IN A certain kingdom there lived a wifeless, unmarried king, who had a whole company of sharpshooters. They went to the forests, shot birds of passage, and furnished the king's table with game. Among these sharpshooters was one named Fedot, who hit the mark and almost never missed; for this reason the king loved him beyond all his comrades.
Once while shooting in the early morning, just at dawn, Fedot went into a dark, dense forest, and saw a blue dove sitting on a tree. He aimed, fired, struck her wing, and she fell to the damp earth. The sharpshooter picked her up, was going to twist her neck and put her in his bag, when the blue dove spoke: "Oh, brave youth, do not tear off my stormy little head, do not send me out of the white world! Better take me alive, carry me home, put me on the window, and watch. As soon as sleep comes upon me strike me that moment with the back of thy right hand, and thou wilt gain great fortune."
Fedot marvelled. "What can it mean?" thought he; "in seeming a bird, but she speaks with a human voice. Never has such a thing happened to me before."
He brought the bird home, placed her on the window, and stood waiting. After a short time the bird put her head under her wing and fell asleep. The sharpshooter struck her lightly with the back of his right hand. The blue dove fell to the floor, and became a soul-maiden so beautiful as not to be imagined nor described, but only told about in a tale. Such another beauty could not be found in the whole world.
Said she to the young man, the king's sharpshooter: "Thou hast known how to get me; now know how to live with me. Thou wilt be my wedded husband, and I thy God-given wife. I am not a blue dove, but a king's daughter."
They agreed. Fedot married her, and they lived together. He is happy with his young wife, but does not forget his service. Every morning at dawn he takes his gun, goes out into the forest, and shoots game, which he carries to the king's kitchen.
His wife sees that he is wearied from this hunting, and says: "Listen, my dear. I am sorry for thee. Every God-given day thou dost wander through forests and swamps, comest home wet and worn, and profit to us not a whit. What sort of a life is this? But I know something so that thou wilt not be without gain. Get of roubles two hundred, and we will correct the whole business."
Fedot rushed around to his friends, got a rouble from one, and two from another, till he had just two hundred. "Now," said his wife, "buy different kinds of silk for this money."
He bought the silk; she took it, and said: "Be not troubled; pray to God and lie down to sleep: the morning is wiser than the evening."
He lay down and fell asleep; his wife went out on the porch, opened her magic book, and two unknown youths appeared at once. "What dost thou wish? Command us."
"Take this silk, and in one single hour make a piece of such wonderful tapestry as has not been seen in the world; let the whole kingdom be embroidered on it, with towns, villages, rivers, and lakes."
They went to work, and not only in an hour, but in ten minutes they had the tapestry finished,--a wonder for all. They gave it to the sharpshooter's wife, and vanished in an instant just as if they never had been. In the morning she gave the tapestry to her husband. "Here," said she, "take this to the merchants' rows, sell it, but see that thou ask no price of thy own; take what they give."
Fedot went to the merchants' rows; a trader saw him, came up, and asked: "Well, my good man, is this article for sale?"
"What's the price?"
"Thou art a dealer, name the price."
The merchant thought and thought, but could not fix a price. Now a second, a third, and a fourth came; no one could set a price on the tapestry. At this time the mayor of the palace was passing by and saw the crowd; wishing to know what the merchants were talking about, he jumped out of his carriage, came up to them, and said: "Good morning, merchants, dealers, guests from beyond the sea; what is the question?"
"Here is a piece of tapestry that we cannot value."
The mayor looked at the tapestry and marvelled himself. "Look here, sharpshooter," said he, "tell me in truth and sincerity where didst thou get such glorious tapestry?"
"My wife made it."
"How much must one give for it?"
"I know not myself; my wife told me to set no price on it, but what people would give, that would be ours."
"Well here are ten thousand for thee."
Fedot took the money and gave up the tapestry. The mayor was always near the person of the king, ate and drank at his table. When he went to the king's to dine he took the tapestry. "Would it not please your Majesty to see what a glorious piece of work I have bought to-day?"
The king looked; he saw his whole kingdom as if on the palm of his hand. He opened his mouth in amazement.
"This is indeed work; in all my life I have never seen such cunning art. Well, mayor, say what thou pleasest, but I shall not give this back to thee." Straightway the king took twenty-five thousand out of his pocket, placed the money in the mayor's hand, and hung the tapestry in the palace.
