56o THE ROBBERS' CA VE.
sprang in, and with two or three blows of his staff, he gave his false companions the reward they deserved, and threw them into the water.
He then rowed away quickly with the terrified princess, whom he had twice rescued, and, on reaching the shore, he at once took her home to her father and mother, who were full of joy at finding her still alive and well. Hans married the beautiful princess, and lived ever after in the greatest happiness.
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A poor wood-cutter lived with his wife and three daughters in a little hut on the borders of a lonely forest. One morning, when he was going to his work, he said to his wife: "Send my eldest daughter out into the wood with my dinner at noon. I shall be quite ready for it, and, that she may not lose her way, I will take a bag of mullet with me, and strew the seeds on the path."
As soon as the sun had reached the meridian, and was shining over the wood, the maiden started on her road with a large jug ot soup and some bread for her father's dinner. But the field and hedge sparrows, the larks, the finches, and other birds, had long before picked up the seeds, so that the maiden could not find the track.
Fortunately, she went forward in the right direction, yet the sun went down, and night came on before she could find shelter. The trees rustled in the darkness, the night owl screamed, and the poor girl was in great fear, when all at once she saw a light twinkling in the distance through the trees. "There must be people living yonder," she thought, " and no doubt they will give me a night's lodging."
She turned her steps towards the light, and very soon came to a house through the window of which the light shone.
She knocked at the door, and a rough voice cried from within, " Come in." She stepped into a narrow dark hall and tapped at the room door, the same voice cried " Come in," and when the door opened she saw a very old man sitting at a table; his chin rested on his hands, and his white beard fell over it nearly to tht