ESBEN AND THE WITCH 265
his brothers scarcely knew which leg to stand on, so rejoiced were they that they were safe again. Not one of them, however, ever thought of thanking Esben for whal he had done for them.
The king was still more rejoiced over the boar than he had been over the dove, and did not know what to give the brothers for it. At this Sir Red was again possessed with anger and envy, and again he went about and planned how to get the brothers into trouble.
One day he went again to the king and said, ' These eleven brothers have now procured the dove and the boar, but they can do much more than that; I know they have said that if they liked they could get for the king a lamp that can shine over seven kingdoms.'
' If they have said that,' said the king, ' they shall also be made to bring it to me. That would be a glorious lamp for me.'
Again the king sent a message to the brothers to come up to the palace. They went accordingly, although very unwillingly, for they suspected that Sir Red had fallen on some new plan to bring them into trouble.
As soon as they came before the king he said to them, ' You brothers have said that you could, if you liked, get for me a lamp that can shine over seven kingdoms. That lamp must be mine within three days, or it will cost you your lives.'
The brothers assured him that they had never said so, and they were sure that no such lamp existed, but their words were of no avail.
' The lamp!' said the king, ' or it will cost you your heads.'
The brothers were now in greater despair than ever. They did not knowr what to do, for such a lamp no one had ever heard of. But just as things looked their worst along came Esben.
'Something wrong again?' said he. 'AVhat's the matter with you now?'