The VIOLET FAIRY BOOK - full online book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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350              THE STORY OF HALFMAN
was so near till he heard his voice calling, ' Come up' come up! you will find me here! '
' But how can I come up ? ' said the ogre, ' I see no door, and I could not possibly climb that tower.'
' Oh, there is no door,' replied Halfman.
' Then how did you climb up ? '
' A fish carried me on his back.'
' And what am I to do ?'
' You must go and fetch all your relations, and tell them to bring plenty of sticks; then you must light a fire, and let it burn till the tower becomes red hot. After that you can easily throw it down.'
' Very good,' said the ogre, and he went round to every relation he had, and told them to collect wood and bring it to the tower where Halfman was. The men did as they were ordered, and soon the tower was glowing like coral, but when they flung themselves against it to over­throw it, they caught themselves on fire and were burnt to death. And overhead sat Halfman, laughing heartily. But the ogre's wife was still alive, for she had taken no part in kindling the fire.
' Oh,' she shrieked with rage, ' you have killed my daughters and my husband, and all the men belonging to me; how can I get at you to avenge myself ?'
' Oh, that is easy enough,' said Halfman. I will let down a rope, and if you tie it tightly round you, I will draw it up.'
' All right,' returned the ogress, fastening the rope which Halfman let down. ' Now pull me up.'
' Are you sure it is secure ?'
' Yes, quite sure.'
' Don't be afraid.'
' Oh, I am not afraid at all!'
So Halfman slowly drew her up, and when she was near the top he let go the rope, and she fell down and broke her neck. Then Halfman heaved a great sigh and
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