THE TWIN BROTHERS.
sword on high, it whizzed through the air, and falling on the dragon, cut off three of his heads.
Then was the monster furious; he raised himself on his hind legs, spat fiery flames on the hunter, and tried to overthrow him. But the young man again drew his sword, and as the dragon approached, he, with one blow, cut off three more of his heads. The monster, mad with rage, sank on the ground, still trying to get at the hunter; but the young man, exerting all his remaining strength, had no difficulty in cutting off his seventh head, and his tail; and then finding he could resist no more, he called to his animals to come and tear the dragon in pieces.
As soon as the combat was ended, the hunter unlocked the church door, and found the king's daughter lying on the ground; for during the combat all sense and life had left her, from fear and terror.
He raised her up, and as she came to herself and opened her eyes, he showed her the dragon torn in pieces, and told her that she was released from all danger.
Oh, how joyful she felt, when she saw and heard what he had done, and said, " Now you will be my dear husband, for my father has himself promised me in marriage to whoever should kill the dragon."
Then she took off her coral necklace of five strings, and divided it between the animals as a reward; the lion's share being in addition the gold clasp. Her pocket-handkerchief, which bore her name, she presented to the hunter, who went out, and cut the seven tongues out of the dragon's heads, which he wrapped up carefully in the handkerchief.
After all the fighting, and the fire and smoke, the hunter felt so faint and tired, that he said to the maiden, " I think a little rest would do us both good, after all the fight and the struggles with the dragon that I have had, and your terror and alarm. Shall we sleep for a little while before I take you home safely to your father's house ?"
" Yes," she replied, " I can sleep peacefully now."
So she laid herself down, and as soon as she slept, he said to
the lion, " You must lie near, and watch that no one comes to
harm us." Then he threw himself on the ground, quite worn out,
uxd was soon fast asleep.