42 IAN, THE SOLDIER'S SON
outside and pulled at the chain, but he could not move it, and fell on to his knees. At that he rose swiftly, and gathering up his strength, he seized the chain, and this time he shook it so that the link broke. And the giant heard it on the hunting hill, and lifted his head, thinking — 'It sounds like the noise of Ian, the soldier's son,' said he; 'but as yet he is only sixteen years old. Still, I had better look to it.' And home he came.
'Are you Ian, the soldier's son?' he asked, as he entered the castle.
'No, of a surety,' answered the youth, who had no wish that they should know him.
'Then who are you in the leeward, or in the windward, or in the four brown boundaries of the sea, who are able to move my battle-chain?'
'That will be plain to you after wrestling with me as I wrestle with my mother. And one time she got the better of me, and two times she did not.'
So they wrestled, and twisted and strove with each other till the giant forced Ian to his knee.
'You are the stronger,' said Ian; and the giant answered:
'All men know that!' And they took hold of each other once more, and at last Ian threw the giant, and wished that the raven were there to help him. No sooner had he wished his wish than the raven came.
'Put your hand under my right wing and you will find a knife sharp enough to take off his head,' said the raven. And the knife was so sharp that it cut off the giant's head with a blow.
'Now go and tell the daughter of the knight of Grianaig; but take heed lest you listen to her words, and promise to go no further, for she will seek to keep you. Instead, seek the middle daughter, and when you have found her, you shall give me a piece of tobacco for reward.'