THE FORTUNE SEEKERS.
gave it the word of command, and very soon they were both seated at a splendid feast. They ate and drank together, and were very soon good friends.
After supper, the charcoal-burner said, "Over there, on that bank, lies an old worn-out hat, which has a very peculiar quality, if the wearer lifts it up and turns it round above his head, instantly a number of shots are fired, like a discharge of artillery, so that no one could dare to approach. It is useless to me, so you may have it for your table, if you will make the exchange."
"I have no objection," said the young man; so he took the hat, placed it on his head, and left the table behind him.
He did not go far, however, before knocking on his knapsack, and when his soldiers appeared, he sent them again to fetch the table.
" It passes from one to another," he thought; " but it is mine : it seems as if my luck would never end," and his thoughts did not deceive him.
After regaining his table, he travelled on through fields and woods, and one day met with a third charcoal-burner, who, as the former two had done, invited him to share his supper of potatoes and salt. But the traveller, after ordering his table to prepare itself, gave the charcoal-burner such a feast, that he also begged for the table, and offered to give him in exchange a wonderful horn, which had quite a different power to that of the table or the hat.
" If ever a man were to blow this horn near a town, or a city, or village, the walls, the fortresses, the houses, and all they contained, would be thrown down in one heap of confusion and ruin."
For this wonderful horn, therefore, he was quite ready, not only to give up his table to the charcoal-burner, but to let him keep it. To have possession of the knapsack, the hat, and the horn, and to keep them as his own, was all he cared for.
"Now," said he, "I am a mighty man, and it is time for me to turn my steps homeward and see how my brothers are going on."
By the time he reached his home, he found that his brothers had, with their gold and silver, built two beautiful houses, and were living in grand style.
Without thinking of his ragged coat, shabby hat, and the knap-