Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/77

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65
THE SNAKE WITH SEVEN HEADS.

"I need no reward, and will take none," said the man.

"Well, if you will not take the recompense that is your due, at least accept this ring, and wear it in remembrance of the event."

She pulled a ring off her finger and gave it to the man, who accepted it. The girl took her departure, and the man set to work to cut the tongues out of the seven heads of the snake. He tied the tongues up in his handkerchief and put them in his pocket.

The rumour soon spread that the monster had been slain, and as the king had promised to give his daughter in marriage to whoever should kill it, a negro, who heard of the heroic deed, went to the mountain where the beast lay, cut the seven heads off and took them to the king, saying that he was the successful slayer of the beast, and claiming the hand of his daughter as the promised reward. The king was sorry now that he had made such a rash promise, and said to the princess: "My daughter, there is no help for it; but you must marry this negro who has killed the monster and saved your life."

"Oh, father! the man that destroyed the snake was a very handsome white man, who had with him three magnificent dogs; besides, he refused to receive any reward, or even to take me for his wife; but as a remembrance I gave him a ring."

But the king persisted in saying that the princess