THE SEA KING'S GIFT 227
sea, the waves bubbled and bubbled, like boiling water in a pot.
' Whence comes this gust of wind ? ' said Maie ; and as she spoke the sea opened and swallowed up the steamer. Maie sank to the bottom like a stone, but, stretching out her arms and legs, she rose to the surface, where she found the fiddler's fiddle, and used it as a float. At the same moment she saw close beside her the terrible head of Ahti, and he had only half a beard !
' Why did you throw stones at me ? ' roared the sea-king.
' Oh, your majesty, it was a mistake ! Put some bear's grease on your beard and that will soon make it grow again.'
' Dame, did I not give you all you asked forónay, even more ? '
' Truly, truly, your majesty. Many thanks for the, cows.'
' Well, where is the gold from the sun and the silver from the moon that you promised me ? '
' Ah, your majesty, they have been scattered day and night upon the sea, except when the sky was overcast,' slyly answered Maie.
' I'll teach you !' roared the sea-king; and with that he gave the fiddle such a ' puff ' that it sent the old woman up like a sky-rocket on to her island. There Prince lay, as famished as ever, gnawing the carcase of a crow. There sat Matte in his ragged grey jacket, quite alone, on the steps of the old hut, mending a net.
' Heavens, mother,' said he, ' where are you coming from at such a whirlwind pace, and what makes you in such a dripping condition ? '
Maie looked around her amazed, and said, ' Where is our two-storey house ? '
' What house ? ' asked her husband.
' Our big house, and the flower garden, and the men