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"Listen!" said the little man, deign- just enough to enable them to stand over ing no reply to this polite inquiry. "I Gluck, beating him very steadily for a am the King of what you mortals call the quarter of an hour; at the expiration of Golden River. The shape you saw me which period they dropped into a couple in, was owing to the malice of a stronger of chairs, and requested to know what king, from whose enchantments you he had got to say for himself. Gluck have this instant freed me. What I told them his story, of which, of course, have seen of you, and your conduct to they did not believe a word. They beat your wicked brothers, renders me willing him again, till their arms were tired, and to serve you; therefore, attend to what staggered to bed. In the morning, howI tell you. Whoever shall climb to the ever, the steadiness with which he adtop of that mountain from which you see hered to his story obtained him some the Golden River issue, and shall cast | degree of credence; the immediate coninto the stream at its source three drops sequence of which was, that the two of holy water, for him, and for him only, brothers, after wrangling a long time on the river shall turn to gold. But no one the knotty question, which of them should failing in his first, can succeed in a second try his fortune first, drew their swords attempt; and if any one shall cast unholy and began fighting. The noise of the water into the river, it will overwhelm fray alarmed the neighbors, who, finding him, and he will become a black stone." they could not pacify the combatants, So saying, the King of the Golden River sent for the constable. turned away and deliberately walked into Hans, on hearing this, contrived to the center of the hottest flame of the fur- escape, and hid himself; but Schwartz nace. His figure became red, white,trans- was taken before the magistrate, fined for parent, dazzling--a blaze of intense light breaking the peace, and, having drunk
-rose, trembled, and disappeared. The out his last penny the evening before, King of the Golden River had evaporated. was thrown into prison till he should pay.
“Oh!” cried poor Gluck, running to When Hans heard this, he was much look up the chimney after him; "Oh, delighted, and determined to set out imdear, dear, dear me! My mug! my mediately for the Golden River. How mug! my mug!"
to get the holy water was the question. He went to the priest, but the priest
could not give any holy water to so CHAPTER III
abandoned a character. So Hans went
to vespers in the evening for the first TO THE GOLDEN RIVER, AND HOW HE time in his life, and, under pretense of
crossing himself, stole a cupful, and reThe King of the Golden River had turned home in triumph. hardly made the extraordinary exit, re- Next morning he got up before the lated in the last chapter, before Hans sun rose, put the holy water into a strong and Schwartz came roaring into the flask, and two bottles of wine and some house, very savagely drunk. The dis- meat in a basket, slung them over his covery of the total loss of their last piece back, took his alpine staff in his hand, of plate had the effect of sobering them and set off for the mountains.
HANS SET OFF ON AN EXPEDITION
On his way out of the town he had to the cataract, and floated away in feeble pass the prison, and as he looked in at wreaths upon the morning wind. the windows, whom should he see but On this object, and on this alone, Schwartz himself peeping out of the bars, Hans's eyes and thoughts were fixed; and looking very disconsolate.
forgetting the distance he had to traverse, “Good morning, brother,” said Hans; he set off at an imprudent rate of walking, "have you any message for the King of which greatly exhausted him before he the Golden River?”
had scaled the first range of the green Schwartz gnashed his teeth with rage, and low hills. He was, moreover, surand shook the bars with all his strength; prised, on surmounting them, to find but Hans only laughed at him, and ad- that a large glacier, of whose existence, vising him to make himself comfortable notwithstanding his previous knowledge till he came back again, shouldered his of the mountains, he had been absolutely basket, shook the bottle of holy water ignorant, lay between him and the source in Schwartz's face till it frothed again, of the Golden River. He entered on it and marched off in the highest spirits in with the boldness of a practised mounthe world.
taineer; yet he thought he had never It was, indeed, a morning that might traversed so strange or so dangerous a have made any one happy, even with no glacier in his life.
