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p. 225


A TRAVELLING Swedish shoemaker saw a fire burning one night on the Sand Mountain, and on reaching the spot, found an iron chest, which he opened, and finding it to contain a pot of gold, helped himself to a good supply. He then left his situation, and wandered about till he came to Ringen, where he was appointed shoemaker to the castle. One evening he was alone in his room when he heard a horn blown twice, but each time he went out and found nothing. He then took his prayer-book in his hand, ate his supper, and went to bed, but was awakened by a tremendous noise in the castle. On opening his eyes, he saw that his room was lit up with tapers, and two women, one in a red and the other in a green dress, stood by his bed, who invited him to dance. Half asleep, he cried out, “To hell with you! Is this a time to dance?” They reminded him of the money which he had taken, left the room, and banged the door after them, p. 226 so that the whole castle shook. The lights went out, and the shoemaker turned over and went to sleep again. Next morning he found himself lying terribly bruised, with his head and body in the hall, and his legs in the room. On his breast were the impress of two hands, showing prints of all the fingers. Shortly afterwards he died, having confessed to the priest, and left all his money for a church-bell. The chest was found empty, the demons having carried off their treasure again; but the shoemaker was buried under the pulpit in the church at Ringen.