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Grimm's Fairy Tales.

The Two Brothers - 2

When the king's daughter got to the top of the hill, it was not the
dragon which stood there, but the young huntsman, who comforted her,
and said he would save her, led her into the church, and locked her
in. It was not long before the seven-headed dragon came thither with
loud roaring. When he perceived the huntsman, he was astonished and
said, what business have you here on the hill. The huntsman
answered, I want to fight with you. Said the dragon, many knights
have left their lives here, I shall soon have made an end of you too,
and he breathed fire out of seven jaws.

The fire was to have lighted the dry grass, and the huntsman was to
have been suffocated in the heat and smoke, but the animals came
running up and trampled out the fire. Then the dragon rushed upon
the huntsman, but he swung his sword until it sang through the air,
and struck off three of his heads. Then the dragon grew really
furious, and rose up in the air, and spat out flames of fire over the
huntsman, and was about to plunge down on him, but the huntsman once
more drew out his sword, and again cut off three of his heads. The
monster became faint and sank down.

Nevertheless it was just able to rush upon the huntsman, when he with
his last strength smote its tail off, and as he could fight no
longer, called up his animals who tore it in pieces. When the
struggle was ended, the huntsman unlocked the church, and found the
king's daughter lying on the floor, as she had lost her senses with
anguish and terror during the contest. He carried her out, and when
she came to herself once more, and opened her eyes, he showed her the
dragon all cut to pieces, and told her that she was now set free. She
rejoiced and said, now you will be my dearest husband, for my father
has promised me to him who kills the dragon. Thereupon she took off
her necklace of coral, and divided it amongst the animals in order to
reward them, and the lion received the golden clasp. Her
pocket-handkerchief, however, on which was her name, she gave to the
huntsman, who went and cut the tongues out of the dragons, seven
heads, wrapped them in the handkerchief, and preserved them
carefully.

That done, as he was so faint and weary with the fire and the battle,
he said to the maiden, we are both faint and weary, we will sleep
awhile. Then she said, yes, and they lay down on the ground, and the
huntsman said to the lion, you shall keep watch, that no one
surprises us in our sleep, and both fell asleep. The lion lay down
beside them to watch, but he also was so weary with the fight, that
he called to the bear and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a
little. If anything comes, waken me. Then the bear lay down beside
him, but he also was tired, and called the wolf and said, lie down by
me, I must sleep a little, but if anything comes, waken me. Then the
wolf lay down by him, but he was tired likewise, and called the fox
and said, lie down by me, I must sleep a little, if anything comes
waken me. Then the fox lay down beside him, but he too was weary,
and called the hare and said, lie down near me, I must sleep a
little, and if anything should come, waken me. Then the hare sat
down by him, but the poor hare was tired too, and had no one whom he
could call there to keep watch, and fell asleep. And now the king's
daughter, the huntsman, the lion, the bear, the wolf, the fox, and
the hare, were all sleeping a sound sleep. The marshal, however, who
was to look on from a distance, took courage when he did not see the
dragon flying away with the maiden, and finding that all the hill had
become quiet, ascended it.

There lay the dragon hacked and hewn to pieces on the ground, and not
far from it were the king's daughter and a huntsman with his animals,
and all of them were sunk in a sound sleep. And as he was wicked and
godless he took his sword, cut off the huntsman's head, and seized
the maiden in his arms, and carried her down the hill. Then she
awoke and was terrified, but the marshal said, you are in my hands,
you shall say that it was I who killed the dragon.

I cannot do that, she replied, for it was a huntsman with his animals
who did it. Then he drew his sword, and threatened to kill her if
she did not obey him, and so compelled her that she promised it.
Then he took her to the king, who did not know how to contain himself
for joy when he once more looked on his dear child in life, whom he
had believed to have been torn to pieces by the monster. The marshal
said to him, I have killed the dragon, and delivered the maiden and
the whole kingdom as well, therefore I demand her as my wife, as was
promised. The king said to the maiden, is what he says true. Ah,
yes, she answered, it must indeed be true, but I will not consent to
have the wedding celebrated until after a year and a day, for she
thought in that time she should hear something of her dear huntsman.

