THE DEATH OF KOSHCHEI THE DEATHLESS 58
Koshchei the Deathless was returning home when his horse stumbled beneath him.
' What art thou stumbling for, sorry jade ? Dost thou scent any ill?'
' Prince Ivan has come and carried off Marya Morevna.'
' Can we catch them ? '
' God knows! Prince Ivan has a horse now which is better than I.'
' Well, I can't stand it,' says Koshchei the Deathless. ' I will pursue.'
After a time he came up with Prince Ivan, lighted on the ground, and was going to chop him up with his sharp sword. But at that moment Prince Ivan's horse smote Koshchei the Deathless full swing with its hoof, and cracked his skull, and the Prince made an end of him with a club. Afterwards the Prince heaped up a pile of wood, set fire to it, burnt Koshchei the Deathless on the pyre, and scattered his ashes to the wind. Then Marya Morevna mounted Koshchei's horse and Prince Ivan got on his own, and they rode away to visit first the Raven, and then the Eagle, and then the Falcon. Wherever they went they met with a joyful greeting.
' Ah, Prince Ivan! why, we never expected to see you again. Well, it wasn't for nothing that you gave yourself so much trouble. Such a beauty as Marya Morevna one might search for all the world over—and never find one like her!'
And so they visited, and they feasted; and afterwards they went off to their own realm.1