that the king would believe it. In the long run he decided to hold on his way, and let things go as they liked. What he had expected happened — the king received his sister and wedded her at once, but repented it after the first night, as he could scarcely put down his foot in the morning for all the toads that were about the room, and when he saw her real face he was so enraged against the brother that he had him thrown into a pit full of serpents. He was so angry, not merely because he had been deceived, but because he could not get rid of the ugly wretch that was now tied to him for life.
Now we shall hear a little about Maiden Bright-eye. When she fell into the water she was fortunate enough to get the bergman's cap put on her head, for now she was in danger of her life, and she was at once transformed into a duck. The duck swam away after the ship, and came to the king's palace on the next evening. There it waddled up the drain, and so into the kitchen, where her little dog lay on the hearth-stone; it could not bear to stay in the fine chambers along with the ugly sister, and had taken refuge down here. The duck hopped up till it could talk to the dog.
' Good evening,' it said.
' Thanks, Maiden Bright-eye,' said the dog.
' Where is my brother ?'
' He is in the serpent-pit.'
' Where is my wicked sister ? '
' She is with the noble king.'
' Alas! alas! I am here this evening, and shall be for two evenings yet, and then I shall never come again.'
When it had said this the duck waddled off again. Several of the servant girls heard the conversation, and were greatly surprised at it, and thought that it would be worth while to catch the bird next evening and see into the matter a little more closely. They had heard it say that it would come again.
Next evening it appeared as it had said, and a great