Going Halves http://www.xue90.cn来自《幽默学英语》网
Once an Italian nobleman was going to be married, and everybody at his castle was busy making preparations for the grand marriage-feast.
Everything was ready, but one thing. The weather had been so stormy that no fish was to be had for love or money.
On the morning of the feast, however, a poor fisherman came to the castle with a very large salmon on his back. It was so large that the man was sinking under his burden.
The nobleman was delighted with the fish, and said to the fisherman, “ Name your price, and it shall be given you.”
To the surprise of everybody, the fisherman said, “ My price, my lord, is one hundred floggings on my back.”
“ What a nonsense!” said the nobleman. “You are joking, aren't you? Come, tell us quickly. How much do you want for the fish? ” Still the fisherman made the same answer as before.
“ Well,” said the nobleman, “this is a strange joke. But, at all events, we must have the fish. So you shall have your price-(turning to his attendants)-only lay on the floggings lightly.”
When fifty floggings had been counted, the fisherman cried out, "Stop! I have a partner in the business, and he must have his share!"
" What!" exclaimed the nobleman. “Are there two such madmen in the world? Where is your partner ? Bring him here!”
“Oh!” said the fisherman, “my partner is no other than your own porter, my lord. He would not let me in, till I promised hem one half of what I should get for the fish, and so I must keep my promise.” “Aha!” said the nobleman, “bring the porter here right now.”
The porter was brought, and received his full share of the floggings--and you may be sure that they were not laid on lightly this time.
The porter was then discharged from the nobleman's service, and the fisherman was sent off with a handsome present.