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Harvard College 
Libraiy 




FROM THE BEQUEST OF 

FRANCIS BROWN HAYES 

Class of 1839 

OF LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS 




^ 



/ 



I 



est 



TALES OF OLD THULE. 



fii}Oh'S FOH THS YOUNG. 



ill iiii*, t» fti; (ill *4sM, M- 1'- 
LijJI^lieJ by Uu BnHlwi GmHH, ud Trus- 
fcJiii^J, wiib an tuuuduuioii. b)> Johii 
iii..tu Jiu ihi wubImUU dMl(u «<' Cmc(c 



Ak t-.u||| nil Hukvx, ...4 -\ha IV|.ul4[ Uciiu4H HiuIh. CollMUd by 

...(.-- iii„-i,-.,.,..i., hi.i.u. 

n.,'M>t vivHii ii« tMk |ik ti 
([■,...1. W'"!'"!" I" \\.* N«Hh fubi • N«W'. kAwA-v-^ Hi™- 



. .\ \\.\L-, X ^\v 




THB SANDALS OF HERUOD. 



TALES OF OLD THULE 



COLLECTED AND ILLUSTRATED BY 



J. MOYR S.MITH 




Ct war (in Ajitlg fn X^It 

tSitt (mi bil on bat 9t<i6 

t>im Itntntb Frlni nu(h 

SItun gsltnni Bti^n gab.~<P»ttSt. 



lonfion 

CHATTO AND WINDUS, PICCADILLY 
1879 



Z5£33.38 










<76 CUtf C4y '4'*^^ "-^ • 



^ 



PrinUd i^r R. & R. Clakk, Edinburgh. 



CONTENTS. 



I. Rashycoat 

2. ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD 

3. Jack and the Fairy Princess 

4. The Brownie in the Pantry 

5. Prince Coralin 

6. The Trial of the Suitors 

7. The Sandals of Hermod 

8. The Golden Glove 



PACK 
I 

26 

59 

7S 

89 

no 

120 

194 



RASHYCOAT. 




was once 
a king in 
Thui6 who had the 
most beautiful woman in the world for his 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



wife. Whenever she went abroad, all the people 
left their work and ran to look at her, for her 
face was as lovely, and her shape was as perfect, 
as Freyja* herself. They had one daughter, 
who was the prettiest little princess that ever 
was seen, and they all lived together peacefully 
and happily till the princess was twelve years 
old. Then the queen fell sick, and though 
the king tried everything to cure her, she gra- 
dually got worse and worse, and they all knew 
that she was dying. 

The only thing that troubled the dying 
queen's mind was the fear that the king, her 
husband, after her death would marry some- 
body that would be a cruel stepmother to her 
daughter. So she made him promise that he 
would not marry any woman but one whom the 
dying queen's clothes would fit exactly. 

The queen died and was buried, and the 
king mourned for her for a year or more. Then 
he thought he would like to marry again, so 
he went through the country trying to get a 

* The Norse goddess of beauty. 



RASHYCOA T. 



wife whose shape was like his last queen's. He 
and his counsellors collected all the finest-shaped 
and prettiest ladies and took them to the king's 
house to try on the queen's clothes. But the 
clothes suited none of them : some were too 
short, some were too tall, some were too thick, 
and some were too thin, so they had all to go 
home again. The king tried and tried to get a 
new wife, and at the same time keep his promise 
to his dead queen, but he could not find anybody 
to fulfil the conditions he had agreed to. 

Four years had passed since the queen's 
death, and still the king had not been able to 
get a wife. The princess was now sixteen, 
and had as lovely a face and as fine a shape 
as her mother. One day she went into her 
mother's room and saw all her dresses hanging 
against the wall. She tried on one and then 
another, and they all fitted her easily At last 
she tried on the richest and finest, which had 
been the queen's wedding dress, and it fitted her 
as neatly as her own skin. 

As she was standing looking at herself in 



TALES OF OLD THUL&, 



the glass, the king, her father, came in and saw 
her. He started back, thinking how like the 
princess was to the queen when he first married 
her. Then the thought came into his wicked and 
foolish head, that, as his daughter was the only 
one the queen's clothes fitted, he must marry her. 

The princess laughed at first, thinking he was 
joking; but finding he was resolved to marry 
her, she ran out of the house, and sat in the wood 
sobbing as if her heart would break. 

As she sat sobbing and weeping, a wee old 
man with a long grey beard came out of the 
trunk of an old withered tree. 

"What are you greeting for, my bonnie 
lassie ?" said the old man. 

" Because my faither wants to marry me," 
said the princess. 

"Tell him you'll not marry him till he gets 
you a gown and coat and shoes of rashes,"^ 

The princess wiped her eyes, and went back 
and told her father she could not marry hin> till 
he got her a gown and coat and shoes of ruxshos, 

* Rushes, 



RASHYCOAT. 




The king was glad to hear her say this, 
although he did not know how he was to get 
the things she wanted. But he went to an old 
witch, and she promised to get them for him in 
a week if he promised to do something she 
asked him when she required him. To this 
the king readily ^reed. In a week she brought 
them and put them on the princess, and they ' 
fitted her well. The king then told her she 
must now marry him, but she ran out crying into 
the wood, and sat down near the old tree. 



TALES OF OLD THULH. 



The wee old man with the long grey beard 
came out and said, 

" What are you greeting for now, my bonnie 
lassie?" 

"My faither has got me the gown and coat 
and shoes o' rashes, and wants me to marry 
him." 

" Tell him," said the wee old man, " you will 
not marry him till he gets you a gown and coat 
and shoes of the colour of all the birds of the air." 

The princess went and told the king that 
she could not marry him till he got her a gown, 
a coat, and shoes of the colour of all the birds 
of the air. The king went to the old witch 
again, and she promised to get them for him in 
a fortnight if he promised to do two things she 
asked him. To this the king again agreed. She 
commanded all the birds in the air to come to 
her, so they all came, and every one gave her 
* a feather. She took the feathers and wove them 
into a splendid gown and coat and shoes, and 
they were of all the colours of all the birds in the 
air. 



RASHYCOAT. 



She brought them to the king and tried them 
on the princess, and they fitted her beautifully. 

The king claimed her for his wife, and 
asked her to fulfil her promise to marry him. 

But she ran out crying to the wood, and sat 
down beside the hollow tree. 

The wee old man with the long grey beard 
came out of the hollow tree, and said, 

" What are you greeting for now, my bonnie 
lassie ? " 

She said, 

" My faither has got the gown and coat and 
shoes of the colour of all the birds of the air, and 
he wants me to marry him." 

"Tell him you'll not marry him till he gets 
you a wedding gown and coat and shoes of 
woven gold that will be as bright as the sun." 

The princess went into the house again, and 
told the king, her father, that she could not 
marry him till he got her a wedding gown and 
coat and shoes of woven gold as bright as the sun. 
The king thought this was impossible, but 
he went to the witch and she promised to get 



7ALLS ZI : 



th^m if A him in a cxr.rf: z be zncnsed ^ 
three things foe her » 
king c//nskented gi^^#^ 



The king agreed to waft f::r a izccir. tcjs: 
thi» time he was resolved he w-v-Ii oic be p-^LX 
off, and the princess must fcJ^I her prosiise 
whether i^he h'ked it or noc So he sent in\*i- 
tation» to his friends to the wedding at once, 
so that they might not say they had got a 
fiddler's bidding* When the month was over 
the witch brought the gown and coat and shoes 
of woven gold, and they fitted the princess as 
the tmrk does the tree. 

" Now/' Baid the king, "you must fulfil your 
protnlftr, for I am resolved to be put off no 
hinj^rr." 

She Ijf'KKC^l ""^' prayed that he would give 
\\vr aiu)lhrr tlay. 

" 1 jfmiit you till to-morrow, then, but not a 
\Uy loiijjn*/* Hrtid the king. Then he went off 
lo ylvn ordriB for the wedding. The princess 
Nvonl ovU h> lltr* wood, and sat down by the 
hollow Uvf\ Rohblnjf a» If her lioart would break. 



RASHYCOAT. 



The wee old man with the long grey beard 
came out, and said, 

" What are you greeting for now, lassie ?" 

*' The king, my faither, has got me the gown 
and coat and shoes of the woven gold, and they 
are as bright as the sun, and I maun marry 
him to-morrow." 

"No, no! You maunna marry your faither. 
Put on your rashy coat and gown and shoes, tie 
up your gown of the colour of all the birds, and 
the coat and shoes to match, and put them in a 
bundle with the gown and coat and shoes of 
woven gold, and gang and take service in the 
king of Scotland's palace. I'll come wi' you 
and take care of you. Slip out with your bundle 
when the king's asleep, come here, and you'll see 
a bird sitting on the tree. That bird will be me." 

The princess ran back to the king's house, 
and tied up her gown and coat and shoes of 
the colour of all the birds of the air, and her 
gown and coat and shoes of the woven gold 
into a bundle. Then she put on her gown and 
coat and shoes of rushes, and waiting till every- 



lo TALES OF OLD THUL£^ 



body was asleep, slipped out and vent to tb 
woodi where she saw a Urd sitting on the hc<!av 
tree. 

"Here I am," said the bird. -We must 
be far away before the m<Miiing." 

So they set off, and were far away before 
morning. 

In the morning the princess could not be 

found, and the king was wild with rage that all 
his preparations had been in vain. When he was 
going to tell his messengers to bid the guests 
delay their coming, and to tell the cooks to stop 
the preparations for the wedding dinner, the old 
witch came in and said, 

" Let them go on preparing for the wedding, 
and let the guests come. A bride will be found 
when the time comes." Then she said she had 
something to say privately to the king. 

He thought she had some news of the 
princess, so he took her into a chamber apart. 

" Do you remember that you promised to 
do three things, when I asked you, in return for 
the gifts I gave you ?** said the witch. 



RASHYCOAT. ii 



a 



it 



"Ye-es," said the king, who had thought 
very little of his promises in his anxiety to 
obtain the witch's gifts. 

" Well, now, I claim their fulfilment/' 

The king thought it rather hard that his 
promises should be mentioned at all when they 
had failed to accomplish what he wanted. But 
thinking it would be some trifle of land or privi- 
lege that the witch wanted, he said. 

Very well ; ask, and I am ready to grant." 
First, then, I wish to try on your last wife's 
dresses." 

'' What ! " said the king, quite aghast at the 
vanity of this crooked-looking old woman ; then, 
laughing at the contrast she presented to his late 
spouse, he said, 

" You shall have your wish." 

The dresses were brought, and the king left 
the chamber. 

The witch took a sponge and passed it over 
her face, and she looked a comely middle aged 
woman. She took off her own gown, and she 
seemed well formed and shapely. She put on 



12 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

the widest and loosest of the queen's dresses, and 
though it did not quite fit her at first, she stroked 
it and nipped it till it sat upon her fairiy. Then 
she told the king to come in. 

When the king came in he stared with 
astonishment, for he recognised in the witch a 
sweetheart that he had courted and secredy 
married before he had married the queen. 

^* * Tis you, ThuUa, that has played the witch 
so long/' said he. 

"Yes, it is I • See how your wife's dress 
fits me. Now for my second wish. You must 
marry me." 

" I cannot, I am to marry the princess this 
very day, or as soon as I can find her." 

" You'll never find her till she's married to 
somebody else. She and her half brother, your 
son and mine, are far away by this time. Re- 
member, too, the guests are coming, and even 
I am better than no bride. Besides, a king 
should not go back from his word." 

The king thought after all it was not so bad 
as it might have been, for he had liked ThuUa, 



RASHYCOAT. 13 



who had disappeared when he married the late 
queen. 

"My next' wish is that you proclaim me 
publicly as your queen, and our son as your heir 
equally with the princess." 

The king did not like this condition, but after 
all it was only justice, so he consented, and im- 
mediately began to feel happier than he had 
done for many a day. 

The wedding guests came, and the king and 
Thulla were publicly married. Then the king 
formally acknowledged their former private mar- 
riage, and declared that ThuUa's son was to be 
equal heir with the princess, if ever they or either 
of them returned. 

Meantime the princess, or Rashycoat, as 
everybody called her, and her half brother, 
Thulla's son J amuck, journeyed on to the city 
of the king of Scotland. Sometimes he went 
beside her as an old man with a long grey beard, 
sometimes he was a bird, but oftenest he walked 
by her side as a handsome youth, with a face that 
resembled her father s. 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 




After .^r^i^ 

a time he ^^^s^<■^t2i 
Ujld her 
he wa« her 

half brother, and also of 
the plot that he and 
his mother had arranged 
to get the king to ac- 
knowledge his private ^ 
nmrriago. Jamuck had 
hnnn with the fuirien and 
leurnnd their iiccrctH; he 
NuUl he wuM not really 
trunHforincil huo u bird or an old man, but that 
he liml the power of glumourie, that is, of 
nmktnif nny one who looked on him, see him 
TKurtly ttH hn drHirt^il to uppcar. 

VVhon Kaiihyt-tuit and Jamuck arrived at the 
vliy of tho kln^ of Scotland, Jamuck bade Rashy- 
ctHtt ^u (0 the kln^'ii paluco and take service 
(hinr, whiUl \\v> winild also try sqwratcly to jict 

A ptiU'O WAX hrf. 

When KiiohiMMl woni u> thp jiivrtt rntiAiuY 




RASHYCOAT. 15 



of the palace, she was so much afraid of the great 
fierce fellows who stood at the door with their 
battle-axes on their shoulders, that she dared 
not attempt to go in. So she went round about 
till she came to a smaller door, which, from the 
clatter of the plates and tongues, she knew to be 
the kitchen. 

A great feast was being prepared. The head 
cook was in a great flurry, because one of her 
scullery maids had gone away for a day and had 
not returned as she promised, in time to take her 
share of the work of the great dinner. The cook 
was scolding, and wondering how she was to get 
through her work without her due number of 
assistants, when Rashycoat came to the door and 
asked to take service. 

" I suppose you can wash dishes," said the 
cook. 

Rashycoat, who had often seen the maids in 
her father's house do that kind of work, said 
she supposed she could. 

"Come in then," said the cook, "and earn 
your meat." 



TALES OP OLD THULl. 



HH^hyc^M went in, and doing her best quiedy 
'4t$4 carefully^ became well liked in the kitchen, 
Hful hM a U/ft given her to sleep in. 

jarntick went and engaged himself to the hen- 
wifr? who ftupplied the palace with eggs and 
\f<m\try, m that he often saw Rashycoat when he 
(Mtui: with hln goodn to the kitchen* 

Aftrr bcin^ a month or two in the palace, one 
Siitulay KaHhycoat was left alone in the kitchen, 
i\H ull thd other nervants had gone to the kirk or 
to vInIi their friends. 

'I'hn bdlls were still ringing when Rashycoat 
thought it WUM time for her to go to the kirk to 
^Ivn thnnkM to (jod for her escape from the sin 
of nmrrlu^ti with her father. But how could she 
yi) wll)\ thU peculiar dress of rashes at which 
rvt^ryluuly Itt\Jghed ? Suddenly she thought on 
\\vv buudlo. So Mhe run up to the loft, and dress- 
ing hourlf 1(\ her gown and coat and shoes of 
(ho K\\\\\\\v \^i ail the buxls of the air« slipped out 
uiul arilvod at the kirk after the service had 
b\ g\u\t V\\t^ iUuM^keopersi t\H>k her to Ive one i^" 
tho ^\\\\\\\ Ia\lic54 of the court, and a^i tho Ivautiful 



RASHYCOAT. M 



figure of the princess in her wonderful dress 
sailed up the aisle every eye was fixed upon 
her. 

The king's son, the prince of Scotland, could 
not take his eyes oflf her sweet face for a moment ; 
and every moment he became deeper and deeper 
in love with the wonderful stranger. 

But before the service was ended, Rashycoat 
rose and left the kirk, and, hurrying back to her 
loft, took oflf her grand dress and put on her gown 
of rashes. 

All the talk of the servants, when they came 
from the kirk, was about the beautiful lady who 
had evidently captivated the prince. For, half 
mad to find out who she was and where she lived, 
he had offered a great reward to any one who 
would tell him. 

Rashycoat said nothing, but went on carefully 

with her work; yet the thought of the prince 

being in love with her gave her great delight, for 

he was the idol of the people for his handsome 

face and form, and for his goodness and kindness 

to all about him. 

c 



1 8 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

J^So Rashycoat resolved to try and see him 
aga^, but although she was left in the kitchen 
alone the next Sunday, she had work to do that 
kept her from going to the kirk. On the second 
Sunday the servants insisted on her taking her 
day out, so she went, dressed in her gown of 
rashes, to see her half-brother J amuck at the hen- 
wife's house. The henwife and her daughter 
were at the kirk, so Rashycoat and J amuck 
talked on without restraint. 

On the third Sunday, however, Rashycoat was 
left alone in the kitchen with nothing to do. So 
she ran up to the loft, and dressing herself in her 
gown and coat and shoes of woven gold, tripped 
off to the kirk. 

If she made a commotion in the minds of the 
people on the first day, that was nothing to the 
sensation she caused as she went up the church 
in raiment shining as the sun ; while rich as her 
apparel was, her incomparable face and form 
compelled even the most envious to acknowledge 
that never was there a face or a figure that 

« 

deserved so well to be royally adorned. 



RASHYCOAT. 19 



The prince was wild and restless, although 
his eyes never left the fair face before him. 
The henwife and her daughter, who sat behind 
the prince, thought that he need not be quite 
so wild about one, who after all, was only a 
woman. 

As before, Rashycoat rose ere the service 
was completed. As she was passing the prince's 
seat, the prince determined not to lose sight 
of her again, forgot all about his duty to set 
a good example to his father's subjects by 
reverently waiting till the service was done, and 
rose to try and seize Rashycoat's hand as she 
passed. But in the agitation of both, he stumbled 
or cast himself down at her feet. His hand 
rested for a moment on her shoe. Rashycoat, 
trembling and fearful, drew out her foot hastily 
and fled down the aisle, never pausing till she 
reached her loft and exchanged her golden gown 
for her ordinary dress of rashes. The prince 
pressed the shoe to his lips, and said loud enough 
for all those around to hear him, ** I will wed the 
lady whom this shoe fits, and no other." The hen- 



20 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

wife and her daughter heard the words, and 
planned how they might be able to catch the 
prince. So the henwife set to work, and began 
clipping the toes and paring the heels of her 
daughter Every day a little piece more came 
off the toes and the heels, so that the foot became 
very small indeed, though the henwife's daughter 
could not walk from the painful state of her 
feet. 

Jamuck saw all their tricks and heard their 
plans, and told them to Rashycoat when he went 
with fowls and eggs to the royal kitchen. 

Rashycoat, through constantly thinking about 
the prince, became as much in love with him as 
he was with her. So that it was with a thrill of 
agony that she heard that the prince had pro- 
claimed he would marry the lady whose foot 
fitted Rashycoat's shoe. Of course nobody would 
ever think of looking among the scullery maids 
for the beautiful lady. She listened with a 
sickening heart to all the stories of how such a 
one's foot was far too big, how another's was 
narrow enough but an inch too long, how another 



RASHYCOAT. 21 



was just the right length, but so badly shaped 
that even by crushing it would not go in ; — at 
last the terrible news came that the shoe was 
found, with squeezing, to fit the henwife's daughter, 
and that she claimed the fulfilment of the prince's 
promise. 

The prince cursed his rashness and impetu- 
osity of temper which had got him into this 
scrape, but he must keep his word at any cost ; 
so great preparations were made for the marriage 
of the king's son with the henwife's daughter. 

The henwife's daughter showed herself to be 
proud and vain, and insisted on the prince making 
his marriage with her as public and grand as 
possible. 

When the day arrived, and flags were flying 
and bells ringing, Rashycoat went behind the 
cauldron like to die of disappointed love and 
grief. 

The grand procession took its way from the 
king's palace to the church. The prince rode on 
his horse, and the henwife's daughter sat on a 
pillion behind him. 



22 TALES OF OLD THUL£:. 



As they passed out of the palace gateway 
a bird that was sitting on the parapet cried 
out, 

" Clipped taes and parSd heels 
Behind the young prince rides, 
But bonny face and pretty foot 
Behind the cau'dron hides.'' 

** What does that bird say ? " said the prince. 

" Oh never mind what a filthy clawty bird like 
that says," said the henwife's daughter, pressing 
the prince's arm. 

When they got half-way to the church, they 
passed through a narrow street, and up on a 
window coronet was the bird again, and again 
it said, 

*' Clipped taes and pared heels 
Behind the young prince rides. 
But bonny face and pretty feet 
Behind the cau'dron hides.'' 

When the bird began, the henwife's daughter 
also began speaking loudly to the prince. 
So he asked again, 
" What is that bird saying ? " 



RASHYCOAT. 23 



"Why should you mind a clawty bird when 
your bride is speaking to you?" said the hen- 
wife's daughter, smiling in a would-be fascinating 
way in the prince's face. 