The animals, however, were still lying sleeping beside their dead
master on the dragon's hill, and there came a great bumble-bee and
lighted on the hare's nose, but the hare wiped it off with his paw,
and went on sleeping. The bumble-bee came a second time, but the
hare again rubbed it off and slept on. Then it came for the third
time, and stung his nose so that he awoke. As soon as the hare was
awake, he roused the fox, and the fox, the wolf, and the wolf the
bear, and the bear the lion. And when the lion awoke and saw that
the maiden was gone, and his master was dead, he began to roar
frightfully and cried, who has done that. Bear, why did you not
waken me. The bear asked the wolf, why did you not waken me. And
the wolf the fox, why did you not waken me. And the fox the hare,
why did you not waken me. The poor hare alone did not know what
answer to make, and the blame rested with him. Then they were just
going to fall upon him, but he entreated them and said, kill me not,
I will bring our master to life again. I know a mountain on which a
root grows which, when placed in the mouth of anyone, cures him of
all illness and every wound. But the mountain lies two hundred
hours, journey from here.

The lion said, in four-and-twenty hours must you have run thither and
have come back, and have brought the root with you. Then the hare
sprang away, and in four-and-twenty hours he was back, and brought
the root with him. The lion put the huntsman's head on again, and
the hare placed the root in his mouth, and immediately everything
united together again, and his heart beat, and life came back. Then
the huntsman awoke, and was alarmed when he did not see the maiden,
and thought, she must have gone away whilst I was sleeping, in order
to get rid of me. The lion in his great haste had put his master's
head on the wrong way round, but the huntsman did not observe it
because of his melancholy thoughts about the king's daughter. But at
noon, when he was going to eat something, he saw that his head was
turned backwards and could not understand it, and asked the animals
what had happened to him in his sleep. Then the lion told him that
they, too, had all fallen asleep from weariness, and on awaking, had
found him dead with his head cut off, that the hare had brought the
life-giving root, and that he, in his haste, had laid hold of the
head the wrong way, but that he would repair his mistake. Then he
tore the huntsman's head off again, turned it round, and the hare
healed it with the root.

The huntsman, however, was sad at heart, and traveled about the
world, and made his animals dance before people. It came to pass
that precisely at the end of one year he came back to the same town
where he had rescued the king's daughter from the dragon, and this
time the town was gaily hung with red cloth. Then he said to the
host, what does this mean. Last year the town was all hung with
black crape, what means the red cloth to-day. The host answered,
last year our king's daughter was to have been delivered over to the
dragon, but the marshal fought with it and killed it, and so
to-morrow their wedding is to be solemnized, and that is why the town
was then hung with black crape for mourning, and is to-day covered
with red cloth for joy.

Next day when the wedding was to take place, the huntsman said at
mid-day to the inn-keeper, do you believe, sir host, that I while
with you here to-day shall eat bread from the king's own table.

Nay, said the host, I would bet a hundred pieces of gold that that
will not come true. The huntsman accepted the wager, and set against
it a purse with just the same number of gold pieces. Then he called
the hare and said, go, my dear runner, and fetch me some of the bread
which the king is eating. Now the little hare was the lowest of the
animals, and could not transfer this order to any the others, but had
to get on his legs himself. Alas. Thought he, if I bound through the
streets thus alone, the butchers, dogs will all be after me. It
happened as he expected, and the dogs came after him and wanted to
make holes in his good skin. But he sprang away, you have never seen
the like, and sheltered himself in a sentry-box without the soldier
being aware of it. Then the dogs came and wanted to have him out,
but the soldier did not understand a jest, and struck them with the
butt-end of his gun, till they ran away yelling and howling. As soon
as the hare saw that the way was clear, he ran into the palace and
straight to the king's daughter, sat down under her chair, and
scratched at her foot. Then she said, will you get away, and thought
it was her dog. The hare scratched her foot for the second time, and
she again said, will you get away, and thought it was her dog. But
the hare did not let itself be turned from its purpose, and scratched
her for the third time. Then she peeped down, and knew the hare by
its collar.

She took him on her lap, carried him into her chamber, and said, dear
hare, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the
dragon, is here, and has sent me to ask for a loaf of bread like that
which the king eats. Then she was full of joy and had the baker
summoned, and ordered him to bring a loaf such as was eaten by the
king. The little hare said, but the baker must likewise carry it
thither for me, that the butchers, dogs may do no harm to me. The
baker carried if for him as far as the door of the inn, and then the
hare got on his hind legs, took the loaf in his front paws, and
carried it to his master. Then said the huntsman, behold, sir host,
the hundred pieces of gold are mine. The host was astonished, but
the huntsman went on to say, yes, sir host, I have the bread, but now
I will likewise have some of the king's roast meat.