"That's nothing," thought the mayor; "I will order another still better." Straightway he galloped to find the sharpshooter, found his cottage, went in; and the moment he saw Fedot's wife he forgot himself, his errand, knew not why he had come. Before him was such a beauty that he would not take his eyes off her all his life; he would have looked and looked. He gazes on another man's wife, and in his head thought follows thought: "Where has it been seen, where heard of, that a simple soldier possessed such a treasure? Though I serve the king's person and rank as a general I have never beheld such beauty!"
The mayor came to his mind with difficulty, and went home, 'gainst his will. From that hour, from that time, he was not his own. Sleeping or waking, he thought only of the beautiful woman; he could neither eat nor drink, she was ever before his eyes. The king noticed the change, and asked: "What has come upon thee,--some grief?"
"Oh, your Majesty, I have seen the sharpshooter's wife; there is not such a beauty in the whole world! I am thinking of her all the time; I can neither eat nor drink, with no herb can I charm away my sorrow."
The desire came to the king to admire the woman himself. He ordered his carriage and drove to the soldier's quarters. He entered the room and saw unspeakable beauty. No matter who looked on the woman,--an old man, a youth; each was in love, lost his wits, a heart-flame pinched him. "Why," thought the king, "am I wifeless and single? Let me marry this beauty,--that is the thing. Why is she a sharpshooter's wife? It is her fate to be queen."
The king returned to his palace and said to the mayor: "Listen to me! Thou hast known how to show me this unimaginable beauty, now find the way to get rid of her husband; I want to marry her myself. And if thou dost not put him out of the way, blame thyself; for though thou art my faithful servant, thou'lt die on the gallows."
The mayor went his way sadder than before. How was he to "finish the sharpshooter?" he could not think. As he was going through back lanes and waste places, a Baba-Yaga met him.
"Stop," said she, "servant of the king! I know all thy thoughts. If thou wilt, I will aid thee in this unavoidable sorrow."
"Aid me, grandmother, and I'll pay what thou wishest."
"The king has ordered thee to put an end to Fedot the sharpshooter. That would be easy enough, for he is simple, were it not for his wife, who is awfully cunning. Well, we'll give them such a riddle that it will not soon be explained. Go back to the king and say: 'Beyond the thrice-ninth land, in the thirtieth kingdom, is an island, on that island a deer with golden horns.' Let the king bring together half a hundred sailors,--the most good-for-nothing fellows, all bitter drunkards,--and order that a rotten old ship which has been out of service for thirty years be fitted for the voyage. Let him send Fedot the sharpshooter on that ship to get the deer with golden horns. In order to go to the island it is necessary to sail neither more nor less than three years, and back from the island three more; six in all. Well, the ship will sail out on the sea, serve about a month, and sink right there; the sharpshooter and the sailors will go to the bottom, every man!"
The mayor listened to these words, thanked the Baba-Yaga for her counsel, rewarded her with gold, and went off on a run to the king. "Your Majesty," said he, "Fedot can be finished in such and such fashion."
The king consented, and issued an order at once to the navy to prepare for a voyage an old rotten ship, to provision it for six years, and man it with fifty sailors, the most dissolute and bitter drunkards. Messengers ran to all the dram-shops and drinking-houses, collected such sailors that it was dear and precious to look at them. One had a black eye, another had his nose driven to one side.
As soon as it was reported to the king that the ship was ready, he sent for the sharpshooter and said: "Now, Fedot, thou art a hero of mine,--the first shot in the company. Do me a service. Go beyond the thrice-ninth land to the thirtieth kingdom. In that place is an island, on that island lives the deer with golden horns. Take it alive, and bring it to me."
Fedot became thoughtful, knew not what to answer.
"Think, think not," said the king; "but if thou do not the work, I have a sword, and thy head leaves thy shoulders!"
Fedot wheeled round to the left and went forth from the palace, came home in the evening powerfully sad, not wishing to utter one word.
"Why dost thou grieve, my dearest?" asked his wife. "Is there some mishap?"
He told her all.
"This is why thou art grieved. There is reason, indeed; for it is an exploit, not a service. Pray to God and lie down to sleep; the morning is wiser than the evening: everything will be done."
The sharpshooter lay down and slept. But his wife opened her magic-book, at once two unknown youths appeared before her and asked: "What dost thou wish? What dost thou need?"
