110 THE STORY OF BENSURDATU
blow at his head that it flew far, far away. The princess could not find words to thank Bensurdatu for what he had done, and she too placed in his hand a golden crown.
' Now show me where your youngest sister is,' said he, ' that I may free her also.'
' Ah ! that I fear you will never be able to do,' sighed they, ' for she is in the power of a serpent with seven heads.'
' Take me to him,' replied Bensurdatu. ' It will be a splendid fight.'
Then the princess opened a door, and Bensurclatu passed through, and found himself in a hall that was even larger than the other two. And there stood the youngest sister, chained fast to the wall, and before her was stretched a serpent with seven heads, horrible to see. As Bensurdatu came forward it twisted all its seven heads in his direction, and then made a quick dart to snatch him within its grasp. But Bensurdatu drew his sword and laid about him, till the seven heads were rolling on the floor. Flinging down his sword he rushed to the princess and broke her chains, and she wept for joy, and embraced him, and took the golden crown from off her head, and placed it in his hand.
' Now we must go back to the upper world,' said Bensurdatu, and led her to the bottom of the river. The other princesses were waiting there, and he tied the rope round the eldest, and rung his bell. And the generals above heard, and drew her gently up. They then unfastened the cord and threw it back into the river, and in a few moments the second princess stood beside her sister.
So now there were left only Bensurdatu and the youngest princess. ' Dear Bensurdatu,' said she, ' do me a kindness, and let them draw you up before me. I dread the treachery of the generals.'
' No, no,' replied Bensurdatu, ' I certainly will not