Page:Fairy tales and other stories (Andersen, Craigie).djvu/19

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7
THE TINDER-BOX

he saw the first door with a cross upon it. 'No, my dear husband, it is there!' said the Queen, who descried another door which also showed a cross. 'But there is one, and there is one!' said all, for wherever they looked there were crosses on the doors. So they saw that it would avail them nothing if they searched on.

But the Queen was an exceedingly clever woman, who could do more than ride in a coach. She took her great gold scissors, cut a piece of silk into pieces, and made a neat little bag; this bag she filled with fine wheat flour, and tied it on the princess's back; and when that was done, she cut a little hole in the bag, so that the flour would be scattered along all the way which the princess should take.

In the night the dog came again, took the princess on his back, and ran with her to the soldier, who loved her very much, and would gladly have been a prince, so that he might have her for his wife. The dog did not notice at all how the flour ran out in a stream from the castle to the windows of the soldier's house, where he ran up the wall with the princess. In the morning the King and the Queen saw well enough where their daughter had been, and they took the soldier and put him in prison.

There he sat. Oh, but it was dark and disagreeable there! And they said to him, 'To-morrow you shall be hanged.' That was not amusing to hear, and he had left his tinder-box at the inn. In the morning he could see, through the iron grating of the little window, how the people were hurrying out of the town to see him hanged. He heard the drums beat and saw the soldiers marching. All the people were running out, and among them was a shoemaker's boy with leather apron and slippers, and he gallopped so fast that one of his slippers flew off, and came right against the wall where the soldier sat looking through the iron grating.

'Halloo, you shoemaker's boy! you needn't be in such a hurry,' cried the soldier to him: 'it will not begin till I come. But if you will run to where I lived, and bring me my tinder-box, you shall have four shillings; but you must put your best leg foremost.'

The shoemaker's boy wanted to get the four shillings, so