Sacred Texts  Sagas and Legends  Basque  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at


In another version, by Estefanella Hirigaray, we have the more ordinary tale of "Blue Beard"--that of a widower who has killed twenty wives, and marries a twenty-first, who has two brothers. She drops the key in the forbidden chamber, and is detected by the blood on it. She manages to write to her brothers, and the dialogue by which she endeavours to gain time is rather spirited. She is allowed to put oh her wedding-dress, etc., to die in. She goes to get ready, and she hears the cries of her husband, "Are you ready?" "I am putting on my dress." He bawls out again, "Are you ready?" "Give me a moment more." "Are you ready?" "I am fastening my dress." "Are you ready yet?" "I

p. 176

am putting on my stockings." And she kept constantly looking out of window to see if her brothers were coming. "Are you ready?" "Stop one moment; I am putting on my shoes." "Are you ready?" "I am brushing my hair." "Are you ready?" "Let me put on my wreath." And she sees her brothers coming on horseback in the forest, but a very long way off. She hears again, "Are you ready?" "I am coming in an instant." "You are coming?" "I'll come, if you do not come down." "Don't come; I will come down myself, without you." He seizes her on the stairs to kill her; but the brothers rush in just in time to prevent her death, and they put him in prison.

We heard, also, another version, which, unfortunately, we did not take down. It had something about a horse in it, and was like "The Widow and her Daughters," in Campbell, Vol. II., Tale xli., p. 265.

Next: The Singing Tree, the Bird Which Tells the Truth, and the Water That Makes Young