GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES - online book

130 Fairy Stories Adapted & Arranged for young people

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purse of gold is not enough. If, however, you can fill my boot with as much gold as it will contain, then we will quit the field and leave the way clear for you."
" I have not so much money with me," he replied, " but I can fetch it In the neighbouring town lives a usurer; he is a great friend of mine, and he will no doubt advance me the money."
When the Evil One had vanished, the soldier pulled off his left boot, and said: " We will lead the black gentleman by the nose this time. Give me your knife, friend." He then cut off the sole of his boot, and fastened the upper-leathers to a tomb close by, so that the foot hung down under the long grass. "All right," said the soldier; "now let the black sweep come back again as soon as he likes."
Then they both seated themselves and waited, but not for long; back came the old gentleman with a little bag of gold in his hand.
" Pour it in," said the soldier, lifting the boot a little. " I'm afraid there's not enough, even now." And as he emptied the bag, the money fell to the ground and the boot remained empty.
" You old stupid," cried the soldier, "you don't know what you are about! I told you it was not enough; go and fetch some more."
The old deceiver shook his head as he went away, and returned in an hour with a much larger sack full of gold under his arm.
" That looks more like business," said the soldier; " but I doubt whether it will fill the boot after all."
The gold clinked as it fell, but the boot remained empty. The black intruder looked in and discovered the fact for himself; then he fell into a rage : " What abominably large calves you must have, to be sure J" he cried, with a sardonic grin.
"What!" exclaimed the soldier, "do you suppose I have a cloven foot like yours? and what makes you so stingy all at once? Go and fetch some more money, or there will be no dealings be twecn us."
The Evil One turned away once more. This time he remained much longer, and at last appeared carrying such a heavy sack on his shoulder that he quite bent under the weight. He poured the contents into the boot, but it remained as empty as before. On seeing this he fell into a furious rage, and was just about to drag the boot from the soldier's hand; but at that moment the first