And all so soon as that he was y-gone,
The one of them spake thus unto the other;
"Thou knowest well that thou art my sworn brother,
Thy profit will I tell thee right anon.
Thou knowest well that our fellow is gone,
And here is gold, and that full great plenty,
That shall departed he among us three.
But natheless, if I could shape it so
That it departed were among us two,
Had I not done a friende's turn to thee?"
Th' other answer'd, "I n'ot how that may be;
He knows well that the gold is with us tway.
What shall we do? what shall we to him say?"
"Shall it be counsel?" said the firste shrew;
"And I shall tell to thee in wordes few
What we shall do, and bring it well about."
"I grante," quoth the other, "out of doubt,
That by my truth I will thee not bewray."
"Now," quoth the first, "thou know'st well we be tway,
And two of us shall stronger be than one.
Look; when that he is set, thou right anon
Arise, as though thou wouldest with him play;
And I shall rive him through the sides tway,
While that thou strugglest with him as in game;
And with thy dagger look thou do the same.
And then shall all this gold departed be,
My deare friend, betwixte thee and me:
Then may we both our lustes all fulfil,
And play at dice right at our owen will."
And thus accorded be these shrewes tway
To slay the third, as ye have heard me say.

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