THE THREE SNAKE-LEAVES
in love with the captain. And one day, when the young king was lying asleep, she called the captain to her, and seized the head of the sleeping king and made him take his feet, and together they threw him into the sea. When they had done this wicked deed she said to him: "Now let us go home and say that he died on the journey. I will praise you so much to my father that he will marry me to you and make you the heir to the throne.' But the faithful servant, who had seen everything, let down a little boat into the sea, unobserved by them, and rowed after his master while the traitors sailed on. He took the drowned man out of the water, and with the help of the th ree-snake leaves which he carried with him, placing them on his mouth and eyes, he brought him to life again.
They both rowed as hard as they could night and day, and their little boat went so quickly that they reached the old king before the other two did. He was much astonished to see them come back alone, and asked what had happened to them. When he heard of the wickedness of his daughter he said: "I cannot believe that she has acted so wrongly, but the truth will soon come to light." He made them both go into a secret chamber and let no one see them.
Soon after this the large ship came in, and the wicked lady appeared before her father with a very sad face. He said to her: "Why have you come back alone? Where is your husband?"
"Ah, dear father," she replied, "I have come home in great grief. My husband fell ill on the voyage quite suddenly and died, and if the good captain had not given me help I should have died too. He was at his death-bed and can tell you everything."
The king said, "I will bring the dead to life again," and he opened the door of the room and called them both out. The lady was as if thunderstruck when she caught sight of her husband. She fell on her knees and begged for mercy. But the king said: "You shall have no mercy. He was ready to die with you and restored you to life again; but you killed him when he was sleeping and shall receive your deserts."
So she and her accomplice were put in a ship which was bored through with holes and were drawn out into the sea, where they soon perished in the waves.*
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