A Voyage to Abyssinia by Father Jerome Lobo





 -   To all these stories the prince listened with
unthinking credulity.  The monks, encouraged by this, fell to the
business, and - Page 131
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To All These Stories The Prince Listened With Unthinking Credulity.

The monks, encouraged by this, fell to the business, and brought a man above a hundred years old, whom, because he could not support himself on horseback, they had tied on the beast, and covered him with black wool.

He was followed by a black cow (designed for a sacrifice to the demon of the place), and by some monks that carried mead, beer, and parched corn, to complete the offering.

No sooner were they arrived at the foot of the mountain than every one began to work: bags were brought from all parts to convey away the millions which each imagined would be his share. The Xumo, who superintended the work, would not allow any one to come near the labourers, but stood by, attended by the old monk, who almost sang himself to death. At length, having removed a vast quantity of earth and stones, they discovered some holes made by rats or moles, at sight of which a shout of joy ran through the whole troop: the cow was brought and sacrificed immediately, and some pieces of flesh were thrown into these holes. Animated now with assurance of success, they lose no time: every one redoubles his endeavours, and the heat, though intolerable, was less powerful than the hopes they had conceived. At length some, not so patient as the rest, were weary, and desisted. The work now grew more difficult; they found nothing but rock, yet continued to toil on, till the prince, having lost all temper, began to inquire with some passion when he should have a sight of this treasure, and after having been some time amused with many promises by the monks, was told that he had not faith enough to be favoured with the discovery.

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