The host said, I should indeed like to see that, but he would make no
more wagers. The huntsman called the fox and said, my little fox, go
and fetch me some roast meat, such as the king eats.

The red fox knew the byways better, and went by holes and corners
without any dog seeing him, seated himself under the chair of the
king's daughter, and scratched her foot. Then she looked down and
recognized the fox by its collar, took him into her chamber with her
and said, dear fox, what do you want. He answered, my master, who
killed the dragon, is here, and has sent me. I am to ask for some
roast meat such as the king is eating. Then she made the cook come,
who was obliged to prepare a roast joint, the same as was eaten by
the king, and to carry it for the fox as far as the door. Then the
fox took the dish, waved away with his tail the flies which had
settled on the meat, and then carried it to his master. Behold, sir
host, said the huntsman, bread and meat are here but now I will also
have proper vegetables with it, such as are eaten by the king. Then
he called the wolf, and said, dear wolf, go thither and fetch me
vegetables such as the king eats.

Then the wolf went straight to the palace, as he feared no one, and
when he got to the king's daughter's parlor, he tugged at the back of
her dress, so that she was forced to look round. She recognized him
by his collar, and took him into her chamber with her, and said, dear
wolf, what do you want. He answered, my master, who killed the
dragon, is here, I am to ask for some vegetables, such as the king
eats. Then she made the cook come, and he had to make ready a dish
of vegetables, such as the king ate, and had to carry it for the wolf
as far as the door, and then the wolf took the dish from him, and
carried it to his master. Behold, sir host, said the huntsman, now I
have bread and meat and vegetables, but I will also have some pastry
to eat like that which the king eats. He called the bear, and said,
dear bear, you are fond of licking anything sweet, go and bring me
some confectionery, such as the king eats.

The the bear trotted to the palace, and everyone got out of his way,
but when he went to the guard, they presented their muskets, and
would not let him go into the royal palace. But he got up on his
hind legs, and gave them a few boxes on the ears, right and left,
with his paws, so that the whole watch broke up, and then he went
straight to the king's daughter, placed himself behind her, and
growled a little. Then she looked behind her, knew the bear, and
bade him go into her room with her, and said, dear bear, what do you
want. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is here, and I
am to ask for some confectionery such as the king eats. Then she
summoned her confectioner, who had to bake confectionery such as the
king ate, and carry it to the door for the bear. Then the bear first
licked up the comfits which had rolled down, and then he stood
upright, took the dish, and carried it to his master. Behold, sir
host, said the huntsman, now I have bread, meat, vegetables and
confectionery, but I will drink wine also, and such as the king
drinks. He called his lion to him and said, dear lion, you yourself
like to drink till you are tipsy, go and fetch me some wine, such as
is drunk by the king.

Then the lion strode through the streets, and the people fled from
him, and when he came to the watch, they wanted to bar the way
against him, but he did but roar once, and they all ran away. Then
the lion went to the royal apartment, and knocked at the door with
his tail. The the king's daughter came forth, and was almost afraid
of the lion, but she knew him by the golden clasp of her necklace,
and bade him go with her into her chamber, and said, dear lion, what
will you have. He answered, my master, who killed the dragon, is
here, and I am to ask for some wine such as is drunk by the king.
Then she bade the cup-bearer be called, who was to give the lion some
wine like that which was drunk by the king. The lion said, I will go
with him, and see that I get the right wine. Then he went down with
the cup-bearer, and when they were below, the cup-bearer wanted to
draw him some of the common wine that was drunk by the king's
servants, but the lion said, stop, I will taste the wine first, and
he drew half a measure, and swallowed it down at one draught. No,
said he, that is not right. The cup-bearer looked at him askance,
but went on, and was about to give him some out of another barrel
which was for the king's marshal. The lion said, stop, let me taste
the wine first, and drew half a measure and drank it. That is
better, but still not right, said he. Then the cup-bearer grew angry
and said, how can a stupid animal like you understand wine. But the
lion gave him a blow behind the ears, which made him fall down by no
means gently, and when he had got up again, he conducted the lion
quite silently into a little cellar apart, where the king's wine lay,
from which no one ever drank. The lion first drew half a measure and
tried the wine, and then he said, that may possibly be the right
sort, and bade the cup-bearer fill six bottles of it. And now they
went upstairs again, but when the lion came out of the cellar into
the open air, he reeled here and there, and was rather drunk, and the
cup-bearer was forced to carry the wine as far as the door for him,
and then the lion took the handle of the basket in his mouth, and
took it to his master. The huntsman said, behold, sir host, here
have I bread, meat, vegetables, confectionery and wine such as the
king has, and now I will dine with my animals, and he sat down and
ate and drank, and gave the hare, the fox, the wolf, the bear, and
the lion also to eat and to drink, and was joyful, for he saw that
the king's daughter still loved him. And when he had finished his
dinner, he said, sir host, now have I eaten and drunk, as the king
eats and drinks, and now I will go to the king's court and marry the
king's daughter.

