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Eigth Day, Novel VI

[014] As Bruno proposed, so they did: and Calandrino, finding that the priest would not suffer him to pay, drank amain, and took a great deal more aboard than he had need of; and the night being far spent when he left the tavern, he dispensed with supper, and went home, and thinking to have shut the door, got him to bed, leaving it open. [015] Buffalmacco and Bruno went to sup with the priest; and after supper, taking with them certain implements with which to enter Calandrino's house, where Bruno thought it most feasible, they stealthily approached it; but finding the door open, they entered, and took down the pig, and carried it away to the priest's house, and having there bestowed it safely, went to bed. [016] In the morning when Calandrino, his head at length quit of the fumes of the wine, got up, and came downstairs and found that his pig was nowhere to be seen, and that the door was open, he asked this, that, and the other man, whether they wist who had taken the pig away, and getting no answer, he began to make a great outcry: "Alas, alas! luckless man that I am, that my pig should have been stolen from me!" [017] Meanwhile Bruno and Buffalmacco, being also risen, made up to him, to hear what he would say touching the pig. Whom he no sooner saw, than well-nigh weeping he called them, saying: "Alas! my friends! my pig is stolen from me." [018] Bruno stepped up to him and said in a low tone: "'Tis passing strange if thou art in the right for once." [019] "Alas!" returned Calandrino, "what I say is but too true." [020] "Why, then, out with it, man," quoth Bruno, "cry aloud, that all folk may know that 'tis so." [021] Calandrino then raised his voice and said: "By the body o' God I say of a truth that my pig has been stolen from me." [022] "So!" quoth Bruno, "but publish it, man, publish it; lift up thy voice, make thyself well heard, that all may believe thy report." [023] "Thou art enough to make me give my soul to the Enemy," replied Calandrino. "I say--dost not believe me?--that hang me by the neck if the pig is not stolen from me!" [024] "Nay, but," quoth Bruno, "how can it be? I saw it here but yesterday. Dost think to make me believe that it has taken to itself wings and flown away?" [025] "All the same 'tis as I tell thee," returned Calandrino. [026] "Is it possible?" quoth Bruno. [027] "Ay indeed," replied Calandrino; "'tis even so: and I am undone, and know not how to go home. Never will my wife believe me; or if she do so, I shall know no peace this year." [028] "Upon my hope of salvation," quoth Bruno, "'tis indeed a bad business, if so it really is. But thou knowest, Calandrino, that 'twas but yesterday I counselled thee to make believe that 'twas so. I should be sorry to think thou didst befool thy wife and us at the same time." [029] "Ah!" vociferated Calandrino, "wilt thou drive me to despair and provoke me to blaspheme God and the saints and all the company of heaven? I tell thee that the pig has been stolen from me in the night." [030] Whereupon: "If so it be," quoth Buffalmacco, "we must find a way, if we can, to recover it." [031] "Find a way?" said Calandrino: "how can we compass that?" [032] "Why," replied Buffalmacco, "'tis certain that no one has come from India to steal thy pig: it must have been one of thy neighbours, and it thou couldst bring them together, I warrant thee, I know how to make the assay with bread and cheese, and we will find out in a trice who has had the pig."[033]"Ay," struck in Bruno, "make thy assay with bread and cheese in the presence of these gentry hereabout, one of whom I am sure has had the pig! why, the thing would be seen through: and they would not come." [034] "What shall we do, then?" said Buffalmacco. [035] Whereto Bruno made answer: "It must be done with good pills of ginger and good vernaccia; and they must be bidden come drink with us. They will suspect nothing, and will come; and pills of ginger can be blessed just as well as bread and cheese." [036] "Beyond a doubt, thou art right," quoth Buffalmacco; "and thou, Calandrino, what sayst thou? Shall we do as Bruno says?" [037] "Nay, I entreat you, for the love of God," quoth Calandrino, "do even so: for if I knew but who had had the pig, I should feel myself half consoled for my loss." [038] "Go to, now," quoth Bruno, "I am willing to do thy errand to Florence for these commodities, if thou givest me the money."