208 THE MAN WITHOUT A HEART
has kept my bride for himself, and that is certainly bad enough.'
So he pinched the bird, and the old man cried, ' Ah! I feel death gripping me! Child, I am dying! '
With these words he fell fainting from his chair, and as the youth, before he knew what he was doing, had squeezed the bird to death, the old man died also.
Out crept the young man from under the bed, and the girl took the magic wand (which she found where the old man had told her), and, touching the twelve grey stones, transformed them at once into the six brothers and their brides.
Then there was great joy, and kissing and embracing. And there lay the old man, quite dead, and no magic wand could restore him to life, even had they wished it.
After that they all went away and were married, and lived many years happily together.