THE BLUE LIGHT.
more to day; well, I will give you another night's lodging, and tomorrow you shall split up a cart load of wood into fire-wood."
Next day the soldier worked hard at wood-cutting till evening, and then the witch again proposed that he should remain the night "You shall do one more little task for me," she said; " behind my house is an old empty well into which my light has fallen; it burns blue, and will not go out, and you shall go down and fetch it up for me."
The next day the old woman took him to the well and let him down in a basket. He soon found the blue light, and made signs to her to pull him up again. She drew him up till he was near the brink, and stretched out her hand to take the light from him.
"No," said he, perceiving her wicked intentions; "I do not give up the light till I am standing with both feet on the ground."
On this the witch flew into a rage, let him fall back again into the well, and went away. The poor soldier flew, without taking any harm, on the moist ground of the well; the blue light was still burning, but how could that help him ? he saw plainly that death must come to him at last, and he sat for a while feeling quite sorrowful. By chance he put his hand in his pocket and found his tobacco pipe half full of tobacco. " That shall be my last comfort," thought he, and taking it out, he lighted it at the blue light, and began to smoke.
The smoke had no sooner ascended in the air, than he saw standing before him a little dark man, who said, " Master, what is " your pleasure?"
" What have you to do with what pleases me ?" answered the soldier, in wonder.
" I must do all that you bid me," he replied.
" Good," said the soldier; " then first help me out of this well."
The little man took him by the hand and led him through an underground passage, but he did not forget to take the blue light with him. Then he showed him the hidden treasures which the witch had collected together and concealed underground, and the soldier took away as much gold as he could carry. As soon as they were above ground again he said to the little man, " Now go in and bind the witch, and carry her before the judge."
Not long after out she came, riding swift as the wind on a wild cat, and screaming frightfully. In a very short time, however, the little man returned, and said, "It is all right, and the