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The Three Apprentices

They went to it, and the innkeeper came to meet them, and asked if they wished for anything to eat? The first replied, "All three of us." "Yes," said the host, "that is what I mean." The second said, "For money." "Of course," said the host. The third said, "And quite right too!" "Certainly it is right," said the host.

Good meat and drink were now brought to them, and they were well waited on. After the dinner came the payment, and the innkeeper gave the bill to the one who said, "All three of us," the second said, "For money," and the third, "And quite right too!" "Indeed it is right," said the host, "all three pay, and without money I can give nothing." They, however, paid still more than he had asked. The lodgers, who were looking on, said, "These people must be mad." "Yes, indeed they are," said the host, "they are not very wise." So they stayed some time in the inn, and said nothing else but, "All three of us," "For money," and "And quite right too!" But they saw and knew all that was going on. It so happened that a great merchant came with a large sum of money, and said, "Sir host, take care of my money for me, here are three crazy apprentices who might steal it from me." The host did as he was asked. As he was carrying the trunk into his room, he felt that it was heavy with gold. Thereupon he gave the three apprentices a lodging below, but the merchant came up-stairs into a separate apartment. When it was midnight, and the host thought that all were asleep, he came with his wife, and they had an axe and struck the rich merchant dead; and after they had murdered him they went to bed again. When it was day there was a great outcry; the merchant lay dead in bed bathed in blood. All the guests ran at once but the host said, "The three crazy apprentices have done this;" the lodgers confirmed it, and said, "It can have been no one else." The innkeeper, however, had them called, and said to them, "Have you killed the merchant?" "All three of us," said the first, "For money," said the second; and the third added, "And quite right too!

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