The Crimson Fairy Book - online children's book

A Classic fairy tale collection for children by Andrew Lang

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When they had finished the king's son drew an apple out of his pocket and cut it in two; he held the big bit and the little bit out to his companion, who took the big bit at once and soon ate it up. 'You are no friend of mine,' thought the king's son, and began to declare he felt so ill he could not continue his journey. When he had given the young man a good start he set off himself, but the way seemed even longer and duller than before. 'Oh, if I could only meet with a true friend he should be as a brother to me,' he sighed sadly; and as the thought passed through his mind, he noticed a youth going the same road as himself.
The youth came up to him and said, 'Which way are you going, my fine fellow?' And for the third time the king's son explained all about his mother's vow. Why, that is just like me,' cried the youth.
'Then let us ride on together,' answered the king's son.
Now the miles seemed to slip by, for the new comer was so lively and entertaining that the king's son could not help hoping that he indeed might prove to be the true friend.
More quickly than he could have thought possible they reached an inn by the road-side, and turning to his companion the king's son said, 'I am hungry; let us go in and have something to eat.' So they went in and ordered dinner, and when they had finished the king's son drew out of his pocket the last apple, and cut it into two unequal parts, and held both out to the stranger. And the stranger took the little piece, and the heart of the king's son was glad within him, for at last he had found the friend he had been looking for. 'Good youth,' he cried, 'we will be brothers, and what is mine shall be thine, and what is thine shall be mine. And together we will push on to the shrine, and if one of us dies on the road the other shall carry his body there.' And the stranger agreed to all he said, and they rode forward together.
It took them a whole year to reach the shrine, and they passed through many different lands on their way. One day they arrived tired and half-starved in a big city, and said to one another, 'Let us stay here for a little and rest before we set forth again.' So they hired a small house close to the royal castle, and took up their abode there.
The following morning the king of the country happened to step on to his balcony, and saw the young men in the garden, and said to himself,
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