380 LONG, BROAD, AND QUICKEYE
prince, and Long, summoning all his strength for one gigantic effort, had thrown the ring right through the window.
The wizard shrieked and howled with rage, till the whole castle trembled to its foundations. Then a crash was heard, the third band split in two, and a crow flew out of the window.
Then the princess at length broke the enchanted silence, and blushing like a rose, gave the prince her thanks for her unlooked-for deliverance.
But it. was not only the princess who was restored to life by the flight of the wicked black crow. The marble figures became men once more, and took up their occupations just as they had left them off. The horses neighed in the stables, the flowers blossomed in the garden, the birds flew in the air, the fish darted in the water. Everywhere you looked, all was life, all was joy!
And the knights who had been turned into stone came in a body to offer their homage to the prince who had set them free.
' Do not thank me,' he said, ' for I have done nothing. Without my faithful servants, Long, Broad, and Quick-eye, I should even have been as one of you.'
With these words he bade them farewell, and departed with the princess and his faithful companions for the kingdom of his father.
The old king, who had long since given up all hope, wept for joy at the sight of his son, and insisted that the wedding should take place as soon as possible.
All the knights who had been enchanted in the Iron Castle were invited to the ceremony, and after it had taken place, Long, Broad, and Quickeye took leave of the young couple, saying that they were going to look for more work.
The prince offered them all their hearts could desire if they would only remain with him. but they replied that