The GREEN Fairy Book - online children's book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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102
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
He brought back the skirt, which was made of silk as blue as the skies of Spain.
"Here it is," said John as the serpent appeared. She was now a woman as far as her knees.
"I only want my shoe3 and stockings now," she said. "Go and get them from the closet which is on the second story."
The little soldier departed, and found himself in the presence of eight goblins armed with hammers and flames darting from their eyes. This time he stopped short at the threshold. "My sword is no use," he thought to him­self. "These wretches will break it like glass, and if I can't think of anything else I am a dead man." At this moment his eyes fell on the door, which was made of oak, thick and heavy. He wrenched it off its hinges and held it over his head, and then went straight at the gob­lins, whom he crushed beneath it. After that he took the shoes and stockings out of the closet and brought them to Ludovine, who, directly she had put them on, became a woman all over.
When she was quite dressed in her white silk stockings and little blue slippers dotted over with carbuncles she said to her deliverer:
"Now you must go away and never come back here, whatever happens. Here is a purse with 200 ducats. Sleep to-night at the inn which is at the edge of the wood and awake early in the morning, for at nine o'clock I shall pass the door and shall take you up in mv carriage."
"Why shouldn't we go now?" asked the little soldier.
"Because the time has not yet come," said the princess. "But first yon may drink my health in this glass of wine." And as she spoke she filled a crystal goblet with a liquid that looked like melted gold.
John drank, then lit his pipe and went out.
II.
When he arrived at the inn he ordered supper, but no sooner had he sat down to eat it than he felt that he was going sound asleep.
"I must be more tired than I thought," he said to him­self, and after telling them to be sure to wake him next morning at eight o'clock he went to bed.
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