only the hoops which had fallen off some pails, and that he had brought them away for the kitchen-maid.
When the third Thursday evening came, everything happened exactly as it had happened on the two former occasions. Everything in the King's palace was hung with black, and everyone was sorrowful and distressed; but Bitter Red said that he did not think that they had much reason to be afraid—he had delivered the King's daughter from two Trolls, so he could easily deliver her from the third as well.
He led her down to the strand, but when the time drew near for the Troll to come, he climbed up into the tree again and hid himself.
The Princess wept and entreated him to stay, but all to no purpose. He stuck to his old speech, ' It is better that one life should be lost than two.'
This evening also, Minnikin begged for leave to go down to the sea-shore.
' Qh, what can you do there ? ' answered the kitchen-maid.
However, he begged until at last he got leave to go, but he was forced to promise that he would be back again in the kitchen when the roast had to be turned.
Almost immediately after he had got down to the sea-shore the Troll came with a great whizzing and whirring, and he was much, much bigger than either of the two former ones, and he had fifteen heads.
' Fire !' roared the Troll.
' Fire yourself! ' said Minnikin.
' Can you fight ? ' screamed the Troll.
' If not, I can learn,' said Minnikin.
' I will teach you,' yelled the Troll, and struck at hirn with his iron club so that the earth flew up fifteen yards high into the air.
' Fie !' said Minnikin. ' That was not much of a blow. Now I will let you see one of my blows.'
So saying he grasped his sword, and cut at the Troll in such a way that all his fifteen heads danced away over the sands.
Then the Princess was delivered, and she thanked Minnikin and blessed him for saving her.
' Sleep a while now on my lap,' said she, and while he lay there she put a garment of brass upon him.
' But now, how shall we have it made known that it was you who saved me ? ' said the King's daughter.
' That I will tell you,' answered Minnikin. ' When Bitter Bed