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So she hid him under the
staircase, and soon they heard the south wind arrive, shaking the house
to its foundations. Thirsty as he was, he did not wait to drink, but
he told his mother that he smelled the blood of a Christian man, and
that she had better bring him out at once and make him ready to be
eaten. But she bade her son eat and drink what was before him, and
said that the poor young man was much to be pitied, and that the sun
had granted him his life in order that he might consult the Wind. Then
she brought out the young man, who explained how he was seeking for his
palace, and that no man had been able to tell him where it was, so he
had come to the Wind. And he added that he had been shamefully robbed,
and that the laths were of gold and the tiles of diamond, and all the
furniture in silver and gold, and he inquired if the Wind had not seen
such a palace during his wanderings.
And the Wind said yes, and that all that day he had been blowing
backward and forward over it without being able to move one single
tile. "Oh, do tell me where it is," cried the young man." "It is a
long way off," replied the Wind, "on the other side of the Red Sea."
But our traveler was not discouraged-he had already journeyed too far.
So he set forth at once, and somehow or other he managed to reach that
distant land. And he inquired if any one wanted a gardener. He was
told that the head gardener at the castle had just left, and perhaps he
might have a chance of getting the place. The young man lost no time,
but walked up to the castle and asked if they were in want of a
gardener; and how happy he was when they agreed to take him! Now he
passed most of his day in gossiping with the servants about the wealth
of their masters and the wonderful things in the house.
friends with one of the maids, who told him the history of the
snuffbox, and he coaxed her to let him see it. One evening she managed
to get hold of it, and the young man watched carefully where she hid it
away in a secret place in the bedchamber of her mistress.
The following night, when everyone was fast asleep, he crept in and
took the snuffbox. Think of his joy as he opened the lid! When it
asked him, as of yore, "What do you want?" he replied: "What do I
want? What do I want? Why, I want to go with my palace to the old
place, and for the king and the queen and all their servants to be
drowned in the Red Sea."
He had hardly finished speaking when he found himself back again with
his wife, while all the other inhabitants of the palace were lying at
the bottom of the Red Sea.