The ice was Golden River to seek for. Level lines cessively slippery, and out of all its of dewy mist lay stretched along the chasms came wild sounds of gushing valley, out of which rose the massy water; not monotonous or low, but mountains — their lower cliffs in pale changeful and loud, rising occasionally gray shadow, hardly distinguishable from into drifting passages of wild melody; the floating vapor, but gradually ascend- then breaking off into short melancholy ing till they caught the sunlight, which tones, or sudden shrieks, resembling ran in sharp touches of ruddy color along those of human voices in distress or pain. the angular crags, and pierced, in long The ice was broken into thousands of level rays, through their fringes of spear- confused shapes, but none, Hans thought, like pine. Far above, shot up red like the ordinary forms of splintered ice. splintered masses of castellated rock, There seemed a curious expression about jagged and shivered into myriads of fan- all their outlines
all their outlines - a perpetual resemtastic forms, with here and there a streak blance to living features, distorted and of sunlit snow, traced down their chasms scornful. Myriads of deceitful shadows, like a line of forked lightning; and, far and lurid lights, played and floated about beyond, and far above all these, fainter and through the pale blue pinnacles, than the morning cloud, but purer and dazzling and confusing the sight of the changeless, slept, in the blue sky, the traveler; while his ears grew dull and his utmost peaks of the eternal snow. head giddy with the constant gush and
The Golden River, which sprang from roar of the concealed waters. These one of the lower and snowless elevations, painful circumstances increased upon was now nearly in shadow; all but the him as he advanced; the ice crashed and uppermost jets of spray, which rose like yawned into fresh chasms at his feet, slow smoke above the undulating line of tottering spires nodded around him, and
fell thundering across his path; and a strange shadow had suddenly come though he had repeatedly faced these across the blue sky. dangers on the most terrific glaciers, and The path became steeper and more in the wildest weather, it was with a new rugged every moment; and the high hill and oppressive feeling of panic rror air, instead of refreshing him, seemed to that he leaped the last chasm, and flung throw his blood into a fever. The noise himself, exhausted and shuddering, on of the hill cataracts sounded like mockery the firm turf of the mountain.
in his ears; they were all distant, and his He had been compelled to abandon his thirst increased every moment. Another basket of food, which became a perilous hour passed, and he again looked down encumbrance on the glacier, and had now to the flask at his side; it was half empty, no means of refreshing himself but by but there was much more than three breaking off and eating some of the pieces drops in it. He stopped to open it; and of ice. This, however, relieved his thirst; again, as he did so, something moved in an hour's repose recruited his hardy the path above him. It was a fair child, frame, and with the indomitable spirit of stretched nearly lifeless on the rock, its avarice, he resumed his laborious journey. breast heaving with thirst, its eyes closed,
His way now lay straight up a ridge and its lips parched and burning. Hans of bare red rocks, without a blade of eyed it deliberately, drank, and passed on. grass to ease the foot, or a projecting And a dark gray cloud came over the sun, angle to afford an inch of shade from the and long, snake-like shadows crept up south sun.
It was past noon, and the along the mountain sides. Hans struggled rays beat intensely upon the steep path, The sun was sinking, but its dewhile the whole atmosphere was motion- scent seemed to bring no coolness; the less and penetrated with heat. Intense leaden weight of the dead air pressed thirst was soon added to the bodily upon his brow and heart, but the goal fatigue with which Hans was
He saw the cataract of the afflicted; glance after glance he cast on Golden River springing from the hillside, the flask of water which hung at his belt. scarcely five hundred feet above him. "Three drops are enough," at last thought He paused for a moment to breathe, and he; “I may, at least, cool my lips with it." sprang on to complete his task.
He opened the flask, and was raising it At this instant a faint cry fell on his to his lips, when his eye fell on an object He turned, and saw a gray-haired lying on the rock beside him; he thought old man extended on the rocks. His it moved. It was a small dog, apparently eyes were sunk, his features deadly pale, in the last agony of death from thirst. and gathered into an expression of Its tongue was out, its jaws dry, its limbs despair. “Water!” he stretched his extended lifelessly, and a swarm of black arms to Hans, and cried feebly, "Water! ants were crawling about its lips and I am dying.” throat. Its eye moved to the bottle "I have none," replied Hans; "thou which Hans held in his hand. He raised hast had thy share of life.” He strode it, drank, spurned the animal with his over the prostrate body, and darted on. foot, and passed on. And he did not And a flash of blue lightning rose out of know how it was, but he thought that the East, shaped like a sword; it shook
thrice over the whole heaven, and left long every day, that he soon got money it dark with one heavy, impenetrable enough together to pay his brother's shade. The sun was setting; it plunged fine, and he went and gave it all to toward the horizon like a red-hot ball. Schwartz, and Schwartz got out of prison.
