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Soria Moria Castle

In the castle kitchen a great fire was blazing, and Halvor went into it, but such a kitchen he had never seen in all his born days. It was so grand and fine; there were vessels of silver and vessels of gold, but still never a living soul. So when Halvor had stood there a while and no one came out, he went and opened a door, and there inside sat a Princess who span upon a spinning-wheel.

“Nay, nay, now!” she called out, “dare Christian folk come hither? But now you’d best be off about your business, if you don’t want the Troll to gobble you up; for here lives a Troll with three heads.”

“All one to me,” said the lad, “I’d be just as glad to hear he had four heads beside; I’d like to see what kind of fellow he is. As for going, I won’t go at all. I’ve done no harm; but meat you must get me, for I’m almost starved to death.”

When Halvor had eaten his fill, the Princess told him to try if he could brandish the sword that hung against the wall; no, he couldn’t brandish it, he couldn’t even lift it up.

“Oh!” said the Princess, “now you must go and take a pull of that flask that hangs by its side; that’s what the Troll does every time he goes out to use the sword.”

So Halvor took a pull, and in the twinkling of an eye he could brandish the sword like nothing; and now he thought it high time the Troll came; and lo! just then up came the Troll puffing and blowing. Halvor jumped behind the door.

“Hutetu,” said the Troll, as he put his head in at the door, “what a smell of Christian man’s blood!”

“Aye,” said Halvor, “you’ll soon know that to your cost,” and with that he hewed off all his heads.

Now the Princess was so glad that she was free, she both danced and sang, but then all at once she called her sisters to mind, and so she said:

“Would my sisters were free too!”

“Where are they?” asked Halvor.

Well, she told him all about it; one was taken away by a Troll to his Castle which lay fifty miles off, and the other by another Troll to his Castle which was fifty miles further still.

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