48 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
" I know further, that if the horse should be killed, the young King will not even then be sure of his bride. When they arrive at the castle there will lie a wrought bride-shirt in a dish, and it will seem all woven of gold and silver, but it is really of sulphur and pitch, and if he puts it on it will burn him to the marrow of his bones." The third raven said,
" Is there no remedy ? "
" Oh yes," answered the second; " if another man with gloves on picks up the shirt, and throws it into the fire, so that it is consumed, then is the young King delivered. But what avails that ? He who knows it and does it will be turned into stone from his heart to his knee." Then spoke the third,
" I know yet more, that even when the bride-shirt is burnt up the King is not sure of his bride; when at the wedding the dance begins, and the young Queen dances, she will suddenly grow pale and fall to the earth as if she were dead, and unless some one lifts her up and takes three drops of blood from her right breast, she will die. But he that knows this and does this will become stone from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot."
When the ravens had spoken thus among themselves they flew away. Faithful John had understood it all, and from that time he remained quiet and sad, for he thought to himself that were he to conceal what he had heard from his master, misfortune would befall; and were he to discover it his own life would be sacrificed. At last, however, he said within himself,
" I will save my master, though I myself should perish !"
So when they came on land, it happened just as the ravens had foretold, there sprang forward a splendid fox-red horse.
" Come on !" said the King, " he shall carry me to the castle," and was going to mount, when Faithful John passed before him and mounted quickly, drew the pistol out of the holster, and shot the horse dead. Then the other servants of the king cried out (for they did not wish well to Faithful John),
u How shameful to kill that beautiful animal that was to have carried the king to his castle." But the King said,
" Hold your tongues, and let him be: he is my Faithful John; he knows what is the good of it."
Then they went up to the castle, and there stood in the