THE S1L VER AXE.
this. First, I must be sure that you are the same little spirit which was shut up. If you can make yourself small enough to go back into the bottle, then I will believe you, and you shall do as you like with me."
The spirit replied, full of haughty courage: " That is a mere trifle forme to do," and immediately drew himself together, made himself as thin and small as he was before, so as to enter the opening of the bottle, and crept in.
No sooner had he done so than the scholar popped in the drawn cork, pushed it down tightly, and threw the bottle in its old place among the roots of the oak, and so the spirit was entrapped.
He was turning to go back to his father, when the ghost cried out again most pitifally: "Oh, let me out again ! let me out again *
" No," answered the scholar, " it is not likely I shall let you out a second time, after you have threatened my life. What should I expect if I did ?"
" If you will set me free," cried the ghost, " I will give you more than enough money to last your life !"
"No," said the scholar, "you would deceive me as you did the first time."
"You are throwing away your luck," said the spirit; "I will, indeed, do you no harm this time; but you shall be richly rewarded."
The scholar thought to himself: " I will venture it; most likely he may keep his word, and will not injure me."
Then he took out the stopper, and, the spirit rising up as before, spread itself outwards, and was soon as large as a giant.
" Now you shall have your reward," he said, " as I promised ;" and he handed him a small piece of rag like a plaster, and said: " If you use one end to strap on a wound, it will heal it directly; and if you spread the other half on steel and iron, they will immediately be changed into gold and silver."
"I must just prove it first," said the youth. So he went to a tree, and with a stroke of the axe split the bark, and then spread the rag over it Immediately it closed together again, and was healed. " It is all right," said he to the spirit, "and now we may as well part"
The spirit, on this, thanked him for setting him free, and the scholar, after thanking him for his gift, went back to his father.