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Minnikin

`Ah, now we have got there,' said Minnikin, `but how we are to get back again is a very different thing.'

Then he took the cable and tied one end of it round his body. `Now I must go to the bottom,' he said, `but when I give a good jerk to the cable and want to come up again, you must all pull like one man, or there will be an end of all life both for you and for me.' So saying he sprang into the water, and yellow bubbles rose up all around him. He sank lower and lower, and at last he came to the bottom. There he saw a large hill with a door in it, and in he went. When he had got inside he found the other Princess sitting sewing, but when she saw Minnikin she clapped her hands.

`Ah, heaven be praised!' she cried, `I have not seen a Christian man since I came here.'

`I have come for you,' said Minnikin.

`Alas! you will not be able to get me,' said the King's daughter. `It is no use even to think of that; if the Troll catches sight of you he will take your life.'

`You had better tell me about him,' said Minnikin. `Where is he gone? It would be amusing to see him.'

So the King's daughter told Minnikin that the Troll was out trying to get hold of someone who could brew a hundred lasts of malt at one brewing, for there was to be a feast at the Troll's, at which less than that would not be drunk.

`I can do that,' said Minnikin.

`Ah! if only the Troll were not so quick-tempered I might have told him that,' answered the Princess, `but he is so ill-natured that he will tear you to pieces, I fear, as soon as he comes in. But I will try to find some way of doing it. Can you hide yourself here in the cupboard? and then we will see what happens.'

Minnikin did this, and almost before he had crept into the cupboard and hidden himself, came the Troll.

`Huf! What a smell of Christian man's blood!' said the Troll.

`Yes, a bird flew over the roof with a Christian man's bone in his bill, and let it fall down our chimney,' answered the Princess. `I made haste enough to get it away again, but it must be that which smells so, notwithstanding.

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