THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 109
Then the other general plunged in; but he fared no better than the first, and was soon on dry ground again.
' "Well, you are a brave pair!' said Bensurdatu, as he tied the rope round his own waist; ' let us see what will happen to me.' And when he heard the thunder and clamour round about him he thought to himself, ' Oh, make as much noise as you like, it won't hurt me! ' When his feet touched the bottom he found himself in a large, brilliantly lighted hall, and in the middle sat the eldest princess, and in front of her lay a huge giant, fast asleep. Directly she saw Bensurdatu she nodded to him, and asked with her eyes how he had come there.
For answer he drew his sword, and was about to cut off the giant's head, when she stopped him quickly, and made signs to hide himself, as the giant was just beginning to wake. 41 smell the flesh of a man ! ' murmured he, stretching his great arms.
' Why, how in the world could any man get down here?' replied she; 'you had better go to sleep again.'
So he turned over and went to sleep. Then the princess signed to Bensurdatu, who drew his sword and cut off the giant's head with such a blow that it flew into the corner. And the heart of the princess leapt within her, and she placed a golden crown on the head of Bensurdatu, and called him her deliverer.
' Now show me where your sisters are,' he said, ' that I may free them also.'
So the princess opened a door, and led him into another hall, wherein sat her next sister, guarded by a giant who was fast asleep. When the second princess saw them, she made a sign to them to hide themselves, for the giant was showing symptoms of waking.
' I smell man's flesh !' murmured he, sleepily.
' Now, how could any man get down here ? ' asked she; ' go to sleep again.' And as soon as he closed his eyes, Bensurdatu stole out from his corner, and struck such a