This section is from the book "Myths And Folk-Tales Of The Russians, Western Slavs, And Magyars", by Jeremiah Curtin. Also available from Amazon: Myths and Folk-Tales of the Russians, Western Slavs, and the Magyars.
Yelena the Beautiful saw the shoes and knew what had happened. "Surely," she thought, "the spirits made these for Ivan Tsarevich. - How didst thou make these?" asked she of the shoemaker.
"Oh! I know how to do everything".
"If that is the case, make me a wedding robe embroidered with gold, ornamented with diamonds and precious stones; let it be ready to-morrow morning: if not, off with thy head!"
The shoemaker went home again gloomy, and his friends were long waiting for him. "Well, what is it?"
"Nothing but cursedness. The destroyer of Christian people has come; she commanded me to make her a robe with gold and precious stones by to-morrow morning: and what sort of a tailor am I? They will take my head surely to-morrow".
"Ah! brother, the morning is wiser than the evening; let us go and frolic".
They went to the inn, they drank and frolicked; the shoemaker got tipsy again, brought home a whole keg of spirits, and said to Ivan Tsarevich: "Now, young fellow, when thou wilt rouse me in the morning I'll toss off three gallons; let them cut the head off me drunk. I could n't make such a robe in a lifetime." The shoemaker lay down to sleep and snored.
Ivan Tsarevich blew on the whistle, and Lame and Crooked appeared. "What is thy pleasure, Tsarevich?"
"That a robe be ready by to-morrow morning exactly such as Yelena the Beautiful wore in Whirlwind's house".
"We obey; it will be ready".
Ivan Tsarevich woke at daylight; the robe was on the table, shining like fire, so that the whole chamber was lighted up. Then he roused his master, who rubbed his eyes and asked, "What! have they come to cut my head off? Give the spirits here this minute".
"But the robe is ready".
"Is that true? When did we make it?"
"In the night, of course; dost thou not remember cutting it thyself?"
"Ah, brother, I just remember, - see it as in a dream!"
The shoemaker took the robe and ran to the palace.
Yelena the Beautiful gave him much money and the command, "See that to-morrow by daylight the Golden Kingdom be on the sea, seven versts from shore, and from it to our palace let there be a golden bridge with costly velvet spread upon it, and at the railings on both sides let wonderful trees be growing, and let there be wonderful song-birds singing, with various voices. If thou wilt not have it done by morning, I'11 give orders to quarter thee".
The shoemaker went from Yelena the Beautiful with drooping head. His friends met him. "Well, brother?"
"What well! I am lost; to-morrow I shall be quartered. She gave me such a task that no devil could do it".
"Oh, never mind! the morning is wiser than the evening; let us go to the inn".
"Well, let us go; at the last parting we must have a carousal at least".
They drank and drank; and towards evening the shoemaker drank so much they had to lead him home. "Farewell, young fellow," said he to Ivan; "to-morrow they will put me to death".
"But has a new task been given?"
"Yes, so and so, so and so." He lay down and snored; but Ivan Tsarevich went straight to his room, and blew on the whistle. Lame and Crooked appeared.
"What is thy pleasure, Ivan Tsarevich?'
"Can ye do me such a work as this?"
"Ivan Tsarevich, this is a work indeed. But there is no avoiding it; toward morning all will be ready".
When daylight began to come, Ivan woke up, looked out of the window. Fathers! everything was ready as asked for. A golden castle was gleaming like fire. He roused his master, who sprang up. "Well, have they come for me? Give the keg here this minute!"
"But the palace is ready".
"What dost thou say?"
The shoemaker looked through the window and said, "Ah!" in astonishment, "how was that done?"
"Dost thou not remember how thou and I fixed it?"
"Yes, it is clear that I have slept too soundly; I barely, barely remember".
They ran to the golden castle; in it was wealth untold, unseen.
Said Ivan Tsarevich: "Here, master, is a wing, go and dust the railing of the bridge; and if they come and ask who lives in the palace, say thou nothing, but give this letter".
The shoemaker went to dust the railing of the bridge.
In the morning Yelena the Beautiful woke up; she saw the golden castle, and ran straight to the Tsar. "See what is done in our place! There is a golden palace on the sea, and from that palace a golden bridge seven versts long; and on both sides of the bridge wonderful trees are growing, and song-birds are singing in various voices".
The Tsar sent immediately to ask what that meant? Had not some hero come to his kingdom? The messengers came to the shoemaker, asked him. "I know not, but there is a letter to thy Tsar." In that letter Ivan Tsarevich related everything to his father as it was, - how he had liberated his mother, won Yelena the Beautiful, and how his elder brothers had deceived him. With the letter Ivan Tsarevich sent golden carriages, and begged the Tsar and Tsaritsa to come to him. Let Yelena the Beautiful and her sisters and his brothers be brought behind in simple wagons.
All assembled at once and started. Ivan Tsarevich met them with joy. The Tsar wished to put his elder sons to death for their untruths; but Ivan Tsarevich implored his father, and they were forgiven. Then began a mountain of a feast. Ivan Tsarevich married Yelena the Beautiful. They gave the Tsaritsa of the Silver Kingdom to Pyotr Tsarevich, the Tsaritsa of the Copper Kingdom to Vassili Tsarevich, and made the shoemaker a general.