The BROWN FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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burst through the ring of their captors, and ran back to the village, the turtles following—very slowly. On the way the chief turtle met a man, who said to him :
' That woman who was to have been your wife has married another man! '
' Is that true ?' said the turtle. ' Then I must see him.'
But as soon as the villager was out of sight the turtle stopped, and taking a bundle containing fringes and ornaments from his back, he hung them about him, so that they rattled as he walked. When he was quite close to the hut where the woman lived, he cried out:
' Here I am to claim the woman who promised to be my wife.'
' Oh, here is the turtle,' whispered the husband hurriedly ; ' what is to be done now ? '
' Leave that to me; I will manage him,' replied the wife, and at that moment the turtle came in, and seized her by the wrist. ' Come with me,' he said sternly.
' You broke your promise,' answered she. ' You said you would be back soon, and it is more than a year since you went! How was I to know that you were alive ? '
At her words the husband took courage, and spoke hastily :
' Yes, you promised you would go to war and bring back some prisoners, and you have not done it."
' I did go, and made many prisoners,' retorted the turtle angrily, drawing out his knife. ' Look here, if she won't be my wife, she sha'n't be yours. I will cut her in two; and you shall have one half, and I the other.'
' But half a woman is no use to me,' answered the man. ' If you want her so much you had better take her.' And the turtle, followed by his relations, carried her off to his own hut.
Now the woman saw she would gain nothing by being sulky, so she pretended to be very glad to have got rid of her husband; but all the while she was trying to invent a
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