278 ASMUND AND SIGNY
and storming and flinging the beautiful silk on the floor.
' What was she to do with such things ? ' she roared. ' She did not know how to sew or make clothes, and she was sure to die of starvation into the bargain if her brother Ironhead did not come soon and bring her some raw meat and bones, for she really could eat nothing else.'
As she was raving and roaring in this frantic manner part of the floor suddenly opened and a huge giant rose up carrying a great chest in his arms. The witch was enchanted at this sight, and eagerly helped her brother to set down and open the chest, which was full of the ghastly food she had been longing for. The horrid pair set to and greedily devoured it all, and when the chest was quite empty the giant put it on his shoulder and disappeared as he had come, without leaving any trace of his visit.
But his sister did not keep quiet for long, and tore and pulled at the rich brocade as if she wanted to destroy it, stamping about and shouting angrily.
Now, all this time Prince Asmund and his sister sat in their trees just outside the window and saw all that was going on.
' Dear Signy,' said Asmund, ' do try to get hold of that piece of brocade and make the clothes yourself, for really we shall have no rest day or night with such a noise.'
' I will try,' said Signy; ' it won't be an easy matter, but it's worth while taking some trouble to have a little peace.'
So she watched for an opportunity and managed to carry off the brocade the first time the witch left her room. Then she set to work, cutting out and sewing as best she could, and by the end of six days she had turned it into an elegant robe with a long train and a mantle. When it was finished she climbed to the top