Story of the Golden Mountain
Then he took all the shoes, and hastened to the castle.
When the Princesses saw all this they were more than ever convinced that Ivan Tsarevich must be in the city; and they said to the shoemaker; “You have well and truly fulfilled our orders; but there is another service which you must render us; to-night a golden castle must be built opposite to ours, with a porcelain bridge from one to the other, covered with velvet.” The shoemaker stood aghast on hearing this demand, and replied: “I am indeed only a poor shoemaker, and how can I possibly do such a thing?” “Well,” replied the Princesses, “unless you fulfil our wish your head shall assuredly be struck off.”
The poor fellow left the castle overwhelmed with grief, and wept bitterly. On his return home, he told Ivan Tsarevich what a feat he had been ordered to accomplish. “Go quietly to bed,” replied Ivan; “the morning sun shall see it done.” So the shoemaker lay down on the bench and fell fast asleep. Then Ivan called up the Spirit, and desired him to fulfil the command of the King’s daughters, after which he went to bed.
Early the next morning Ivan Tsarevich awoke his master, and giving him a goose’s wing, bade him go on to the bridge and sweep off the dust. Meanwhile Ivan went into the Golden castle. And when the Tsar and the Princesses went out early on to the balcony they were amazed at beholding the Castle and the bridge; but the Princesses were out of their wits with joy, for they were now quite sure that Ivan Tsarevich was in the city; and presently after, indeed, they saw him at a window in the golden castle. Then they begged the Tsar and Tsarina to go with them into the castle; and as soon as they set foot on the staircase, Ivan Tsarevich came out to meet them. Thereupon his mother and the three Princesses ran and embraced him, exclaiming: “This is our deliverer!” His brothers looked down ashamed, and the Tsar stood dumb with amazement; but his wife soon explained it all to him. Thereat the Tsar fell into a passion with his eldest sons, and was going to put them all to death; but Ivan fell at his feet and said: “Dear father, if you desire to reward me for what I have done, only grant my brothers their lives, and I am content.