A man came after Alex, a foul-featured man, and dunned him for the cost of a pig he had eaten. “I paid it,” said Alex,”three good silver coins I paid for it.”

“Aye,” said the fowl-featured man, “all save the nose has been paid for.”

“I left the nose. ‘Twas not to my taste.”

“Aye, but still you must pay for ‘t. And the nose is dearer than all the rest put together, and more money than Croesus himself might pay.”

And he flew from the foul-featured man and fled to the king’s justice.

“In truth,” said Alex, “I did not care for the pig. I should have preferred the beef. But an excellent pig it was, though not for me. Let the quality of the pig be cried in far-off towns and fields! Let whosoever asks know that I will vouch the quality of the pig (though i’ truth I liked me the beef better). But, o! Save me from this foul-featured man and his ‘save the nose!’”

But the king’s justice turned a cold and jaundiced eye on him and closed his ears to his appeal. And outside the court was a foul-featured man, who shook out his sleeves and said, “I would have my payment of thee, sir, for the pig thou ordered and ate.”

“I paid! I paid! Three good silver coins I paid!”

“Aye,” said the foul-featured man, “three coins you paid for the pig, and all is well, saving the nose. And the nose, sir, is worth the whole world put together.”