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The Tinder Box

A story especially for Adam Shaw, just because its his favourite.

Start of Story

A soldier came marching along the high road--left, right! A left, right! He had his knapsack on his back and a sword by his side, for he had been to the wars and was now returning home. An old Witch met him on the road. She was very ugly to look at: her under-lip hung down to her breast. 'Good evening, Soldier!' she said. 'What a fine sword and knapsack you have! You are something like a soldier! You ought to have as much money as you would like to carry!' 'Thank you, old Witch,' said the Soldier. 'Do you see that great tree there?' said the Witch, pointing to a tree beside them. 'It is hollow within. You must climb up to the top, and then you will see a hole through which you can let yourself down into the tree. I will tie a rope round your waist, so that I may be able to pull you up again when you call.'



'What shall I do down there?' asked the Soldier. 'Get money!' answered the Witch. 'Listen! When you reach the bottom of the tree you will find yourself in a large hall; it is light there, for there are more than three hundred lamps burning. Then you will see three doors, which you can open--the keys are in the locks. If you go into the first room, you will see a great chest in the middle of the floor with a dog sitting upon it; he has eyes as large as saucers, but you needn't trouble about him. I will give you my blue-check apron, which you must spread out on the floor, and then go back quickly and fetch the dog and set him upon it; open the chest and take as much money as you like. It is copper there. If you would rather have silver, you must go into the next room,

       



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