Page:The Red Fairy Book.djvu/50
SORIA MORIA CASTLE
'But now,' said she, ' you must first help rue to get this dead body away from here.'
Halvor was so strong that he cleared everything away, and made all clean and tidy very quickly. So then they ate and drank, and were happy, and next morning he set off in the grey light of dawn. He gave himself no rest, but walked or ran the livelong day. When he came in sight of the castle he was again just a little afraid. It was much more splendid than the other, hut here too there was not a human being to be seen. So Halvor went into the kitchen, and did not linger there either, but went straight in.
'Nay! do Christian folk dare to come here?' cried the second Princess. 'I know not how long it is since I myself came, but during all that time I have never seen a Christian man. It will be better for you to depart at once, for a Troll lives here who has six heads."
'No, I shall not go,' said Halvor; 'even if he had six more I would not.'
'He will swallow you up alive,' said the Princess.
But she spoke to no purpose, for Halvor would not go; he was not afraid of the Troll, but he wanted some meat and drink, for he was hungry after his journey. So she gave him as much as he would have, and then she once more tried to make him go away.
'No,' said Halvor, 'I will not go, for I have not done anything wrong, and I have no reason to be afraid.'
'He won't ask any questions about that,' said the Princess, 'for he will take you without leave or right; but as you will not go, try if you can wield that sword which the Troll uses in battle.'
He could not brandish the sword; so the Princess said that he was to take a draught from the flask which hung by its side, and when he had done that he could wield the sword.
Soon afterwards the Troll came, and he was so large and stout that he was forced to go sideways to get through the door. When the Troll got his first head in he cried: 'Hutetu! It smells of a Christian man's blood here!'
With that Halvor cut off the first head, and so on with all the rest. The Princess was now exceedingly delighted, but then she remembered her sisters, and wished that they too were free. Halvor thought that might be managed, and wanted to set off immediately; but first he had to help the Princess to remove the Troll's body, so it was not until morning that he set forth on his way.
It was a long way to the castle, and he both walked and ran to get there in time. Late in the evening he caught sight of it, and it