256 THE TWIN BROTHERS.
When the hunter heard that, he began to mistrust the old woman, and said, " No; I will not strike my animals; you come down, or I will fetch you."
"Do as you like," she said; "you can't hurt me."
" If you don't come down," he replied, " I will shoot you.H
"Shoot away," she said; "your bullet can do me no harm."
He pointed his gun, and shot at her; but the witch was proof against a leaden bullet She gave a shrill laugh, and cried, " It is no use trying to hit me."
The hunter knew, however, what to do; he cut off three silver buttons from his coat, and loaded his gun with them. Against these she knew all her arts were vain; so, as he drew the trigger, she fell suddenly to the ground, with a scream. Then he placed his foot upon her, and said, " Old witch, if thou dost not at once confess where my brother is, I will take thee up and throw thee into the fire."
She was in a great fright, begged for pardon, and said, " He is lying with his animals, turned to stone, in a grave."
Then he forced her to go with him, and said, "You old cat, if you don't instantly restore my brother to life, and all the creatures that are with him, over you go into the fire."
She was obliged to take a switch and strike the stones, and immediately the brother, his animals, and many others,—traders, mechanics, and shepherds, stood before him, alive, and in their own forms.
Thankful for having gained their 'freedom and their lives, they all hastened home; but the twin brothers, when they saw each other again, were full of joy, and embraced and kissed each other with great affection. They seized the old witch, bound her, and placed her on the fire, and, as soon as she was burnt, the forest became suddenly clear and light, and the king's castle appeared at a very little distance.
After this, the twin brothers walked away together towards the castle, and on the road related to each other the events that had happened to them since they parted. At last the youngest told his brother of his marriage to the king's daughter, and that the king had made him lord over the whole land.
" I know all about it," replied the other; " for when I came to the town, they all took me for you, and treated me with kingly