306 WAYLAND THE SMITH
' If I were a magician,' answered Wayland, ' it would be easy for me to burst these bonds. I know not that ever I have wronged any man, but if he can prove it I will restore it to him tenfold. As to the gifts that may come from the gods, no man should grudge them to his fellow. Therefore release me, O King, and I will pay whatever ransom you may fix.'
But Nidud only bade his guards take him away, and Wayland, seeing that resistance availed nothing, went with them quietly. By the King's orders he Avas thrown into a dark hole fifteen fathoms under ground, and the soldiers then came and robbed the house of all its treasures, which they took to the Palace. The ring which Wayland had made for his wife, Nidud gave to his daughter Banvilda.
One day the Queen was playing the harp in her own room when the King came in to ask her counsel how best to deal with Wayland, as he did not think it wise to put him to death, for he hoped to make some profit out of his skill. ' His heart will beat high,' said the Queen, t when he sees his good sword, and beholds his ring on Banvilda's finger. But cut asunder the sinews of his strength, so that he can never more escape from us, and keep him a prisoner on the island of Savarsted.'
The King was pleased with the Queen's words, and sent soldiers to carry Wayland to the tower on the island. The sinews of his leg were cut so that he could not swim away; but they gave him his boots, and the chests of gold they had found in his house. Here he was left, with nothing to do from morning till night but to make helmets and drinking cups and splendid armour for the King.
On this island Wayland remained for a whole year, chained to a stone and visited by no one but the King, who came from time to time to see how his prisoner was getting on with a suit of golden armour he had been ordered to make. The shield was also of gold, and on it Wayland