He drinks an ocean of water, and still he cries, — "I am dying of thirst"!" And the other replies,— "Do you think me a man? The man who struck a blow with a steel lance and pierced a steel shield, he is a man 1 " " Why, I am that man ! " " Then I am your brother ! " And they go on.
They go on until they see a shepherd who is playing a pipe, while hill and dale, field and forest, men and beasts begin to dance. The young man exclaims, — " Oh, what a man ! He causes hill and dale to dance ! " And the other returns, — " Do you think me a man ? The man who pierced steel with steel, he is a man!" "Behold, I am that man!" "Then I am your brother," They go on.
They go on. There are seven of them now. They ask, — "Brother Steel-Lance-Steel-Shield, where are we going, please God ? " " We are going to fetch the daughter of the King of the West." " We wish you joy ! "
They go on, and enter the palace of the King, to take the Princess. The King calls his men, and says to them, — "These are my relatives. They cannot eat even one bowl of food. Go bake twenty-one bakings of bread, and cook twenty-one kettles of soup. If they be able to eat it all at once, they may have my daughter ; if not, we will not give her."
Now these men were sitting in another room. The one who had his ear to the ground listened, and says, — " Aha, Steel-Lance- Steel-Shield, did you understand what the King said?"— "Why, knave ! How can I know? I am not in his room." " He says, what does he say ? " he said. " He says, — " Twenty-one bakings of bread, twenty-one kettles of soup ; if they eat it, they take my daughter \ if they don't eat it, they don't take her." " Then the one who ate the grist of seven mills says, — " Don't be afraid. I will go ahead, and whatever bread they set before me, and what- ever food they bring, I will eat it and say, — " O mother, O father, I am starving ! " And they do this.
The King beholds it, and he cries,— "Alack ! God spoil your homes ! We must escape from these." He calls his men to him, and says, — " Fill the room with fire, sprinkle it with ashes, and spread felt carpeting over all. In the evening, when they go in there, they will all be burnt up."