HOW THE WICKED SONS WERE DUPED
By Joseph Jacobs
A VERY wealthy old man, imagining that he was on the point of
sent for his sons and divided his property among them. However,
not die for several years afterward, and miserable years many
were. Besides the weariness of old age, the old fellow had to
with much abuse and cruelty from his sons. Wretched, selfish ingrates!
Previously they vied with one another in trying to please their
hoping thus to receive more money, but now they had received their
patrimony, they cared not how soon he left them-nay, the sooner
better, because he was only a needless trouble and expense. And
let the poor old man know what they felt.
One day he met a friend and related to him all his troubles.
friend sympathized very much with him, and promised to think over
matter, and call in a little while and tell him what to do. He
in a few days he visited the old man and put down four bags full
stones and gravel before him.
"Look here, friend," said he. "Your sons will
get to know of my coming
here to-day, and will inquire about it. You must pretend that
to discharge a long-standing debt with you, and that you are several
thousands of rupees richer than you thought you were. Keep these
in your own hands, and on no account let your sons get to them
as you are alive. You will soon find them change their conduct
you. Salaam, I will come again soon to see how you are getting
When the young men got to hear of this further increase of wealth
began to be more attentive and pleasing to their father than ever
before. And thus they continued to the day of the old man's demise,
when the bags were greedily opened, and found to contain only