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After parting from the goblin, the young man went back to his father, who asked:

“Where have you been roaming so long?”

“You have neglected your work. I was quite certain you would do nothing of this kind well.”

“Be contented,” was the son’s response, “I will make up the lost time. Watch me while I cut down this tree at one blow.”

He rubbed his ax with the magic rag, and gave the tree a powerful blow, but because the ax-head had been changed into silver the edge turned over.

“Ah, Father!” the son exclaimed, “do you see how poor a ax you have given me?”

“What have you done?” the father cried. That ax was borrowed, and you have ruined it. I must pay for it, but I know not how I shall do.”

“Don’t be troubled,” the son said. “I will soon pay for the ax.”

“Why, you simpleton! How will you do that?” his father retorted. “You have nothing but what I give you. Some student nonsense is stuck in your head. Of wood-cutting you know nothing.”

“Well, Father,” the son said, “I can work no more today now that my ax is spoiled. Let us make a holiday of the few hours that remain before sunset.”

“Eh, what?” his father cried, “do you think I can keep my hands in my pockets as you do? You can go home, but I must keep on with the chopping.”

“No,” the son objected, “you must come, too, for this is the first time I have been in the forest, and I do not know my way out.”

At last he persuaded his father to accompany him. After they reached home the son took the damaged ax to a goldsmith in a neighboring town. “This ax-head is silver,” the scholar told him. “I want to sell it.”

The goldsmith tested it to make sure of the quality of the metal, weighed it, and said, “Your ax is worth one hundred dollars, but I have not so much money in the shop.”

“Give me what you have,” the scholar requested, “and I will trust you for the rest.”

So the goldsmith gave him eighty dollars, and the scholar tramped back home.

“Father,” he said, “I have some money now. Do you know what we will have to pay our neighbor to make good the loss of his ax?”

“Yes,” the father answered, “the ax was nearly new, and it cost him a dollar.”

“Then give him two dollars,” the son said. “He will have no regrets when he gets double payment. Here are fifty dollars. Pay our neighbor and keep the rest for yourself. You shall live at your ease in future and never want again.”

“My goodness!” the man exclaimed, “where did you get this money?”

The son told everything that had happened. He now could easily procure all the money he pleased, and the first use he made of his wealth was to return to school and learn as much as he could. Afterward, because he could heal all wounds with his rag, he became the most celebrated surgeon in the world.

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