44 GRIMM'S FAIRY TALES.
And as Faithful John gave him his hand upon it, the old King became still and silent, laid his head upon the pillow, and died.
When the old King was laid in the grave, Faithful John told the young King what he had promised to his father on his death-bed, and said,
" And I will certainly hold to my promise and be faithful to you, as I was faithful to him, even though it should cost me my life."
When the days of mourning were at an end, Faithful John said to the Prince,
" It is now time that you should see your inheritance; I will show you all the paternal castle."
Then he led him over all the place, upstairs and downstairs, and showed him all the treasures and the splendid chambers; one chamber only he did not open, that in which the perilous picture hung. Now the picture was so placed that when the door opened it was the first thing to be seen, and was so wonderfully painted that it seemed to breathe and move, and in the whole world was there nothing more lovely or more beautiful. The young King noticed how Faithful John always passed by this one door, and asked,
"Why do you not undo this door?"
" There is something inside that would terrify you," answered he. But the King answered,
" I have seen the whole castle, and I will know what is in here also." And he went forward and tried to open the door by force.
Then Faithful John called him back, and said, " I promised your father on his death-bed that you should not see what is in that room; it might bring great misfortune on you and me were I to break my promise."
But the young King answered, " I shall be undone if I do not go inside that room; I shall have no peace day or night until I have seen it with these eyes; and I will not move from this place until you have unlocked it."
Then Faithful John saw there was no help for it, and he chose out the key from the big bunch with a heavy heart and many sighs. When the door was opened he walked in first, and thought that by standing in front of the King he might