THE FOUR CLEVER BROTHERS.
which they were able to float on the waves, but they were still in great danger.
The tailor, however, took out his wonderful needle, and with a few great stitches sewed the planks quickly together so that they formed a raft; then they seated themselves upon it, and gathered up the fragments of the ship. These, also, the masts and sails, he sewed cleverly together, so that in a very short time the ship was again ready for sea, and they were able to complete the voyage home safely and without further difficulty.
When the king again saw his daughter, his joy knew no bounds, and he said to the four brothers: " One of you shall have my daughter, but which it is to be you must decide among yourselves." Then arose a violent contention amongst them, for each claimed his right to the princess.
The star-gazer said : " If I had not discovered first where the king's daughter was, all your art would have been useless, so she must be mine."
Then said the thief: " And after you had seen her, what would have been the use of that if I had not taken her away from under the dragon's head ? therefore she is mine."
"Ah," exclaimed the hunter, "even then the king's daughter would have been torn to pieces by the dragon, had I not killed him with my bullet, therefore she is mine."
"And," exclaimed the tailor, "if I had not been there with my skill to sew together the planks and sails of the ship, you and the princess would all have been drowned, therefore I have the greatest claim to the princess."
Upon this the king spoke : " Each of you," he said, " has an equal claim ; but as you cannot all have the maiden, I shall not give her to either of you, but you shall for a reward have the half of my kingdom to divide amongst yourselves."
The brothers were much pleased with this decision, and they said : " It is better so, than that we should fall out and be at variance." So they shared the half of the kingdom between them, and lived with their father in great comfort and happiness for the rest of their lives.