IAN, THE SOLDIER'S SON 55
and the man came and unlocked the door and shook the sleeper.
'Here is the cap,' said Ian drowsily, drawing it from under his pillow. And he fell asleep again directly.
The sun was high in the heavens when he woke again, and this time he beheld a tall, brown-haired youth standing by him.
'I am the raven,' said the youth, 'and the spells are broken. But now get up and come with me.'
Then they two went together to the place where Ian had left the dead horse; but no horse was there now, only a beautiful maiden.
'I am the horse,' she said, 'and the spells are broken'; and she and the youth went away together.
In the meantime the smith had carried the cap to the castle, and bade a servant belonging to the knight's youngest daughter bear it to her mistress. But when the girl's eyes fell on it, she cried out:
'He speaks false; and if he does not bring me the man who really made the cap I will hang him on the tree beside my window.'
The servant was filled with fear at her words, and hastened and told the smith, who ran as fast as he could to seek for Ian. And when he found him and brought him into the castle, the girl was first struck dumb with joy; then she declared that she would marry nobody else. At this some one fetched to her the knight of Grianaig, and when Ian had told his tale, he vowed that the maiden was right, and that his elder daughters should never wed with men who had not only taken glory to themselves which did not belong to them, but had left the real doer of the deeds to his fate.
And the wedding guests said that the knight had spoken well; and the two elder brothers were fain to leave the country, for no one would hold converse with them.
(From Tales oj the West Highlands.)