THE HERMIT AND KING'S DAUGHTER 183
But the hermit bade him call the man who had the fog in his sack, and the sack was opened and the fog flew out, and hung right round the king's ships, so that they could see nothing. So they sailed back to the palace, and told the king what strange things had happened. Meanwhile the young man's vessel reached home in safety.
' Well, here you are once more,' said the hermit; ' and now you can fulfil the promise you made me to give me the half of all you had.'
' That will I do with all my heart,' answered the youth, and began to divide all his treasures, putting part on one side for himself and setting aside the other for his friend. ' Good father, it is finished,' said he at length ; ' there is nothing more left to divide.'
' Nothing more left!' cried the hermit. ' Why, you have forgotten the best thing of all!'
' What can that be ? ' asked he. ' We have divided everything.'
' And the king's daughter? ' said the hermit.
Then the young man's heart stood still, for he loved her dearly. But he answered, ' It is well; I have sworn, and I will keep my word,' and drew his sword to cut her in pieces. When the hermit saw that he held his honour dearer than his wife he lifted his hand and cried ' Hold! she is yours, and all the treasures too. I gave you my help because you had pity on those that were in need. And when you are in need yourself, call upon me, and I will come to you.'
As he spoke he softly touched their heads and vanished.
The next day the wedding took place, and the two brothers came to the house, and they all lived happily together, but they never forgot the holy man who had been such a good friend.