When they reached the church door there 
was the bird again, and it cried out so loudly 
and distinctly, that in spite of all the hen- 
wife's daughter could do, he heard the bird 
say, 

'' Clipped taes and pared heels 
Behind the young prince rides, 
But bonny face and pretty feet 
Behind the cauldron hides.'' 

The prince pushed the henwife's daughter oflf 
the horse, and galloping off soon reached the door 
of the royal kitchen. Springing from his horse he 
rushed in and went behind the huge cauldron, 
where he saw Rashycoat. In spite of her changed 
dress he knew her at once, and raising her up, he 
kissed her. He drew the slipper from his bosom. 
It fitted her as the bark does a tree. Rashycoat 
pulled the neighbour of it from her pocket and 
put it on. 



24 TALES OF OLD THUL^. 

" Dress yourself and come with me/' said the 
prince. 

Rashycoat went to her loft and speedily 
returned in her gown and coat of woven gold, and 
shining like the sun. 

The prince set her lovingly upon his horse, 
and taking his place beside her, rode to the kirk, 
where they were married, to their own great 
delight and the satisfaction of all the people. 

When they were all at supper, J amuck, dressed 
like a prince, came to the palace, and claiming his 
relationship to Rashycoat, told the prince, king, 
and all the guests, that Rashycoat was the King 
of Thulfi's daughter. 

So everybody was pleased. 

After a time J amuck took his leave of Rashy- 
coat, the prince, and the king, and told them how 
he had taken the appearance of the bird to 
prevent the prince being imposed upon. 

The prince, who was now more in love with 
Rashycoat than ever, thanked him warmly, and 
the two princes vowed to each other enduring 
friendship. 



RASHVCOAT. 25 

Then Jamuck returned to Thul6, and in due 
time succeeded his father as king. Rashycoat 
and the prince and Jamuck lived happily all their 
days. 

So now my story's ended 
I hofre you're not offended ; 
And if you are offended 
It's more than I intended.* 




* The northern story-teller usually ends his tale with this or 
a similar rhyme. 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 




.IKOMAR, the wizard-chief, 
had seized the lands of Rollo, the infant earl of the 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 27 

Orcades, at his father's death, and when the youth 
grew up he was landless and almost homeless. 

When he was eighteen years old, Rollo 
challenged Vikomar to the combat, but his blade 
broke harmlessly on the wizard's crest, and he 
would have fallen before Vikomar's battle-axe 
had not some of his late father's friends rallied 
round him and brought him off unhurt. 




Some time after 
this, Rollo one 
evening was sail- 
3. ing alone between 
the Orcadian Is- 
lands, thinking 
how he might regain his father's seat. Rapt in 
thought, he suffered his boat to drift far out of 
its course. The Orcades were hidden by a driv- 
ing mist ; no land was visible, and all night long 
he tossed upon the resistless restless sea, striv- 
ing in vain to catch a glimpse of land. 



28 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

When day-dawn flooded the sky with radiant 
golden light, he saw an island straight before his 
vessel's prow. Keeping his course for this, his 
boat was soon safely beached in a little bay be- 
tween some cave-worn rocks. Then leaping 
ashore and fastening his boat he scrambled over 
the rocks to explore the island. 

Soon he reached the foot of a great rocky 
peak, and stood beside the piles of stone which 
from their form and colour seemed to have been 
torn by an earthquake from the face of the moun- 
tain. Making his way between these huge stones, 
which took the form of mighty walls crowned by 
rude accidental semblances of crouching lions and 
confused grotesque forms of other animals, he 
saw before him a great cave pierced into the 
mountain's side. 

When Rollo reached the mouth of this cave 
he paused an instant, and involuntarily laid his 
hand on his sword. 

" Enter, and fear not," said a pleasant voice. 
He hastily withdrew his hand from his weapon, and 
entered into the deep gloom of the cavern. 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD, 29 

When his eye had become accustomed to the 
darkness, he saw that this subterranean mansion 
had the appearance of a grove of trees suddenly 
turned to stone ; thickly clustered natural columns 
supported the arched and fretted roof, while 
arcaded corridors extended in every direction. 

Through the arches he could discern a stream 
which came tumbling wildly down, sparkling in 
the light, from a rift in the mountain through 
which it entered the cave. The rocks which 
hemmed it in were covered with ferns, harebells, 
oxlips, and nodding violets, which were watered 
by the spray rising from the torrent as it rushed 
down the rocks into the dark whirling pool under 
the level of the cavern floor. 



III. 

On looking round he perceived, squatted on 
the top of one of the huge boulders which strewed 
the cavern floor, a little dark figure who was 
eyeing him with steady pertinacity, whilst others 
moved about through the shadows. Brought up 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 




amongst islands abounding in legends of sea- 
maidens, fairies, trolls, gnomes, dwarfs, and sprites, 
Rollo believed that some of these mysterious 
beings were before him, and he was beginning 
to repeat a spell which never failed to discomfit 
them, when a hand was laid on his shoulder. 
He turned quickly, and beheld a lady, no longer 
young, but girt like a queen, with silver gleaming 
robe, golden coronal, and embroidered girdle. 

Rollo gazed on her with surprise and awe. 
She smiled at his amazed stare, and said softly, 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 31 

" You are weary with your night's vigil on the 
sea, come and rest." 



IV. 

Taking him by the hand, she led him along 
a corridor, on the outside of whose rough 
natural arches the subdued unearthly light 
gleamed softly on the noisy stream. At the 
end of this gallery was an upward flight of steps, 
the whole width of the corridor, and beyond 
them a screen of sturdy pillars, upon which art 
had been employed to enrich nature, for the 
capitals were full of quaint interlacings, and 
twisting and coiling dragons. 

Between these columns they entered a large 
banqueting hall, in the centre of which was a 
mighty circular table, carved from the solid rock, 
with chairs of graven stone grouped round it. 

On two sides of the hall . were stone seats 
with embroidered coverings, whilst over them 
was an arcade filled with storied glass, of divers 
colours, lighted behind by concealed lamps. At 



TALES OF OLD THUL&. 




the farther end was the fireplace, corresponding 
in size and rich- 
ness with the rest 
of the apartment, 
and having with- 
in it a clear fire 
burning in a stand 
of brazen grill 
.,-^ work. 

■ The table was spread with delicacies more 
rare and in vessels more exquisite than were to 
be found at a king's table. At the desire of his 
hostess, Rollo sat down and began to eat and 
drink, and enjoy the rare dainties that graced the 
table : marvelling all the while that he had never 
before seen or even heard of this island with its 
wondrous cave. 

After satisfying both hunger and thirst, he 
waited for the lady to speak. Her first words 
startled him. 

" You wish to conquer Vikomar," she said. 
"Yes," said Rollo, "'tis my only chance of 
gaining my inheritance." 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD, 33 

" You have tried and failed." 

'* Once ! I will try again," he answered 
eagerly. 

She smiled half pityingly as she said, 

"No weapon forged of earthborn steel can 
overcome that man ; he bears a charm given by 
the evil angel whom he truly serves. You must 
obtain the fairy sword, Excalibur." 

" Half my life Td give for it, but 'tis impossible; 
the sword was buried in the southern seas when 
great King Arthur died." 

She said almost fiercely, " To valiant hearts, 
nothing's impossible, I know where lies the mystic 
sword. The bards spake truly, a hand did grasp 
the sword when Bedivere, at Arthur's dying word, 
cast it o'er the water, and the white mermaiden's 
arm carried it safe to Phaedricon, to this very island, 
ay, to this very cave." 

" To this island ! To this very cave ! " 

" To this island, to this very cave. It lies be- 
neath the centre of this table," said she, striking the 
great circular rock with the rod she bore in her 
hand. 



34 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

" But twenty men could not remove this from 
its bed/* said Rollo. 

" No, nor a thousand, and e'en if that were 
done, the sword would be as far as ever from 
your eager grasp." 

" Then how can it be won ? " said Rollo, with 
passionate eagerness, for the thought of gaining 
the magic sword had been one of his wild boy- 
hood's dreams, the foundation and the instrument 
of a hundred airy castles. 

" Only," said she, " by a pure heart and a 
daring one, knit to keen eyes and firm just hands." 

" Let me but try," he said. 

" Be patient and listen well. Full fifty fathoms 
beneath this floor is hid a rock-hewn chapel. In 
its centre aisle is raised the graven tomb to which 
the weeping queens conveyed the dying Arthur. 
Upon the tomb his sculptured image lies with 
arms still wreathed around the diamond sword. 
For many a year the weeping queens kept watch 
and guarded Arthur with their holy spells ; but 
now they're gone, and in their place the ghosts 
of pagans slain hold impious festival around the 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 35 

conquered king. Once the chapel might be 
gained by easier means, but since an earthquake 
tore the labouring hill there is no entrance from 
the upper air, save by the channel of the brawling 
stream which sinks beneath yon corridor." 

" I'll dive .and bring the sword at once," said 
Rollo. 

" Stay ! to attempt it now is certain death. 
The nightly rains which feed the mountain stream 
choke up the channel and leave no space for air; 
when sunset comes the stream is at its lowest, 
and even then you will not find your breath till 
you are gasping ; for half the way is full from 
floor to roof." 

" My sword and dagger, they will be enough } " 

" Ay truly, and too much for your dear life ; 
for know, the pagan ghosts that haunt that lower 
world will aim their moonbeam swords against 
your breast and hurl their spectre javelins at 
your eyes ; but fear them not, those cannot do you 
harm; but could they lay their fleshless fingers 
on an earthly sword, 'twere instant death to you. 
Or if you bear an ill wish in your heart against a 



TALES OF OLD THUL&. 



fellow mortal, I pray you go not down, for though 
you may return, the 
task will be far 
harder. So cast out 

eveVy speck of Vifi-^ malice from your soul, 

and purge your ■,, W heart as far as in you 

holy thoughts and 

sires. Soon I shall 

music trolls to give you sleep till 

As she uttered these last words 

appeared behind the screen of 

columns. 

Roilo paced up 
and down, alter- 1 





-lately praying for help in his bold emprise and 
examining his heart in order to fulfil the injunc- 
tions of Chryseja, his strange hostess. By and 












ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 37 

by a strain of weird quaint music reached his ears 
— ineffably sweet it was, unlike anything he had 
ever heard before. A mantle of dreams seemed 
to be woven by unseen fingers around him, in 
time to the cadence of the music. Soon he 
dropped on one of the couches by the side of 
the wall, and was instantly fast asleep. 



V. 

At sunset he was awakened by Chryseja. 

" The sun is setting and the time has come," 
she said. 

" I'm ready," said Rollo, springing up and 
grasping his sword. 

" Nay, do not buckle on your sword ; you 
remember my warning." 

He laid down his weapons and threw off* his 
tunic. She scanned him narrowly, then she said, 

" You are not afraid of the risk you run?" 

" To win Excalibur I'd dare a thousand such." 

** My hope goes with you," she said. "'Tis now 
the likeliest hour. The pagan ghosts at sunset 






38 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

fall asleep and wake at midnight to perform their 
awful mysteries. Come." 

She led him into the corrider, and through the 
arches to the rocky brink of the dark whirling 
and surging pool into which the stream descended 
roaring, but bringing with the cool breeze of 
sunset. Ascending an immense flat-topped rock 
on which lay a coil of thin but tough rope made 
from the sinews of the wild deer : this rope she 
proceeded to bind round his waist, saying in 
explanation, 

"*Tis for your return, for never would you see 
this light again without its aid, for 'twould be 
hopeless to attempt to swim upward through the 
dreadful sweeping cataract by which you must 
descend. Remember, when you have gained the 
sword and reached again the teeming channel 
whence the waters come, bind again this rope 
around your waist and give three equal pulls. 
I shall know the signal ; and my little men shall 
drag you swiftly through the dangerous chasm." 

" Tm ready, and will remember," said Rollo, 
preparing to dive. 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD, 39 

" Stay one instant ; dive straight for ihe centre 
of the pool, and let the swirling current suck you 
in ; and now God speed you." 

Rollo bent and kissed her hand ; then drawing 
a deep breath, he shot clean and sharply into the 
centre of the troubled waters and disappeared. 
For an instant the rope waveled idly and then 
began to run out with great rapidity, . for about 
fifty beats of Chrysejas heart; then the rope 
moved more slowly till it was all run out. 

Chryseja lifted her eyes and said fervently, 
" Thank heaven he has escaped the jagged rocks." 
She then sat down on the rock beside the iron 
ring to which the rope was fastened, and taking a 
silver whistle from her bosom, blew loud and 
shrilly. The sound was echoed in numberless 
corridors. Instantly from rocky clefts, from 
under brackens and nodding wild flowers, from 
caves under the very waterfall, appeared a host 
of little men and women. None of them were 
more than a cubit high, but their eyes sparkled 
with more than earthly intelligence. They were 
clad in tender green of various shades, and 



40 TALES OF OLD THUL^, 

wore pointed caps of various colours, which 
blended so harmoniously that it seemed as if 
a garden of flowers had suddenly been endowed 
with life. 

They gathered in circles round Chryseja, and 
knelt with their faces towards her. 

" Thanks, thanks, my little friends," she said, 
"for your prompt appearance. Now you must 
do me a service. A son of that royal line who 
always loved your race has dived to gain the magic 
sword Excalibur, and upward you must drag him 
through the cataract*' A chorus of bell-like voices 
jingled out, "We will! we will!" and seizing the 
rope, the little people began to pull. 

" Stay ! stay ! not yet," cried Chryseja, " or he 
will be lost." 

They instantly let go the rope and knelt again 
around her. 

" Hark, Puckaeron," said she, "whilst I instruct 
you. Do you stand at the edge of the rock, and 
you, Delilith, at the ring. Nomanoe must take 
the middle place, and all my other friends must 
take a hold as they find space between. When 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 41 

you, Puckseron, feel the rope's first jerk, let Delilith 
untie it from the ring, and when the third signal 
is given, drag it, and fly as if the lightning chased 
you till I cry, Hold!" 

The pigmies arranged themselves on the 
great rock as she desired them, and waited 
eagerly for the signal. 

VI. 

When Rollo dived into the black swirling pool, 
he was instantly caught by the current that 
whirled round the almost perpendicular tunnel 
which formed the outlet to the stream, and was 
carried swift as a shooting star down in utter 
darkness through the black tearing and rushing 
water which filled the passage from floor to roof. 
Down, down he went, buffeted and lashed by the 
horribly roaring water. Still down, till his heart 
throbbed and his head was like to burst; then, 
when it seemed impossible any longer to hold his 
breath, he was shot in a lower rocky basin, which 
received the torrent as it came spouting from the 
tunnel. Rising to the surface, he drew a deep 



42 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



breath, and allowed himself to drift on the surfure 
of the poc^ till he reached a rock oo its edge. 

Loosening the rope and looking back, the 
sight was even more fearful than the actual experi- 
ence had been. A dim light struggling through 
some rocky cleft showed out the jagged, teeth- 
like» and dripping rocks, with a vague horrible 
indistinctness. From the mouth of the cavern 
from which he had emerged the tortured waters 
came spouting, foaming, and roaring with deafen- 
ing din into the pool, which seemed to boil with 
fury, while the spray, rising in clouds, aided this 
illusion. 

Ginging to the rock on which he had landed, 
he made the rope fast to a jutting peak, and pro- 
ceeded to follow the course of the torrent, which 
was to lead him to the chapel where the body of 
King Arthur lay. The way was tortuous, slippery, 
and full of difficulty and danger. The waters 
leaving the pool leaped down in cascades, while 
oftentimes the rocks which formed the roof sunk 
80 low as almost to meet the water, whilst here and 
there a jagged inverted peak dipped in, causing 



nOLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 43 

the waves to chafe and foam more angrily as they 
dashed against it. 

Creeping cautiously along the side, sometimes 
up to the neck in water, sometimes swimming 
with the current, clambering over rocks and 
through crevices to avoid the waterfalls, he at 
length saw before him a large smooth surface of 
rock, in which was an arched doorway carved round 
about with coiling, twisting, and interlacing 
dragons. A flight of steps led down from this 
door to the water, which foamed against the steps, 
and then went thundering into a chasm of utter 
darkness. 

As Rollo sat for a few minutes to rest on the 
steps, he gazed anxiously up at the arch within 
whose portal the most fearful axid peribns part of 
his adventure was, he believed, to take place. 
There he was not to encounter mere physical 
dangers, but the mysterious beings of another 
world. Without armour, without sword, without 
even a dagger, the appalling helplessness of his 
case made him shrink with dismay ; and for an 
instant he thought to flee the dreaded place. 



44 TALES OF OLD THULi:. 

But the thought of possessing the Enchanted 
Sword, and of winning his birthright by its aid, 
made him start up determined to achieve the pur- 
pose of his descent at all hazards. 

Commending himself to heaven, he walked 
boldly up the steps. Lifting the iron latch and push- 
ing up the door, which opened noiselessly, he 
entered the fate-fraught chapel. The door swung 
as noiselessly back to its place, and closed of its 
own accord. 

VII. 

Although in reality the chapel was but dimly 
lighted, the contrast of the illuminated building 
with the almost utter darkness in which he had 
been so long, dazzled him. Shading his eyes 
with his hand, he gazed earnestly forward. He 
saw that the chief light proceeded from the centre 
of the farther end, where, beyond the altar, on a 
mighty pedestal of rock, a warlike figure of gigan- 
tic size was placed. Its right hand was fiercely 
raised, and was grasping a ponderous mace or 
hammer. In its left hand, fashioned as a drink- 



^ 
ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 45 ^ 



# 



ing cup, was a human skull set with gold, and hav- 
ing the grinning teeth and sightless sockets 
conspicuously displayed. 

The war-god's head was thrown back, his 
nostrils were distended, and his teeth shone white 
against his long floating red beard. His eyes 
gleamed, and, burning in their sockets, shed rays 
of light over the whole length of the building. It 
was this light that, glaring on him when he entered, 
had for the moment dazzled Rollo. He soon per- 
ceived that not only were the eyes luminous, but 
that the whole figure was light-giving, though in a 
less degree. 

Turning his gaze by an effort from this figure, 
Rollo saw that the aisles were filled with shadowy 
sleeping warriors. These men, — strong, mus- 
cular, and fierce, with rough wild locks and wing- 
like beards, were all armed for combat, — each * 
right hand grasping, even in sleep, keen sword, 
deadly battle-axe, or bristling mace. Drinking 
horns, overturned pitchers, bowls and beakers, lay 
scattered about Among the warriors lay sleep- 
ing, stark and strong wolf and stag hounds, whose 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



long white fangs shone out of the indistinct light 
of the aisles* 

Under the centre of each arch was a tripod of 
brass^ which sparkled in the light from the burning 
incense within it At the foot of each tripod lay 
a fair-haired youth, attendant spirit of the fire. 

In spite of the fierce attitude of the colossal 
war-god at the remote end, a most unearthly 
silence prevailed ; the roar of the outside water 
was unheard, and a fearful and oppressive stillness 
shrouded everything within the chapel. There 
was not a sound save the beating of RoUo s heart, 
which beat more wildly when, far up the chapel 
and almost at the feet of the fire-eyed god, he 
descried the tomb on which lay the sculptured 
effigy of the Christian king. 

Rollo advanced firmly up the centre aisle, 
looking neither to the right nor left, till, on reach- 
ing the sepulchre of King Arthur, he saw that the 
arms were lightly crossed above the sword 
Excalibur. Then glancing quickly round the 
chapel upon the host of sleeping warrior-shades, 
he tried to draw the sword and its sheath from 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 47 

beneath the arms of the sculptured figure. But 
the instant that the sword began to move the 
sleeping ghosts awoke, and starting up, thronged 
madly and fiercely against him ; like waves they 
came on as if to overwhelm him. Their red beards 
waved, their eyes gleamed with rage, their armour 
glanced. Brandishing flashing swords, glittering 
' axes, and gleaming spears, they came on and 
rained their spectral blows on Rollo's head with an 
absolute absence of sound which struck cravingly 
and with horror on the ear. 

He still pulled at the enchanted sword, and 
when fairly within his grasp, he drew it from its 
scabbard and whirled it round his head in the faces 
of the threatening spectres, who gave way before 
it. As he walked towards the door by which he had 
entered, the faces of the warriors became more 
and more despairing. When his hand was almost 
on the latch, he turned and looked up the church. 
Gazing over and beyond the host of spectral 
warriors, he beheld the vast luminous figure writh- 
ing with impotent rage, striving, as it seemed, to 
burst from some all-powerful though hidden spell 



TALES OF OLD THULL 



wliicti bound its feet to the pedestal. As RoUo 
turnt^d to depart, a look of fearful and unutterable 




At\^uUb iv»!ii«r\l aorocss the counl^-tuiKt* v>i* the 
luijihty t\j;\»rc >,>l' light, and it sank js^weiVss vv\ 
tho *cAt ; ili hj;ht fd^lcvt llukeiwl thcrt svwUk-i\ty 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 49 

shooting up again, wrapped the whole figure in a 

sheet of flame. There was a sound like a thunder 

peal, and then all was blackest darkness, while the 

chapel swayed, rocked, and trembled, as if stirred 

by a mighty earthquake. Rollo preissed the latch 

to pass out of the chapel : to his alarm and horror 

the door resisted all his efforts to open it, and 

would nor stir. He was shut in that hall of grisly 

dead ; the spectres which he could not see, he felt 

were crowding round him, the air was stifling, and 

his whirling brain peopled the air with shapes a 

thousand times more frightful than his eyes had 

seen. They were upon him ; he felt their venomous 

breath on his cheek, in his throat. His flesh was 

creeping and his hair on end with horror. 

