THE GOLD CHILDREN.
He would not, however, allow himself to be frightened, but said : " I must and will ride through !"
He took bearskins and threw them over himself and his horse that the gold might not be seen, and rode confidently into the wood. He had not ridden far when he heard a rustling in the bushes, and voices speaking audibly to each other.
" That is one," said a voice; but the other said: " No; let him alone—he has nothing on but a bearskin, and is, I dare say, as poor and cold as a church mouse. What do we want with him ?"
So the gold child rode through the wood, and no harm happened to him.
One day he came to a town, in which he 'saw a maiden, who appeared to him so beautiful that he did not think there could be another so beautiful in the world.
And as his love became stronger for her, he went to her and said : " I love you with my whole heart. : Will you be my wife ?"
The maiden was so pleased 'that she answered willingly : " Yes; I will be your wife, and be true to you as long as I live."
Very soon after they were married, and just as they were enjoying themselves with the guests on the wedding-day, the bride's father returned home. When he found his daughter already married, he was much astonished, and said: "Where is the bridegroom ?" He was pointed out to him, and he still wore the bearskin dress. On seeing him, he exclaimed in great anger, " My daughter shall never have a bearskin wearer for her husband," and wanted to murder him.
But the bride interceded for him as much as she could, and said, " He is already my husband, and I shall always love him with my whole heart." And at last her father was appeased. However, he could not help thinking about it all night, and in the morning, when the bridegroom was dressing, he peeped into his room, and saw a noble-looking golden man, and the bearskin lying on the ground. Then he went back to his own room, and said to himself, " How fortunate it is that I restrained my anger last night, or I should have committed a great crime."
The same morning the gold child told his wife that he had dreamed of being in the hunt, and catching a beautiful stag, so that he must on that day go out hunting*