The Blue Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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walls. (These were all the wives whom Blue Beard had married and murdered, one after another.) She thought she should have died for fear, and tne key, which she pulled out of the lock, fell out of her hand.
After having somewhat recovered her surprise, she took up the
key, locked the door, and went upstairs into her chamber to recover herself; but she could not, so much was she fright­ened. Having observed that the key of the closet was stained with blood, she tried two or three times to wipe it off, but the blood would not come out; in vain did she wash it, and even rub it with soap and sand, the blood still remained, for the key was magical and she could never make it quite clean; when the blood was gone off from one side, it came again on the other.
Blue Beard returned from his journey the same even­ing, and said he had received letters upon the road, inform­ing him that the affair he went about was ended to his advantage. His wife did all she could to convince him she was extremely glad of his speedy return.
Next morning he asked her for the keys, which she gave him, but with such a trembling hand that he easily guessed what had happened.
' What 1' said he,' is not the key of my closet among the rest ? ' ' I must certainly,' said she, ' have left it above upon the table.' ' Fail not,' said Blue Beard, ' to bring it me presently.'
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