Page:The Grateful Dead.djvu/95

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79
The Ransomed Woman.

Turkey pays the debts and for the burial of a mistreated corpse. After returning home, he goes to England, and rescues a French princess with her two maids, but by his cunning saves the gold that he has agreed to pay for them. At her bidding he goes to Paris and tells the king that she is safe. On his return to bring her to her home, where he is to marry her, he is placed on a desert island by a general who is enamoured of the princess. Thence he is rescued by an old man, the ghost of the dead, who takes him to the Continent. He goes to Paris, where he is recognised by the princess, when he drops a ring that she has given him into a beaker. When she comes to him in his room, he threatens to kill her if she does not go away; but when she agrees that he has the right to do so since he has saved her life, he says that his threat was only a test of loyalty. So the story ends happily.

The course of events is not very different from that of Lithuanian I., since the variant has all the normal elements save the agreement between the ghost and the hero. A peculiarity is the final scene in which the hero tests his lady. It will be evident, I think, that this is an obscured and modified form of the test to which the ghost elsewhere submits the hero, a test of fidelity likewise, though different in its nature.

In the Transylvanian variant, a merchant's son while on a journey pays fifty florins, half of his capital, for the burial of a dead man. On a second journey he pays one hundred florins, again one-half of his store, for the ransom of a princess who has been imprisoned while out doing charity incognito. She gives him a ring and sends him to the castle, where her father turns him out of doors. He then meets an old man—the ghost—and promises him one-half of his gains after seven years for his help. He is then enabled to marry the princess, who recognizes him at the castle by his ring. They