THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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82 THE KING OF THE WATERFALLS
' Have a care,' answered the queen, ' for it is not with a smile as on the other days that he will greet you. Furiously he will meet you, and will ask you in his wrath if you have got the sword, and you will reply that you have got it. Next he will want to know how you got it, and to this you must say that but for the knob you had not got it at all. Then he will raise his head to look at the knob, and you must stab him in the mole which is on the right side of his neck ; but take heed, for if you miss the mole with the point of the sword, then my death and your death are certain. He is brother to the king of the oak windows, and sure will he be that the king must be dead, or the sword would not be in your hands.' After that she kissed him, and bade him good speed.
' Didst thou get the sword ? ' asked the Gruagach, when they met in the usual place.
' I got the sword.'
' And how didst thou get it ? '
' If it had not had a knob on the top, then I had not got it,' answered the king.
' Give me the sword to look at,' said the Gruagach, peering forward; but like a flash the king had drawn it from under his nose and pierced the mole, so that the Gruagach rolled over on the ground.
' Now I shall be at peace,' thought the king. But he was wrong, for when he reached home he found his servants tied together back to back, with cloths bound round their mouths, so that they could not speak. He hastened to set them free, and he asked who had treated them in so evil a manner.
' No sooner had you gone than a great giant came, and dealt with us as you see, and carried off your wife and your two horses,' said the men.
' Then my eyes will not close nor will my head lay itself down till I fetch my wife and horses home again,'
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