180 THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER
once. And send off the long-legged man with the letter. He will take it in no time at all.'
So the youth's heart leapt for joy, and he returned to the king. ' Majesty, I accept your terms. Here is the messenger who will do what you wish.'
The kino- had no choice but to give the man the letter, and he strode off, making short work of the distance that lay between the palace and the Underworld. He soon found the ruler, who looked at the letter, and said to him, ' Wait a little while I write the answer; ' and the man was so tired with his quick walk that he wrent sound asleep, and forgot all about his errand.
All this time the youth was anxiously counting the minutes till he could get back, and stood with his eyes fixed on the road down which his messenger must come.
'What can be keeping him?' he said to the hermit when the hour was nearly up.
Then the hermit sent for the man who could hit eyery thing he aimed at, and said to him, ' Just see why the messenger stays so long.'
' Oh, he is sound asleep in the palace of the Underworld. However, I can soon wake him.'
Then he drew his bow, and shot an arrow straight into the man's knee. The messenger awoke with a start, and when he saw that the hour had almost run out he snatched up the answer and rushed back with such speed that the clock had not yet struck when he entered the palace.
Now the young man thought he was sure of his bride, but the king said, ' Still you have not done enough. Before I give you my daughter you must find a man who can drink half the contents of my cellar in one day.'
' That is not in the bond,' complained the poor youth.
' Well, do as you like, only you will not get my daughter.'
The young man went sadly out, and asked the hermit what he was to do.