THE GOLDEN CASTLE OF STROMBERG. 363
stopped for a moment at the cry, but, seeing no one, they returned to the fight in the most terrible manner. Then cried he a second time, " Heaven defend us !" They heard the sound again; but after looking about in every direction, and seeing no one, continued their furious battle. At last he thought, " I must see what these three men are about." So he went out and asked them why they were fighting with each other.
Then said one : "I have found a stick which when you knock with it at any door it will instantly fly open." Another said he had in his possession a cloak which would make any one who wore it invisible. A third had a horse on which a man could ride over every sort of ground, even over the glass mountain. And now, as they could not agree, they scarcely knew what to do—whether to continue in partnership or to separate.
Then said the man : " I will make an exchange with you for these three things. I have not money to buy them, but what I have is still more valuable. However, before I make the exchange, I should like to try whether what you have said of them is true."
They allowed him, as he wished, to mount the horse, gave hira the stick in his hand, and threw the cloak over him.
Immediately he became invisible, and giving each of them a sharp cut with the stick, said, " You dolts, you have just got what you deserve, and I hope you are contented." Then he rode quickly up the glass mountain and arrived at the castle. The door was locked, but he struck it with the stick and it flew open instantly.
He entered, and went up the steps into the saloon, and there sat the princess with a golden cup of wine before her. She could not see him, for he still wore the invisible cloak. But he went near to her, and taking the ring which she had given him from his finger, and threw it into the cup, where it clinked against the side.
" That is my ring," she cried ; " and the man to whom I gave it must be here and will be able to break the enchanter's spell."
She rose as she spoke,, and went all over the castle, but could find no one. Meanwhile he had gone out and seated himself on the horse, and as she approached the open door, he threw off the cloak; then she saw him, and screamed out for joy. He alighted from his horse, took the king's daughter in his arms, and she kissed him, and said, " Now you have broken the spell, and I am free, and to-morrow morning we will celebrate our marriage."