"Go beyond the thrice-ninth land to the thirtieth kingdom, to an island; seize there the deer with golden horns, and bring it here."
"We obey; it will be done before dawn."
They rushed like a whirlwind to the island, caught the deer with golden horns, and brought it straight to Fedot's house. An hour before daybreak all was done, and they vanished as if they had never been. The beautiful wife roused her husband at dawn and said: "Look out; the deer with golden horns is walking in the yard. Take it with thee on board the ship, sail forward five days, on the sixth turn back."
The sharpshooter put the deer in a close, fastened cage, and had it carried on board the ship.
"What's there?" asked the sailors.
"Oh, supplies and medicine! It's a long voyage; we shall need many a thing."
The day for sailing came. A great crowd of people went to see the ship leave the wharf. The king went himself, made Fedot chief over all the sailors, and bade him farewell.
The vessel sailed five days on the sea; the shores had long vanished. Fedot ordered a hundred-and-twenty-gallon cask to be rolled on to the deck, and said to the sailors: "Drink, brothers; spare it not, your souls are your measure!"
They were delighted, rushed to the cask, began to drink, and got so drunk that they rolled down on the deck, and fell fast asleep at the side of the cask. Fedot took the helm, turned the ship around toward the harbor, and sailed home. So that the sailors should not know anything about it, he kept pouring liquor into them from morning till night; when they began to open their eyes after one drunken fit, a new cask was ready. On the eleventh day the ship drew up at the wharf; the flag was hoisted, and guns fired. The king heard the firing, and ran down to the landing. "What does all this mean?" He saw the sharpshooter, fell into a towering passion, and rushed at him furiously. "How hast thou dared to come back before time?"
"But where was I to go, your Majesty? Some fool might have spent ten years in sailing over the seas and got nothing; but I, instead of spending six years, did the work in ten days. Would you be pleased to look at the golden-horned deer?"
Straightway they brought the cage from the ship and let out the golden-horned deer. The king saw that the sharpshooter was right; he could not touch him, he let him go home. The sailors had a holiday for six years; no one could ask them to work during that time, for the voyage was counted as six years, and they had served their time.
Next day the king called the mayor into his presence and threatened him: "What meanest thou; art making sport of me? 'Tis clear thy head is not dear to thee. Do what thou pleasest, but find means of putting Fedot to a cruel death."
"Let me think, your Majesty; we may mend matters." The mayor went his way, betook himself to back lanes and waste places, met the Baba-Yaga.
"Stop, servant of the king! I know thy thoughts: dost wish I will help thee in trouble?"
"Oh, help me, grandmother! Fedot has brought the deer with golden horns."
"Oh, I have heard that already. It would be as easy to put Fedot out of the way as to take a pinch of snuff, for he is simple; but his wife is terribly cunning. Well, we'll give them another riddle that they will not solve so quickly. Tell the king to send the sharpshooter to the verge of destruction and bring back Shmat-Razum,--that's a task he will not accomplish to all eternity; he will either be lost without tidings, or come back empty-handed."
The mayor rewarded the old witch with gold and hurried to the king, who heard him and summoned Fedot.
"Fedot," said the king, "thou art a hero, the best shot I have. Thou hast brought me the deer with golden horns, now thou must do me another service; and if thou wilt not do it, I have a sword, and thy head leaves thy shoulders. Thou must go to the verge of destruction and bring back Shmat-Razum."
Fedot turned to the left, walked out of the palace, went home sad and thoughtful.
"My dear," asked his wife, "why art thou sad, has some misfortune happened?"
"Ah," said he, "one woe has rolled from my neck and another rolled on! The king sends me to the verge of destruction to bring back Shmat-Razum. For thy beauty I bear all this trouble and care."
"That," said she, "is no small task,--nine years to go there, and nine to come back, eighteen in all. Will good come of it? God knows. But pray to the Lord and lie down to sleep; the morning is wiser than the evening. To-morrow thou'lt know all."
After Fedot had lain down, his wife opened her magic book and asked the two unknown youths if they knew how to go to the verge of destruction and bring back Shmat-Razum. They answered: "We know not." In the morning she roused her husband and said, "Go to the king and ask for the road golden treasure,--thou hast eighteen years to wander; when thou hast the money come home for the parting."
Fedot got the money from the king and returned to take farewell of his wife. She gave him a towel and a ball, and said: "When thou goest out of the town throw the ball down before thee, and wherever it rolls do thou follow. Here is a towel of my own work; no matter where thou art, wipe thy face with it after washing."
