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Manawyddan, son of Llyr

part 7

And as he was placing, the crossbeam upon the two forks, behold a priest came towards him upon a horse covered with trappings.
  "Good day to thee, lord," said he.
  "Heaven prosper thee," said Manawyddan; "thy blessing."
  "The blessing of Heaven be upon thee. And what, lord, art thou doing?"
  "I am hanging a thief that I caught robbing me," said he.
  "What manner of thief, lord?" asked he.
  "A creature," he answered, "in form of a mouse. It has been robbing me, and I am inflicting upon it the doom of a thief."
  "Lord," said he, "rather than see thee touch this reptile, I would purchase its freedom."
  "By my confession to Heaven, neither will I sell it nor set it free."
  "It is true, lord, that it is worth nothing to buy; but rather than see thee defile thyself by touching such a reptile as this, I will give thee three pounds to let it go."
  "I will not, by Heaven," said he, "take any price for it. As it ought, so shall it be hanged."
  "Willingly, lord, do thy good pleasure." And the priest went his way.

Then he noosed the string around the mouse's neck, and as he was about to draw it up, behold, he saw a bishop's retinue with his sumpter-horses, and his attendants. And the bishop himself came towards him. And he stayed his work.
  "Lord bishop," said he, "thy blessing."
  "Heaven's blessing be unto thee," said he, "what work art thou upon?"
  "Hanging a thief that I caught robbing me," said he.
  "Is not that a mouse that I see in thy hand?"
  "Yes," answered he. "And she has robbed me."
  "Aye," said he, "since I have come at the doom of this reptile, I will ransom it of thee. I will give thee seven pounds for it, and that rather than see a man of rank equal to thine destroying so vile a reptile as this. Let it loose and thou shalt have the money."
  "I declare to Heaven that I will not set it loose."
  "If thou wilt not loose it for this, I will give thee four-and-twenty pounds of ready money to set it free."
  "I will not set it free, by Heaven, for as much again," said he.
  "If thou wilt not set it free for this, I will give thee all the horses that thou seest in this plain, and the seven loads of baggage, and the seven horses that they are upon."
  "By Heaven, I will not," he replied.
  "Since for this thou wilt not, do so at what price soever thou wilt."
  "I will do so," said he. "I will that Rhiannon and Pryderi be free," said he.
  "That thou shalt have," he answered. "Not yet will I loose the mouse, by Heaven."
  "What then wouldst thou?" "That the charm and the illusion be removed from the seven Cantrevs of Dyved."
  "This shalt thou have also, set therefore the mouse free."
  "I will not set it free, by Heaven," said he. "I will know who the mouse may be."
  "She is my wife."
  "Even though she be, I will not set her free. Wherefore came she to me?"

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