HERMOD AND HADVOR
Herinod has disappeared through the wicked devices of the Queen,
for she is a witch, and so is her daughter, though they have put on
these beautiful forms. Because Hermod would not fall in with the
Queen's plans, and marry her daughter, she has laid a spell on him,
to go on an island and be a lion by day and a man by night, and
never be freed from this until you burn the lion's skin. Besides,'
said Olof, ' she has looked out a match for you; she has a brother
in the Underworld, a three-headed Giant, whom she means to turn
into a beautiful prince and get him married to you. This is no new
tiling for the Queen; she took me away from my parents' house
and compelled me to serve her; but she has never done me any
harm, for the green cloak I wear protects me against all mischief.'
Hadvor now became still sadder than before at the thought of
the marriage destined for her, and entreated Olof to think of some
plan to save her.
11 think,' said Olof, ' that your wooer will come up through the floor of the castle to you, and so you must be prepared when you hear the noise of his coming and the floor begins to open, and have at hand blazing pitch, and pour plenty of it into the opening. That will prove too much for him.'
About this time the King came home from his expedition, and thought it a great blow that no one knew what had become of Hermod; but the Queen consoled him as best she could, and alter a time the King thought less about his disappearance.
Iladvor remained in her castle, and had made preparations to receive her wooer when he came. One night, not long after, a loud noise and rumbling was heard under the castle. Hadvor at once guessed what it was, and told her maids to be ready to help her. The noise and thundering grew louder and louder, until the floor began to open, whereupon Hadvor made them take the caldron of pitch and pour plenty of it into the opening. "With that the no grew fainter and fainter, till at last they ceased altogether.
Next morning (lie Queen rose early, and went out to the Palace gate, and there she found her brother the Giant lying dead. She went up to him and said, ' I pronounce this l pell, that you become a beautiful prince, and thai Hadvor shall be unable to sa\ anj tiling against the charges that I shall bring against her.'
The body of the dead Giant now became that of a beautiful prince, and the Queen went in again.
'I don't think,' said she to the King, 'that your daughter is as good as she is said to be. My brother came and asked her hand,