THE SISTER OF THE SUN 231
piece of stuff round his shoulders and vanished from sight, leaving the two men grieving over their own folly.
The young man had not walked far before he saw two more men standing by the road-side, both grasping the same stout staff, and sometimes one seemed on the point of getting it, and sometimes the other.
' What are you quarrelling about ? You could cut a dozen sticks from the wood each just as good as that!' said the young man. And as he spoke the fighters both stopped and looked at him.
' Ah ! you may think so,' said one, ' but a blow from one end of this stick will kill a man, while a touch from the other end will bring him back to life. You won't easily find another stick like that! '
' No ; that is true,' answered the young man. ' Let me just look at it, and I will tell you whose it ought to be.'
The men were pleased with the idea, and handed him the staff.
' It is very curious, certainly,' said he ; ' but which end is it that restores people to life ? After all, anyone can be killed by a blow from a stick if it is only hard enough!' But when he was shown the end he threw the stuff over his shoulders and vanished.
At last he saw another set of men, who were struggling for the possession of a pair of shoes.
' Why can't you leave that pair of old shoes alone ?' said he. ' Why, you could not walk a yard in them ! '
' Yes, they are old enough,' answered they ; ' but whoever puts them on and wishes himself at a particular place, gets there without going.'
' That sounds very clever,' said the youth. ' Let me try them, and then I shall be able to tell you whose they ought to be.'
The idea pleased the men, and they handed him the shoes ; but the moment they were on his feet he cried :
' I wish to be in the castle on the Banka!' And before