THE STORY OF BENSURDATU 113
leave you down here. There is nothing to fear from my comrades.'
' If it is your wish I will go up then; but first I swear that if you do not follow to marry me, I shall stay single for the rest of my life.' Then he bound the rope round her, and the generals drew her up.
But instead of lowering the rope again into the river, envy at the courage and success of Bensurdatu so filled the hearts of the two generals, that they turned away and left him to perish. And, more than that, they threatened the princesses, and forced them to promise to tell their parents that it was the two generals who had set them free. ' And if they should ask you about Bensurdatu, you must say you have never seen him,' they added; and the princesses, fearing for their lives, promised everything, and they rode back to court together.
The king and queen were beside themselves with joy when they saw their dear children once more. But when the generals had told their story, and the dangers they had run, the king declared that they had gained their reward, and that the two eldest princesses should become their wives.
And now we must see what Door Bensurdatu was doing.
He waited patiently a long, long time, but when the rope never came back he knew he had been wrong, and that his comrades had betrayed him. ' Ah, now I shall never reach the world again,' murmured he; but being a brave man, and knowing that moaning his fate would profit him nothing, he rose and began to search through the three halls, where, perhaps, he might find something to help him. In the last one stood a dish, covered with food, which reminded him that he was hungry, and he sat down and ate and drank.
Months passed away, when, one morning, as he was walking through the halls, he noticed a purse hanging