THE BL UE LIGHT.
When the man came nearer he said to him : " Will you be so kind as to fetch for me a little parcel that I have left at the inn, and I will give you a ducat for your trouble ?"
Away ran his comrade, and fetched him what he wanted.
As soon as the soldier was again alone, he took out his pipe, lit ft, and began to smoke, and immediately the little man stood before him.
"Do not be afraid," said he to his master, "go with them wherever they lead you ; let what will happen, only remember to take your blue light and your pipe with you."
The next day the trial of the soldier took place, and, although he had really done nothing very wicked, he was sentenced to death.
As he was being led away, he begged the king to grant him one last favour.
" What is it ?" asked the king.
" That I may smoke one pipe on my road," he replied.
" You may smoke three if you like," said the king, " but do not suppose I shall grant you your life."
The soldier, on this, took out his pipe, lit it, and began to smoke ; and, as a pair of rings of smoke ascended in the air, the little man appeared with a little cudgel in his hand, and said: " What is my master's pleasure ?"
" Knock down the false judges and their abettors to the ground," said the soldier, " and do not spare the king for treating me so shamefully !"
Away flew the little man like lightning, striking right and left, here and there, and so scaring them that, if the cudgel merely touched them, they fell to the ground and remained there, not daring to move. The king was terribly alarmed, and at last obliged to beg for his life. His prayer was not granted till he had promised to give his kingdom to the soldier, and his daughter to be his wife.