The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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brother does not like us, therefore "he sends me away on an errand so far over mountains and seas. Farewell, my sweet bride, for that you shall be !'
And they kissed each other, and the young girl wept, and gave him a rose. But, before she gave it him, she impressed a kiss so firmly and closely upon it that the flower opened. Then the little elf flew into it, and leaned his head against the delicate fragrant walls. But he could plainly hear them say ' Farewell ! farewell ! ' and he felt that the rose was placed on the young man's heart. Oh, how that heart beat ! the little elf could not go to sleep, it thumped so.
But not long did the rose rest undisturbed on that breast. The man took it out, and as he went lonely through the wood, he kissed the flower so often and so fervently that the little elf was almost crushed. He could feel through the leaf how the man's lips burned, and the rose itself had opened, as if under the hottest noonday sun.
Then came another man, gloomy and wicked ; he was the bad brother of the pretty maiden. He drew out a sharp knife, and while the other kissed the rose, the bad man stabbed him to death, and then, cutting off his head, buried both head and body in the soft earth under the linden tree.
' Now he 's forgotten and gone ! ' thought the wicked brother; ' he will never come back again. He was to have taken a long journey over mountains and seas. One can easily lose one's life, and he has lost his. He cannot come back again, and my sister dare not ask news of him from me.'
Then with his feet he shuffled dry leaves over the loose earth, and went home in the dark night. But he did not go alone, as he thought; the little elf accompanied him. The elf sat in a dry, rolled-up linden leaf that had fallen on the wicked man's hair as he dug the grave. The hat was now placed over the leaf, and it was very dark in the hat, and the elf trembled with fear and with anger at the evil deed.
In the morning hour the bad man got home ; he took off his hat, and went into his sister's bedroom. There lay the beautiful blooming girl, dreaming of him whom she