The three princesses in the blue mountain
This he got, and thanks into the bargain.
The time wore on, and the soldier did nothing but lounge about, and the goldsmith began to grumble, because he would not begin with the work.
“Don’t worry yourself about it,” said the soldier, “there is plenty of time! If you are not satisfied with what I have promised you had better make them yourself.” The same thing went on both that day and the next; and when the smith heard neither hammer nor file from the soldier’s room the whole of the last day, he quite gave himself up for lost; it was now no use to think any longer about saving his life, he thought.
But when the night came on the soldier opened the window and blew his whistle. The eagle then came and asked what he wanted.
“Those gold checkers, which the Princesses had in the blue mountain,” said the soldier; “but you’ll want something to eat first, I suppose? I have two ox carcases lying ready for you in the hay-loft yonder; you had better finish them,” he said. When the eagle had done she did not tarry, and long before the sun rose she was back again with the checkers. The soldier then put them under his bed and lay down to sleep.
Early next morning the goldsmith came and knocked at his door.
“What are you after now again?” asked the soldier. “You rush about enough in the day, goodness knows! If one cannot have peace when one is in bed, whoever would be an apprentice here?” said he.
Neither praying nor begging helped that time; the goldsmith must and would come in, and at last he was let in.
And then, you may be sure, there was soon an end to his wailing.
But still more glad than the goldsmith were the Princesses, when he came up to the palace with the checkers, and gladdest of all was the youngest Princess.
“Have you made them yourself?” she asked.
“No, if I must speak the truth, it is not I,” he said, “but my apprentice, who has made them.”
“I should like to see that apprentice,” said the Princess. In fact all three wanted to see him, and if he valued his life, he would have to come.