224 THE GOLDEN LION
All this time his father and brothers had had no news of him, and were very anxious. At last the second son could bear it no longer, and said, ' Dear father, give me, I pray you, a large ship and some money, and let me go and seek for my brother.'
So another ship was fitted out, and the young man sailed away, and was blown bv the wind into the same harbour where his brother had landed.
Now when he saw the first ship lying at anchor his heart beat high, and he said to himself, ' My brother cannot surely be far off,' and he ordered a boat and was put on shore.
As he jumped on to the pier his eye caught the notice about the princess, and he thought, ' He has undertaken to find her, and has certainly lost his head. I must try myself, and seek him as well as her. It cannot be such a very difficult matter.' But he fared no better than his brother, and in eight days his head was cut off.
So now there was only the youngest at home, and when the other two never came he also begged for a ship that he might go in search of his lost brothers. And when the vessel started a high wind arose, and blew him straight to the harbour where the notice was set.
'Oho!' said he, as he read, 'whoever can find the king's daughter shall have her to wife. It is quite clear now what has befallen my brothers. But in spite of that I think I must try my luck,' and he took the road to the castle.
On the way he met an old woman, who stopped and begged.
' Leave me in peace, old woman,' replied he.
'Oh, do not send me away empty,' she said. 'You are such a handsome young man you will surely not refuse an old woman a few pence.'
' I tell you, old woman, leave me alone.'
'You are in some trouble?' she asked. 'Tell me what it is, and perhaps I can help you.'