^ « « •)( « 

Was he becoming mad ? surely a light was 
now dawning over the chapel altar ? 

Yes, in the chancel there was a light which 
revealed — in place of the war-god and his grisly 
train— a pale form hanging from a cross. Before 
it knelt seven queens golden crowned and clad 
in whitest samite. From their lips arose a strain 
of heavenly music. 



so TALES OF OLD THULf:. 

RoUo fell on his knees and bowed his head in 
prayer. The music ceased He heard the roar 
of the torrent The chapel was dark again, but 
the door was open ! 

He passed out, and sinking on his knees upon 
the steps, he offered up his earnest thanks for the 
success of his enterprise. Filled with an over- 
flowing joy, he proceeded up the subterranean 
channel of the torrent, amidst rocks and roaring 
water, to the spot where he had left the rope, on 
which and the help of heaven depended all 
prospects of ever seeing again the light of day. 

VIIL 

Cimv^SKJA and her pigmy attendants waited by 
the up[>er |>ool for RoUo's signal More than an 
hour had i>A&:^ovl> and siill the rojK was motionless 
savxi for lite unduUtions cauj^oil by the water as 
It aUt^rnatt^ly drAji^^xHl At» and irlcasixl it Chr>^- 
soja's e>^s wriT^. Itxcvl on the place where the 
rv>j>o. disapi>OA\x\l in the deep black ixv^l Her 
liiilo men ?^t in a Knivj^ i\nw on iho immense flat 
i\xk> i>ationUy WAiti«\^ Km* the. j^ij^iul 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD, 51 

The Steady undulation of the rope pained 
Cliryseja, who began to fear that RoUo had been 
swallowed up by some of the abysses which 
abounded in his path, or that he had fallen a 
victim, like many others, to the vigilance of the 
spectral guardians of the magic sword. 

" Surely," she said, pacing hurriedly backwards 
and forward on the rocky platform, " I was not 
deceived, the boy bears a pure and noble heart ; 
but if" — and she shuddered as she spoke — "he 
carried a knife, a bodkin even, to that fearful hall, 
his life may now be ebbing on the war-god*s 
altar." 

The light of day, which at best came but 
scantily into that rocky cavern, was now almost 
gone, but in its stead were numbers of sweet- 
smelling torches grouped around the massive 
natural columns which upheld the roof. As 
daylight altogether disappeared, the strong lights 
and shadows (constantly changing as the leaping 
and writhing flames of the torches were swayed 
by conflicting currents of air) brought out in 
fierce relief, or doomed to utter blackness, the 



52 TALES OF OLD TBUL£. 

Stone fantasies and grotesque shapes of the 
colossal rocks ; and the weird fantastic grandeur 
of the place became more apparent. 

With her eyes still fixed on the rope, Chryseja 
continued her walk, becoming more and more 
anxious and excited as the hours passed without 
the signal being given. 

Just as despair was beginning to creep into 
her heart, the rope was sharply strained for an 
instant — it was loosened — the signal was repeated ! 

"Quick, my little ones," she cried. "You 
have, I see, Delilith, untied it from the ring. Be 
ready all to fly like storm -fiends when I cry, 
Away! The breath of noble youth is in your 
hands. You're ready ! " With eyes fixed on their 
mistress, and with firm sinewy hands grasping the 
rope, the dwarfs bowed their heads to signify that 
all was ready. 

The third signal was given ! 

" Away I " she cried, and away they sped like 
lightning over the rock, disappearing in the 
corridor immediately opposite. 

Chryseja stood on the brink of the pool and 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. ' 53 

watched the cord as it flew by. " Now heaven 
be good to him," she prayed, "who shoots through 
that dark watery chasm ; from jagged rocks and 
all unwrecked-of dangers, oh I keep him scatheless 
still." 

The rope continued to fly past. 

And now — three knots placed at a little dis- 
tance from the lower end, burst out of the water. 
Her silver whistle sounded shrilly out, and her 
voice rang through the corridor, along which 
sped the little men, bidding them stay. At once 
they stopped, and the same moment the upward 
pointed hands, and then the face of RoUo, appeared 
above the water. 

She seized the rope, and gently towed the 
half-stunned youth to the side, and assisted him 
to climb the rock, 

"Is it well with you ?" she asked, as he sank 
down at her feet. 

A look of happiness passed over his wet pale 
face, and he bowed his head and pointed to the 
sword bound at the hilt to his waist, and upheld 
at the point by his left hand. 



54 TALES OF OLD ThUL^. 

"It is Excalibur/' he gasped, with a triumphant 
smile. 

She unloosed the cord, and led him to the 
great hall. "In yonder chamber," she said, pointing 
to an archway hung with silken curtains, "you 
will find fresh raiment. But first drink this." 
She poured some warm fragrant liquor into a 
golden cup. As he drank it, a delicious glow 
went through his frame, which had been chilled 
by his long battle with the waters. 

He went into the chamber, and after a little 
time came back into the hall clad in a rich dress, 
and with armour that shone like the sun. At his 
side was Excalibur, hanging by a belt enriched with 
golden twisting dragons. Chryseja surveyed him 
with a pleasant look, and said, "This is as it 
should be; the enchanted armour is wedded to 
the magic sword. Be brave, and you will be in- 
vincible. Now come and eat" 

After satisfying his appetite. RoUo fell asleep 
on one of the couches. When he awoke it was 
morning. 

When he was about to depart^ Chryseja accv^n- 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. 55 

panied him to the entrance of the cave, and said, 
as she bade him farewell, 

"Go forth and conquer, Vikomar shall fall 
beneath your sword, and your birthright shall 
again be yours. The magic sword will lead you 
to the southern lands ; be just and fear not, fare 
thee well !" 

IX. 




As his boat sped over the water, Rollo turned 
to look at the island he had left. Instead of an 
island he only saw thick gathering clouds, in the 
forms of men, wemen, horses, and chariots. As 
they crossed the sky, Rollo saw that what he took 
for clouds was Odin and his warriors hurling 



56 TALES OF OLD THULii. 

along through wreathing mists and waving sky 
foam. On they sped till they faded from his sight. 
" They have lost the sword they were guarding," 
said RoUo, "and now the old Norse gods are 
seeking another home." 

Turning his face again to his vessel prow he 
saw his own Orcadian isles before him, and in due 
time he safely reached them. 

The words of Chryseja were fulfilled. RoUo 
easily overcame the wizard -chief Vikomar, and 
regained his own inheritance. Then he sailed 
throughout the islands, righting those who were 
wronged and punishing the oppressors. His 
courage, justice, and unfailing success drew all the 
brave hearts to his standard. When there was 
peace all over the islands, Rollo and his men set 
sail for the Southern lands, where cruel men lorded 
it over their weaker brethern. After carrying the 
terror of his arms to the very gates of Paris, he 
founded the Kingdom of Normandy in the year of 
our Lord 912. 

Rollo became renowned for his wisdom. And 
so enduring is the fame of his justice that even to 



,-• • • 



ROLLO AND THE MAGIC SWORD. $7 

this day his presence is invoked by those who 
are oppressed.* 

In the year a.d. 1066 William of Normandy, 
the descendant of RoUo, conquered England, and 
the blood of the Orcadian Earl rules Britain to 
this day. 

Excalibur has again disappeared, and since 
Rollo's time no man has seen it. When the man 
who is fit to wield it .appears, the sword, it is said, 
will again be found. 

* This is called the Clameur de Haro. The inhabitant of 
Normandy or the Channel Isles, who believes himself unjustly 
oppressed and knows of no other means of escaping from the 
rapacity of his adversary, goes down on his knees, and lifting his 
eyes to heaven cries, " Ha ! Roul (or Rollo), to my aid, my prince ;** 
and such is the power of the name of the Orcadian ^arl in this 
day^ that the oppressor never dares to persist. 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 




\v%x>vUsi i;Vu, 



the Caivcn Ulaint ihcrc was 
f^onc« a little la^l culled Jack, 
wIk> livnt with his inottier in 
,» iviiagv which stixxl near a 
U\ this jilcH was a stn\un which 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 59 

c 

in some places ran over little stones, and dashed 
against big ones ; at others, it leaped down high 
rocks to the dark pools below. 

One day his mother sent Jack to the Wooded 
Glen to gather sticks, for her stock of fuel was 
nearly done. He set off at once, and soon 
gathered a good bundle of nice dry twigs. 

He was about to return when he heard a bird 
sing in the leaves over his head. There were 
plenty of other birds singing, but of them he had 
taken no heed ; this one, however, sang so sweetly 
and cheerily, that he looked up to see the singer. 
It sat on a branch far from the ground, and 
appeared so tame that he thought he should like 
to go a little nearer. 

Climbing up, he reached the branch, and dis- 
covered that the bird had a long ribbon tied to 
one of its feet. Jack caught hold of the end of 
this ribboii, thinking he could easily draw the bird 
towards him ; but giving a little nod and a chirrup, 
it flew away, far above the trees, and disappeared 
on the other side of the glen. 

Jack, who had kept fast hold of the ribbon. 



to TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

wan UHtonished to find it lengthen, and lengthen, 
UH the bird flew. He waited to feel the tug when 
the t)ir(l came to the end of its tether, but no such 
thing happened. 

Said Jack to himself, "The bird is at the 
other end of the ribbon, however, and if I wind 
it up I tthall be sure to catch the bird." So he 
took the ribbon in his teeth and slid down the 
tree, 

When he reached the ground beside his bundle 
of Htii kH, he looped the end of the ribbon round 
hi» left footi and bejijan to wind the rest of it round 
ht)i left hand. 

I le never saw such a riblx^n ; sometimes it v^as 
^ivrn, son\etime5i hKie» sometimes pink, and some- 
Unu\H all the aJvnu^s ol' the rainlx^w. 

Ah he i\mtiiu^e\l to wind and admire it, he 
hiNAul the jiivjile and tinkle of Ix^Us. Ever)^ 
nwvnxeut the svhuu\ came ne^uvn At lus^t he 
is^\x\ v\vn\u\^ thixHi^h the trei^jj^ on the other side 
vvt' thv^ ^Unv ^ wry KavIy little riincess*. 
\>UU l\M\^ .>ihlnu\^ h>ui\ and hs^vuijj a ^lUt^rtitg 
\nv^\\^\ vM\ hv^v h^\ut She x^^^ mvHiau\l vh\ ;j^ 



'-■] 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 6i 

pretty white horse, and it was the silver bells 
which were hanging at its mane, that Jack had 
heard. 

The princess rode down to the water's edge, 
and Jack trembled when he saw that the other end 
of his ribbon was fastened to one of the hind legs 
of her horse. 

In a very sweet but firm voice, the princess 
said, 

" What are you doing with my horse's ribbon ? 
Bring it here to me." 

" I am coming," said Jack, and he began to 
step from one stone to another, to reach the other 
side of the stream. He had got rather more than 
half-way across, when his right foot slipping, he 
threw up his left hand to balance himself, forget- 
ting that his left foot was fastened to it by the 
ribbon. Of course he jerked his foot from under 
him and would have fallen into the water, had not 
the princess, at the same moment, touched her 
horse, which, spreading a pair of gossamer wings, 
that Jack had not before perceived, rose swiftly in 
the air carrying Jack up with it. 



62 TALES OF OLD THULi:. 

It was very nice thus to be saved from a duck- 
ing» but Jack was both astonished and afraid, 
when he found that the princess and the horse 
continued to fly swiftly through the air. The 
ribbon by which he was upheld was so slight, that 
at first he expected every moment to find it giving 
way. When he found that, slight as it was, it was 
well able to bear his weight, and that the loop 
beneath his foot supported him without fatigue^ he 
ventured to look down to the world he was so 
rapidly leaving. 

Although it was only a little while since they 
started^ the earth was already fading from his sight. 
He could just see the sparkle of the sun on the 
water, everything else was lost in the haze of 
distance. 

Swifter and swifter flew the horse, and Jack 
began to enjoy the lightning-like speed of his 
flight They rose till the earth looked like a 
distant star; ever as they went meteors flew by, on 
which wild-eyed spirits sat urging on their fiery 
steeds with shouts and furious gestures; comets 
with trains of hazy long-haired beings were passed 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 63 

and left far behind. In the distance appeared 
stars a thousand times larger than our sun, each 
whirling on in its course under the guidance of a 
great radiant- eyed angel. 

All the air was full of most delightsome music, 
" for not the smallest orb but in his motion like 
an angel sings, still quiring to the young-eyed 
cherubims." 

The fairy steed no longer seemed to rise, and 
they floated on in a delightful golden atmosphere 
of soft all-pervading light. Soon they came in 
sight of a wondrous land, with golden sands and 
rocks of shimmering pearl, which were washed by 
a rippling pale green sea. 

The sky over the wondrous land was spanned 
by two arches of light which looked like rainbows 
at a distance ; but when Jack came nearer he saw 
they were made up of countless thousands of 
bright-faced, golden-haired youths with wings of 
sheeny golden green, full of deep purply blue eyes 
like those of peacocks' feathers. 

The horse glided on and descended in front of 
a city with walls of clear crystal and gates of ivory. 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



When they came up to one of these gates Jack saw 
shining in diamonds these words : — 

EflTEl^- BOLDLY • DO • fJOT • Y^t'K' 
QS^fiX ' DELie|1TS - f^HjkVT • YOV • \\EX^ • 

When he read this, he ran forward and pushed 
at the gate with his right hand, but he could not 
move it. 

''Press it with your other hand/' said the 
Princess. 

Jack touched the gate Ughdy with his left hand, 
round which the ribbon was wound, and the 
mighty gates rolled back and disclosed a street so 
wide, that on it a hundred chariots might be driven 
abreast without touching. This street ran from 
the gate straight to the centre of the city, where 
stood the Moonbeam Palace of i£donias, the king 
of the Wondrous Land. 

The road was paved with emeralds so trans- 
parent that Jack could see far down into the 
centre of the earth. 

On each side of the street were beautiful 
gardens, in which were crystal hills» gix^ttvx^s. 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 65 

singing fountains, waterfalls, and lakes with 
delightful islands. Boats of pearl, with. curling 
prows and silken sails, skimmed along the lakes, 
while the sounds of soft music crept over the 
waters, as the iEdonians, in their boats, played 
and sang in the soft golden light which shimmered 
over this enchanting land. 

Others of the iEdonians, as the inhabitants 
were called, sported in the gardens, or in the 
grottoes and caves, which were as light as day, for 
all the rocks in the wondrous land were of clear 
crystal. The trees and flowers were likewise 
all transparent, though of varied colours, and Jack 
could see the sap rising in the stems and the life 
moving and working in the leaves. 

What surprised him was, that there seemed to 
be no houses. The Fairy Princess explained to 
him that these were not needed, for here the sun 
never scorched, rain never wetted, cold never 
chilled. 

" Even the Moonbeam Palace," she continued, 
''for all its thousand pillars and shining domes, is not 
a house, for the king's sapphire throne is placed 



66 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

on the top of its loftiest dome. The great 
reception room is the open sky, shaded only by 
the two rainbows of fair winged sprites." 

" Is not the king lonely sitting by himself so 
high } '' said Jack. 

" No, he is not ; he knows his people and they 
know him ; he hears each word they speak, and 
they hear him, though you cannot; then these 
rainbow angels, with their ever-varying songs and 
wings of quivering light, are brave companions. 
Besides, from his high throne the king can look 
on every part of his dominions, and see each one 
of all his happy people, and they are glad to 
have upon them the eye of one whose constant 
thought is all for their delight" 

Jack spent many pleasant days in this en- 
chanting city; he rode in the gold and ivory 
chariots, sailed in the ships of pearl, sported in 
the grottoes, and played beside the singing 
fountains in the gardens of transparent trees 
and flowers. 

Everybody here seemed to wish to see every- 
body else happier than himself, nobody p\ished 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS, 67 

into the best place, but each one rejoiced, when, 
by giving up anything, he was able to add to 
another's enjoyment. 

Jack was delighted with the attentions he 
received, and at first refused occasionally to take 
the best seat or accept the rare things which all 
so freely offered him. 

After a time, however, he began to regard 
these things as his right, and as no one ever 
refused him anything, he imagined himself a very 
important personage. 

None of the ^Edonians ever remembered 
being in any land but this, and Jack thought his 
former experience as an inhabitant of the Green 
Island rendered him of greater consequence than 
any of them ; he therefore secretly thought, he 
ought to be their king. 

Wherever he had gone as yet, he had always 
been accompanied by the Fairy Princess, and the 
ribbon had never left his hand ; now, however, he 
resolved to get out of his leading-strings. 

One evening he told her that he wished 
to remove the ribbon ; she earnestly desired 



68 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

him for his own safety to let it remain. Jack, 
suspicious that she wished to keep him controlled, 
said, 

" I want to ascend the Moonbeam Palace and 
stand beside the sapphire throne, that I may see all 
the king's dominions." 

*' Your eyes are too dim, you could not see a 
thousandth part," said she. 

'' I think I can see as far as anybody else," 
said he, very much hurt. "Come, let me 
try." 

" Up the highest dome I will not go, nor will 
you, if you are wise : but I will take you to its 
terraced base, whence you may have a goodly 
prospect." 

** Well, let us go to the palace roof at least," 
said Jack. 

The horse carried the Princess and Jack to the 
top of the palace, and they alighted on the terraced 
hatiging garden, which formed a base from which 
the highest dome rose like a mighty moon-cloud. 
At its top was placed the sapphire throne of King 
>Edonias« 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 69 

Seeing that a great number of stairs ran up 
from the place on which they stood to the very 
footstool of the throne, Jack thought he could 
now dispense with the fairy's further assistance. 
He slipped the ribbon off his hand, and was about 
to throw it back to the Princess when it shrivelled 
up and disappeared. 

'* Unhappy boy, what have you done.^" said she. 

" Done ! I have gained my freedom, and now I 
will be king, for like people, like king ; and as no 
one refuses my wish in this land, I am sure the 
king will, like the rest, give me his most honour- 
able seat" 

" You are right," she said, "in saying Mike king 
like people,' and you are free to sit upon the throne 
if you are fit. Oh ! Jack, beware of pride ; you are 
not wise enough to be the king of this fair land ; 
come down with me to the city before it be too 
late." 

*' Never ! " said Jack ; '* I am not to be so lightly 
turned from my purpose. ' How beautiful every- 
thing looks from this terraced roof, and how 
enchanting it will be when I reach yonder throne 



TO TALES OF OLD THUL^. 

See! the rainbows are quite near, and almost 
touch the highest point" 

** Too near theyll prove for you, I fear ; will 
you not come back with me?"* 

** No." said Jack ; *' you brought me from the 
Green Island without asking my leave, so now I 
stay h«e without yours." 

She continued to urge him. Jack ordered her 
rudely to b^none and to trouble him no more; 

The Princess, giving him a look of pity, said as 
she flew away on her horse, 

** Beware, oh, beware the morning lighL* 

Jack turned himself and began to ascend the 
steps that led up to the throne. Aftor he had 
mounted to scHne height, he saw that the throne 
was ^ larger than it looked from the roof beneath, 
and that upon it sat a vast dim form which shone 
like a sculptured moonbeam against the deep Uue 
c^ the midnight sky. The features of the great 
kii^ he saw not, for his nKX>nbeam mande was 
wra{^)ed thick round his head. Yet he perceived 
two starry eyes piercing the doud-Uke drapery and 
:^)arkling like stars through the trail of a comet 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. ji 




Jack was filled with awe as he gazed ; his head 
drooped, and he fixed his eyes on the steps as he 
continued to climb. Then he tried to restore his 
failing courage by muttering aloud, 

" Nobody has denied me anything here ; I 
know the king will not refuse me ; of course I do 



72 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

not really want to take his seat against his will, 
I only wish to look over all the Wondrous 
Land." 

Some hours passed as he alternately climbed 
and rested. He was getting very tired. "Strange/* 
he thought, " I never knew what it was to be weary 
while I carried that ribbon, but anybody would 
be tired climbing to such a height How close 
the rainbows seem ! I can see the light shining in 
the angels' eyes and the quivering of their >yings. 
It is almost dawn." 