The roar of the Golden River rose on Then Schwartz was quite pleased, and Hans's ear. He stood at the brink of said he should have some of the gold of the the chasm through which it ran. Its river. But Gluck only begged he would waves were filled with the red glory of go and see what had become of Hans. the sunset; they shook their crests like Now when Schwartz had heard that tongues of fire, and flashes of bloody Hans had stolen the holy water, he light gleamed along their foam. Their thought to himself that such a prosound came mightier and mightier on his ceeding might not be considered altosenses; his brain grew giddy with the gether correct by the King of the Golden prolonged thunder. Shuddering he drew River, and determined to manage matters the flask from his girdle, and hurled it better. So he took some more of Gluck's into the center of the torrent. As he did money, and went to a bad priest, who so, an icy chill shot through his limbs; gave him some holy water very readily he staggered, shrieked, and fell. The for it. Then Schwartz was sure it was waters closed over his cry. And the all quite right. So Schwartz got up early moaning of the river rose wildly into the in the morning before the sun rose, and night, as it gushed over
took some bread and wine, in a basket,
and put his holy water in a flask, and set THE BLACK STONE.
off for the mountains. Like his brother,
he was much surprised at the sight of CHAPTER IV
the glacier, and had great difficulty in
crossing it, even after leaving his basket HOW MR. SCHWARTZ SET OFF ON AN EXPEDITION
behind him. The day was cloudless, but TO THE GOLDEN RIVER, AND HOW HE
not bright; there was a heavy purple
haze hanging over the sky, and the hills Poor little Gluck waited very anxiously looked lowering and gloomy. And as alone in the house for Hans's return. Schwartz climbed the steep rock path, Finding he did not come back, he was the thirst came upon him, as it had upon terribly frightened and went and told his brother, until he lifted his flask to Schwartz in the prison, all that had his lips to drink. Then he saw the fair happened. Then Schwartz was very child lying near him on the rocks, and much pleased, and said that Hans must it cried to him, and moaned for water. certainly have been turned into a black
“Water, indeed,” said Schwartz; “I stone, and he should have all the gold to haven't half enough for myself," and himself. But Gluck was very sorry, and passed on. And as he went he thought cried all night. When he got up in the the sunbeams grew more dim, and he morning there was no bread in the house, saw a low bank of black cloud rising out nor any money; so Gluck went and hired
of the West; and, when he had climbed himself to another goldsmith, and he for another hour the thirst overcame worked so hard, and so neatly, and so him again, and he would have drunk.
HOW LITTLE GLUCK SET OFF ON AN EXPEDITION
MATTERS OF INTEREST
Then he saw the old man lying before waves were black, like thunder clouds, him on the path, and heard him cry but their foam was like fire; and the out for water. "Water, indeed," said roar of the waters below, and the thunder Schwartz, “I haven't enough for myself," above, met, as he cast the flask into the and on he went.
stream. And, as he did so, the lightning Then again the light seemed to fade glared into his eyes, and the earth gave before his eyes, and he looked up, and, way beneath him, and the waters closed behold, a mist, of the color of blood, had over his cry. And the moaning of the come over the sun; and the bank of black river rose wildly into the night, as it cloud had risen very high, and its edges gushed over the were tossing and tumbling like the waves
Two BLACK STONES. of the angry sea. And they cast long shadows, which flickered over Schwartz's path. Then Schwartz climbed for another
CHAPTER V hour, and again his thirst returned; and as he lifted his flask to his lips, he thought
TO THE GOLDEN RIVER, AND HOW HE he saw his brother Hans lying exhausted PROSPERED THEREIN; WITH OTHER on the path before him, and, as he gazed, the figure stretched its arms to him, and When Gluck found that Schwartz did cried for water. “Ha, ha,” laughed not come back he was very sorry, and Schwartz, "are you there? Remember the did not know what to do. He had no prison bars, my boy. Water, indeed! do money, and was obliged to go and hire you suppose I carried it all the way up
himself again to the goldsmith, who here for you?" And he strode over the worked him very hard, and gave him very figure; yet, as he passed, he thought he little money. So, after a month or two, saw a strange expression of mockery Gluck grew tired, and made up his mind about its lips. And, when he had gone to go and try his fortune with the Golden a few yards farther, he looked back; but River. “The little King looked very the figure was not there.
kind," thought he. "I don't think he And a sudden horror came over will turn me into a black stone.” So he Schwartz, he knew not why; but the went to the priest, and the priest gave thirst for gold prevailed over his fear, him some holy water as soon as he asked and he rushed on. And the bank of for it. Then Gluck took some bread in black cloud rose to the zenith, and out his basket, and the bottle of water, and of it came bursts of spiry lightning, and set off very early for the mountains. waves of darkness seemed to heave and If the glacier had occasioned a great float between their flashes over the whole deal of fatigue to his brothers, it was heavens. And the sky where the sun twenty times worse for him, who was was setting was all level, and like a lake neither so strong nor so practised on the of blood; and a strong wind came out of mountains. He had several bad falls, that sky, tearing its crimson cloud into lost his basket and bread, and was very fragments, and scattering them far into much frightened at the strange noises the darkness. And when Schwartz stood under the ice. He lay a long time to by the brink of the Golden River, its rest on the grass, after he had got over,