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HOW MR. SCHWARTZ SET OFF ON AN EXPEDITION TO THE GOLDEN RIVER

from Types Of Children's Literature - The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers





Poor little Gluck waited very anxiously alone in the house for
Hans' return. Finding he did not come back, he was terribly frightened,
and went and told Schwartz in the prison all that had happened.
Then Schwartz was very much pleased, and said that Hans
must certainly have been turned into a black stone, and he should
have all the gold to himself. But Gluck was very sorry, and cried
all night. When he got up in the morning, there was no bread in
the house, nor any money; so Gluck went and hired himself to another
goldsmith, and he worked so hard, and so neatly, and so long
every day, that he soon got money enough together to pay his
brother's fine, and he went and gave it all to Schwartz, and Schwartz
got out of prison. Then Schwartz was quite pleased, and said he
should have some of the gold of the river. But Gluck only begged
he would go and see what had become of Hans.

Now, when Schwartz had heard that Hans had stolen the holy
water, he thought to himself that such a proceeding might not be
considered altogether correct by the King of the Golden River, and
determined to manage matters better. So he took some more of
Gluck's money, and went to a bad priest, who gave him some holy
water very readily for it. Then Schwartz was sure it was all quite
right. So Schwartz got up early in the morning before the sun rose,
and took some bread and wine in a basket, and put his holy water in
a flask, and set off for the mountains. Like his brother, he was
much surprised at the sight of the glacier, and had great difficulty
in crossing it, even after leaving his basket behind him. The day was
cloudless, but not bright; there was a heavy purple haze hanging
over the sky, and the hills looked lowering and gloomy. And as
Schwartz climbed the steep rock path, the thirst came upon him, as
it had upon his brother, until he lifted his flask to his lips to drink.
Then he saw the fair child lying near him on the rocks, and it
cried to him, and moaned for water. "Water, indeed," said
Schwartz; "I haven't half enough for myself," and passed on. And
as he went he thought the sunbeams grew more dim, and he saw a
low bank of black cloud rising out of the west; and when he had
climbed for another hour the thirst overcame him again, and he
would have drunk. Then he saw the old man lying before him on
the path, and heard him cry out for water. "Water, indeed," said
Schwartz; "I haven't half enough for myself," and on he went.

Then again the light seemed to fade from before his eyes, and
he looked up, and, behold, a mist, of the color of blood, had come
over the sun; and the bank of black cloud had risen very high,
and its edges were tossing and tumbling like the waves of the angry
sea. And they cast long shadows, which flickered over Schwartz's
path.

Then Schwartz climbed for another hour, and again his thirst
returned; and as he lifted his flask to his lips, he thought he saw
his brother Hans lying exhausted on the path before him, and, as he
gazed, the figure stretched its arms to him, and cried for water.
"Ha, ha," laughed Schwartz, "are you there? remember the prison
bars, my boy. Water, indeed--do you suppose I carried it all the
way up here for _you_!" And he strode over the figure; yet, as
he passed, he thought he saw a strange expression of mockery about
its lips. And, when he had gone a few yards farther, he looked back;
but the figure was not there.

And a sudden horror came over Schwartz, he knew not why; but
the thirst for gold prevailed over his fear, and he rushed on. And
the bank of black cloud rose to the zenith, and out of it came bursts
of spiry lightning, and waves of darkness seemed to heave and float
between their flashes, over the whole heavens. And the sky, where
the sun was setting, was all level, and like a lake of blood; and a
strong wind came out of that sky, tearing its crimson clouds into
fragments, and scattering them far into the darkness. And, when
Schwartz stood by the brink of the Golden River, its waves were
black, like thunder clouds, but their foam was like fire; and the roar
of the waters below and the thunder above, met, as he cast the flask
into the stream. And, as he did so, the lightning glared in his eyes,
and the earth gave way beneath him, and the waters closed over his
cry. And the moaning of the river rose wildly into the night, as it
gushed over the TWO BLACK STONES.





Next: HOW LITTLE GLUCK SET OFF ON AN EXPEDITION TO THE GOLDEN RIVER

Previous: STONE.



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