1 88 Collectanea.
till I am killed." Then the woman of the house gave her a comb, and told her that if ever she lost her hair to put the comb through what was left, and she would have a fine head of hair.
The wife followed the coach all that day until evening. The husband then came out of the coach to bid her goodbye for ever. He told her she could follow him no more as he was going through the Hill of Big Needles and the Hill of Little Needles, and you cannot go there without having iron shoes.
So he turned from her to get into the coach, and as he was going in, she threw some blood upon the breast of his shirt; and he went in through the Hills.
She cried there where he left her till she fell asleep.
There was a blacksmith that lived in that place, and he used to pass once a day where she slept. One morning she awakened from her sleep, and spread the cloth, and the food came, and she was eating when the blacksmith passed by. She called to him, and asked him to come and have some of the food. He said, "How long have you been here?"
"I don't know," she said, "but there was a bird's nest in my hair when I awoke."
"Well," he said, "I passed here every day while yon were asleep. You are here a twelve months and a day. And now you are so kind as to give me food, I will make you a pair of iron shoes to take you through the Hill of Needles."
"I have nothing to give you for making the shoes," she said, " but I will be a servant to you for a day and a year while you are making them."
He agreed, and he was a day and a year making the shoes. When they were made she put them on, and went through the Hill of Needles.
And when she went through she heard a woman crying, who was washing clothes at a river. And she came as far as her, and she asked her why she was crying.
"Oh, there is a lady here," said the woman, " and there is one shirt no one can wash for her. Unless the blood on the breast is taken out of it she will kill me, as she has killed the other women who have tried to wash it out. And I have a young family, and that is why I am crying."