THE LILAC FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

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

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364              THE WINNING OF OLWEN
' Is it true what I hear of thee, that thou canst burnish swords ? '
' It is true,' answered Kai. Then was the sword of Gwrnach brought to him.
' Shall it be burnished white or blue ? ' said Kai, taking a whetstone from under his arm.
' As thou wilt,' answered the giant, and speedily did Kai polish half the sword. The giant marvelled at his skill, and said :
' It is a wonder that such a man as thou shouldst be without a companion.'
' I have a companion, noble sir, but he has no skill in this art.'
' What is his name ? ' asked the giant.
' Let the porter go forth, and I will tell him how he may know him. The head of his lance will leave its shaft, and draw blood from the wind, and descend upon its shaft again.' So the porter opened the gate and Bedwyr entered.
Now there was much talk amongst those who remained without when the gate closed upon Bedwyr, and Goreu, son of Custennin, prevailed with the porter, and he and his companions got in also and hid them­selves.
By this time the whole of the sword was polished, and Kai gave it into the hand of Gwrnach the giant, who felt it and said :
' Thy work is good ; I am content.'
Then said Kai :
' It is thy scabbard that hath rusted thy sword ; give it to me that I may take out the wooden sides of it and put in new ones.' And he took the scabbard in one hand and the sword in the other, and came and stood behind the giant, as if he would have sheathed the sword in the scabbard. But with it he struck a blow at the head of the giant, and it rolled from his body. After that they despoiled the castle of its gold
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