396 THE CLEVER HUNTER.
and that the sword with her father's name was missing; and, as he listened, he knew she must be the king's daughter whom he had saved from the giants.
He then asked her why she was in such a cottage as that; and working like a peasant's daughter; and, oh, how overjoyed he was to hear that she was being punished for refusing to marry the false captain! Then he drew the sword, and said, " With this sword ' cut off the giants' heads."
"Yes," she cried, "that is my father's sword. It bears his name."
"And here," he continued, opening his knapsack, "is the slipper, and the pieces of the silk-neckerchief and the nightdress. I have also the tongues of the giants, which I cut out after they were dead; so that I have every proof."
Then how happy she was; for she knew that he had been the one to set her free. After this they went together to the old king; and the princess led her father away to her chamber, and told him she had found the man who had really slain the giants. When they showed him all the proofs, the king could no longer doubt, and told the hunter it was a great pleasure to him to know how it all happened ; and that, as he had spoken the real truth, he would give him his'daughter as a wife.
The princess heard this, and there was no fear of her refusing this time; for she was too happy in her heart. Thereupon the hunter was presented with a dress suitable for a royal castle; and the king gave orders for a grand evening entertainment. The hunter was invited as a stranger, and at table he was placed at the right hand of the princess. On her left sat the captain, who of course had no idea who the strange gentleman was, and supposed him to be only a visitor.
After dinner the king told the captain he wished to ask him a question. " If anyone should assert that he had killed three giants," said the king, " and on examining the heads they were found to be without tongues, how could you account for it?"
"Perhaps they had no tongues," replied the captain.
"That is an impossibility," said the king. "Every creature has t% tongue." And he continued, " What should be done to the man who claims an unmerited honour and reward?"
"He deserves to be torn in pieces," was the reply.