Page:Tales of old Lusitania.djvu/79

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67
THE SNAKE WITH SEVEN HEADS.

refused to see him, he would at least permit him to speak to the princess, if only from one of the palace windows, for his business was about the terrible snake that was killed. These words aroused the king's attention, and he consented to see the man, while the princess, greatly agitated and anxious, insisted on being present at the interview. The man entered the audience chamber, and the moment the princess looked upon him she cried out in great joy: "Oh, father, here is the man who killed the snake."

The king, turning round to the man, said: "What account can you give me of the affair? How is it that the seven heads of the snake have been brought to me by another man?"

The man replied that the snake which had seven heads must have had seven tongues; then, taking them out of his pocket, he said: "And here they are."

The king took up the parcel, and untying the handkerchief, saw the tongues inside; he next examined the heads of the snake and found that the man's statement was true, for the heads were without tongues. The king, full of wrath at the deception, ordered the negro to be put to death. He then said to the man that had killed the snake with seven heads: "Here is my daughter, marry her and be happy."