Longstaff, Pinepuller and Rockheaver
I should have said that I want this iron bar made twice as tall as the tallest tree before your door. I want it to be of good thickness, too. I plan to use it as my staff."
The blacksmith looked the lad over more carefully. In truth he appeared as if he might be able to use the staff after all. The blacksmith hastily agreed to make it at once, and he didn't say a word about arranging the price in advance according to his custom.
"Have my staff ready for me next week," commanded the boy as he bade the blacksmith good-by.
When at last the lad was once more with his mother in the deep forest he told her all that had passed. "When I return for my staff I want you to go with me, dear mother," were his words when he had ended his story.
"I!" cried the woman in alarm. "I'd be afraid to go! From your description I am sure the blacksmith is in truth your father, and I fear that his disposition has not improved with the years."
"Don't be afraid, dear heart," said the son. "I'll be there and I'll take care of you. I'll see that he does you no harm."
They started out on their journey, and just a week from the day of the lad's first visit to the blacksmith shop he stood once more in the door. He had left his mother hidden behind the bushes and shrubs.
"Good day," he said to the blacksmith. "Is my staff ready?"
"Yes, indeed. It is entirely completed," replied the blacksmith more politely than he was in the habit of speaking even to the parish priest himself. "I have just sent for two yokes of oxen and enough men to drag it out of my shop."
"That is quite unnecessary," responded the boy. "I'm sorry indeed to hear that you have inconvenienced yourself."
He picked up the staff and tossed it about as jauntily as if it had been a slender cane. The blacksmith stared at him in amazement, his mouth wide open and his eyes bulging out of his head.
"May I ask who you are?" he asked as soon as he could catch his breath.
"My name from this day forth shall be Longstaff," replied the lad.