SORIA MORIA CASTLE
breaking. Halvor followed this, and when evening drew near he saw a big castle far away in the distance, and there were lights in it. So as he had now been walking the whole day and had not brought anything to eat away with hiin, he was frightfully hungry. Nevertheless, the nearer he came to the castle the more afraid he was.
A fire was burning in the castle, and Halvor went into the kitchen, which was more magnificent than any kitchen he had ever yet beheld. There were vessels of gold and silver, but not one human being was to be seen. When Halvor had stood there for some time, and no one had come out, he went in and opened a door, and inside a Princess was sitting at her wheel spinning.
' Nay ! ' she cried, ' can Christian folk dare to come hither ? But the best thing that you can do is to go away again, for if not the Troll will devour you. A Troll with three heads lives here.'
' I should have been just as well pleased if he had had four heads more, for I should have enjoyed seeing the fellow,' said the youth; ' and I won't go away, for I have done no harm, but you must give me something to eat, for I am frightfully hungry.'
When Halvor had eaten his fill, the Princess told hirn to try if he could wield the sword which was hanging on the wall, but he could not wield it, nor could he even lift it up.
' Well, then, you must take a drink out of that bottle which is hanging by its side, for that's what the Troll does whenever he goes out and wants to use the sword,' said the Princess.
Halvor took a draught, and in a moment he was able to swing the sword about with perfect ease. And now he thought it was high time for the Troll to make his appearance, and at that very moment he came, panting for breath. Halvor got behind the door.
' Hutetu !' said the Troll as he put his head in at the door. ' It smells just as if there were Christian man's blood here !'
' Yes, you shall learn that there is !' said Halvor, and cut off all his heads.
The Princess was so rejoiced to be free that she danced and sang, but then she remembered her sisters, and said: ' If my sisters were but free too !'
' Where are they ? ' asked Halvor.
So she told him where they were. One of them had been taken away by a Troll to his castle, which was six miles off, and the other had been carried off to a castle which was nine miles farther off still.