THE MASTER-MAID 131
bench by her to arrange about it, but suddenly she said that she had forgotten to lock the door of the porch that night, and must do it.
' Why should you do that ? ' said the attorney; ' sit still, I will do it.'
So he was on his feet in a moment, and out in the porch.
' Tell me when you have got hold of the door-latch,' said the Master-maid.
' I have hold of it now,' cried the attorney.
' Then may you hold the door, and the door you, and may you go between wall and wall till day dawns.'
What a dance the attorney had that night! He had never had such a waltz before, and he never wished to have such a dance again. Sometimes he was in front of the door, and sometimes the door was in front of him, and it went from one side of the porch to the other, till the attorney was well-nigh beaten to death. At first he began to abuse the Master-maid, and then to beg and pray, but the door did not care for anything but keeping him where he was till break of day.
As soon as the door let go its hold of him, off went the attorney. He forgot who ought to be paid off for what he had suffered, he forgot both his sack of money and his wooing, for he was so afraid lest the house-door should come dancing after him. Everyone who met him stared and looked after him, for he was flying like a madman, and he could not have looked worse if a herd of rams had been butting at him all night long. '
On the third day the bailiff came by, and he too saw the gold house in the little wood, and he too felt that he must go and see who lived there ; and when he caught sight of the Master-maid he became so much in love with her that he wooed her almost before he greeted her.
The Master-maid answered him as she had answered the other two, that if he had a great deal of money she would have him. ' So far as that is concerned, I am not ill off,' said the bailiff; so he was at once told to go home and fetch it, and this he did. At night he came back, and he had a still larger sack of money with him than the attorney had brought; it must have been at least six bushels, and he set it down on the bench. So it was settled that he was to have the Master-maid. But hardly had they sat down together before she said that she had forgotten to bring in the calf, and must go out to put it in the byre.