Said the host, how can that be, when she already has a betrothed
husband, and when the wedding is to be solemnized to-day. Then the
huntsman drew forth the handerchief which the king's daughter had
given him on the dragon's hill, and in which were folded the
monster's seven tongues, and said, that which I hold in my hand shall
help me to do it. Then the innkeeper looked at the handkerchief, and
said, whatever I believe, I do not believe that, and I am willing to
stake my house and courtyard on it. The huntsman, however, took a
bag with a thousand gold pieces, put it on the table, and said, I
stake that on it.

Now the king said to his daughter, at the royal table, what did all
the wild animals want, which have been coming to you, and going in
and out of my palace. She replied, I may not tell you, but send and
have the master of these animals brought, and you will do well. The
king sent a servant to the inn, and invited the stranger, and the
servant came just as the huntsman had laid his wager with the
innkeeper. Then said he, behold, sir host, now the king sends his
servant and invites me, but I do not go in this way.

And he said to the servant, I request the lord king to send me royal
clothing, and a carriage with six horses, and servants to attend me.
When the king heard the answer, he said to his daughter, what shall I
do. She said, cause him to be fetched as he desires to be, and you
will do well. Then the king sent royal apparel, a carriage with six
horses, and servants to wait on him. When the huntsman saw them
coming, he said, behold, sir host, now I am fetched as I desired to
be, and he put on the royal garments, took the handerchief with the
dragon's tongues with him, and drove off to the king. When the king
saw him coming, he said to his daughter, how shall I receive him.
She answered, go to meet him and you will do well. Then the king
went to meet him and led him in, and his animals followed. The king
gave him a seat near himself and his daughter, and the marshal, as
bridegroom, sat on the other side, but no longer knew the huntsman.
And now at this very moment, the seven heads of the dragon were
brought in as a spectacle, and the king said, the seven heads were
cut off the dragon by the marshal, wherefore to-day I give him my
daughter to wife. The the huntsman stood up, opened the seven
mouths, and said, where are the seven tongues of the dragon. Then
was the marshal terrified, and grew pale and knew not what answer he
should make, and at length in his anguish he said, dragons have no
tongues. The huntsman said, liars ought to have none, but the
dragon's tongues are the tokens of the victor, and he unfolded the
handerchief, and there lay all seven inside it. And he put each
tongue in the mouth to which it belonged, and it fitted exactly.

Then he took the handkerchief on which the name of the princess was
embroidered, and showed it to the maiden, and asked to whom she had
given it, and she replied, to him who killed the dragon. And then he
called his animals, and took the collar off each of them and the
golden clasp from the lion, and showed them to the maiden and asked
to whom they belonged. She answered, the necklace and golden clasp
were mine, but I divided them among the animals who helped to conquer
the dragon. Then spoke the huntsman, when I, tired of the fight, was
resting and sleeping, the marshal came and cut off my head. Then he
carried away the king's daughter, and gave out that it was he who had
killed the dragon, but that he lied I prove with the tongues, the
handkerchief, and the necklace.

And then he related how his animals had healed him by means of a
wonderful root, and how he had traveled about with them for one year,
and had at length come there and had learnt the treachery of the
marshal by the inn-keeper's story. Then the king asked his daughter,
is it true that this man killed the dragon.