He was now at the bottom of the last flight of 
steps. He paused to take breath, then, as he 
began again to ascend, day dawned, and the nether 
sky was all aflame with golden light. Then the 
rainbow angels began to hail the day-spring with 
delightful songs. 

Jack was enraptured and thrilled with the 
music ; he could not move at first, then he began 
to mount, keeping time to the music with his feet, 
saying as he went, " The Fairy wanted to frighten 
me with her * Beware the morning light,' for now 
it is morning, and here I am at the very throne 



JACK AND THE FAIRY PRINCESS. 73 

itself, and as there seems to be only a mist upon 
it, I may take possession." 

As he stepped forward to seat himself, the 
songs of the angels ceased. 

With the last note every one bowed his head, 
and spreading out his mighty glistering wings 
swept them in till they covered his face. 

The first breath of the wind raised by their 
wings blew aside the moonbeam mantle from the 
great king, and Jack saw a face of such awful 
majesty looking down upon him, that he was 
about to kneel adoringly, but ere his knees 
touched the pavement, the full force of the whirl- 
wind raised by the angels' wings was upon him. 

Whirled like a feather from before the throne. 
Jack was carried far beyond the limits of the 
wondrous land. He began to fall ! fall ! fall ! 
till his senses failed him. 

When he came to himself, he was lying beside 
his bundle of sticks in the wooded glen of the 
Green Island. 

Years have passed. Jack is very humble now. 
He still looks out for the Fairy Princess, or for a 



r / 'TJi^ s^ J-JLT r:=fi:LS: 



Uinncst ol tie ssao^ rircoiL Mc 



STiSbl 



ivnT KTif ?shaT fmr Vm: ss runirij^ ATir rcecisc 2s 



i: s TiTSRiTtt* jir nar i:r 



.> 









\s 



*» 



y 








THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. 




. AB was a farm -servant, "strong in 
the body, but rather weak in the head. He was 
a terrible glutton, and never seemed to know 
when to stop when he had once begun eating. 

Like wiser men, Rab fell in love, and although 
he did not lose his appetite, he lost a good deal 
of time, sighing and thinking about Jenny, whom 
he had seen in the kirk, and who was the daughter 
of a neighbouring small farmer. 



76 TALES OF OLD THUL£: 

After staring many Sundays at Jenny without 
daring to open his mouth to speak to her, he 
at last summoned up courage to ask Jock, his 
neighbour- servant, who was courting Jenny's 
sister, Jean, to take him with him on the next 
Friday when he went to see his lass. 

"Man, Rab," said Jock, "I wad be gled to 
tak' you wi' me, but you're sic' an awful eater, 
that Jean would never speak to me again, if she 
kent you were a freen o' mine." 

"Ah," said Rab slyly, "I've thocht on that, 
and we'll manage fine if you jist tramp * on my 
foot when ye think I've eaten enough at supper- 
time." 

"Well, I'll tak' ye wi' me if you promise that, 
and mind when they press you to tak' some mair, 
as they will dae oot o' politeness, tell them you've 
had great superfluity, for that's what the gentry 
say, and Jenny will never look at you unless you're 
geyan well bred." 

" Tak' my word for't, Jock," said Rab, " I'll be 
as mim an' modest as a lass when her lad's 

♦ Tread. 



THE JBRO WJNIE IN THE PANTR V. 77 

looking at her. ' Supper floority/ Man, that's 
a gran' word." 

" Superfluity," said Jock, correcting him. 

" Weel, I said ' Superfluidy.' " 

When next Friday night came round, Jock 
and Rab washed and dressed themselves, and 
took the road for the house of their sweethearts. 

Jock was a favourite both with the old folks 
and the young, and Rab was well received for 
his sake ; he was introduced to Jenny, and if he 
thought her bonny in the kirk, he thought her 
bonnier than ever in her father's house, and he 
could not keep his eyen off her. 

After a lot of courting and laughing and 
daffing, Jean and Jenny spread the supper on 
the big table in the kitchen, and when the auld 
father had said the grace, they all set to work on 
the victuals. 

Rab was tremendously hungry, and his eyes 
sparkled when he saw so much fit for eating 
before him. But he had scarcely taken in half-a- 
dozen mouthfuls, when the big dog which was 
under the table pressed heavily on Rab's foot 



78 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

Thinking it was the signal agreed upon, and 
that Jock had pressed his foot, Rab with a sigh 
pushed back his plate, and declared he could not 
eat any more. Jock was surprised, and told him 
to continue a little longer, and father, mother, 
Jean, and Jenny, all pressed him to eat. But 
Rab was prepared for this show of politeness, and 
said, 

"No, no thank you, I have had great Flipperty 
Flapperty;" for he had forgot the fine word. 

They all laughed at this, and Rab laughed too, 
although it was no laughing matter to him to see 
everybody eating and never a bite coming into 
his own watering jaws. 

When the supper things were being stowed 
away, Rab kept his eyes about and saw where 
they were put, for as Jock and he were to sleep 
in the house that night, he resolved to make up 
for his abstinence at supper-time, when the folk 
went to bed. 

Then all drew round the fire and told stories, 
sang songs, and guessed riddles ; and they 
finished up grandly 'with "Bab at the bowster." 



THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. 79 

Rab, while he sat gazing at Jenny's blithe face, 
forgot his hunger, but as soon as their sports and 
daffing were over, and Jock and he had retired 
to their room in the loft, his stomach reminded 
him of its awful emptiness. 

"Jock, said he, I'm gaun to slip doon to the 
pantry. I ken whar they pat the big pie." 

" Bide a wee till a's quate, it's ower syin tae 
gang doon yet And I think, as I'm better aquant 
wi' the hoose than you, it wad be better if I 
gang and bring something up to you," said Jock. 

After resisting Rab's arguments for immediate 
action, and waiting till all was still in the kitchen, 
Jock went softly down the stair, and got to the 
awmrie in the kitchen. But he could find no pie 
there. The only thing he could lay hands on 
was a big bowl full of sowans.* 

" This is better than nothing," said Jock, " and 
Rab's unco fond o' sowans when he canna get 
ony thing better. '^ 

He crept carefully up the pitch dark staircase, 
and entered a room opening on the stair-head. 

* ** Sowans,'' meal seeds steeped in water. 



8o TALES OF OLD THUL&. 

"Here, Rab," he whispered. "It's only sowans, 
but it was a' that I could get." 

There was no reply, but a very loud snore. 

" What, fa'en asleep already ? or are you only 
schaemin', efter I've ta'en a' this trouble," said Jock. 

As the conviction that Rab was shamming 
sleep dawned on Jock, he got angry, and said in 
an impressive whisper, 

"If ye dinna sit up this meenit and tak' the 
bowl oot ma haund, I'll poor it doon yer thrapple." 

No attention being paid to this threat, he 
said, " I've gi'en ye warnin', so here it goes. 
Yince, twice, thrice," and he emptied the bowl on 
the face of the sleeper. Choking and splutter- 
ing, the guidman of the house awoke and sat up 
in bed, — for it was he that had got the sowans in 
his face,-r-and coughed, and better coughed, till he 
wakened His auld wife,. who was sleeping by his 
side. 

" What's the matter wi' ye, guidman ? " 

"As syare's daeth I dinna ken. But I hae had 
an awfu' dream. I thocht that hole i' the thack * 

♦ Thatch. 



THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. 




had broken again, and the water cam' doon on 
ma heed. An', it's true eneuch, but it tastes unco 
like sowans." 

" It's a fine dry nicht, it couldnae be the rain 
comin' in ; ye maun hae gi'en a bit bock in yer 
sleep after yer heavy supper," said the auld guid- 
wife. 

" Maybe that's it," said the guidman, wiping his 
face and composing himself to sleep. 

Meanwhile, Jock, finding his mistake, tried 
the other door on the stair-head. There he 
found Rab, with hunger in his voice, asking 
eagerly what he had brought Jock told him of 
hi$ mishap, and how he was only able to bring 
sowans. 



82 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

" Ye gaed to the awmrie," said Rab. "It wisnae 
the awmrie whar they put the pie ; it was in the 
pantry jist ootside the kitchen door. Ah reckon 
ah can fin' meat oot as ready as you can, for a' 
ye think ye're sae clever." So saying, he slipped 
down the stair and found his way without mishap 
to the pantry. 

He thought he would just take a mouthful or 
two and slip back to bed, but. every bite seemed 
to be only a fresh whet to his devouring appetite. 

He finished the pie and felt hungrier than 
ever. He laid hold of a shank of mutton, and 
tore away at it with his teeth. 

By this time the big dog seemed to think Rab 
had been long enough in the pantry, so he came 
sniffing and gurring at the door. 

"Puir Towser, puir auld fallow," said Rab, 
between the bites at the mutton. 

As soon, however, as Towser heard the voice 
of the stranger, he set up a loud and vicious 
bark. 

" Guidness," said Rab, " I maun get back to 
my bed. It'll never dae to be catched here." 



THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. 83 




" Puir Towser, puir auld man," said he, opening 
the door a little. 

But Towser, proof against his blandishments, 
rushed furiously at his legs, and he was glad to 
shut the door hastily. 

Towser was now fairly roused, and seemingly 
resolved to rouse the houscj for he leaped at the 
door, and barked with all his might. 

Rab heard the voice of the guidman answering 
the cries of the various men and women of the 
household. 

" I canna face them," said Rab ; " I maun get out 
at the window. It's sma' eneuch, but gor I can 
try." He got up on a stool and pushed his head 



84 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

and half his body through the narrow window. 
Then he gave a mighty push at the stool to send 
his body quite through, but the stool upset and 
went from his feet, so that having nothing to 
push against, and nothing to lay hold of with his 
hands, he stuck fast. 

When the guidman with a candle in the one 
hand, and a poker in the other, opened the pantry 
door, and he and his men and women folk looked 
in, they saw only a pair of legs kicking wildly in 
the air, and then in an awfully mysterious way, 
going clear through the window, and disappearing 
in the air above. 

"Guid preserve us a'," said the auld man, 
rubbing his eyes, "what can be the meaning o* 
that ? " 

"It's the deil! It's the deil himsel'," cried 
the women. 

" Haud yer tongues, ye jauds," said the guid- 
man. " Hoo can it be the deil, when he's no 
cloven-footed ? Come oot wi' me, Jamie, and 
Tam, come you tae, and see if we canna catch 
the thief." 



THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. 




When they got outside they could see nothing. 
There was not even a footmark on the soft soil 
beneath the window, 

" It's maist extromar'," said the guidman, 
wiping the perspiration from his brow, and catch- 
ing his breath as if he had been running a mile. 
" This has been an awfu' nicht ; there's first ma 
dream, and me .waukening wi' ma face wat wi' 
sowans, and next here's something that seems to 
be neither beast nor body making free wi' ma 
guids in the pantry." 

When they got into the house again, Jock and 
Rab were coming down the stair, as if they were 
just awakened, although some of the lassies could 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



acc hi^fp remarking that Rab*s mouth and chin 
XMusi ** xLzco creeshie Uke." 

T^iej were informed of the doings of the 
siyiCftrScus rbitor, and Jock hazarded the remark 
r^xac 5t was likely to be some hungry, drucken 



-■ < ^ 



T^ bsaies held to their belief that it was the 
e2. or else a brownie. But everybody was 
utas^ to find that nothing but the food finom 

pantry was missing, so they all went back to 

ti-Leir beds again till morning. 

^ * * * * 

^fihtn Rab was sticking fast in the pantry 
wir.^wr, Jock, whose window was just over the 
ocut In the pantry, suspecting what was the matter 
mivx Rab, let down a sheet, and whispered to him 
Up catch hold. Rab eagerly seized it with his 
h:irjis and teeth, dragging himself out <^ the 
wirArjW of the pantry, and scrambled in at the 
window of the loft. 

Jititber Jock nor Rab ever said anything on 
Vrj^ subject, although often when they went back 
to the, guidman's house to court the lassies, the 



THE BROWNIE IN THE PANTRY. %^ 

Story of that awfu' nicht and the mysterious 
visitor was told and retold, getting every time 
more wonderful and mysterious in the telling. 

But when Jock had married Jeanie, and Rab 
had got Jenny for a wife, Rab told Jenny how he 
was the Brownie in the pantry. Jenny only 
laughed and told him wherever he was he should 
openly eat his fill, and pooch nane. 




PRINXE CORALIN. 







PRINCE CORALIN. 89 

In a rocky islet, just opposite his chief city, 
lived a terrible monster called the Raesvelgur.* 
Every night it swam over to King Pharos' land, 
and to whatever part it came it left the people 
weeping and wailing ; for it seized the goodliest 
youths, and the fairest maidens in its terrible 
jaws, and carried them off to its rocky cave. 

The islanders who tried to oppose it were 
crushed under its feet, or mangled to death by its 
horrible teeth. The king was distracted. At 
length he sent his heralds all over the world to 
proclaim that whoever slew the monster should 
have his beautiful daughter, the Princess Phareyes, 
for his bride, and be declared heir to the throne 
of Frey vangar. The fame of the princess's beauty 
and goodness had spread over the world, so 
princes and knights came eagerly from all parts to 
slay the Raesvelgur. 

Now amongst those who came were two 
princes who, above the rest, were resolved to win 
the prize. One was Sycomax, king of the dark 
land of Embla. He was haughty, overbearing, 

* Hrxsvelgur means literally Raw-swallower. 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 




and cruel to his subjects, and only resolved to 
slay the monster in order that he might be able 
to boast that he had the loveliest princess in the 
world for a bride, and that he was heir to the 
beautiful island of Freyvangar. 

The other was Coralin, prince of the Island of 
Pearls. He fell madly in love with the princess 
the first time he saw her ; and, content with the 
rich kingdom full of beautiful gardens, singing 
fountains, and pearl-built palaces he already 
possessed, he did not care to inherit Freyvanger, 
if he could only win the princess. She, for her 
part, was equally smitten with Coralin, and desired 
nothing so much as that he might slay the 
Reesvelgur, and become her husband. 



PRINCE CORAUN. 91 



II. 

One night all the princes' lords, knights, and 
men lay in wait for the monster ; one party was in 
ships and the other on the shore. They waited 
till long past midnight, and as it never came they 
began to hope or fear that they had scared it away. 
Some of the party were for moving back to the 
palace, others for waiting longer. 

Prince Coralin, who stood in the front rank of 
the shore party, suddenly cried out,. 

"It comes." 

I nstantly a great stillness came upon the men, 
and they could hear the sounds made by the 
distant swimming Raesvelgur as it buffeted the 
waves with its half-webbed and clawed feet 

The ships were seen to steal out towards the 
distant islet, and when they got between th^ 
monster and his cave, the glare of their torches 
shone red on the sea. 

As the Raesvelgur approached them the men 
on shore could see a black shapeless mass which 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



kJrutri * aiKl bufieted the water till it shone like 
fr^ Seskrer and nearer it came ; the knights 
^ri£icf:d their sw(m^ and spears more firmly, 
nx^tisiz^zjg quickly, as they prepared for the onset. 

'^rzjKCi the monster came near enough for the 
.tii^ tr> see its horrible face, some fell down faint- 
,n^ <^ m convulsions of terror, and many in the 
vioc ranks fled in dismay. 

T>^ resolute ones remained, headed by Coralin 
;irt/l ^/'tr^max. As the monster's fore feet touched 
r:'it v^^'^A, Coralin sprang forward and aimed a 
:M.m bttireen its eyes ; there was a sharp crack, — 
*:-,Jt vw^xA was broken off short by the hilt. With 
;^n ^r^'t^haking roar, the Raesvelgur advanced to 
'>;vr'vy tf*^ unarmed prince. But Sycomax, and 
t^f ^al fAi^/nx% who disdained to be behind Coralin 
A ^/^>x:%v/'^, csune driving in with their spears at the 
,r»AfVaf/:r'* head. The roars of the beast were 
t^/f/.A^r, I^'>hing the water with his tail, he came 
f>;fi',A^ in upon the men; spears and swords were 
44,. /^f^A kfi^hlri%i his sides or broken by the sweep 
/^ Kf'^ cru^'.l paws. Some of the knights were 

* Churned. 



PRINCE CORALIN. 




-.^■mL 



overcome by his hot stifling breath or crushed 
between his body and the rocks, or crunched and 
mangled by his rows of grisly teeth. Shouts, 
groans, and curses mingled with the thunders of 
the Raesvelgur, and the noise of the vexed waters, 
and the men began to give way. 

But Coralin, who had caught up the sword of 
a man who had fainted, watched his opportunity, 
and by climbing by the horny nobs on the 
Rsesvelgur's side, and by digging his dagger 
between the scales, he reached the rough saw-like 
ridge of the monster's back. Creeping forward to 
the neck, he felt about till he found a joint between 



94 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

the scales ; into this he put the point of his sword, 
then throwing all his weight upon the weapon, he 
drove It deep down into the monster's flesh. 

With a hideous and unearthly shriek, the 
Ricsvelgur sprang backward'into the water. Cora- 
Ijn held on by the sword he had driven so firmly ^ 
homei and although mauled by being dashed 
against the jagged points of the Raesvelgur's back, 
he never lost his hold. The beast continued to go 
back rapidly into the water, bellowing hideously 
and belching forth on the men in front. As soon 
as his fore-paws reached deep water, he swang his 
body round and made for his island cave. 

Seeing this, the princes and knights shouted 
to Coralin to leap down. He hesitated an instant, 
as if about to leap, but suddenly resolving to keep 
the advantage he had gained, he waved his hand 
to his comrades, and allowed himself to be carried 
out to sea on the monster's back. 

As the Raesvelgur passed the ships, he was 
saluted with a shower of arrows ; but one of the 
vessels venturing too near and being crashed in 
by one stroke of the monster's tail, those on board 



PRINCE CORAUN. 95 

the Other ships turned their attention to saving 
the lives of the drowning crew and then the fleet 
made for the shore. 

Sycomax stood with the rest of the chiefs on 
the cliff above the shore, tracing by its track of 
phosphoric fire the flight of the Raesvelgur. He 
ground his teeth with rage at the thought that 
Coralin should excel him in coolness and daring. 
But he comforted himself with the reflection that 
Coralin would soon either be destroyed by the 
Raesvelgur, or would perish of hunger. Yet pride 
would not let Sycomax abandon the attempt to 
slay the monster and win the prize : all night long 
he tossed restlessly on his bed planning how he 
might gain his end. 

III. 

Meanwhile Coralin held on by the sword hilt 
and lay quiet on the monster's back. When the 
beast reached the rocky islet, it crawled wearily 
up between the rocks to a huge black cave, into 
which at high tide the water came dashing and 
roaring. As soon as the head of the beast was 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



Within the entiance, Coralin slid down to the 
f^ffAXtA and climbing up the steep rocks above 
the cave sat down to think what he should do. 

He began to fear that he had acted rashly 
and fool-hardily ; for, even supposing he was able 
to deprive the R^esvelgur of life, how was it 
po^^ible for him to escape from the islet when 
every ship shunned the dreadful spot ? While he 
was perishing, Sycomax would be wooing the 
Princess, and though he believed in her pre- 
ference for himself, Coralin was too well aware 
of the unscrupulous haracter of Sycomax, not to 
dread the worst. 

At daybreak, on looking down on the rocks 
between which the sea swelled and foamed, he 
saw a great mass of spars and cordage, the 
remains of a wreck cast ashore on the islet. 

Hope began to revive as a plan of escape dawned 

» 

on his mind. He went down and looked into the 
mouth of the cave. Amongst a pile of human 
bones he saw the monster lying asleep and 
breathing heavily. 

Going to the wreck, he half dragged, and half 



PRINCE CORAUN. 97 

rolled with infinite labour, the largest piece of 
timber he could find, and by exerting his utmost 
strength, he managed to place its two ends on the 
low rocks on each side of the cave, but some 
yards distant from the entrance, so that it would 
bar, or seem to bar, the progress of the REesvelgur 
when, in its nightly excursions, it left the cave. 

Coralin saw that the centre of the mast 
opposite the cave was well garnished with iron 
hooks and bands, so that it could not easily be 
bitten through by the monster. 




^. 



98,: K TALES OF OLD TNUL£. 

To each end of the mast or large spar he tied 
a strong rope ; the other ends of the ropes he led up 
to a ledge of rock above the entrance of the cave. 
Having thus completed his preparations, he went 
to a safe place and lay down, and though it was 
the day time, he was soon fast asleep. 

1 . IV. 

On the same morning Sycomax, having like- 
wise 'formed his plans, took one of his galleys 
with thirty picked fighting men, and the same 
number of rowers. At the bow of the ship he 
placed an anchor, which his great strength en- 
abled him to throw to some distance. The day 
was spent in preparing and exercising his men 
for the renewal of the combat with the Raes- 
velgur. When the sun set, he gave the word, and 
the galley was rowed out and lay half-way be- 
tween Frey vangar and the cave of the Raesvelgur. 
Meanwhile, about sunset, Coralin awoke and 
took his way to the ledge above the entrance to 
the cave. He saw that the mast was in its place 
across the passage to the deep water. 



