GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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" The stranger willingly accepted the invitation, and we stayed up talking till quite late. At last, after showing him to his chamber, I hastened to my own room, feeling very tired, and glad to rest my weary limbs on the soft feathers.
"I had just fallen asleep when I was aroused by the tones of soft and lovely music. I started up at the sounds, but I could not understand where it came from. I was about to rise and call my lady's maid, who slept in the chamber next mine; but, to my astonishment, I found myself unable to move. It was as if a mountain lay on my breast, and, by some unseen cause, the power of speech was taken from me, and I could not utter a sound.
"At the same time I saw by the light of the night lamp that the stranger had entered my room through two doors which I knew had been locked. He approached, and presently told me that through his knowledge of witchcraft he had not only been able to produce the sweet music, but to pass easily through doors both closely locked, and also to prevent me from moving or arousing the house. That he was there to offer me his hand and his heart, but I felt so repelled by this account of his evil power that I did not deign to answer him a word.
" He stood for a long time immovable, waiting for my answer, and I could see on his countenance a look that made me shrink from him.
" As I still remained silent, he flew into a rage, declaring that he would have revenge, and find means to punish my pride, and with these words he disappeared through the closed doors, and left me. I passed a restless night, and only slept a little towards morning. On awakening, I rose and hastened to my brother, to tell him the strange things that had happened to me, but he was not in his room, and the servants told me that he had started with the stranger to the hunt at break of day.
" I foreboded some evil from this, and, dressing myself very quickly, ordered my palfrey to be saddled, and rode away at full gallop, attended by one servant, to the forest. The servant's horse stumbled and fell, and, in so doing, injured his foot, so that I was obliged to go on alone. After riding rapidly a short distance, I saw the stranger standing near a beautiful white stag, and, as soon as I appeared, he came towards me, leading the stag by a string.
" I asked him where he had left my brother. And then, as I