And she answered, yes, it is true. Now can I reveal the wicked deed
of the marshal, as it has come to light without my connivance, for he
wrung from me a promise to be silent. For this reason, however, did
I make the condition that the marriage should not be solemnized for a
year and a day. Then the king bade twelve councillors be summoned
who were to pronounce judgment on the marshal, and they sentenced him
to be torn to pieces by four bulls.

The marshal was therefore executed, but the king gave his daughter to
the huntsman, and named him his viceroy over the whole kingdom. The
wedding was celebrated with great joy, and the young king caused his
father and his foster-father to be brought, and loaded them with
treasures. Neither did he forget the inn-keeper, but sent for him
and said, behold, sir host, I have married the king's daughter, and
your house and yard are mine.

The host said, yes, according to justice it is so. But the young
king said, it shall be done according to mercy, and told him that he
should keep his house and yard, and gave him the thousand pieces of
gold as well.

And now the young king and queen were thoroughly happy, and lived in
gladness together. He often went out hunting because it was a
delight to him, and the faithful animals had to accompany him. In
the neighborhood, however, there was a forest of which it was
reported that it was haunted, and that whosoever did but enter it did
not easily get out again. But the young king had a great inclination
to hunt in it, and let the old king have no peace until he allowed
him to do so. So he rode forth with a great following, and when he
came to the forest, he saw a snow-white hind, and said to his men,
wait here until I return, I want to hunt that beautiful creature, and
he rode into the forest after it, followed only by his animals. The
attendants halted and waited until evening, but he did not return, so
they rode home, and told the young queen that the young king had
followed a white hind into the enchanted forest, and had not come
back again. Then she was in the greatest concern about him. He,
however, had still continued to ride on and on after the beautiful
wild animal, and had never been able to overtake it, when he thought
he was near enough to aim, he instantly saw it bound away into the
far distance, and at length it vanished altogether. And now he
perceived that he had penetrated deep into the forest, and blew his
horn but he received no answer, for his attendants could not hear it.
And as night was falling, he saw that he could not get home that day,
so he dismounted from his horse, lighted himself a fire near a tree,
and resolved to spend the night by it. While he was sitting by the
fire, and his animals also were lying down beside him, it seemed to
him that he heard a human voice. He looked round, but could
perceived nothing. Soon afterwards, he again heard a groan as if
from above, and then he looked up, and saw an old woman sitting in
the tree, who wailed unceasingly, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am. Said
he, come down, and warm yourself if you are cold. But she said, no,
your animals will bite me. He answered, they will do you no harm,
old mother, do come down. She, however, was a witch, and said, I
will throw down a wand from the tree, and if you strike them on the
back with it, they will do me no harm. Then she threw him a small
wand, and he struck them with it, and instantly they lay still and
were turned into stone. And when the witch was safe from the
animals, she leapt down and touched him also with a wand, and changed
him to stone. Thereupon she laughed, and dragged him and the animals
into a vault, where many more such stones already lay.

As the young king did not come back at all, the queen's anguish and
care grew constantly greater. And it so happened that at this very
time the other brother who had turned to the east when they
separated, came into the kingdom. He had sought a situation, and had
found none, and had then traveled about here and there, and had made
his animals dance. Then it came into his mind that he would just go
and look at the knife that they had thrust in the trunk of a tree at
their parting, that he might learn how his brother was. When he got
there his brother's side of the knife was half rusted, and half
bright. Then he was alarmed and thought, a great misfortune must
have befallen my brother, but perhaps I can still save him, for half
the knife is still bright. He and his animals traveled towards the
west, and when he entered the gate of the town, the guard came to
meet him, and asked if he was to announce him to his consort the
young queen, who had for a couple of days been in the greatest sorrow
about his staying away, and was afraid he had been killed in the
enchanted forest.

The sentries, indeed, thought no otherwise than that he was the young
king himself, for he looked so like him, and had wild animals running
behind him. Then he saw that they were speaking of his brother, and
thought, it will be better if I pass myself off for him, and then I
can rescue him more easily. So he allowed himself to be escorted
into the castle by the guard, and was received with the greatest joy.
The young queen indeed thought that he was her husband, and asked him
why he had stayed away so long. He answered, I had lost myself in a
forest, and could not find my way out again any sooner. At night he
was taken to the royal bed, but he laid a two-edged sword between him
and the young queen, she did not know what that could mean, but did
not venture to ask.

