THE TWIN BROTHERS.
" Liars get nothing for their pains," said the hunter; " the dragon's tongues shall prove who was his conqueror!" He unfolded the handkerchief as he spoke. There lay the seven tongues. He took them up, and placed each in the mouth of the dragon's head to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly. Then he took up the pocket-handkerchief which was marked with the name of the king's daughter, showed it to the maiden, and asked her if she had not given it to him.
" Yes," she replied, " I gave it you on the day you killed the dragon."
He called his animals to him, took from each the necklace, and from the lion the one with the golden clasp, and asked to whom they belonged.
"They are mine," she replied, "they are a part of my coral necklace which had five strings of beads, which I divided among the animals because they aided you in killing the dragon, and afterwards tore him in pieces. I cannot tell how the marshal could have carried me away from you," she continued, " for you told me to lie down and sleep after the fatigue and fright I had endured."
" I slept myself," he replied, " for I was quite worn out with my combat, and as I lay sleeping, the marshal came and cut off my head."
" I begin to understand now," said the king ; " the marshal carried away my daughter, supposing you were dead, and made us believe that he had killed the dragon till you arrived with the tongues, the handkerchief, and the necklace. But what restored you to life ?" asked the king.
Then the hunter related how one of his animals had healed him and restored him to life through the application of a wonderful root, and how he had been wandering about for a whole year, and had only returned to the town that very day, and heard from the landlord of the marshal's deceit.
Then said the king to his daughter, " Is it true that this man has killed the dragon ?"
"Yes," she answered, "quite true, and I can venture now to expose the wickedness of the marshal, for he carried me away that clay against my wish, and forced me with threats to keep silent. I did not know he had tried to kill the real slayer of the dragon, but I hoped he would come back, and on that account I begged to have the marriage put off for a year and a day."