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


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.