WAY LAND THE SMITH
Far up to the north of Norway and Sweden, looking straight at the Pole, lies the country of Finmark. It is very cold and very bare, and for half the year very dark; but inside its stony mountains are rich stores of metals, and the strong, ugly men of the country spent their lives in digging out the ore and in working it. Like many people who dwell in mountains, they saw and heard strange things, which were unknown to the inhabitants of the lands to the south.
Now in Finmark there were three brothers whose names were Slagfid, Eigil, and Wayland, all much handsomer and cleverer than their neighbours. They had some money of their own, but this did not prevent them working as hard as anyone else ; and as they were either very clever or very lucky, they were soon in a fair way to grow rich.
One day they went to a new part of the mountains which was yet untouched, and began to throw up the earth with their pick-axes ; but instead of the iron they expected to see they found they had lighted upon a mine of gold. This discovery pleased them greatly and their blows became stronger and harder, for the gold was deep in the rock and it was not easy to get it out. At last a huge lump rolled out at their feet, and when they picked it up they saw three stones shining in it, one red and one blue and one green. They took it home to their mother, who began to weep bitterly at the sight of it. ' What