The wife now tried to persuade Nahl Bo to stop and not open more, but the hare-lip man offered to open the next for 500 cash, as he was secretly enjoying the sport. So the fifth was opened a little, when a yellow-looking substance was seen inside, which was taken to be gold, and they hurriedly opened it completely. But instead of gold, out came an acrobatic pair, - being a strong man with a youth dressed to represent a girl. The man danced about, holding his young companion balanced upon his shoulders, singing meanwhile a song of an ancient king, whose riotous living was so distasteful to his subjects that he built him a cavernous palace, the floor of which was covered with quicksilver, the walls were decorated with jewels, and myriad lamps turned the darkness into day. Here were to be found the choicest viands and wines, with bands of music to entertain the feasters: most beautiful women; and he enjoyed himself most luxuriously until his enemy, learning the secret, threw open the cavern to the light of day, when all of the beautiful women immediately disappeared in the sun's rays.
Before he could get these people to discontinue their performance, Nahl Bo had to give them also 5,000 cash. Yet in spite of all his ill luck, he decided to open another. Which being done, a jester came forth, demanding the expense money for his long journey. This was finally given him, for Nahl Bo had hit upon what he deemed a clever expedient. He took the wise fool aside, and asked him to use his wisdom in pointing out to him which of these gourds contained gold. Whereupon the jester looked wise, tapped several gourds, and motioned to each one as being filled with gold.
The seventh was therefore opened, and a lot of yamen runners came forth, followed by an official. Nahl Bo tried to run from what he knew must mean an exorbitant "squeeze," but he was caught and beaten for his indiscretion. The official called for his valise, and took from it a paper, which his secretary read, announcing that Nahl Bo was the serf of this lord and must hereafter pay to him a heavy tribute. At this they groaned in their hearts, and the wife declared that even now the money was all gone, even to the last cash, while the rabble which had collected had stolen nearly every thing worth removing. Yet the officer's servants demanded pay for their services, and they had to be given a note secured on the property before they would leave. Matters were now so serious that they could not be made much worse, and it was decided to open each remaining gourd, that if there were any gold they might have it.
When the next one was opened a bevy of moo tang women (soothsayers) came forth, offering to drive away the spirit of disease and restore the sick to health. They arranged their banners for their usual dancing ceremony, brought forth their drums, with which to exorcise the demons, and called for rice to offer to the spirits and clothes to burn for the spirits' apparel.
"Get out!" roared Nahl Bo. "I am not sick except for the visitation of such as yourselves, who are forever burdening the poor, and demanding pay for your supposed services. Away with you, and befool some other pah sak ye (eight month's man - fool) if you can. I want none of your services."
They were no easier to drive away, however, than were the other annoying visitors that had come with his supposed good fortune. He had finally to pay them as he had the others; and dejectedly he sat, scarcely noticing the opening of the ninth gourd.
The latter proved to contain a juggler, and the exasperated Nahl Bo, seeing but one small man, detennined to make short work of him. Seizing him by his topknot of hair, he was about to drag him to the door, when the dexter-pus fellow, catching his tormentor by the thighs, threw him headlong over his own back, nearly breaking his neck, and causing him to lie stunned for a time, while the expert bound him hand and foot, and stood him on his head, so that the wife was glad to pay the fellow and dismiss him ere the life should be departed from her lord.
On opening the tenth a party of blind men came out, picking their way with their long sticks, while their sightless orbs were raised towards the unseen heavens. They offered to tell the fortunes of the family. But, while their services might have been demanded earlier, the case was now too desperate for any such help. The old men tinkled their little bells, and chanted some poetry addressed to the four good spirits stationed at the four corners of the earth, where they patiently stand bearing the world upon their shoulders ; and to the distant heavens that arch over and fold the earth in their embrace, where the two meet at the far horizon (as pictured in the Korean flag). The blind men threw their dice, and, fearing lest they should prophesy death, Nahl Bo quickly paid and dismissed them.
The next gourd was opened but a trifle, that they might first determine as to the wisdom of letting out its contents. Before they could determine, however, a voice like thunder was heard from within, and the huge form of a giant arose, splitting open the gourd as he came forth.
In his anger he seized poor Nahl Bo and tossed him upon his shoulders as though he would carry him away. Whereupon the wife plead with tears for his release, and gladly gave an order for the amount of the ransom. After which the monster allowed the frightened man to fall to the ground, nearly breaking his aching bones in the fall.
The carpenter did not relish the sport any longer; it seemed to be getting entirely too dangerous. He thereupon demanded the balance of his pay, which they finally agreed to give him, providing he would open the last remaining gourd. For the desperate people hoped to find this at least in sufficient condition that they might cook or make soup of it, since they had no food left at all and no money, while the other gourds were so spoiled by the tramping of the feet of their unbidden guests, as to be totally unfit for food.
The man did as requested, but had only sawed a very little when the gourd split open as though it were rotten, while a most awful stench arose, driving every one from the premises. This was followed by a gale of wind, so severe as to destroy the buildings, which, in falling, took fire from the kang, and while the once prosperous man looked on in helpless misery, the last of his remaining property was swept forever from him.
The seed that had brought prosperity to his honest, deserving brother had turned prosperity into ruin to the cruel, covetous Nahl Bo, who now had to subsist upon the charity of his kind brother, whom he had formerly treated so cruelly.