THE TRAVELLING COMPANION 61
to think of her glove ; and this again he told to John as if it had been a dream. Thus John could guess correctly, which caused great rejoicing in the palace. The whole court threw somersaults, just as they had seen the king do the first time ; but the princess lay on the sofa, and would not say a single word. Now, the question was, if John could guess properly the third time. If he succeeded, he was to have the beautiful princess and inherit the whole kingdom after the old king's death. If he failed, he was to lose his life, and the magician would eat his beautiful blue eyes.
That evening John went early to bed, said his prayers, and went to sleep quite quietly. But the travelling companion bound his wings to his back and his sword by his side, and took all three rods with him, and so flew away to the palace.
It was a very dark night. The wind blew so hard that the tiles flew off from the roofs, and the trees in the garden where the skeletons hung bent like reeds before the storm. The lightning flashed out every minute, and the thunder rolled just as if it were one peal lasting the whole night. Now the window opened, and the princess flew out. She was as pale as death ; but she laughed at the bad weather, and thought it was not bad enough yet. And her white cloak fluttered in the wind like a great sail ; but the travelling companion beat her with the three rod&r so- that the blood dripped upon the ground, and at last she could scarcely fly any farther. At length, however, she arrived at the mountain.
1 It hails and blows dreadfully ! ' she said. e I have never been out in such weather.'
' One may have too much of a good thing,' said the magician. Now she told him that John had also guessed correctly the second time ; if he did the same on the morrow, then he had won, and she could never more come out to him in the mountain, and would never be able to perform such feats of magic as before, and so she was quite dejected. ' He shall not be able to guess,' said the magician. ' I shall think of something of which he has never thought, or he must be a greater conjuror than I. But now we will be merry.' And he took the princess by