PINKEL THE THIEF
'He will need to be clever if he is to steal that!' they cried, with a chuckle. And when next the king came to see his horses they began to speak of Pinkel and his marvellous cunning, and how he had contrived to steal the lantern and the goat, which nobody else would have been able to do.
' But as he was there, it is a pity he could not have brought away the golden cloak,' added they.
'The golden cloak! what is that?' asked the king. And the young men described its beauties in such glowing words that the king declared he should never know a day's happiness till he had wrapped the cloak round his own shoulders.
'And,' added he, 'the man who brings it to me shall wed my daughter, and shall inherit my throne.'
'None can get it save Pinkel,' said they; for they did not imagine that the witch, after two warnings, could allow their brother to escape a third time. So Pinkel was sent for, and with a glad heart he set out.
He passed many hours inventing first one plan and then another, till he had a scheme ready which he thought might prove successful.
Thrusting a large bag inside his coat, he pushed off from the shore, taking care this time to reach the island in daylight. Having made his boat fast to a tree, he walked up to the hut, hanging his head, and putting on a face that was both sorrowful and ashamed.
'Is that you, Pinkel?' asked the witch when she saw him, her eyes gleaming savagely.
'Yes, dear mother, it is I,' answered Pinkel.
'So you have dared, after all you have done, to put yourself in my power!' cried she. 'Well, you sha'n't escape me this time!' And she took down a large knife and began to sharpen it.'
'Oh! dear mother, spare me!' shrieked Pinkel, falling on his knees, and looking wildly about him.
'Spare you, indeed, you thief! Where are my lantern