THE LITTLE AND BIG BROTHERS 141
' Now you must go as fast as you can, or, if not, I shall lose the dog as well as the bear.' And the snow-shoes sang in answer that they would run like the wind.
As he came along, the bear chief's sister was looking out of the window, and took pity on this little brother, as she had on the two elder ones, and waited to see what the boy would do, when he found that the bear servant and the dog had already entered the mountain.
The little brother was certainly very much puzzled at not seeing anything of either of the animals, which had vanished suddenly out of his sight. He paused for an instant to think what he should do next, and while he did so he fancied he heard Eedmouth's voice on the opposite side of the mountain. With great difficulty he scrambled over steep rocks, and forced a path through tangled thickets; but when he reached the other side the sound appeared to start from the place from which he had come. Then he had to go all the way back again, and at the very top, where he stopped to rest, the barking was directly beneath him, and he knew in an instant where he was and what had happened.
' Let my dog out at once, bear chief!' cried he. ' If you do not, I shall destroy your palace.' But the bear chief only laughed, and said nothing. The boy was very angry at his silence, and aiming one of his arrows at the bottom of the mountain, shot straight through it.
As the arrow touched the ground a rumbling was heard, and with a roar a fire broke out which seemed to split the whole mountain into pieces. The bear chief and all his servants were burnt up in the flames, but his sister and all that belonged to her were spared because she had tried to save the two elder boys from punishment.
As soon as the fire had burnt itself out the little hunter entered what was left of the mountain, and the first thing he saw was his two brothers—half bear, half boy.
' Oh, help us ! help us !' cried they, standing on their