So the Troll struck at him with a great thick iron bar which he had in his fist, till the sods flew five yards up into the air.
' Fie !' said Minnikin. ' That was not much of a blow. Now you shall see one of mine.'
So he grasped the sword which he had got from the old crook-backed woman, and slashed at the Troll, so that all five heads went flying away over the sands.
When the Princess saw that she was delivered she was so delighted that she did not know what she was doing, and skipped and danced.
' Come and sleep a bit with your head in my lap,' she said to Minnikin, and as he slept she put a golden dress on him.
But when Bitter Bed saw that there was no longer any danger afoot, he lost no time in creeping down from the tree. He then threatened the Princess, until at length she was forced to promise to say that it was he who had rescued her, for he told her that if she did not he would kill her. Then he took the Troll's lungs and tongue and put them in his pocket-handkerchief, and led the Princess back to the King's palace; and whatsoever had been lacking to him in the way of honour before was lacking no longer, for the King did not know how to exalt him enough, and always set him on his own right hand at table.
As for Minnikin, first he went out on the Troll's ship and took a great quantity of gold and silver hoops away with him, and then he trotted back to the King's palace.
When the kitchen-maid caught sight of all this gold and silver she was quite amazed, and said: ' My dear friend Minnikin, where have you got all that from ? ' for she was half afraid that he had not come by it honestly.
' Oh,' answered Minnikin,' I have been home a while, and these hoops had fallen off some of our buckets, so I brought them away with me for you.'
So when the kitchen-maid heard that they were for her, she asked no more questions about the matter. She thanked Minnikin, and everything was right again at once.
Next Thursday evening all went just the same, and everyone was full of grief and affliction, but Bitter Bed said that he had been able to deliver the King's daughter from one Troll, so that he could very easily deliver her from another, and he led her down to the sea-shore. But he did not do much harm to this Troll either, for when the time came when the Troll might be expected, he said as