Once there was a wealthy family with only one male child who was very much spoiled. One day when strolling in a market in a market place, he saw a beautiful woman who was selling face powder (ceruse used to apply to the face in ancient times). Instantly, he fell in love with her, but with no one to introduce him he had to make buying powder his protect to go there. He went to her stall every day, and left without a word after making his purchase. After some time the girl became suspicious. Next time he turned up she asked him:
What do you need all that powder for?"
He told her that he loved her but had not dared introduce himself, that because he longed to see her he had used this pretext. The girl was very touched, and they agreed to meet the evening.
That night the young man lay in his room waiting for her; and at dusk, sure enough, she came. He was in raptures. Embracing her, he said:
Now my wish granted!"
Then in his ecstasy he died. The girl was terrified and did not know what to do. She ran back to the powder shop. When it was time for breakfast, the lad's parents were surprised that he did not appear, and upon going to look they found him dead.
Before burying him they opened his cases and discovered over a hundred packets of powder, large and small, heaped there.
It must be this powder that killed my son," said his mother.
She went to the market to buy powder from all the shops, and when she reached the girl's stall she found the same packaging. Then she laid hold of her and said:
Why did you kill my son?"
At this the girl burst out crying and told the truth. The young man's parents did not believe her, though, and haled her to the court to accuse her of murder.
I am not afraid to die," she said, but let me see him once more and mourn over him."
The magistrate agreed.
She clasped the lad's body and wept bitterly.
Alas that we should come to this!" she sighed. But if there is a spirit after death, I shall die contentedly."