64 THE TRAVELLING COMPANION
a single word. At length she stood up, and gave John her hand, for he had guessed correctly. She did not look at any one, only sighed aloud, and said, ' Now you are my lord !—this evening we will hold our wedding.'
* I like that! ' cried the old king. ' So I would have it.' All present cried, ' Hurrah ! ' The soldiers' band played music in the streets, the bells rang, and the cake-women took off the black crape from their sugar pigs, for joy now reigned everywhere ; three oxen roasted whole, and stuffed with ducks and fowls, were placed in the middle of the market, that every one might cut himself a slice ; the fountains ran with the best wine ; and whoever bought a penny cake at a baker's got six buns into the bargain, and the buns had raisins in them.
In the evening the whole town was illuminated ; the soldiers fired off the cannon, and the boys let off crackers ; and there was eating and drinking, clinking of glasses, and dancing, in the palace. All the noble gentlemen and pretty ladies danced with each other, and one could hear, a long distance off, how they sang—
Here are many pretty girls, who all love to dance ; See, they whirl like spinning-wheels, retire and advance. Turn, my pretty maiden, do, till the sole falls from your shoe.
But still the princess was a witch, and did not like John. This had been expected by the travelling companion; and so he gave John three feathers out of the swan's wings, and a little bottle with a few drops in it, and told John that he must put a large tub of water before the princess's bed ; and when the princess was about to get into bed, he should give her a little push, so that she should fall into the tub ; and then he must dip her three times^after he had put in the feathers and poured in the drops ; she would then lose her magic qualities, and love him very much.
John did all that the travelling companion had advised him to do. The princess screamed out loudly while he dipped her in the tub, and struggled under his hands in the form of a great coal-black swan with fiery eyes. When she came up the second time above the water, the swan was white, with the exception of a black ring round her neck. John let the water close for the third time over the bird, and in the same moment it was again changed to the