Fedot took farewell of his wife and comrades, bowed down on all four sides, and went beyond the barrier. He threw down the ball before him; it rolled, rolled on, and he followed after.
About a month had passed, when the king summoned the mayor and said: "The sharpshooter has gone to wander over the white world for eighteen years; it is evident that he will not come back alive. Eighteen years, as thou knowest, are not two weeks; many a thing may happen on the road. He has much money, and robbers will fall upon him perhaps, strip him, and give him to a savage death. I think we can begin at his wife now. Take my carriage, drive to the soldier's quarters, and bring her to the palace."
The mayor drove to Fedot's house, entered, saluted the sharpshooter's wife, and said: "Hail, witty woman, the king has ordered us to present thee at the palace."
She went. The king received her with gladness, led her to a golden chamber, and spoke these words: "Dost thou wish to be queen? I will take thee in marriage."
"Where has it ever been seen or heard of," asked she, "that a wife was taken from her living husband? Though he is a simple soldier he is my lawful husband."
"If thou wilt not yield of thy free will, I will take thee by force."
The beautiful woman laughed, struck the floor, became a blue dove, and flew out through the window.
Fedot journeyed over many lands and kingdoms, the ball rolling ahead of him all the time. When he came to a river the ball became a bridge; whenever he wanted rest it became a soft couch. Whether it is long or short, a story is soon told, but a deed is not soon done; the sharpshooter arrived at a splendid palace, the ball rolled to the gate and disappeared. Fedot went straight up the stairs into a rich chamber, where he was met by three maidens of unspeakable loveliness.
"Whence comest, good man, and for what?"
"Oh, beautiful maidens, ye have not let me rest after the long journey, but have begun to inquire. First ye should give me to eat and drink, put me to rest, and then make inquiry."
Straightway they set the table. When he had eaten and drunk and rested, they brought him water, a basin, and an embroidered towel. He took not the towel, but said, "I have one of my own." When they saw it they asked: "Good man, where didst thou get that towel?"
"My wife gave it me."
"Then thy wife is our own sister."
They called their aged mother. The moment she saw the towel she recognized it. "Why, this is my daughter's work." She asked the guest all sorts of questions. He told her how he had married her daughter, and how the king had sent him to the verge of destruction to bring back Shmat-Razum.
"Oh, my dear son-in-law, of that wonder even I have not heard! Wait a moment; maybe my servants have."
She went out on the balcony and called in a loud voice. Presently all kinds of beasts ran up, and all kinds of birds flew to her. "Hail to you, beasts of the wilderness, birds of the air! Ye beasts run through all places, ye birds fly everywhere; have ye never heard how to go to the verge of destruction, where Shmat-Razum lives?"
All the beasts and birds answered in one voice: "No; we have never heard!"
Then the old woman sent them all to their homes in hidden places, forests, and thickets; went to her magic book, opened it, and that instant two giants appeared. "What is thy pleasure; what dost thou wish?"
"This, my faithful servants,--bear my son-in-law and me to the ocean sea wide, and stop just in the middle above the very abyss."
Immediately they seized the sharpshooter and the old woman and bore them on like a stormy whirlwind till they stopped just in the middle above the abyss. They stood up themselves like pillars, holding the old woman and the sharpshooter in their arms. The old woman cried out with a loud voice, and all the fishes and living things in the sea swam to her in such multitudes that the blue sea could not be seen for them: "Hail, fish and worms of the sea! Ye swim in all places, ye pass by all islands; have ye not heard how to go to the verge of destruction, where lives Shmat-Razum?"
All worms and fishes answered in one voice, "No; we've not heard!"
All at once an old limping frog, who had been thirty years out of service, pushed her way to the front and said, "Kwa-kwa! I know where to find such a wonder!"
"Well, then, my dear, thou art the person I need," said the old woman. She took the frog, and commanded the giants to bear them home. They were at the palace in a flash. The old woman asked the frog how her son was to go.
"Oh!" said the frog, "that place is at the rim of the world,--far, far away. I would conduct him myself, but I am very old; I can barely move my legs,--I couldn't jump there in fifty years."
The old woman took a bowl with some fresh milk, put the frog in it, gave the bowl to Fedot, and said: "Carry this in thy hand; she will show thee the way."