PRINCE CORALIN. 99 

The ropes that led from the ends of the mast 
he took in his hands, and sat patiently waiting 
for the appearance of the monster. 

The tide began to flow into the cave beneath, 
and soon he heard the loud howling yawns of the 
awakened Raesvelgur. Coralin's nerves were 
strained to their utmost, and his heart beat loudly 
and violently as he heard the heavy feet of the 
beast trampling over the bones within the 
cave. 

Soon its huge head was thrust out, as it made 
straight through the shallow water for the open 
sea. 

When it reached the mast, it seized it with its 
teeth, and was lifting its fore feet to tear it down, 
when, like a meteor, Coralin came flying suddenly 
down upon the monster's back. In an instant he 
drew the ropes tight and lashed them firmly 
round the hilt of the sword in the Raesvelgur's 
neck. When the monster felt himself thus reined, 
bitted, and bridled, he tugged at the mast with his 
claws, but the more he struggled the more painful 
the wound in his neck became ; so, giving up the 



TALES OF OLD THVLt. 



Struggle, he threw himself into deep water, and 
bellowing hideously, swam in the direction of the 
island of Freyvangar. 

Coralin found that he had the monster in 
some degree under his control, and that he could 
guide him by the ropes attached to the mast in 
his mouth. 

Thinking thus to take him alive, he let the 




Raesvelgur swim in the direction of the King's 
palace without hindrance. But suddenly he saw 
the torches oi the galley gleam on the water, and 



PRINCE CORAJUN. loi 

as the light flashed on the flag that hung at the 
poop, he knew it was the vessel of Sycomax. 

Coralin instantly resolved to slaty the monster 
before his rival approached. But how was this 
to be done ? Examining the ropes, he saw that 
they were not likely to come loose or let the 
mast which held the monster's jaws open slip 
from its place. He crept over the horny forehead 
between the monsters wild gleaming eyes, and 
swang himself into the huge cavernous mouth. 
At first the change from the cool air outside to the 
hot breath from the monster's throat almost suffo- 
cated him; but overcoming his faintness, he crept 
down into the black stifling throat till he came to 
a place whose strong pulsations showed the heart 
lay there. Pointing his long keen dagger to the 
spot against which the heart beat strongest, he 
placed his breast against the hilt and drove the 
blade in with all his force. 

The monster gave such a shriek of agony that 
Coralin for a moment felt pity for this destroyer 
of thousands ; but the hot dark blood spurting out 
like a flood upon him, soon drove him to think of 



I02 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



his own safety. He passed upward to the top of 
the throat, whence he saw the monster's teeth 
crunching against the iron-bound mast, and he felt 
the whole body rolling wildly about in its dying 
agony. 

As the last convulsive shiver thrilled through 
the monster's body, and it leapt half out of the 
water and fell on its side, Coralin lost his foot- 
ing, and his head striking violently against the 
mast, he lay stunned or perhaps dead. 

The water came pouring in at the dead mons- 
ter's mouth, but Coralin's head was kept high and 
dry by the mast on which it rested. 

V. 

■ 

Sycomax and his men had not been idle. As 
soon as they caught sight of the Raesvelgur, they 
gave way with their oars. The chief stood beside 
the anchor ready to fling it when they were near 
enough, and the fighting men stood by with their 
long barbed spears. 

The vessel was rapidly approaching the 
monster, when suddenly its awful death-shriek 



PRINCE CORAUN. 103 

smote on their ears, and the men started with 
horror at the sound. To their amazement, they 
beheld the huge beast writhing, struggling, and 
lashing the water with its paws and tail, and 
after leaping half out of the water, falling on its 
side. 

For some time the men were afraid to approach 
it, but seeing that it was seemingly quite dead, 
Sycomax ordered the men back to their oars. 
When they had rowed near enough, he seized the 
well-tempered anchor and flung it with all his 
force at the Raesvelgur. Finding it had caught 
firmly, he brought the anchor rope round to the 
stern of the vessel, and bidding his men give way 
with the oars, they steered back to the city of 
King Pharos in Freyvangar, towing the huge 
body behind them. 

As they approached the shore nearest the 
king's palace, day was breaking. Sycomax 
ordered his trumpeters to sound a triumphal 
march ; this they did so effectually that the greater 
part of the inhabitants of the city came running 
down to the shore to meet them. Some hung 



I04 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

back when they caught sight of the huge monster^ 
but the cheers of the crew reassured thenu 

The inhabitants were wild with joy when they 
found their terrible scourge was dead, and that 
they might now sleep in peace. Nothing was 
done that day but feasting, singing, drinking, and 
dancing. 

When Sycomax landed, all hands were set to 
work to bring the dead Raesvelgur ashore. By 
the help of the receding tide this was soon accom- 
plished. 

Kneeling before King Pharos. Sycomax 
claimed, as the slayer of the Raesvelgur. the hand 
of the Princess Phareyes and the heirship of the 
Island of Freyvangar. 

Pharos was troubled ; he had no great liking 
for the king of the dark land of Embla, and he 
knew, moreover, that his daughter s heart was set 
on Coralin. But as he thought the prince was 
surely dead, and as his own word could not be 
broken, he drew forward the princess to join her 
hands to those of Sycomax. 

But ere this was accomplished, a scream of 



PRINCE CORAUN. los 

terror rang out from the crowd who stood beside 
the dead monster, and the king, the princess, and 
Sycomax went to see what it meant. 

VI. 

It happened that the kings jester, who was with 
the others examining the Raesvelgur, began to 
amuse the people by approaching the monster's 
mouth and then jumping back with well-acted 
terror, making the women and children laugh, 
though their hearts leapt to their mouths each 
time he thus startled them. 

Suddenly he marched forward, and lifting the 
hanging upper lip, put his head into the huge 
cavernous mouth. Hearing what sounded like a 
groan proceeding from the throat of th^ beast, and 
seeing something in a glittering dress lying at the 
back of its mouth, he staggered back with pale 
face and shaking limbs, screaming and howling in 
genuine terror. The women and children screamed 
for sympathy, and everybody believed something 
dreadful had happened. Some of Coralin's men 
who stood by rushed forward, and prising open the 



io6 TALES OF OLD TNC/L£. 

enormous jaws, kept them asunder with their 
spears. 

Prince Coralin, who was just recovering his 
senses, raised himself and sat looking dreamily at 
them. And just as King Pharos, his daughter, 
and his would-be son-in-law arrived on the spot. 
Coral in came staggering forward from the monster s 
throat The people gave a cry of astonishment, 
which was immediately changed to a shout of joy 
as the princess, with a cry of delight, recognised, 
and ran forward to meet her lover, whom she had 
thought devoured by the Raesvelgur or swallowed 
by the sea. 

But the king of the dark land of Embla, who 
began to fear that he might lose the princess and 
her dowry after all, rushed between them, and 
catching up the princess suddenly in his arms, 
dashed down in the direction of his own vessel. 

The princess gave a great cry of " Coralin ! 
Coralin I to my aid, my Coralin!" 

lie stared for a moment as if he had been 
too suddenly awakened from sleep; then a terrible 
look came into his eyes, and he sprang forward 



PRINCE CORALIN, 107 

and caught his rival by the throat Sycomax 
set down the princess and grappled with his 
adversary, who, weak from want of food, newly 
recovered from his swoon, and quite unarmed, 
had little chance against the dark king. Never- 
theless, he clung manfully to his rival's throat, 
till they fell together. Sycomax rolled over till 
he got the prince beneath him ; then, planting his 
knee on his chest, he drew his dagger from its 
sheath, and raised it to plunge it into Coralin's 
heart. As the dagger was descending, Sycomax 
received a stroke from the cudgel of the jester, 
which laid him senseless, while the dagger was 
buried harmlessly in the sand. 

The rest of the people, who had been struck 
powerless by the suddenness with which all this 
had taken place, now came crowding round. 

The beautiful princess, heedless of everything 
but Coralin, caught his pale face between her 
fair hands and kissed him on the lips. 

This seemed to revive him in a wonderful 
manner, and he immediately rose. The jester 
produced a flask of rare liquor, without which he 



io8 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

never went abroad, and placed it to Coralin's 
mouth. Soon the colour came into his cheeks, 
and he told the princess and the people to look 
whose sword it was that had pierced the monster's 
neck, and desired the king to send his own men 
into the Rsesvelgur's throat, and see whose dagger 
had given the monster his death* wound. 

Wlien these were brought, the people saw 
that Coralin was truly the slayer of the Ra^vel* 
gur. The prince told them how he had achieved 
its death, and Sycomax's men confessed that the 
monster was dead before they had reached it, 
and that they had done nothing but towed it 



Sycomax, who was now coming to his senses, 
was placed on board his own galley. King 
Pharos and Coralin sending with him rich presents, 
for they were all aware that in towing the dead 
monster to land, the dark king had unwittingly 
saved the prince's life. Sycomax was appeased 
by the value of the gifts, and setting sail for his 
own dark land, troubled the island of Freyvangar 
no more. 



PRINCE CORALIN. 



Prince Coralin wedded Princess Phareyes and 
carried her to his home in the Island of Pearls, 
where, loving each other truly to the end, they 
lived happily all the rest of their days. 




.■^^, 




THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 



?\HERE was once a well-tochered 

fanner's daughter who was very beauti- 

I ful, and as clever as she was bonny. 

-i&L, ^^^ ^^'^ many admirers. But two of 

her sweethearts distanced all the rest, 

ar^l the lass was undecided which of the two to 

cfioost 

One, when he came awooing, was plainly 
(IrtVifji, and quiet and modest in his demeanour, 
ii*; j^f/t leave to stay in the kitchen. The other 



THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 



Ill 



came dressed like a lord ; he was loud and brag- 
ging in his conversation, and was always accom- 
panied by his man-servant. This suitor was taken 
into the parlour, and he was the one the girl's 
mother urged her to marry, although the lass 
herself liked the other one best. 

Before accepting any of them for her husband 
the girl resolved to test what each of them was 
like when at home. So she disguised herself like 
a poor old woman, and went to the modest suitor's 
house and asked for a night's lodging. 

The mother of the modest suitor received her 
in a kindly way, and made her 
welcome to sit beside herself, 
and chat by the fire till her son 
would come home. 

When the son came home, 
the lass slipped into a corner 
more in the shadow, and drew 
her cloak well about her face. 

" Who have you here } " said the son. 

" Only a poor old woman that I have promised 
a night's lodging," said the mother. 




112 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



" That's right ! " said the son ; " see and make 
her as comfortable as you can." 

The mother spread the supper-table and bade 
the poor woman draw in. But the lass desired to 
be excused, and said, if they would allow her, she 
would take a bit on her knee where she was, for 
she was afraid her sweetheart might recognise 
her if she sat at the table. 

The mother gave her a liberal supply on a 
plate, and the son went over once or twice and 
gave her some specially nice bits. 

Then the son went out to look at his horses, 
and as the lass said she was tired, the mother took 
the opportunity of putting her into the kitchen 
bed, opposite the fire. 

When the son came in again, he asked his 
mother if she had given the poor old woman 
plenty of bed-clothes. The mother said she 
thought she had. But the son said, " Old folk are 
aye cold," and took some more blankets and 
hap[)ed the old woman up. 

Then she heard him say to his mother as he 
W(?nt off to his own bed, *' See that the poor body 



THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 113 

has a good breakfast after I am gone away. For 
I shall be off early, and she will likely be tired and 
lie long. 

The lass said to herself, 

" He is a kind good man, and I like him the 
best, although my mother wants me to take the 
dandy." Then she fell asleep. 

Awaking next morning, the mother set a plen- 
tiful breakfast before her, and urged her to eat 
heartily, as she was travelling and had a long day 
before her. When she was going, she put into 
her hands some food wrapped up for her to eat 
by the way. The girl thanked her sincerely, and 
taking her way home, got there all safe without 
anybody being a bit the wiser. 

That evening the modest suitor came to see 
the lass, and she was even kinder than usual to 
him, yet she would give him no definite promise 
till she saw how she fared at the house of the 
one who came so gallantly attired and attended. 

Next night, disguised as before, she set off as 
a poor old woman to visit the house of the gay 
dashing sweetheart. He was not at home when 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



she arrived, but his mother opened the door. 
The lass bulged for a night's lodgings. The 
mother said she dared not let her come in; for 
her son would be angry if he knew her harbour 
any poor pec^Ie. The girl said she was tired 
and could go no farther, and implored the m<»her 
to let her lie in a comer of the kitchen till 
rooming. 

" As you are a dean-looking body, 1 will risk 
it for once," said the mother; "but mind, 1 can 
give you nothing to eat, and you must lie quiet 
on some straw in a dark corner." 

The lass professed 
to be glad of any kind 
of shelter. She was ad- 
mitted into the kitchen, 
and lay down in a dark 
comer, while the mother 
worked at a table. 

After a while the 
dashing suitor came 
home, and the lass 
was surprised to hear how harsh and grating his 




THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 115 



voice sounded, as in a surly manner he demanded 
his supper. 

'* What will you have?" said the mother ; " beef, 
or bread and cheese?" 

" Great powers !" said the dashing sweetheart, 
*' do you wish to ruin me ? You know how I 
have to keep up appearances, and is my money 
to be fooled away on such extravagances as beef 
suppers, when I have so much to pay for my 
clothes ?" 

"Well," said the mother, "the cauld kail that 
was left from your dinner the day before yester- 
day is in the aumrie." 

" Ay, that's- something like ; bring it" 

When the kail was brought there was a lot of 
dead mice floating in it, for the dashing suitor 
would not permit his mother to keep a cat on 
account of the expense. 

But he set to work, and began supping the 
cauld kail. Each time he took up a mouse he 
drew it carefully through his teeth so as to lose 
none of the kail, and so he got on with his supper. 

Afterwards, when he had supped his fill, and 



ij6 tales of old THULt. 



resdng, he caught sight of somebody lying in 



He started up and said to his mother sharply, 

-WTioisthat?- 

"Oh!" said his mother, "it is just a poor 
voman that was not able to go any farther, and I 
let her lie down." 

"A prrtty story!" said the son. "Off she goes 
at once. A fine thing for me to be eaten out of 
house and home by a parcel of lazy beggars. Put 
her out, I say." 

The mother begged him to control himself, 
and told him that it was not an ordinary b^[gar, 
but a poor old woman who was neat and clean ; 
that she had not given her a bite of anything 
since she entered, and she would go without 
supper herself if he would let the woman 
remain. 

"She may remain then, on that condition," 
said the son, who was a miser at heart, and 
grudged every bite his mother ate. 

In the mornings when the lass was going 
away, the mother told her she was sorry that she 



THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 117 

could give her nothing fit to eat. For her son 
kept everything locked up, and only gave her a 
very scanty allowance, but rather than the lass 
should absolutely starve the mother had managed 
to secrete a crust of bread from her own breakfast, 
and this she pressed into the lassie's hand as she 
went away. 

The lass got home without any one knowing 
where she had been. 

In the evening the dashing gallant, attended 
by his man, came to see her. He inquired after 
her health in a tender insinuating way, which the 
lady had once thought to be an index to his fine, 
affable, and kindly disposition, but she thought 
on his harsh* tones when he spoke to his mother, 
and knew that he was only acting a part to 
deceive her. 

Her mother led the fine suitor as usual into 
the parlour, and bade her daughter go in and 
entertain him. But the lass would not go, and 
continued to sit in the kitchen at her spinning- 
wheel. 

Seeing that the lass would not come ben the 



ii8 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

house, die dashing suitor came with his man into 
the kitchen, and leant up against die chimney, to 
talk to the fair lass. 

After a good deal of bragging conversation, a 
great part of which was carried on between the 
suitor and his man for the lassie's benefit, the 
gallant said, '' I am afraid I have dined too well 
to-day,** and he opened his mouth and gave a 
great windy belch. 

** What makes you rift so, master ? " said the 



'' Apple pies and old ale," said the gallant 
The lass could stand his deceit and preten- 
sion no longer, so she said, ''I think you mis- 
take ; it was not 

'Af^e pies and did ale,* 
But droon'd mice in cauld kaiL* 

The gallant tried for a moment to brazen it 
out, but he could not look the lass in the face, so 
seizing his hat he went off in a hurry, followed by 
his astonished servant, and never again came 
acourdng there. 



THE TRIAL OF THE SUITORS. 119 

The lass married the modest suitor. She had 
no cause to repent her bargain, for he was as good 
as he seemed to be, and they Hved content and 
happily all their days. 




THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 
I. 




)N1I.I> was the only son of Seigrid, 
|,ll I (il Vii'oiilcr. His father, the Jarl, dying when 
Vcmiiil wii« "hovit eighteen years old, his mother 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 121 

Donhilda, a few months afterwards, married a 
strong, rough viking, named Thiblun, who had 
been a bold warrior in his day. 

But when Thiblun became master in the halls 
of Donhilda, he 
filled the castle 
with his rough 
companions, 
and passed the 
time in drink- 
ing and rioting. 
When Donhilda 
tried to remon- 
strate with him 
in one of his drunken fits, he thrust her from 
him with such force that she fell on the stone 
floor. Yonild, who stood by, sprang at Thiblun's 
throat, and held agrip in spite of blows, till his 
step-father began to grow black in the face ; then 
some of the wild companions came to the rescue, 
and tearing Yonild from the half- suffocated 
Thiblun, bore him from the hall and thrust him 
out. 




m TALES OF OLD THUL^ 

Whtti ThiUun came to himsdf, he was mad 
with passion, and swore by Hela and all the 
ghosts of Niflhdm, to slay Yonild at the first 
c^^KMrtunity. Yonfld returned to the hall that 
night at supper-time. As soon as he came in at 
the door, ThiUun, without a word, threw his great 
dagger with all his might at Yooild's head. The 
weapon graied his cheek, and buried itself neariy 
to the hilt in the oaken door. Thiblun dien 
snatched up his swonl. and springing finom the 
dais;, rushed down the hall to slay his stiq>-s(m. 
But the shrieks of Donhilda and the women 
caused the men to lay hold on Thiblun^ and force 
hun back to his place. His mother then half 
dr^geii half fed YooUd out of the haH down the 
stsn:^ and oczt past the splice, and impjored him 
03 fr tfZ T!::Ii:Ija*s rage was or^rpa^ 

YTinTif w^ fiisarkss foe himseit but when his 
TTHCTer b^gei that he wvxJd go for her sake; he 
ramr 3cc reEise bar. So he left her and went 
Twr irai ±e iirk^KS^ whEt-e EK^ohuvia and the 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 




YoNiLD lay that night in a glen close by the 
castle, and early next morning turned his back on 
his father's lands, and set out to find such fortune 
as the heavens might send him. 

By noon he had travelled many a mile, and 
came near a town which lay low on the northern 



124 TALES OF OLD THC/L£. 

shores of a wide firth. He was glad to see 
houses once more, so that he might buy some- 
thing to eat ; for though he had plucked berries 
by the way, he missed the more substantial food 
he had been accustomed to in his father's house. 

When he got to the middle of the long street 
where the runic cross stood, he saw a crowd of 
boys pelting some one who lay at the foot of the 
cross, while the men and women of the place 
stood by laughing and encouraging the boys. 

Making his way through the crowd, he saw 
it was a poor- looking, bent, old, and decrepit 
woman that the boys were pelting with clay. 
Tears streamed from her eyes, and mixed with 
the clay that stuck to her face. 

Yonild ran to the place where she lay, and 
stood between her and the boys ; then turning on 
them with flashing eyes and knitted brows, he 
said, 

" Think shame of yourselves, to treat a poor 
old helpless woman like that." 

" She a witch ! she a witch ! " cried the boys. 

"She has an evil eye, and traffics with the 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 125 

fiend. Take care of yourself, young master," 
cried the men and women. 

"Til risk that," said Yonild; "call in your boys; 
begone, you little cowards." 

The men and women sauntered away, and the 
boys slunk back, 

Yonild raised the old woman, and bidding her 
lean on him, the pair crossed the open space and 
went up the hill path that led to the old woman's 
dwelling. 

It was a poor enough place, but neat and 
clean. When the woman had washed the clay 
and dirt from her face, Yonild saw that she was 
younger and stronger than he had at first 
thought. 

She set meat before him plentifully, and when 
he had eaten his fill, she said, " Are you not afraid 
to eat and drink in a witch's chamber ? " 
Yonild replied smilingly, 
" Do you think I trust those foolish boys and 
ignorant fishermen ? Besides, even a witch would 
scarcely injure one who tried to do her a good 
turn." 



126 



TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



She fell on her knees before hinii and like a 
dog licked and kissed his hands. 

