364 THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK,
But on the wedding-day it happened that a stranger came to the town with three black dogs. He asked what the meaning of all the feasting and fuss was, and they told him that the king's daughter was just going to be married to the man who had slain the terrible dragon. The stranger at once denounced the coachman as a liar; but no one would listen to him, and he was seized and thrown into a cell with iron doors.
While he was lying on his straw pallet pondering mournfully on his fate, he thought he heard the low whining of his dogs outside. Then an idea dawned on him and he called out as loudly as he could, "Mustard, come to my help," and in a second he saw the paws of his biggest dog at the window of his cell, and before he could count two the creature had bitten through the iron bars and stood beside him. Then they both let themselves out of the prison by the window and the poor youth was free once more, though he felt very sad when he thought that another was to enjoy the reward that rightly belonged to him. He felt hungry too, so he called his dog Salt and asked him to bring him some food. The faithful creature trotted off and soon returned with a table-napkin full of the most delicious food, and the napkin itself was embroidered with a kingly crown.
The king had just seated himself at the wedding-feast with all his court, when the dog appeared and licked the princess' hand in an appealing manner. With a joyful start she recognized the beast and bound her own table-napkin round his neck. Then she plucked up her courage and told her father the whole story. The king at once sent a servant to follow the dog, and in a short time the stranger was led into the king's presence. The former coachman grew as white as a sheet when he saw the shepherd, and falling on his knees begged for mercy and pardon. The princess recognized her deliverer at once and did not need the proof of the two dragon's teeth which he drew from his pocket. The coachman was thrown into a dark dungeon and the shepherd took his place at the princess' side, and this time, vou may be sure, she did not beg for the wedding to be put off.
The young couple lived for some time in great peace and happiness, when suddenly one day the former shepherd bethought himself of his poor sister and expressed a