SORIA MORIA CASTLE
still, I would not go away,' said Halvor, and went and stood by the stove.
The Princess begged him very prettily to go lest the Troll should devour him; but Halvor said, ' Let him come when he will.'
So she gave him the Troll's sword, and bade him take a drink from the flask to enable him to wield it.
At that same moment the Troll came, breathing hard, and he was ever so much bigger and stouter than either of the others, and he too was forced to go sideways to get in through the door.
' Hutetu! what a smell of Christian blood there is here ! ' said he.
Then Halvor cut off the first head, and after that the others, but the last was the toughest of them all, and it was the hardest work that Halvor had ever done to get it off, but he still believed that he would have strength enough to do it.
And now all the Princesses came to the castle, and were together again, and they were happier than they had ever been in their lives; and they were delighted with Halvor, and he with them, and he was to choose the one he liked best; but of the three sisters the youngest loved him best.
But Halvor went about and was so strange and so mournful and quiet that the Princesses asked what it was that he longed for, and if he did not like to be with them. He said that he did like to be with them, for they had enough to live on, and he was very comfortable there ; but he longed to go home, for his father and mother were alive, and he had a great desire to see them again.
They thought that this might easily be done.
' You shall go and return in perfect safety if you will follow our advice,' said the Princesses.
So he said that he would do nothing that they did not wish.
Then they dressed him so splendidly that he was like a King's son; and they put a ring on his finger, and it was one which would enable him to go there and back again by wishing, but they told him that he must not throw it away, or name their names; for if he did, all his magnificence would be at an end, and then he would never see them more.
' If I were but at home again, or if home were but here !' said Halvor, and no sooner had he wished this than it was granted. Halvor was standing outside his father and mother's cottage before he knew what he was about. The darkness of night was coming on, and when the father and mother saw such a splendid and stately