'' May the bonny brave red-bearded Thor bless 
you for your trust in me. No, no, I will never 
harm you, though I am Thrudur the witch, and 
worship the old red gods of my fathers instead 
of the white Jew God to whom they raise the 
carven crosses. But surely even the white Christ, 
if he is as good as they say he is, would not be 




angry with an old woman for clinging and hold- 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 127 

ing to the gods of her youth, when all the world 
has turned against them, and their worshippers 
are hunted and harried by the slaves of the black- 
robed psalm-singing monks who curse us from 
the altar. Ay, ay, it is changed days now. The 
all-wise Odin, the strong and brave Thor, and 
the gracious Frey are no longer called gods but 
devils. They were kind to me in their fair days, 
and I will not be so mean as desert them in the 
bloody twilight that has enwrapped them. And 
I have my reward, for Thor grants his gifts as 
freely now as he did in the old days. Through 
his power I will give you smooth winds and teach 
you to sail through the air when the full moon 
shines on the sea." 

Yonild, who thought her crazed, said, *' Can 
Thor give you such power, and yet be powerless 
to assist you against a troop of boys ? " 

'^ Thor did assist me when I asked him, and 
sent you to my aid." 

Yonild did not know what to say to this 
interpretation of his coming to her assistance, so 
he held his peace. 



128 TALES OF OLD THUL^. 

She continued, ** Now tell me who you are 
and whence you come ; for surely you are a 
prince's son of the old race ; I know the falcon 
eyes and Jarl fair hair." 

Yonild told her what had lately taken place in 
his father's house, and how he feared for his 
mother. 

" Fear not for her," said Thrudur. "This very 
night rU weave the spell of Iduna, the keeper of 
the golden apples, about your house, and your 
mother shall live in peace and safety. And for 
your own reward, I can teach you how you may 
gain the helmet of Asgard, which no sword can 
pierce, and which will make you walk invisible 
when you choose. Then you shall have the 
sandals of Hermod, by which you shall fly in 
safety over perilous seas." 

Although Yonild regarded these words as 
nothing but the vain babble of a half-crazed old 
woman, he could not prevent his eyes sparkling 
with delight at the mere thought of possessing 
such wondrous things. 

" I can read your face," said Thrudur. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 129 

"You think I am bragging in madness. See 
here!" 

She pulled aside a curtain at the back of the 
apartment, disclosing an arched doorway in the 
rock of the hill, against whose side the house was 
built ; then she said, 

"Now enter and tell me what you see." 

Yonild entered what seemed a large dimly but 
naturally lighted cave, and cried back, 

" I see a circle of tall stones ; there is an altar 
plated with iron, and on it stands a vase of brass 
smeared with blood. A great silver ring hangs 
by a chain from the rocky roof, and a sword is 
passed through the ring." 

"Bring me that; it is the sword Fail-me- 
never," said Thrudur. Yonild stepped across to 
the centre of the cave, and taking the sword from 
the silver ring, brought it back with him to the 
outer apartment. 

"Now pull it from its sheath." 

Yonild drew Fail-me-never out, and a dazzling 
light filled the place. The blade, which was en- 
graved with forgotten runes, shone like a diamond. 

K 



I30 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

"Take it to the door-stone and see how it 
cuts/' said the witch. Yonild went and struck 
the huge stone which was placed outside the door. 
The sword went through the hard granite as if it 
had been water instead of stone. 

"It is a rare sword," said Yonild, handing it 
back to Thrudur. 

" Keep it," said she ; " it is the only gift I have 
to give you, though I can teach you to win rarer 
things, if you have the mind." 

No longer doubting her power, Yonild ex- 
pressed his joy at his good fortune in winning 
her favour, and his desire to win the helmet of 
Asgard and the flying shoes of Hermod. " But," 
he added, " I fear you will think me a greedy 
robber if I thus readily accept of those treasures, 
for what will be left for other friends if you lavish 
on me all that your power procures ?" 

" Fear not for that ; besides the gifts are Thor's, 
not mine; nor shall you win them if you are 
unworthy. Brave Ving Thor will surely see to 
that. But since you have agreed to try the quest. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 131 

leave me till moonrise ; I have spells to set awork- 
ing for your aid. 



III. 



Promising to return with the rising of the moon, 
Yonild left the witch's cottage on the hill and 
strolled down towards the shores of the firth. 
But avoiding the town, he reached the shore at a 
point where stood an old grey ruined castle, bleak, 
hoary, and scarred by fire. 

He lay down on the rock at its base, and with 
his eyes on the heaving, seething, fresh, clear, 
restless and resistless water, he let his mind weave 
the web of his future fortune. For he was already 
filled with visions of what he would do when he 
had gained the wondrous helmet and the flying 
sandals. He would explore the world and its 
famous cities. He would walk unseen in kings' 
palaces and visit the hidden treasures, or the en- 
chanting gardens, where the fair princesses he had 
heard of passed their days in growing as sweet 
and lovely as the flowers which bloomed around 



132 TALES OF OLD THUL£, 

them. He would fly to the moon, and sit and 
hear the sprites singing those melodious songs 
which only at rare intervals reach the earthly 
poef s ear. 

He was glad — wildly, impatiently, and rest- 
lessly glad. He started up and sprang from rock 
to rock as he followed the windings of the shore. 

The sun set behind the hills, and as the arc of 
faint light which heralded the coming of the moon 
rose over the east he turned and took his way up 
the face of the hill to Thrudur's dwelling. Before 
he reached the door the full orb of the moon had 
soared above the surface of the water and made a 
stream of glittering, shifting, heaving silver from 
shore to horizon. It looked a fit pathway for 
the golden chariots of the gods to roll from 
heaven to earth. 

He entered the cottage. 

All was dark. Thrudur was gone. A chill 
went to his heart. This, then, was the end of the 
dreams which had been raised in his mind by 
the wild ravings of the crazy witch-woman. He 
might have known better than build on a founda- 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 133 

tion SO feeble. But he had builded, and the fall- 
ing of his airy castles filled his heart for the 
moment with a stour of exceeding bitterness. 

Suddenly he thought of the cavern. Thrudur 
might be there. So, drawing the curtain, he 
knocked loudly at the door, and cried, 

'* Thrudur, are you there V* 

"Yes, I am here. Enter," said Thrudur, 
opening the door. 

Yonild went in, and Thrudur bolted and barred 
the door behind him. 

The place was only dimly and mistily lighted 
by some glimmering and distorted rays of the 
moon which straggled in through an opening in 
the centre of the cavern. The huge stones stood 
weird, ghost-like, and cold in the feeble light A 
spark or point of fire appeared over the altar on 
which lay some animal, tied and ready for the 
slaughter. 

Ranged in a circle on the middle of the floor 
of the cave were six objects, which at first he took 
for huge boulders, but on placing his hand on one, 
he found it was a living being. On looking more 



134 TALES OF OLD THULA. 

narrowly he perceived that what he took for 
stones were six crouching women. They were 
muttering and praying ecstatically, and took no 
notice of Yonild as he passed them. 

Thrudur led Yonild up to the altar and bade 
him kneel. When he had done so, she drew a 
sharp knife from her girdle and plunged it into 
the animal that lay on the altar. As she did so, 
she said in a loud voice, 

" I devote thee to Odin." 

She then took a brush, and dipping it in the 
blood of the victim, sprinkled it first upon her 
own face, then upon Yonild, and afterwards on 
each of the kneeling women. 

Then she led Yonild into the centre of the 
ring of praying women, and he knelt with his 
face to the altar. Thrudur took her place in 
the circle, and crouched with the other women 
around him. 

Their prayers and mutterings became louder, 
more earnest and imploring ; they all spoke at one 
time, although no two said exactly the same words 
together. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 135 

*' Oh, Thou, all-Father," they cried, 
'^ Hear us, great Odin, 

We beseech and conjure thee. 

Give success to our work. 

Sun, Ruler, and Father. 

*' List to us, Thor, 
Rock-Splitter, Storm-Ruler; 
We implore thee to hear us, 
Come to us, Red-Beard, 
Who smitest the nations. 

" Beautiful Frey, 
Who givest the sunshine. 
Smile on our spells 
And fire us with ardour ; 
So shall we conquer. ** 

Then their words were lost to Yonild, for they 
began to chaunt fast and furiously in an unknown 
tongue, bowing their faces to the floor and gradu- 
ally creeping inward till all their hands rested on 
the head of Yonild. 

Though his brain began to feel on fire, and 
his flesh quivered as he felt their rough, gnarled, 
but not unkindly fingers on his body, his mind 



136 TALES OF OLD THUL£, 

never flinched, and he kept his eyes on the 
altar. 

" AH tongues are alike to Odin, the all-Father," 
cried Thrudur." . . 

" We are seven who have served thee, Thor, 
when the strong men were slain and the weak 
ones forsook thee," cried the second of the 
women. 

" Frey, we have loved thee and faithfully 
served thee in sunshine and shadow," said the 
third. 

" Thor, Thor is coming, I feel his warm 
breath that precedes the thunder," said the fourth. 

" List how the winds sough o'er the cavern ! 
they are the heralds that tell of his coming," said 

the fifth. 

" Look where his lightnings play over the 
cloudlands ! " said the sixth. 

" Hear how his thunders roll o'er the islands," 
cried the seventh. 

"He comes ! the brave Thor who never for- 
sakes us, comes !" cried all the women together. 

There had been a sound of a light wind, which 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 137 

gradually but rapidly increased till it became the 
roll of distant thunder. Lightnings played about 
the roof of the cavern and flickered over the* 
altar. The thunder became louder, and as the 
witches screamed together in ecstasy, "He comes, 
the brave Thor !" a blaze of fire filled the cavern, 
followed by an ear-splitting crash of thunder ; the 
rocks opened, giving a glimpse of the outside sky, 
and a mailed figure, lighted up by electric fire, 
stood upon the altar. 

The witches gave a shout of joy and cried, 
'* Glory to our mighty Thor, who never forsakes 
his servants!*' 

" Speak !" said the figure, in a voice of rolling 
melodious thunder, " and thrice will I answer.'' 

" Shall he who kneels before thee gain the 
gifts he covets?" cried the women. 

"He shall through Fire," said the figure. 

" Shall he who kneels before thee succeed in 
his desires?" cried the women. 

"He shall by Hope and Labour." 

"Shall he who kneels before thee defeat his 
enemies?" cried the women. 



138 TALES OF OLD THULA. 

"He shall triumph through Justice. Fare- 
well. Hark ! I am called hence." 

The women hushed themselves, and a cry, 
faint as from an immeasurable distance, sighed 
through the cavern. 

" Come to our aid, Thor,*' cried the faint far- 
away voices. 

" I come!" cried Thor, in answer to the voices. 

"Stay!" cried the witches; "grant us your 
blessing, brave kind Thor. 

" 'Tis yours always," said the figure, stretching 
out his hands. Then he darted in flame through 
the rocks, which closed up again with thundrous 
crash. 

The witches slowly rose, seemingly much ex- 
hausted by their prayers and passionate ecstasy. 

Thrudur poured out some colourless drink 
from a flagon, and bade Yonild quaff* it. He 
drank it at once, and the blood coursed with 
renewed vigour through his veins. Then, in turn, 
all the women drank of the liquor ; first, however, 
each poured a little on the floor, at the same time 
saying. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 139 

" To the good luck of our God Thor, and of 
our new guest" 

After they had rested for some time, Thrudur 
whispered to the other women, who nodded and 
whispered back to her ; then she came to Yonild 
and said, 

"You must go now, and leave us here, but 
stay this night in my cottage; to-morrow you 
shall learn what it is you must do. We fly this 
night to Vasader to work around your fathers 
house the spells that will bring peace and hap- 
piness to your mother." 

Yonild passed out of the cavern into the 
cottage, and wrapping himself up in some skins 
he found there, soon fell asleep. 



IV. 

In the morning he was awakened by Thrudur, 
who had prepared a breakfast for him. He arose, 
scarce remembering at first where he was, but as 
the events of the night before came to his mind, 
he knew not what to think of them. He gazed 



I40 TALES OF OLD THULE. 

^—^1 II III ( ^■^^— 

curiously at his strange hostess, and waited for 
her to speak. She did not say a word, however, 
till he had done eating. Then she ppured out 
some of the colourless liquor he had tasted the 
night before, and bade him drink, telling him that 
he had need of it, for he had rare work before 
him that day. 

Yonild took a fair draught, and felt his hopes 
and spirit rise when he had done so. 

" Listen carefully to me," said Thrudur, " for I 
can but spare you few words, for I am tired with 
my sail through last night's moonlight to your 
father's house. Your mother now dwells in peace, 
and you must fulfil the destiny which Thor has 
sanctioned. Take up Fail-me-never, the sword I 
gave you yesterday, and set out without fear. 
Keep by the shore till you reach a glen, by which 
a stream flows into the sea. Follow that stream 
till you come to two lakes ; take the road that lies 
between them, and you shall find the magic 
helmet of Asgard and the flying shoes of Hermod. 
I cannot tell you more, save that when once upon 
that road you must not turn, even for fire or 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 141 

flames, or any other terror, till you have obtained 
the gifts of Thor. Farewell ; I am a weary ;" 
and she staggered to a seat. 

Yonild saw that she was weak and suffering, 
and he implored her to let him stay with her till 
she was better. 

" Rest, rest is all I want," she said ; " you 
must not stay, but push forward while the power 
of my spells is strong. Again I bid you fare- 
well.'' 

Seeing it useless to say more, Yonild thanked 
her earnestly for her great kindness to him, and 
went out of the cottage. 

He soon reached the shore, and following 
Thrudur's directions, came in due time to the 
road between the two lakes. 

The sea was far behind him, wild rocky hills 
girdled the lakes, and came curving in to meet 
the road, so that far away in front they entirely 
closed in, and arched over his pathway. The 
spot was lonely, not even a beast or a bird was to 
be seen. 

He sat down and rested for a little, and ate of 



142 TALES OF OLD THVL&. 

the food Thnidur had put into his scrip. He felt a 
mysterious desire to delay entering the lonely and 
unknown pathway before him. It was not fear 
he felt, but a reluctance to commit himself to an 
irrevocable destiny. Soon, however, overcoming 
the idle thoughts that counselled delay, he started 
up and entered the pathway. As he proceeded 
the light gradually grew fainter, not because day 
was declining, but owing to the rocks on each side 
of and above him getting closer, and closer, to the 
path ; and for the last few miles they had entirely 




excluded the direct light of day, and came down 
to meet the earth in front, as well as on his right 
hand and on his left, so that he was hemmed in 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 143 

on three sides by rocks which seemed to defy 
him to penetrate farther. 

But as he left the dayh'ght behind him^ and 
approached the masses of roof-rock which came 
down to the earth in front, and appeared to be 
the limit of his road, he perceived a wavering 
uncertain light coming from a hole in the rocks 
before him. There lay his path, he knew, and 
his heart beat quicker as he looked around him 
on the grim, lonely, overhanging rocks, like huge 
teeth, ready to crush him on every side, and 
saw before him a cave of fire. 

He clambered up to the opening whence the 
light proceeded, and crept into the low and 
narrow passage in which the light became gradu- 
ally stronger. He heard confused noises, and 
mocking laughter above, below, and all around 
him. He felt that he was drawing towards the 
climax of his adventure, and his heart grew bolder 
at the thought. Still he crept on, till at last the 
narrow passage ended in a spacious lofty cave in 
the centre of which was a mighty ring of hot, 
high, fierce, and roaring flame, around which 



144 TALES OF OLD THUL^. 

Stood and sat a row of swarthy dwarfs hammering 
at anvils, and pulling red-hot bars of metal from 
the flames. 

When Yonild advanced with dazzled eyes 
from the narrow path, the dwarfs set up a shout 
of derision. 

" Ho, ho !" they cried, " here comeis one of the 
white peacemakers !" 

" Yes," cried another, " a fine example of the 
fine peacemakers who would burn, slay, and de- 
stroy everybody who does not think as they do." 

"It would be well to teach this youngster 
that fire is hot and flames burn," said another. 

" Ha, ha !" cried the rest, "a nice little jest;" 
and they rushed forward to seize Yonild. 

Yonild quickly drew Fail-me-never from its 
scabbard, and the blade shone so brightly that the 
flaming wall of fire paled before it. 

" Ah ! " cried the dwarfs, drawing back, " that 
is no earthly weapon. Who are you who ven- 
ture so boldly into the halls of Muspellheim?" 

" I am Yonild, and from great Ving Thor I 
come." 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 145 



At the dreaded name of Thor the dwarfs fell 
on their knees before Yonild, crying, 

"What does Ving Thor desire? Speak; we 
will serve thee." 

" I conjure you by the name of Thor to tell 
how I may win the helmet of Asgard and the 
flying sandals of Hermod," said Yonild. 

" We dare not ! we dare not !" cried the dwarfs. 
" Sutur, our king, would slay us if we rendered up 
the fairy gifts of Asgard without his knowledge. 
But you shall ask him for yourself. Come." 

Yonild followed them round to the other side 
of the circle of fire, and through a grim-toothed 
archway into another and larger cavern, set about 
with golden pillars, and studded all over with 
precious stones and all the rare things which men 
dig from the bosom of the earth. 

On a throne of incomparable richness sat the 
king of the dwarfs, black-browed, swarthy-skinned, 
sinewy-armed, and eagle-eyed. 

The dwarfs, who had accompanied Yonild to 
the entrance of the hall, fell back at the sight of 
their king, and returning to the fire-cave, left 



4 



146 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 



Yonild standing alone before Sutur, the Prince of 
Muspellheim, the home of elemental fire. 

" Whence come you, bold mortal ? " said the 
king. 

"From Thrudur, called the witch, with the 
favour and consent of Thor." 

" What is your errand ? " 

" To find the helmet of Asgard and the shoes 

« 

of Hermod." 

" By my mother Ertha ! " said the king, " you 
are not blate.* Yet, if you bear a true token 
from brave Thor, you shall not lack my help." 

" I have no token, if this sword be not one," 
said Yonild, handing the glittering blade to the 
king. 

Sutur scanned the runes with which it was 
graven, and said, as he handed it back, "It is 
enough. It is a true token, and wrought by my 
own knaves. What, ho ! Logi, Modi, and Hrym, 
appear ! " 

Three figures entered, and Sutur, pointing to 
Yonild, said, 

* Bashful. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 147 

*' He is our friend, and must pass through the 
fire. Prepare him truly." 

Logi breathed upon Yonild, and his flesh 
became strong and hard as iron. 

Modi approached, and placed his hand on 
Yonild's heart, and his soul was filled with resist- 
less courage. 

Hrym embraced him, and he became proof 
against flame. 

*' 'Tis enough," said the king. " Lead him to 
the flaming ring. Farewell." 

The three figures led him back to the cave of 
fire, and told him he must dash bravely through 
the flames if he would gain the gifts of Asgard. 

Yonild drew a deep breath and dashed into 
the flaming billow. The breath in his throat was 
fire, and though his body hissed as the hot flames 
curled round his head and clung fiercely to his 
limbs, not a hair was singed. So he struggled 
on with closed eyes ; on till the ground be- 
neath his feet gave way, and he felt himself 
falling into the flaming gulf which was the birth- 
place of that ring of fire. 



i^ TALES OF OLD THVLt. 

Stin he fen ; he felt the flames grow weaker ; 
t^i^ were left above him ; still he fell, till at last 
he Mt \i\msyAl plun^ng into a lake of delidously 
e^x4 water^ 

f f e opened his eyes, and what a sight he saw ! 
VjxMy caverns and flaming fires had vanished, and 
he (UrMtd on a lake of ravishing beauty, beneath 
a %fAt warm sky« Before him lay an island with 
mnMe temples covered by gilded roofs, with 
»hfning towers peeping out from amidst groves of 
cedar and avenues of oak and ash. 

Yonild swam to the side of the lake, and 
mounting the steps that led from the water, saw 
three figures seated beside a fountain where two 
swans were floating. 

The three who sat by the fountain were sing- 
ing songs as they wove with unceasing and 
unresting hands. It was the Nornir, the awful 
sisters, who sat beneath a rainbow on the Doom- 
stead and passed the woollen, silken, and golden 
threads from hand to hand to make the wondrous 
web of life. Verdandi sat in the centre, and her 
face was sometimes beautifully fair, but ever and 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 



anon a cloud passed over her eyes. The face of 




Urd was calm, fair, and serene, 

unchanging with the strength 

of knowledge and wise power. 

But only dimly could he trace the face of Skuld, 

for e'en from Yonild, as from every other, was the 

Future veiled. Nor knew he whence she drew her 

golden threads which Verdandi snatched from her, 



ISO TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

.and tossed, sometimes with eager and whiles with 
careless hands, while Urda, with her ceaseless 
careful toil, smoothed and spread and wove the 
threads, and rolled them round her roller of 
forgotten things.* 

The songs of Urd were wise and true. 
Verdandi's songs were true but fickle, sometimes 
foolish, sometimes wise. The songs of Skuld 
were sometimes true, but oftener false ; but her 
sweetest song was the Song of Youth and Hope, 
and that was the song she was singing when 
Yonild stood by. 

