was talkin'. De king said, "But, my men, where is de odder bredder that traveled togedder?" He said, "He knock up in de way, so we have to leave him; so we don' know whether if he alive or not." De king said, "Dis is yo' lost brother which you pluck out de eye for that two piece of pone!" An' dey was 'stonish.

So de bredder said all how him get de eye open, an' dey never stop to work again; dey travel on to de said life tree, an' when dey get dere, dey go up in de tree. Part of de night dey hear two somebody talkin'; soon as dey ketch to de tree dey stop dere to res'. One of de duppy said, "But you know, dis odder night when we was talkin' here, some one mus' hear me when I was talkin' 'bout dis life tree, for I hear dat de king eye open." An' after he said dat, one said, "I scent fresh blood!" an' he

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run right up in de tree an' ketch de two men an' break dem neck.

An' come to a time de king an' his wife go pay de mudder a visit. An' 'e mudder askin' for de rest. He tell his ma all what de bredder hev done to him, an' if don't two duppy, 'he never would see him no more.

Next: 124. The Skilful Brothers.