He remained in the palace a couple of days, and in the meantime
inquired into everything which related to the enchanted forest, and
at last he said, I must hunt there once more. The king and the young
queen wanted to persuade him not to do it, but he stood out against
them, and went forth with a larger following. When he had got into
the forest, it fared with him as with his brother, he saw a white
hind and said to his men, stay here, and wait until I return, I want
to chase the lovely wild beast, and then he rode into the forest and
his animals ran after him. But he could not overtake the hind, and
got so deep into the forest that he was forced to pass the night
there. And when he had lighted a fire, he heard someone wailing
above him, oh, oh, oh, how cold I am.

Then he looked up, and the self-same witch was sitting in the tree.
Said he, if you are cold, come down, little old mother, and warm
yourself. She answered, no, your animals will bite me. But he said,
they will not hurt you. Then she cried, I will throw down a wand to
you, and if you smite them with it they will do me no harm. When the
huntsman heard that, he had no confidence in the old woman, and said,
I will not strike my animals. Come down, or I will fetch you. Then
she cried, what do you want. You shall not touch me. But he
replied, if you do not come, I will shoot you. Said she, shoot away,
I do not fear your bullets.

Then he aimed, and fired at her, but the witch was proof against all
leaden bullets, and laughed shrilly and cried, you shall not hit me.
The huntsman knew what to do, tore three silver buttons off his coat,
and loaded his gun with them, for against them her arts were useless,
and when he fired she fell down at once with a scream. Then he set
his foot on her and said, old witch, if you do not instantly confess
where my brother is, I will seize you with both my hands and throw
you into the fire. She was in a great fright, begged for mercy and
said, he and his animals lie in a vault, turned to stone. Then he
compelled her to go thither with him, threatened her, and said, old
sea-cat, now you shall make my brother and all the human beings lying
here, alive again, or you shall go into the fire. She took a wand
and touched the stones, and then his brother with his animals came to
life again, and many others, merchants, artisans, and shepherds,
arose, thanked him for their deliverance, and went to their homes.
But when the twin brothers saw each other again, they kissed each
other and rejoiced with all their hearts. Then they seized the
witch, bound her and laid her on the fire, and when she was burnt the
forest opened of its own accord, and was light and clear, and the
king's palace could be seen at about the distance of a three hours,
walk.

Thereupon the two brothers went home together, and on the way told
each other their histories. And when the younger said that he was
ruler of the whole country in the king's stead, the other observed,
that I remarked very well, for when I came to the town, and was taken
for you, all royal honors were paid me, the young queen looked on me
as her husband, and I had to eat at her side, and sleep in your bed.
When the other heard that, he became so jealous and angry that he
drew his sword, and struck off his brother's head. But when he saw
him lying there dead, and saw his red blood flowing, he repented most
violently, my brother delivered me, cried he, and I have killed him
for it, and he bewailed him aloud. Then his hare came and offered to
go and bring some of the root of life, and bounded away and brought
it while yet there was time, and the dead man was brought to life
again, and knew nothing about the wound.

After this they journeyed onwards, and the younger said, you look
like me, you have royal apparel on as I have, and the animals follow
you as they do me, we will go in by opposite gates, and arrive at the
same time from the two sides in the aged king's presence. So they
separated, and at the same time came the watchmen from the one door
and from the other, and announced that the young king and the animals
had returned from the chase.

The king said, it is not possible, the gates lie quite a mile apart.
In the meantime, however, the two brothers entered the courtyard of
the palace from opposite sides, and both mounted the steps. Then the
king said to the daughter, say which is your husband.

Each of them looks exactly like the other, I cannot tell. Then she
was in great distress, and could not tell, but at last she remembered
the necklace which she had given to the animals, and she sought for
and found her little golden clasp on the lion, and she cried in her
delight, he who is followed by this lion is my true husband. Then
the young king laughed and said, yes, he is the right one, and they
sat down together to table, and ate and drank, and were merry. At
night when the young king went to bed, his wife said, why have you
for these last nights always laid a two-edged sword in our bed. I
thought you had a wish to kill me. Then he knew how true his brother
had been.



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