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When Barnaby returned with the bread, the sight of the pious old pilgrim smoking his pipe and making himself so thoroughly at home, appeared to surprise even him; the more so, as that worthy person, instead of putting up the loaf in his wallet as a scarce and precious article, tossed it carelessly on the table, and producing his bottle, bade him sit down and drink.
'For I carry some comfort, you see,' he said. 'Taste that. Is it good?'
The water stood in Barnaby's eyes as he coughed from the strength of the draught, and answered in the affirmative.
'Drink some more,' said the blind man; 'don't be afraid of it. You don't taste anything like that, often, eh?'
'Often!' cried Barnaby. 'Never!'
'Too poor?' returned the blind man with a sigh. 'Ay. That's bad. Your mother, poor soul, would be happier if she was richer, Barnaby.'
'Why, so I tell her--the very thing I told her just before you came to-night, when all that gold was in the sky,' said Barnaby, drawing his chair nearer to him, and looking eagerly in his face. 'Tell me. Is there any way of being rich, that I could find out?'
'Any way! A hundred ways.'
'Ay, ay?' he returned. 'Do you say so? What are they?--Nay, mother, it's for your sake I ask; not mine;--for yours, indeed. What are they?'
The blind man turned his face, on which there was a smile of triumph, to where the widow stood in great distress; and answered,
'Why, they are not to be found out by stay-at-homes, my good friend.'
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