A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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with a succession of quick smart blows, appeared either to be welding it, or hammering one part of it to a consenting shape with the rest. Having finished, they laid it carefully in the fire; and, when it was very hot indeed, plunged it into a vessel full of some liquid, whence a blue flame sprang upwards, as the glowing steel entered. There they left it; and, drawing two stools to the fire, sat down, one on each side of me.
" We are very glad to see you, brother. We have been expecting you for some days," said the dark-* haired youth.
" I am proud to be called your brother," I rejoined; " and you will not think I refuse the name, if I de­sire to know why you honour me with it ? "
" Ah! then he does not know about it," said the younger. " We thought you had known of the bond betwixt us, and the work we have to do together. You must tell him, brother, from the first"
So the elder began:
" Our father is king of this country. Before we were born, three giant brothers had appeared in the land. No one knew exactly when, and no one had the least idea whence they came. They took possession of a ruined castle that had stood unchanged and unoccu-pied within the memory of any of the country people,
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