Page:Fairy tales and other stories (Andersen, Craigie).djvu/378

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366
JACK THE DULLARD

'He is of no use!' said the Princess. 'Away with him!'

And he was obliged to go accordingly. And now the second brother came in.

'It is terribly warm here!' he observed.

'Yes, we're roasting pullets to-day,' replied the Princess.

'What—what were you—were you pleased to ob—' stammered he—and all the clerks wrote down, 'pleased to ob—'

'He is of no use!' said the Princess. 'Away with him!'

Now came the turn of Jack the Dullard. He rode into the hall on his goat.

'Well, it's most desperately hot here.'

'Yes, because I'm roasting young pullets,' replied the Princess.

'Ah, that's lucky!'exclaimed Jack the Dullard, 'then I suppose I can get a crow roasted?'

'With the greatest pleasure,' said the Princess. 'But have you anything you can roast it in? for I have neither pot nor pan.'

'Certainly I have!' said Jack. 'Here's a cooking utensil with a tin handle.'

And he brought out the old wooden shoe, and put the crow into it.

'Well, that is a famous dish!' said the Princess. 'But what shall we do for sauce?'

'Oh, I have that in my pocket,' said Jack: 'I have so much of it that I can afford to throw some away;' and he poured some of the clay out of his pocket.

'I like that!' said the Princess. 'You can give an answer, and you have something to say for yourself, and so you shall be my husband. But are you aware that every word we speak is being taken down, and will be published in the paper to-morrow? You will see in every window three clerks and a head clerk; and the old head clerk is the worst of all, for he can't understand anything.'

But she only said this to frighten him; and the clerks gave a great shout of delight, and each one spurted a blot out of his pen on to the floor.

'Oh, those are the gentlemen, are they?' said Jack; 'then I will give the best I have to the head clerk.' And