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THE Kalevide had not gone far on his homeward journey when he found that Tühi himself was pursuing him with a band of his followers. Then the youngest sister took the wishing-rod, and called upon it to flood the whole country, a bridge rising before them for the hero, while water flowed behind between him and his enemies. The demons stopped in confusion, and Tühi shouted to the Kalevide to ask if he was carrying off his adopted daughters? “It looks like it,” answered the hero.1 Then Tühi asked again, “Dear brother, did you wrestle with my good brother-in-law in his own enclosure, and then drive him into the ground like a post?” “Likely enough,” retorted the hero; “but it’s not my fault if his bones are p. 106 still sound.” Then the demon asked again, “My dear brother, son of Kalev, did you lock up our old mother in the kitchen just like a mouse in a trap, while she was baking cakes?” “O yes,” said the hero; “and I suppose she roared, and made up a bed among the boxes of peas, and for aught I know she may be sleeping there still, unless a flea has woke her up.” “Have you stolen Sarvik’s good sword?” asked Tühi again. “Perhaps I may have taken the weapon too, dear brother,” answered the hero. “Who can separate a man and his sword? One is worth nothing without the other.” Then Tühi asked if he had taken the hat. “I think so,” said the hero; “but Sarvik will never put it on his head again, for I threw it into the fire and burned it to ashes, which have blown away in the wind.” Tühi then asked if he had plundered his brother’s treasures. “Yes, my dear sir,” answered the hero; “I took a little gold and silver, but not much. Ten horses could drag such a load, and twenty oxen easily; but you may depend upon it I didn’t carry away any copper.” Tühi’s next question was whether he had stolen the bridge-builder, the wishing-rod. The hero replied, “I p. 107 suppose some brown-eyed maiden stole it, for no stronger person would have troubled about such a thing.” Tühi next inquired how he had treated the maidens; and to this the hero replied that he’d tell him another time. “Won’t you come back again, dear brother, and pay your debts?” asked Tühi at last. “Who knows, dear brother?” said the hero; “if I ever find myself short of money, I may perchance come back to fetch some more gold and silver, and repay my old debts with new ones.” And upon this Tühi and his seventy people decamped in the greatest haste, as if they had been on fire, or as if they were pursued by gadflies.
Strong as was the Kalevide, his back was weary and chafed with his heavy load, and he threw it off and lay down to rest; but while he slept he was in danger of being carried away by a sudden flood from the mountains, raised against him by a sorceress.1 After stemming it with some trouble, on resuming his journey, he met a stranger who p. 108 asked him what he was going to do with the planks. The stranger proved to be the son of Olev, the great master-builder, and to him was intrusted the task of building the cities and fortifications.
When the Kalevide learned that he had lost seven weeks in a magic sleep, he gave the three sisters to the charge of the son of Alev, who married the youngest. The son of Sulev married the eldest, but the second sister found no lover, and while the others were talking together of their wedded happiness she stole apart weeping; and at length she was carried away by a famous sorcerer, and her strong brothers-in-law went in search of her. On the third evening they came upon her track, when the sorcerer spread out a great lake to impede their passage. But the Alevide had brought with him the wishing-rod, which quickly provided them with a bridge. They rushed across, broke the locks, and burst open the doors, slew the sorcerer, released the captive, and then sent the red cock on the roof.1
Then the son of Olev took the second sister to wife; and thus all the three sisters whom the Kalevide had released from the regions of Sarvik were happily married, and many great tribes derived their origin from them.
1 Compare the similar scene in the story of “Slyboots,” later in this volume.
1 This incident resembles an adventure attributed to Thor. In the legends of all countries, sorcerers or fugitives are represented as raising magic floods, either to sweep away their enemies or to baffle pursuit. There are three instances in this very canto.
1 This is the usual Esthonian euphemism for setting a house on fire. I understand that there is also some connection between red cocks and fire in Scottish folk-lore; and in Scandinavian mythology two of the three cocks which are to crow befare Ragnarok are red. May they not have same connection with the fire of Surtur?