The sharpshooter took farewell of the old woman and her daughters, and went on his journey, the frog showing him the way. Whether it was near or distant, long or short, he came at last to a flaming river, beyond which was a lofty mountain with a door in the side.
"Kwa-kwa!" said the frog. "Put me down out of the bowl; we must cross the river."
He put her on the ground.
"Now, good youth, sit thou on my back; do not spare me."
He sat on her back and pressed her to the ground; she began to swell, and swelled until she was as big as a stack of hay. The sharpshooter's one care was to keep from falling. "If I fall," thought he, "I shall be crushed." The frog cleared the flaming river at a jump, became small as before, and said: "Now, good youth, I will wait here; but do thou enter that door in the mountain. Thou wilt find a cave,--hide thyself well. After a time two old men will come in: listen to what they say, and watch what they do; when they are gone, act as they did."
The sharpshooter entered the door of the mountain; it was so dark in the cave that if a man strained his eyes out he could not see a thing. Fedot felt around and found a cupboard, crept in. After a while two old men entered and said, "Shmat-Razum, feed us!"
That moment, however it happened, the lamps were lighted, the dishes and plates rattled, and various kinds of food and wine appeared on the table. The old men ate and drank, and then ordered Shmat-Razum to remove everything. Everything disappeared in a flash; neither table, nor food, nor wine, nor lights remained. The two old men went out.
The sharpshooter crawled from the cupboard and cried, "Hei, Shmat-Razum!"
"What dost thou wish?"
Again the lights, the table, the food and drink appeared as before. Fedot sat at the table and said: "Hei, Shmat-Razum, sit down brother, with me, we'll eat and drink together; it is irksome for me alone."
The voice of the unseen answered: "Oh, kind man! whence has God brought thee? It is nearly thirty years that I serve these old men in faith and in truth, and all this time they have never once seated me with themselves."
The sharpshooter looked and wondered. He saw no one, but the food was swept from the plates as if with a broom; the bottles raised themselves and poured the wine into glasses,--behold, in a moment bottles and glasses are empty!
"Shmat-Razum, dost thou wish to serve me?" asked the sharpshooter. "I'll give thee a pleasant life."
"Why not? I am sick of being here; and thou, I see, art a kind man."
"All right; pick up everything and come along." The sharpshooter went out of the cave, looked around, saw no one, and asked: "Art thou here, Shmat-Razum?"
"Here; I'll not leave thee, never fear."
"Very well," said Fedot, and sat on the frog,--she swelled, jumped over the river, and became small. He put her in the bowl, and went on the homeward road, came to his mother-in-law, and made his new servant entertain the old woman and her daughters. Shmat-Razum gave them such a feast that the old woman came very near dancing from joy. She ordered that three bowls of milk be given to the frog every day in reward for her faithfulness. The sharpshooter bade good-by to his friends and set out for home. He travelled and journeyed till he was almost wearied to death. "Oh, Shmat-Razum," said he, "if thou couldst only know how tired I am, I am just losing my legs."
"Why not tell me long ago?" asked the other; "I should have brought thee home quickly." With that he seized Fedot and bore him like a rushing whirlwind, so swiftly that his cap fell off.
"Hei, Shmat-Razum, wait a minute; my cap is gone."
"Late, my master; thy cap is now three thousand miles behind."
Towns and villages, rivers and forests, just flashed before the eye; as Fedot was flying over a deep sea Shmat-Razum said: "If thou wishest, I will make a summer-house in the midst of the sea; thou canst rest, and acquire great fortune."
"Well, make it."
They dropped down toward the sea, and behold, where a moment before the waves were rolling, an island rose up, and in the centre a golden pleasure-house.
"Now, my master, sit down in this house, rest, and look at the sea. Presently three merchant-ships will sail by and cast anchor. Invite the merchants, entertain them well, and exchange me for three wonderful things which they have. I'll come to thee again in my own time."
Fedot looked; three merchant-ships were sailing from the west. The merchants saw the island and wondered.
"What does this mean?" asked they. "How many times have we sailed by here and seen nothing but water, and now an island and a pleasure-house! Let us stand up to the shore, brothers, let us look and admire."
They stopped the ships, cast anchor; the three merchants stepped into a light boat, went to the island, landed, and saluted Fedot,--
"Hail, worthy man!"
"Good health to you, foreign merchants! We crave kindness. Come in, rejoice, have a good time, and rest yourselves. This pleasure-house was made on purpose for passing guests." They went in and sat down.
