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From The The blue fairy book by Andrew lang
Start of Story
"I think I must be mad! what do I want with this coach and horses?" said
he; and then he put the horses back into the stable, and went into the
King's palace, and there it was settled that he should marry the bride's
sister, who had rolled the apple to him.
The Master-maid sat by the sea-shore for a long, long time, waiting
for the Prince, but no Prince came. So she went away, and when she had
walked a short distance she came to a little hut which stood all alone
in a small wood, hard by the King's palace. She entered it and asked if
she might be allowed to stay there. The hut belonged to an old crone,
who was also an ill-tempered and malicious troll. At first she would not
let the Master-maid remain with her; but at last, after a long time, by
means of good words and good payment, she obtained leave. But the hut
was as dirty and black inside as a pigsty, so the Master-maid said that
she would smarten it up a little, that it might look a little more like
what other people's houses looked inside. The old crone did not like
this either. She scowled, and was very cross, but the Master-maid did
not trouble herself about that. She took out her chest of gold, and
flung a handful of it or so into the fire, and the gold boiled up and
poured out over the whole of the hut, until every part of it both inside
and out was gilded.
But when the gold began to bubble up the old hag
grew so terrified that she fled as if the Evil One himself were pursuing
her, and she did not remember to stoop down as she went through the
doorway, and so she split her head and died. Next morning the sheriff
came traveling by there. He was greatly astonished when he saw the gold
hut shining and glittering there in the copse, and he was still more
astonished when he went in and caught sight of the beautiful young
maiden who was sitting there; he fell in love with her at once, and
straightway on the spot he begged her, both prettily and kindly, to
"Well, but have you a great deal of money?" said the Master-maid.
"Oh! yes; so far as that is concerned, I am not ill off," said the
sheriff. So now he had to go home to get the money, and in the evening
he came back, bringing with him a bag with two bushels in it, which he
set down on the bench. Well, as he had such a fine lot of money, the
Master-maid said she would have him, so they sat down to talk.
But scarcely had they sat down together before the Master-maid wanted to
jump up again. "I have forgotten to see to the fire," she said.
"Why should you jump up to do that?" said the sheriff; "I will do that!"
So he jumped up, and went to the chimney in one bound.
"Just tell me when you have got hold of the shovel," said the
"Well, I have hold of it now," said the sheriff.
"Then you may hold the shovel, and the shovel you, and pour red-hot
coals over you, till day dawns," said the Master-maid. So the sheriff
had to stand there the whole night and pour red-hot coals over himself,
and, no matter how much he cried and begged and entreated, the red-hot
coals did not grow the colder for that. When the day began to dawn, and
he had power to throw down the shovel, he did not stay long where he
was, but ran away as fast as he possibly could; and everyone who met him
stared and looked after him, for he was flying as if he were mad, and he
could not have looked worse if he had been both flayed and tanned, and
everyone wondered where he had been, but for very shame he would tell
The next day the attorney came riding by the place where the Master-maid
dwelt. He saw how brightly the hut shone and gleamed through the wood,
and he too went into it to see who lived there, and when he entered and
saw the beautiful young maiden he fell even more in love with her than
the sheriff had done, and began to woo her at once. So the Master-maid
asked him, as she had asked the sheriff, if he had a great deal of
money, and the attorney said he was not ill off for that, and would at
once go home to get it; and at night he came with a great big sack of
money--this time it was a four-bushel sack--and set it on the bench by
the Master-maid. So she promised to have him, and he sat down on the
bench by her to arrange about it, but suddenly she said that she had
forgotten to lock the door of the porch that night, and must do it.
"Why should you do that?" said the attorney; "sit still, I will do it."
So he was on his feet in a moment, and out in the porch.
"Tell me when you have got hold of the door-latch," said the
"I have hold of it now," cried the attorney.
"Then you may hold the door, and the door you, and may you go between
wall and wall till day dawns."
What a dance the attorney had that night! He had never had such a waltz
before, and he never wished to have such a dance again. Sometimes he was
in front of the door, and sometimes the door was in front of him, and
it went from one side of the porch to the other, till the attorney was
well-nigh beaten to death. At first he began to abuse the Master-maid,
and then to beg and pray, but the door did not care for anything but
keeping him where he was till break of day.
As soon as the door let go its hold of him, off went the attorney. He
forgot who ought to be paid off for what he had suffered, he forgot
both his sack of money and his wooing, for he was so afraid lest the
house-door should come dancing after him. Everyone who met him stared
and looked after him, for he was flying like a madman, and he could not
have looked worse if a herd of rams had been butting at him all night
On the third day the bailiff came by, and he too saw the gold house
in the little wood, and he too felt that he must go and see who lived
there; and when he caught sight of the Master-maid he became so much in
love with her that he wooed her almost before he greeted her.