326 THE GOLD CHILDREN.
She was very uneasy at the thought, and said : " Pray, don't go ; a misfortune might so easily happen to you."
But he replied, " I will and must go." As soon as he was ready he rode out into the wood, and had not been there long before he saw just such a stag as the one in his dream. He raised his gun to shoot it, but the stag sprang away, and he followed it over hedges and ditches the whole day without feeling tired. At last, as night came on, it vanished from his eyes.
Then the gold child looked round him, and saw close by a small house in which sat an old woman, who was a witch, but he did not know it He knocked at the door, and she came out and asked him what he wanted so late as that in the middle of the wood.
He said, " Have you seen a stag pass this way ?"
"Yes," she replied, "I know the stag well." And while she spoke, a little dog, that had come out of the house with the old woman, began to bark furiously.
" Be quiet, will you," he cried, "you spiteful cur, or I will shoot you."
"What! you will kill my dog?" cried the old witch, in a rage. "Ah, I'll soon stop that" And in a moment he lay on the ground turned into stone.
His bride waited for his return in vain, and thought, "Something has certainly happened to him, or else why am I so anxious and troubled in my heart?"
On the same evening, the brother, who was at home, was standing by the golden lily when it suddenly fell drooping on its stem. " Ah ! me !" he exclaimed, " there has some misfortune happened to my brother; I must go to him. Very likely I shall be able to save him."
Then said his father: " No, no; stay here; if I were to lose both of you, what should I do ?"
But the youth answered, " I must and will go and find my brother." Then he mounted his golden horse, and rode away quickly to the wood where his brother lay turned to stone.
The old witch saw him in the distance, and came out of her house, and tried to mislead him about his brother, and called to him to come in. But he would not go near her, and, raising his gun, he cried, " If you do not this moment restore my brother to life, I will shoot you dead*"