questioned as usual, replied that he had just seen a girl at a window, who far surpassed her in loveliness.
"Ah, I know who that is, then," said the woman; "what business had she to be looking out of the window? she shall pay me for it"; and full of spite and rage, she resolved to kill her daughter. She ordered two of her men to take her to a lonely place on a mountain, a few miles off, and there put her to death.
The men took the girl to the spot indicated; but just as one of them was raising the hatchet to sever her head from her body the girl sank on her knees, and, with tears rolling down her beautiful cheeks, pleaded to have her life spared, promising never to return to her mother, so that they could pretend they had executed her commands. The men were touched by the appeal, and having no ill feeling against her, they raised her from the ground, and said to her, "No, no, we have not the heart to kill you; but you must leave this part of the country, for, if your mother finds you are alive, we shall get into trouble with her."
"I thank you for this good deed," replied the girl, "and I trust some day to have the means of rewarding you."
The girl, being left alone, determined to leave the neighbourhood as quickly as possible. She took a winding path that led to a stream at the foot of the mountain, and followed its course till she came in