This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text
Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1883 edition. Excerpt: ...straight for the river; when, lo! he suddenly disappeared into it. Yet they still heard him playing on. his pipe, and again it called Hither! hither!! hither!!! They saw the rats rush on, leap into the stream, and disappear. Then the loud, protracted shriek of a million screeching voices told them that the rats were drowning. All was quiet once more, and the wondering townsmen sought their homes again; yet stood outside their doors gossiping and talking over the miraculous power of the stranger''s pipe long after their usual hour for rest. The older men shook their heads, and said that good never came when worked by means of evil; and it were better the village had never seen the piper, than that the rats should have been charmed away by the evil spirit''s power. And so they went away foreboding ill. On the next morning, as the old burgomaster was again sipping his coffee, the strange piper presented himself before him. The rats are all gone, he said; not one is left in the whole town. I beg for my reward. The councillors and the people have seen thee charm the rats away. How didst thou do it? and who art thou? Our compact did not speak of names. Give me my reward! The councillors and the people have fear of thee. Answer me, who thou art. The rats are gone. Give me my just reward. We cannot have dealings with one who works by evil means. No reward is due to thee. If thou hast just claim to such, give me thy name and tell me the means thou hast employed. If thou hast called evil powers to thy aid, then thou hast broken thy compact, for thou wast to perform thy task unaided, and must take thy own reward--the censure of the councillors and villagers. Farewell, thou honest burgomaster; I will take my own reward, as...