Urda had only her roller ; behind the head of 
Verdandi hung the helmet of Asgard, and at the 
feet of Skulda the sandals of Hermod lay. Yet 
Yonild felt he durst not approach the wondrous 
three, unless at their desire. 

The fountain danced and glittered in the 
light, and sung with the great sisters in all their 
songs; the swans swam round the fountain in 
peace and calm till they caught sight of Yonild, 
when they raised a cry. 

* Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. The Past, Present, and Future. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 151 

The Nornir raised their heads and beckoned 
Yonild to come forward. 

** The gifts you seek are here," cried Verdandi ; 
" come hither and take them." 

He came first to Urda, and she said, 

" My gifts are all gone, but look on my face 
and on my roller of forgotten things, and be thou 
Wise." 

He went next to Verdandi, and she placed the 
helmet of Asgard on his head, saying as she did 
so, *' Be thou True." 

Skulda signed to him to take the sandals ; so 
he bound the shoes of Hermod to his feet, and 
tied them round his ankles. Then Skulda said 
from beneath her veil, " Be thou Brave." 

The three waved their hands to him in token 
of farewell. Yonild flew swiftly up over the tem- 
ples, towers, and trees, over the shimmering tremu- 
lous rainbow, and into the outer atmosphere 
that girdles all the earth. 

V. 

Filled with joy at his entire success, and borne 



15^ TALES OP OLD THUL£. 

Up by the sandab of Hermod, Yonild floated on 
over cities and palaces, hills and valleys, islands 
and firths. 

Far away beside the setting sun he saw a land 
of purple and pale crimson islands set in a shin- 
ing sea of golden green. They seemed to be the 
Islands of the Blessed, the earthly paradise, of 
which he had heard so often, so, rejoicing in his 
strength and swiftness, he flew onwards and 
onwards to the setting sun. 

The sun disappeared, the colour faded out of 
the purple islands, and the sea of sheeny green 
became darker and darker. Far below him lay 
the seas which rolled without a break far as his 
eye could reach ; only in those now dark islands of 
the west was a place for his tiring feet to be found, 
so still onward he flew. But as he approached 
nearer to them, a stound of pain smote his heart 
when he perceived that they were no islands but 
only thick clouds. 

For a moment his heart failed when he saw 
nothing around him but sea cinctured only by 
cloudsi and nowhere a speck of land. But 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 153 



onwards, onwards, was now his only hope of rest 
Darkness gathered thick around. The moon rose 
behind him but was speedily wrapped in clouds, 
and gave no cheering light. Faint for want of 
food, and tired with his long flight, it seemed as if 
every moment he must give up the struggle and 
drop into the sea. 

At last a feeble light rises over the sea before 
him ; is it a star ? No, it gradually gets larger as 
he approaches, and becomes many lights; they 
are the lamps of a great city in the land of 
Atlantis. 

VI. 

YoNiLD descended towards the nearest light, and 
alighted in a garden surrounded by high walls. 
The light came from the window of a house close 
by. Looking in, he saw a lady, richly apparelled, 
in loud, eager, and earnest converse with a 
cunning-looking old hag. 

" lonis must die, Fanga," said the lady. 

" She shall speedily, if you wish it, my queen," 
said the hag, who seemed to be hard of hearing. 



154 TALES OF OLD THULi:. 

** I do not wish her a speedy death. Let her 
suffer the pangs of seeing that her skin is wither- 
ing and her flesh rotting. Let her feel that her 
flckle adorers^ who to-day treat her as if she was 
the goddess of beauty, Freyja herself, avoid her 
as they would a loathsome pestilence. Do this, 
and your reward shall be a royal one/' 

" Liberal have you always been to me, my 
queen," whined Fanga. 

" And hark you," said the queen, rising to go, 
*' let me have more of the water of beauty that 
you boasted should aid me to bring back Garn- 
gousk to my feet ; and let it be stronger than the 
last, for that was powerless.'' 

" The water was truly and well distilled, but 
I fear you used it when the stars were on lonis 
side, and unfavourable to you." 

" Unfavourable, truly," said the queen ; " for 
instead of being, as you promised, * again my 
devoted slave, Garngousk laughs openly at my 
charms, and mocks me to my face, to show the 
princess that he only cares for her." 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 155 



** Your husband's daughter, the princess lonis, 
cares not for Garngousk, as I think." 

" It seems so, but her indifference only whets 
his fiery soul the more. I could tear her baby- 
looking eyes out, when I see her calmly scorn 
the tender looks of Garngousk, which I, a queen, 
would give the world, my life, ay, and my soul; to 
gain." 

"Well, well," said the hag, soothingly, "the 
tender glances and sweeter kisses shall all be 
yours. My charms have done greater and rarer 
things." 

" The Fates or Furies grant it!" 

" The king, your husband, how does he ? " 

"My husband ! my clod ! my nightmare ! my 
gentle lump of ice ! Oh, why did I, whose fiery 
passions rage like a devouring furnace, wed that 
kind, old, feeble fool ?" 

" The king, your husband, is accounted wise, 
and his first wife's daughter, lonis, whom you 
hate, inherits ; so they say " 

" Name her not," said the queen, " except to 
curse her and her saintly airs of wisdom, and her 



156 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

doll-like beauty, which have robbed me of the 
man who was my dog, my slave, my puppet. He 
said he lived but in my beauty's light ; I was his 
angel and his loadstar ; I laughed his words to 
scorn, for then I set but little value on his love or 
him. He left me and began to worship the dawn- 
ing beauty in lonis' face. Now I would give 
good name and more than life to win back the 
fiery soul whose passion I despised." 

" 'Tis the way of the world. But trust me, he 
shall again be all he was to you, ay, and more," 
said the hag meaningly. "Trust but in me; 
to-morrow night shall place into your hands 
your source of joy with Garngousk, and a sweet 
and long revenge on lonis." 

"Till then, farewell; meantime take this 
purse as erles," * said the queen. Then muffling 
herself up in her mantle, she swiftly left the 
room. 

She passed quite close to Yonild, but seem- 
ingly she saw him not, and he knew that the 
helmet of Asgard had rendered him invisible. 

♦ Earnest. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 157 



He glided into the house noiselessly, and stood 
by the old witch while she spread for herself a 
sumptuous supper. 

" A brave, weak-headed, passionate lady is our 
queen Libya," she muttered. " But she is open- 
handed, and deserves to be well served. She 
shall be ! here's to her health." 

She poured out some wine into a cup and 
drank it, then she filled the cup again and went 
on with her supper. 

Yonild, hungry and thirsty, stood beside the 
hag, and ate from the table, and drank up the 
wine she had poured out, and made a good 
supper. 

The hag reached out her hand to the wine cup, 
and found it empty. 

" I could have sworn I filled it ; but there's 
plenty more, and I may take my fill at my ease 
to-night. To-morrow will be early enough to set 
to work on the potions. I have everything ready. 
It is not for nothing that I tell fair fortunes and 
gallant husbands to the queen's maids ; they tell 
me as rare things in return." 



iss 



TALES OF OLD THUL&. 



Seeing that the witch had resolved to make 
herself comfortable and take her ease for the 
present, Yonild went into another apartment, but 
afraid that this might be the witch's own chamber, 
and that he might be discovered as he slept, he 
went out to the barn. Throwing himself on the 
straw, he was soon fast asleep. 

VII. 

AY dawned brightly 
on the city of 
Odenvang as Yonild left the witch's barn, and 




THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 159 

with his flying shoes and invisible helmet soared 
above the town. It was not difficult to discern the 
castle-palace of the king, which crowned a rocky 
hill in the centre of the town, but at its southern 
end jutted out till it overhung the foaming 
sea-billows, which dashed against the precipices 
on which that part of the castle was built. 

He descended on the courtyard ; then turning 
the peak of his helmet, he saw from the eyes of 
the sentinels that he had become visible, although 
still wearing the helmet of Asgard. 

He went up to the nearest door, at which 
stood a huge giant of a man with battle-axe, 
horned helmet, bossed breastplate, and scaly 
armour, hung about with iron and brazen chains. 

" I desire to speak with the princess lonis," 
said Yonild. 

Said the sentinel, 

" There's many a gay young springald desires 
the same ; ay, and would give his ears to use his 
tongue in hers. But I trow she's entertained in 
better company than that of outlandish, empty- 
headed, feathered-heeled buffoons." 



i6o TALES OF OLD THULf:. 

" I am no jongaleur or strolling mime/' said 
Yonild ; " my errand is a thing of life and death ; 
so let me pass.** 

" No, by my soul," said the sentinel, "you shall 
not pass. I know your kindred far too well of old. 
You'd bleed the soft-hearted beauty lonis' purse 
too freely with your tale of life and death/' 

" I shall pass," said Yonild, endeavouring to 
enter. 

"Take that then for your pains," said the 
sentinel, aiming a blow at the youth. 

But Yonild avoided the blow, and springing 
lightly into the air by the aid of his flying shoes, 
spurned with his foot so deftly the huge man, that 
the sentinel went rolling, roaring, and clashing 
down the steps. 

The rest of the soldiers came running hurriedly 
to see what was to do, while Yonild entered the 
palace, and turning the peak of his helmet as at 
first, immediately became invisible. 

On hearing the story of the sentinel, the 
soldiers entered and began to search for the in- 
truder, but seeing no one who answered the de- 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. i6i 

scription they had received, they began to bully 
and torment their comrade for putting so silly a 
jest upon them. 

Yonild meanwhile had entered the great hall, 
where the king, noble-looking, strong, and tall, sat 
to hear causes and see justice done to his subjects. 

In a little time the queen entered. It was the 
lady Yonild had seen the night before at the witch's 
dwelling. The king made room for her on the 
throne beside him, but she coldly desired to be 
excused, and sat down with her women in an ar- 
caded bower opening from the hall. Stealthily 
and eagerly the queen watched the door, looking 
more and more disappointed as lord and noble 
came in to offer his duty to the king. Suddenly 
her face paled, then flushed, her eyes sparkled, 
she shivered, and moved uneasily in her seat. 

Yonild looked to see who had entered. It 
was a man under the middle size, but lithely made 
and well knit. His manner was bold and easy, 
and from his replies to the other courtiers, Yonild 
perceived his wit was quick and cutting. 

When he was hailed as Garngousk by the 

M 



i62 TALES OF OLD THULA, 

lords, Yonild knew that this was the man whose 
love the queen coveted, and he could not but 
marvel at the perversity which led her to prefer 
this small, dark-eyed, heavy-browed, evil- pas- 
sioned, bold, forward man, to the clear-faced, tall, 
good, and noble-looking king. 

When Garngousk had made his obeisance 
before the throne, he sauntered carelessly over to 
the bower where sat the queen and her maidens. 
Her eyes glistened and softened as he approached, 
but he scarcely looked at her as he made some 
politely sarcastic remarks, which almost brought 
tears into her eyes. Then he let his bold 
glances wander over the queen's maids. Some 
returned his glance admiringly, but many drooped 
beneath his gaze, while some returned him only 
contemptuous looks. 

He did not, however, seem to see the face he 

sought, so he said carelessly, 

" How comes it that your lady lonis is absent 
from her father's hall ? " 

" She went this morning to Torfrigga's house," 

said one of the maids. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 163 

" That IS her aunt, the sister of her dead 
mother," said a second. 

" She will return this evening," said a third. 

Garngousk knit his brow closer, and an excla- 
mation of annoyance came to his lips. 

Then he went beside the queen, and threw 
her a careless kind word or two, at which she 
looked adoringly in his face. 

Thinking it useless longer to delay, when he 
could not see the princess to warn her of her danger, 
Yonild left the hall, and still invisible, gained the 
courtyard. Springing into the air, he flew swiftly 
to the witch's dwelling, fearful lest he should be 
too late to avert the danger intended to the 
princess. 

VIII. 

When he drew near to Fanga's house, he saw the 
witch in the garden, gathering herbs. Turning 
the peak of his helmet so that he might be visible 
while he hovered in the air, he drew his glittering 
sword and gave a loud shout The hag looked 
up, and fell backward in astonishment while he 



TALES OF OLD THULR. 




swiftly descended to the 

earth, and stood before 
her with his sword 
pointed to her lieart. 

" Mercy! oh, mercy!" 
whined the hag. 

"Wretch," said 
Yonild, " your evil 
deeds are registered, 
and your doom is 
written. You shall 
drink the cup you have 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 165 

prepared for the princess lonis, or perish by this 
flaming firebrand of the gods." 

"They said the gods looked on our secret 
sins/' muttered the hag to herself, " I ne'er be- 
lieved it ; but now I see 'tis true. Spare me, nor 
cut me off in my sins ; I will repent" 

"Show your repentance by your acts then," 
said Yonild, "and you shall be spared. Ex- 
change the potions, and let the queen drink of 
the venom prepared for the princess." 

" I will ! I will ! if you will but let me live." 

" Is that repentance of your crimes, to doom 
to horrid death the queen who fed you with rich 
gifts ? " 

" I thought you wished it, and I dread your 
power," said the witch. 

" I tried you only," said Yonild. " This do 
instead. Destroy your subtle poisons that tor- 
ment the flesh, and for the princess mix a harm- 
less draught, that will induce a deathlike slumber. 
Mayhap the queen too will repent when she 
thinks her victim is within death's gates." 

Then the witch replied, " Doubdess thou art 



i66 TALES OF OLD THUL^. 

a god; thou knowest all my acts; look in my 
heart, and see that I resolve to obey, adore, and 
worship thee." 

" Reserve thy worship for the Mighty One who 
made the heavens. I am his servant, as I hope 
you'll prove yourself anon." 

" I swear by him who giveth victory, the 
father of slaughter, who nameth those that are to 
be slain, in all things to obey thee truly." 

" Enough," said Yonild. " When the queen 
comes to night, give her her water of beauty if 
you choose, but instead of the poison she bargained 
for to infect and slay the princess, let her have 
an innocent sleeping draught that will leave no 
ill effects." 

'' I hear and will obey you,"" said the witch. 

Yonild had turned the peak of his helmet and 
was again invisible. As he hovered over the witch, 
he said, '* I will be present at your meeting with 
the queen to-night, although you see me not 
Beware, if you deal falsely.'* 

Then he sped back to the palace, to await the 
coming of the princess. 



THE SANDALS Of HERMOD. 



But in Spite of his waiting, the princess gained 
the palace by a secret entrance without his know- 
ledge. 

That evening the queen received from Fanga 




a harmless sleeping draught, instead of deadly 
poison, and innocently tinctured water, instead of 
the love philtre she desired. Taking her way back 
to the palace, she found means to administer the 
sleeping-draught under pretence of giving a 



i68 TALES OF OLD THULR. 

restorative to the 'princess, who was tired with her 
journey. Then hurrying to her chamber, and 
throwing off her rich dress, the weak queen 
pleased herself by thinking of her coming revenge. 



IX. 

Great was the consternation in the palace next 
morning when the princess was discovered lying 
like one dead. 

The physicians were divided in their opinions ; 
some declared she was quite dead, and some 
that she was only in a deep unnatural sleep. 

Invisible himself, Yonild made his way into 
the chamber where she lay, and stood entranced 
before the sweet virginal loveliness of the princess, 
which far exceeded all report. Even while she 
lay like dead, with her lovely eyes closed and her 
cheek almost colourless, a deep passionate love 
took possession of him, and he resolved that come 
what might he would watch over her till she 
awaked, so he sat invisible in a corner and heard 
the talk of the king, the queen, and the physicians. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 169 

as they came and went and came again, to see if 
there was any change on the princess. 

The sleep continuing all that day and the 
succeeding night, in the morning the king 
commanded that lonis should be carried in a 
litter to the cell of a holy and skilly hermit who 
had his dwelling in a cave among the mountains. 
Though he shunned courts, palaces, and houses, 
the hermit never refused to use his skill for the 
benefit of those who came to him. 

All being ready, the men took up the litter in 
which the princess was placed, and Yonild walked 
invisible beside them. After he had gone a good 
way, Yonild discovered that he had left his sword 
behind him, probably it had fallen out while he 
dozed during the night behind the tapestry in a 
corner of the princess's chamber. 

Yonild blamed his carelessness, but he dared 
not fly back for his sword, lest he should lose 
sight of the princess, so he walked on, eager to 
catch her first glance when she awakened. 

When the bearers of the litter and the 
princess's attendants got among the confused 



I70 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

glens separated by wild hills which bordered the 
hermit's dwelling, they stopped to rest and 
consult about the doubtful road. While they were 
thus engaged, ten or a dozen men, armed and 
masked, came over the brow of the hill on the left 
hand, and with drawn swords and wild shouts 
rushed furiously down upon the people of the 
princess, who were almost quite unarmed. The 
attendants abandoned the litter, and fled in 
dismay. 

Now it was that Yonild cursed his forgetful- 
ness in leaving his sword, for he had to stand by 
invisible while the masked men took up the 
litter with the princess, and trotted rapidly across 
the moorland which stretched away to the right, 
till they came to a black chasm or pit. 

Placing ropes under the litter, they proceeded 
to lower the princess and the litter into the pit. 

Yonild wondered much at this, till one of the 
men who was drawing up the ropes, said, 

" Well, that hard-hearted job's done ; I'd as 
soon 'a killed a man as lowered that rope, but it's 
ill for a poor man to argue with a queen/' 



THE SANDALS OF HER MOD. 171 

" Most like the princess is stone dead ; the 
queen said she was, and what signifies whether 
she is buried in the moorland among the hills, or 
in a king's tomb?" said another; " yet it signifies 
something to us," said a third, " for we might 
serve many a year before we got as many gold 
pieces as we have got for this last two hours* work. 
But let us not stand prating here, but get back to 
the city by different ways before, we are missed." 
Then they all set off, and soon disappeared. 

Yonild flew down the pit, which widened out 
as he descended. When he drew back the 
curtains, he found that the rough manner in 
which she had been jolted over the ground, had 
awakened the Princess, and that she was sitting 
up and looking wildly about hen 

Yonild turned the peak of his cap, and the 
princess saw him kneeling at her side. 

" Where am I, and who are you ?" said the 
princess. 

" You are at the bottom of a pit among the 
hills, and I am Yonild, a friend, who would give 
his life to serve you." 



TALES OF OLD TJf[/L£. 




Then he told the princess how he had dis- 
covered the queen's plot, and how he had made 
the witch prepare a sleeping-draught instead of a 
deadly poison, hoping that the queen would 
repent of her deadly enmity when she saw the 
princess lying in a death-like sleep ; how the 
king had sent her to the hermit, and how the 
queen had interfered, and had caused her to be 
put into the pit, to perish of starvation. 

As Yonild knelt before lonis, with adoration 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD, 173 

in his eyes as he told his story, the princess 
regarded him with earnest looks, and becoming 
aware that this gallant-looking youth regarded 
her with more than friendly interest, she blushed 
entrancingly, and cast down her eyes. 

Then the helplessness of their situation came 
into her mind, and she said, 

"Is there no means of escape ? must we die 
together in this dreadful pit?" 

" There is a means of escape. You see these 
winged sandals which I wear; these will carry 
you to the upper world if you will put them on.'' 

" Gladly would I wear them, but I cannot leave 
you, or accept my life at the price of yours." 

" My life is at your service,"said Yonild. " Fear 
not for that ; I risk it not, for when you reach the 
upper air, you can untie the sandals from your 
feet, and wrapping them tightly together, cast 
them down to me. Then I shall ascend, and 
guide you to your father's house." 

The princess agreed to this. So Yonild un- 
tied them, and took them off and bound them to 
the feet of the beautiful princess. 



174 TALES OF OLD THUL£, 

" I am weak and dizzy/' said she, " and only 
yet half awake. How can I fly." 

" You have but to desire and try." 

" I go then, " said the princess, offering Yonild 
her hand. 

He pressed it eagerly to his lips and gazed on 
her passionately, as, waving her hands, she soared 
up through the gradually narrowing pit 

She soon reached the surface of the earth, and 
calling down to Yonild that all was well, pro- 
ceeded to untie the sandals. 

But in his dread lest the sandals should come 
loose, Yonild had tied them so firmly that the 
princess could not unloose the knots. 

" Cut them," cried Yonild. 

" I have no knife," cried back the princess. 

"Aha! I have found you," cried a voice 
behind her, and turning, she beheld Gamgousk 
galloping over the soft turf towards her. 

She crouched down thinking to escape ; but she 
was too late. 

Gamgousk came up, and throwing himself 
from his horse, tried to clasp her in his arms. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 175 

She tried to avoid him, but he seized and held 
her. 

He reproached her for her coldness, and said 
that he had set out to rescue her, when the litter- 
bearers had returned and spread consternation 
through the courts of the palace by the tale of 
the way their mistress had been carried off. 

He continued to urge her to accept him, but as 
she still refused, he cried, 

" By fair means or foul, you shall be mine !" 

Catching her up in his arms, he placed her 
upon his horse. Then vaulting up himself, he set 
spurs to his steed. 