"Hei, Shmat-Razum, meat and drink!" A table appeared; on the table wines and meats, whatever the soul could desire was at hand in a moment. The merchants opened their mouths in amazement.
"Let us exchange," said they. "Give us thy servant, and take any one of our wonders."
"What wonders have ye?"
"Look, and thou wilt see."
One merchant took a small box from his pocket and opened it: that minute a glorious garden was spread over the whole island with flowers and paths; he closed the box, and the garden was gone. The second merchant took an axe from under his skirts and began to hit, hit strike, a ship came out: hit strike--another ship. He struck a hundred times--a hundred ships. They moved around the island under full canvas, with sailors and cannon. The sailors run and fire guns. The commanders come to the merchant for orders. He amused himself, hid his axe: the ships vanished from the eye, were as if they had never been. The third merchant took a horn, blew into it at one end: that minute an army appeared, cavalry and infantry, with muskets and cannons and flags; from every regiment come reports to the merchant, and he gives them orders. The army marches, with music sounding and banners waving. The merchant took his horn, blew in at the other end: there is nothing. Where has all the power gone to?
"Your wonders are strange," said the sharpshooter; "but these are all playthings for kings, and I am a simple soldier. If ye will exchange, however, I agree to give you my unseen servant for all three of your wonders."
"Is not that rather too much?"
"Well, ye know your own business, I suppose; but I will not exchange on other conditions."
The merchants thought to themselves, "What good are these ships and soldiers and garden to us? Let us exchange,--at least we shall have enough to eat and drink all our lives without trouble."
They gave the sharpshooter their wonders, and asked: "Shmat-Razum, wilt thou come with us?"
"Why not? It's all the same to me where I live."
The merchants returned to their ships and said: "Now, Shmat-Razum, fly about; give us to eat and drink." They invited all the men, and had such a feast that every one got drunk and slept a sound sleep.
The sharpshooter was sitting in the golden summer-house; he fell to thinking, and said: "I am sorry; where art thou now, trusty servant?"
"Here, my master."
Fedot rejoiced. "Isn't it time for us to go home?" The moment he spoke he was borne through the air as if by a whirlwind.
The merchants woke up, and wishing to drink off the effects of their carousal, cried out: "Give us to drink, Shmat-Razum." No one answered, nothing was brought; no matter how much they screamed and commanded, no result. "Well, gentlemen, this scoundrel has swindled us. Now Satan himself could not find him; the island has vanished, the pleasure-house is gone." The merchants grieved and regretted; then hoisted their sails and went to where they had business.
The sharpshooter soon arrived at his own kingdom, came down by the sea-shore. "Shmat-Razum, canst thou build me a palace here?"
"Why not?--it will be ready directly."
The palace appeared so splendid that it could not be described,--twice as good as the king's. Now the box was opened, and all around the palace was a glorious garden, with rare trees and flowers.
The sharpshooter sat by the window admiring the garden when all at once a blue dove flew in through the open window, struck the floor, and became his young wife. They embraced and kissed each other; then made inquiries and gave answer. Said his wife to Fedot: "Since the time thou didst leave me I have lived a lone dove in the forests and thickets."
Next morning the king went out on the balcony, and saw by the shore of the blue sea a new palace, and a green garden around it. "What insolent fellow has built on my land without leave?" Couriers hastened, discovered, reported, that the palace was built by Fedot, who was living there then, and with him his wife.
The king's anger increased. He gave orders to collect troops and go to the sea-shore, destroy the garden, break the palace into small pieces, and give the sharpshooter and his wife to a cruel death.
Fedot saw the strong army approaching. He took his axe quickly, and struck; a ship came forth; he struck a hundred times,--a hundred ships were ready; he blew his horn once, infantry was marching; he blew it a second time, cavalry was galloping. The commanders rushed to him from the ships, from the army, for orders. He ordered them to give battle. The music sounded at once, the drums rattled, the regiments advanced. The hundred ships open a cannonade on the king's capital. The army moves on at the sound of music and beat of drum. The infantry rout the king's soldiers, the cavalry take them prisoners. The king sees that his army is fleeing, hurries forward himself to stop it. But what could he do? Half an hour had not passed before he was killed.
When the battle was over, the people came together and begged the sharpshooter to take the government of the kingdom into his hands. He agreed, became king, and his wife queen.