When he started forth in the morning, thousands were gathered to see. The emperor said,—
"Do not be rash, take a spear, and leave off your knapsack."
But the tramp said,—
"It is not a knapsack," and moved straight on. The dragon was waiting and ready. He was breathing forth vast volumes of sulphurous smoke and lurid blasts of flame. The ragged knight stole warily to a good position, then he unslung his cylindrical knapsack,—which was simply the common fire-extinguisher known to modern times,—and the first chance he got he turned on his hose and shot the dragon square in the center of his cavernous mouth. Out went the fires in an instant, and the dragon curled up and died.
This man had brought brains to his aid. He had reared dragons from the egg, in his laboratory, he had watched over them like a mother, and patiently studied them and experimented upon them while they grew. Thus he had found out that fire was the life principle of a dragon; put out the dragon's fires and it could make steam no longer, and must die.
He could not put out a fire with a spear, therefore he invented the extinguisher. The dragon being dead, the emperor fell on the hero's neck and said,—
"Deliverer, name your request," at the same time beckoning out behind with his heel for a detachment of his daughters to form and advance. But the tramp gave them no observance. He simply said,—
"My request is, that upon me be conferred the monopoly of the manufacture and sale of spectacles in Germany."
The emperor sprang aside and exclaimed,—
"This transcends all the impudence I ever heard! A