The princess cried to Yonild for help, but the 
horse with his double burden galloped furiously 
in the direction of Garngousk's castle. 

X. 

Yonild, listening eagerly, heard the voice of 
Garngousk, and half mad with passion and fear 
for lonis, tried to fly as he was wont to do, but 
he lacked his winged sandals, and came tumbling 
headlong on the earth ; then he tried to climb the 



176 TALES OF OLD THULt:. 

overhanging sides, but he only dislodged a mass 
of stones and earth, and narrowly escaped being 
crushed to death. There was neither foot-hold, 
nor finger-hold. He trembled with eager passion, 
and as he heard the cry of lonis for help borne 
away in the distance, he threw himself in despair 
on the ground. 

How long he lay he knew not, but he was 
aroused by the breath of some wild animal sniff- 
ing at his face. |^He sprang up, and the l^east 
disappeared into some hole in a dark corner of 
the pit. 

The thought came upon him that not only was 
he powerless to help lonis, who was dearer to him 
than life, but that his life would ebb away by a 
miserable and lingering death. The beasts would 
pick his bones, and his mother, far away in ThulS, 
would never hear of him more. It was a day of 
evil ; first he had lost his sword, and next his 
sandals ; but it was the brightest day of his life, 
for he had looked on, and, unblamed, had kissed 
the hand of the fairest maid that the sun ever 
shone upon. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 177 

The thought of lonis roused him, and suddenly 
he remembered how the beast that came sniffing 
about him disappeared. Perhaps there was an 
outlet from the pit. He went to the dark corner 
into which the animal had vanished. The wind 
blew on his face, but the hole whence it came was 
too strait to admit his body. 

Soon, however, he enlarged the opening with 
a pointed stone, and forcing his body in, wound 
himself like a worm along the narrow passage. 
For more than an hour thus he worked his way, 
sometimes half suffocated by the contractions of 
the tunnel ; but at last it widened and increased in 
height, so that he was able to stand upright. 
Groping his way forward for a while, a turn in his 
path at length disclosed, far away before him, a 
shining point of light. 

The roof was now far above his head, and the 
narrow passage had widened till it became a wide 
cavern, the sides of which eluded his touch. But 
he pressed onward towards the point of light 
which was gradually growing larger, and he gave 
a shout of joy when the wind brought him the 

N 



178 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

faint sound of the beating waves as they dashed 
against the shore outside, beyond the point of 
light. But even as he shouted the ground seemed 
to give way beneath his feet, and he fell headlong 
into a black subterranean loch. He rose quickly 
to the surface, and was swimming to the farther 
side, when he perceived in his fall he had lost the 
invisible helmet of Asgard. He swam about, 
groping for it on the surface of the water. He 
dived, but dive as he might he ne'er could touch 
the bottom. The point of light was hidden ; he 
could only guess at the airt* it lay. 

His strength was failing. He thought the 
echoes roused by his splashings in the water 
sounded like mocking laughter. At all hazards 
he must cross this loch, whose breadth was un- 
known, and whose waters were benumbing and 
icy cold. 

He swam steadily on till his hands touched the 
rocky edges of the farther side. He drew himself 
wearily out of the water, and staggered on till at 
last he emerged into the sunlight on the shores of 
a boundless sea. 

♦ Airt — Direction. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 179 

Far away to the south-west he saw the city 
and the palace of the king crowning the rocky 
headland. He was thankful for his escape with 
life, yet he could not forget that in a few hours he 
had lost all his fairy gifts. Sword, sandals of 
Hermod, and cap of Asgard, all were gone. 

" Yet," said he, " I still have life and sunshine ; 
if I had but food I may yet redeem my lost gifts, 
and with them win lonis." 

As he was speaking he descried a man laden 
with driftwood creeping slowly up from the rocks 
by the sea. 

Yonild went down to meet him, and asked if 
he could sell or give him food. 

The man put down his bundle of wood, and 
gazed on Yonild without speaking. 

Yonild thought he had not heard, so he said, 
" I am faint with hunger ; if you can let me have 
some food." 

" You will be one of the gay gentles from the 
town o er by," said the man, pointing away across 
the bays to the distant headland crowned by the 
king's palace. 



i8o TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

" Nay," said Yonild, " I came from a place 
more distant. From Thul6 I came." 

*' Thul6 was my mother's land. You are wel- 
come for her sake," said the man, preparing to 
take up his wood again. 

" Stay," said Yonild ; " I am younger than you, 
and can carry this more easily." 

** E'en as you will," said the man, moving 
slowly away. 

Yonild took up the wood and followed, till the 
man came to his dwelling, which was half hut half 
cave. 

Food being set before him, Yonild, as he ate, 
asked the man if he knew where Garngousk dwelt. 

'' I do truly. I know his castle as a place to 
shun." 

" He has carried off the princess by force," 
said Yonild. 

" She is not the first by many." 

" But this is lonis, the daughter of the king." 

" Kings make themselves whiles by force, 
whiles by fraud; his daughter is but a woman 
after all," said the man ; then he added, "but this 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. iSi 

is a good king — so the folk say, at least — so I'm 
sorry for his loss." 




When his meal was ended the man directed 
Yonild how he should find Gamgousk's castle, 
although he advised him to give up his purpose. 



i82 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

and avoid the place, for it was guarded by fierce 
dogs, and fiercer men. 

" I will go," said Yonild, though the place was 
full of raging fiends." 

" Well, well," said the man, " if you will go, go 
as a jongaleur ; you can play and sing, doubtless. 
Here is my gittern, it is old and battered, but 
many a one would give much to have it for an 
hour, for no one can refuse what the player wills." 

Yonild eyed it curiously, and passed his fingers 
over the strings ; it seemed as if he had awakened 
a being who lived in the instrument, the music 
was so weird, so piercing, and expressive, and so 
unlike the sound of any other gittern. 

Yonild thanked him cordially, and set off on 
his journey. 

Yonild reached the castle of Garngousk with- 
out trouble. When the fierce dogs came bounding 
out to devour him, he swept his hand over the 
gittern strings while walking boldly on, and the 
snarling dogs, with lowered tails, went skulking 
back to their kennels. At the sound of the music 
the men came out, and as he played, Garngousk 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 183 

sent a page to bid Yonild come into the hall to 
amuse his fair guest. 

lonis started when she saw him, but quickly 
concealed her agitation. 

Garngousk scowled on Yonild, and said, " Sing 
us a song of love which overcame all obstacles." 

Yonild chanted in rhythm the story of a knight 
who gained his lady in spite of the enchantment 
by which she was holden. 

It was a rough and unpolished song, but the 
entrancing music of the gittern made it sound of 
more than earthly grandeur. 

Every one was charmed. Garngousk tossed a 
purse to Yonild, who did not stoop to pick it up. 
The princess rose and presented him with some- 
thing she took out of her long hanging sleeves. 

It was the sandals of Hermod. 

Everybody laughed to see this man, who did 
not think it worth while to pick up a purse, re- 
ceive so thankfully a pair of old shoes. 

Yonild bound them firmly on his feet. Then 
rising said, " I can dance as well as sing." Pacing 
the hall lightly and airily, he danced to the music 



l»4 TALES OF OLD THULE, 



of the (fittcrn such steps as never before were seen. 
Whiin he reached the hall door he cried to Garn- 
KoviMk, '' He on your terrace in one hour from this 
time, und I will show you greater wonders." Then 
he ({ave u look of assurance and hope to the prin- 
crNNi und swiftly withdrew. 

I Iq Hew buck rapidly, by the help of the flying 
M(U\dub, to the hut of the man, and returned him 
hln u\ugic gittern, and procured from him a lighted 
toivh \ with this he flew into the dark cavern, and 
found thr helmet of Asgard between the rocks 
whciv he hud fallen into the water. 

)\Utiu^^ the helmet on his head, he flew swiftly 
tv) the king'^ [>uluce» and passing invisibly into the 
IM'iuce^'^ chuiul>er» he found his sword behind the 
U^H\>itrv wheiY he hud lain the night before. 



XL 

Vvv\\u^ vNAme tKu\^^ Iv^^k x^e^iring the helnieiof 
%A?^^v\U Wheix he c^me ixx ^^ht v>f Girt:^;oi£sk s 

v\<v;x\\ th\^ ^vu\ KavI 5!^t thv\;^h hu> !;^h: cccIJ sell 



W v\\ <\ u\ t^v"^ Uv\<h<iU ;^k\x A:^ hs^ cr^w ciejirer. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 185 

he perceived two figures on the terrace that jutted 
out from the castle and overhung the sea. His 
heart bounded when he saw it was lonis and 
Garngousk. The princess was endeavouring to 
elude Garngousk's embrace, and when at last he 
caught her in his arms, she gave a wild shriek for 
help. 

Yonild gave a loud shout, and turning the 
peak of his cap, became visible, as he flew swiftly 
through the air towards the pair on the terrace. 

lonis gave a cry of joy when he descended 
beside her. Garngousk, although he had started 
back at the appearance of the winged stranger, 
soon recovered himself, when he perceived in 
Yonild the jongaleur who had been playing in the 
castle that day. 

"Juggler or god, angel or fiend," he cried, 
" you shall not come between me and my purpose ; 
begone, and leave us." 

lonis clung to Yonild, who said, " Willingly I 
leave you, but this fair lady goes with me to her 
father's house." 

" Take then the punishment which is the due 



186 TALES OF OLD T/fUL£. 



of meddling knaves/' said Garngousk, drawing his 
sword, and darting at Yonild's heart 

Yonild stepped aside, and drew his flaming 
blade from its sheath. 

" Let us go in peace, or your blood be upon 
your own head/* said he, standing upon his guard. 
For he had never yet killed a man, and was loth 
to slay Garngousk if he could gain his purpose 
without his death, 

•* My voice speaks in my sword," said Garn- 
gousk, as he again tried to plunge his blade into 
Yonild's heart 

Yonild parried the blow, and struck back at 
Gamgt>usk| who laughed as he evaded the stroke, 
for he saw that Yonild was not equal to himself in 
fencing skill But what Yonild wanted in skill, he 
made up for in coolness, so the two slashed at each 
other witltout either receiving more than a few 
llcsh wounds. 

In the mivlst of the fight it came into Yonild's 
mind th^t he w^as not ax^ailing himself of his 
^wwixls rarest qiulily. So, instead <rf aiming at 
Gam>;\>u^k. he &in\>re at his sword with his own 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 187 

bright glancing weapon. Garngousk's sword was 
cut through clean near the hilt, and his life 
seemed at Yonild's mercy. " Now yield thee, 
and beg forgiveness of this lady for the wrong 
you have done her, and of the greater wrong 
which you intended her, and your life shall yet be 
spared." 

" I ask my life from neither man nor maid 
Look to your own life," said Garngousk, springing 
so suddenly at Yonild's throat, that he had to 
drop his sword in order to grapple with his 
adversary. 

They swayed and tugged as they grappled, 
getting nearer and nearer to the edge of the 
terrace which overhung the sea, as they struggled. 
Now they were at the edge, and Garngousk lay 
half over the low parapet which was the only 
guard, but still he clung fiercely with one arm 
round Yonild's neck, while with the other he 
showered blows upon his body. When he found 
himself losing his footing, he clung to Yonild with 
both hands, as if resolved that he would not go 
alone over the precipice. 



TALES OF OLD THUL&. 



" Once more," said Yonild, " do you yield ?" 
" Never!" gasped Garngousk, 
tugging fiercely at Yonild, as if 
careless of saving himself, but 
only wishful to carry his enemy 
with him. 

Yonild dis- 



engaged 

his right 

hand, and 

smote Garngousk 

a crashing blow on 

the breast, his arms 

relaxed ; then, 

Garngousk could 

recover himself, Yonild 

gave him another terrible 

blow under the chin, at 

same time bowing his 




THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 189 

head to let the arms of Garngousk slip over 
him. 

Garngousk lost his hold ; his feet stepped and 
slipped wildly on the outside of the parapet ; then 
he fell head foremost over the precipice, and 
was dashed to pieces on the rocks that jutted 
out of the sea. 

Garngousk's men had been astonished at the 
noise, but as they had been forbidden by their 
master to' approach the place, whatever sounds 
they might hear, they knew not what to think, 
when lonis, led by Yonild, again invisible, entered 
the hall and commanded horses. The servants, 
struck with fear at hearing a man's voice in the 
middle of the hall, where no man was to be seen, 
got the horses ready with all speed, and lonis 
went off, seemingly accompanied by a horse with 
an empty saddle. This was the steed on which 
Yonild sat. An hour's riding brought them to the 
palace of the king, who, unable to sleep, was pacing 
eagerly backwards and forwards in the hall. 

lonis and Yonild were joyfully received, and 
the women rushed to tell the queen that Garn- 



190 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

gousk was slain, and the princess rescued by the 
gallantest knight that ever was seen. 

All her plots frustrated, the lover for whom 
she had so sinfully and cruelly schemed lying 
dead, despair seized on the weak and hapless 
queen. That night she threw herself headlong 
over the palace rocks into the sea. Her dead 
rock-battered body was found by some fishermen, 
who carried it up the steep pathway to the palace. 

The same night the dwelling of Fanga, the 
witch, was seen wrapped in flames. No one 
could tell whether she had perished or escaped, 
but she never appeared in Atlantis again. 

The king employed Yonild in all his most 
difficult and delicate services ; in the field against 
his enemies, and in the court in forming treaties 
with his friends. Yonild*s intrepidity and justice, 
united to the influence of the magical gifts of 
Fail-me-never, the sandals of Hermod, and the 
helmet of Asgard, everywhere crowned with suc- 
cess whatever he undertook, and the kingdom of 
Atlantis grew in purity, richness, and strength, 
day by day. 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 191 

— - 

After a time Yonild yearned to return to his 
friends in Thul6. Neither lonis nor Yonild 
knew how dear they had become to each other 
till the day of parting drew near. Then the love 
which had been so long untold took words to 
itself, and filled the pair with inexpressible 
delight. 

The king consented to their marriage, which 
took place with such splendour, such gifts to the 
poor, and such entertainments to the whole 
people, that the sages said that they had 
reached the highest point of the golden days 
of Atlantis. 

During the honeymoon Yonild freighted a 
ship with rich presents for his old friends in 
ThulS, and with his bride set sail to revisit his 
birth-land. 

That sea which he had passed over in dark- 
ness, and almost despairingly, when the sandals 
of Hermod bore him from Thul6, now glittered 
in sunlight 

Yonild sang to the sound of harp as lonis 
stood playfully against the mast, keeping time 



192 TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

with uplifted hand and gracefully swaying figure 
to the sounds of the music. 

When they reached Vasader in Thul6, they 
found his mother happy and young-looking. 
Thiblun, her husband, had been kind and affec- 
tionate, ever since the day of Yonild's disappear- 
ance. Whether this was due to his remorse for 
his treatment of the lad, or to the spells which 
Thrudur, the good witch, wove that night around 
the castle walls, none can tell. 

Yonild offered back the magic gifts to Thrudur, 
fearful lest at any time they might fall into un- 
worthy hands, but Thrudur bade him keep them 
without such fear, assuring him that the Nomir 
would take care that their gifts were not vainly 
nor wrongly bestowed. 

After spending fair and happy days in Thuld. 
Yonild and his bride set sail, and arrived safely in 
Adantis. 

When the old king died, Yonild ascended 
the throne, and ruled with such wisdom, 
justice, and kindness, that the people never 



THE SANDALS OF HERMOD. 193 

ceased to bless the time that he came over the 
sea, borne up by the wondrous sandals of 
Hermod. 




THE GOLDEN GLOVE. 





i H E RE was a young-, 
rich, and beautiful 
lady, who was about 
to be married to a 
lord. A day or two 
before the wedding, the lord brought his friend, 
a gallant and handsome young farmer, to see the 



THE GOLDEN GLOVE. 195 

lady of his choice. The lady fell in love at first 
sight with the farmer, and ere they parted, the 
farmer was as deep in love with her. 

When the morning of the wedding had come, 
the lady, love-sick for the young farmer, instead 
of betaking herself to the kirk to be married, 
took to her bed, and the wedding was put back. 
Nevertheless, in the afternoon, she disguised her 
face, and dressing herself in manly apparel, went 
with crossbow on her shoulder, and with her 
dogs at her heels, to hunt on the grounds of the 
young farmer, which was part of her own estate. 

She crossed and recrossed the fields, whistled 
and hallooed to her dogs, without meeting the 
farmer. As she was beginning to fear that he 
was absent, and was about to withdraw, she met 
him coming up the road. 

She professed to be surprised to see him, as 
she understood he was to be at the wedding to 
give away the bride to the lord. 

" Ah ! " said the young farmer with a sigh, " I 
would she were as poor as myself, that I might 
ask her to give herself to me.'* 



$^ TALES OF OLD THUL£. 

^^Are you then in love with the promised 
bride of the young lord your friend ? How 
would you answer to him, should the lady favour 
your hopes ? ** said she. 

^^With sword and axe I would give him a 
meeting, and let the best man win/' 

At parting, the lady drew from her pocket a 
glove embroidered with gold, and said to the 
farmer, 

'' Here is a glove I picked up on the way 
thither ; as I am a stranger here, I will leave it 
with you in order that you may find the owner." 

Next day she sent out the crier to say that 
she had lost a glove embroidered with gold, and 
that she would take the man who found it for her 
husband, if the man was willing. 

The young farmer heard the proclamation, and, 
half wild with joy, and half doubting his good 
fortune, took his way to the house of the lady. 
He presented the glove, and modestly reminded 
her of the reward promised to the finder, and 
although that reward was far above his hopes, it 
was what his heart most ardently desired. 



THE GOLDEN GLOVE. 197 

Before he left her, she confirmed the promise 
of the crier, and agreed to take him for her 
husband. The report was soon spread abroad, 
and coming to the young lord's ears, he demanded 
that the farmer should resign his claim to the 
lady, or else meet him in single combat. 

The farmer answered that he would never 
resign the lady while there was breath in his 
body, but that he would meet the young lord when 
and where he pleased, and with whatever weapons 
he liked to choose. 

Swords and bucklers being chosen, on the 
day appointed for the fight, the lord and 
the farmer, accompanied by their seconds, or 
shield -bearers, and their friends, met to settle 
their difference. With the assistance of their 
shield-holders the combatants warded off each 
other's blows for some time; but at last the 
farmer clove his adversary's shield in twain, 
and following up his advantage, brought the 
young lord to his knees by a blow on his 
helmet. 

Then putting his sword to his throat, he made 



198 



7 ALES OF OLD THLL£. 



the young lord resign all claim to the lady, and 
beg his own life. 




"> 



Soon the handsome young farmer and the 
rich and beautiful lady were married, and after a 
time she told him of her device of the glove, and 
how the game that she hunted that day with 



THE GOLDEN GLOVE. 



her dogs and her crossbow was the young farmer 
himself. Both agreed that for the hunter and the 
hunted that hunting was the happiest that had 
ever been undertaken in ThulS. 




Prinltdh^ R. & R. Clakx, Edlnh-rth. 




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Under the Greenwood Tree. 
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recent^ been metde fhgtk amd real iomfyike tki^fulfen ofMrt, OS/koHi. Alii 
%r Tk m ^eau it a ditimieretiodana met a omesaded amdfr^tiSoed koA 



Crown 8to, doth extra, with Illustrations, 7j. 6d. 

Timbs' Clubs and Club Life in London. 

With Anecdotes of Its femous Coffee-houses, Hostdries, and 
Taverns. By John Timbs, F.S. A. With numerous Illustrations. 

Crown 8to, doth extra, with Blustrations^ 7/. 6d. 

Timbs' English Eccentrics and Ec- 

eetUricUies: Stones of Wealth and Fashion, Delusions, Impos* 
tures, and Fanatic Missions, Strange Sights and Sporting Scenes, 
Eccentric Artists, Theatrical Folks, Men of Letters, &c. By John 
Timbs, F.S.A. With nearly 50 Ilhistrations. 



36 BOOKS PV BUSHED BY CHATTO ^ WINDUS. 
One Vol. crown 8to^ cloth extn, 7/. M 

Tom Taylor* s Historical Plays. 

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andPa»lon/^ 

%* The Plays may also be had separately, at is. each. 

» . I . II 

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Life l^ ToHN Thomas Smith, Ute Keeper of the Prints in the 
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Large crown 8to^ doth antiqne, with Slostration^ 7/. 6tL 

Walton ana Cotton* s Cotnplete Angler; 

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Crown 8vo^ doth eitra, with IIlnstrations» yx. 6^ 

Wright's Caricature History of the 

Gmnm. (JkiOtuiffHmmmtr.) ITf^th^DoPictne^Caricatarcs^ 
SqoibB, Broadsides, Window Pk^nre^ Ac. By TMomas Wught, 
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Large post Svo^dodieztn^ gilt, with UlutratiQa^ Jt.^d, 

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col« renrrma^ t|^ sr jom 



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