Peppercorn, however, did not stop long to think about the matter, but quickly drew his wonderful sword and killed the monster. It happened that the giant-bird was just coming back, and when she saw Peppercorn under the tree, she shrieked as she ran up to kill him, "Now I have caught you - you who have been killing all my little ones for so many years! Now you shall pay me for it, for I will kill you!" But the little birds from their nest high in the tree, cried out to her, "Don't do him any harm! he has saved us from being swallowed by a monster who came out of the lake to kill us".
Meanwhile, Peppercorn went to her, and presented the king's letter. The giant-bird read it through carefully, and then said to him, "Go home and kill twelve sheep. Fill their skins with water, and bring them here, together with the flesh of the sheep".
Peppercorn went back to the king, who at once ordered that he should be supplied with the flesh of twelve sheep, as well as with twelve sheep-skins full of fresh water. With this provision Peppercorn returned to the shore of the lake.
Then the giant-bird placed the twelve skins full of water under her left wing, and the flesh of the twelve sheep under her right, and took Peppercorn on her back. This done, she told him that he must watch well her movements, and when she turned her beak to the left side, he must give her water, and when she turned it to the right he must give her meat. After impressing these directions upon Peppercorn, the giant-bird rose with her triple load in the air, and flew straight up towards the other world. As she flew she turned, from time to time, her beak, now to the left and then to the right, and Peppercorn gave her water or meat, as she had directed him to do. At last, however, all the meat disappeared. So, when the giant-bird turned her beak once more to the right, Sir Peppercorn, having no more meat to give her, and fearing some evil might happen if he did not satisfy her, took out his knife, and, cutting a piece of flesh from the sole of his right foot, gave it to her.
But the bird knew by the taste that he had cut it from his own foot, so she did not swallow it, but hid it under her tongue, and held it there until she reached the other world.
Then she set Peppercorn down on the earth and told him to walk, and when he tried to do so he was forced to limp, because of the loss of part of his foot. When the giant-bird noticed this, she asked him, "Why do you limp so? "To this Peppercorn answered, "Oh, it is nothing! Do not trouble yourself about it!" But the bird told him to lift his right foot, and when he did so, she took the piece of flesh she had kept hidden under her tongue, and laid it on the place where he had cut it from. Then she tapped it two or three times with her beak to make it grow to the rest of the foot.
Peppercorn walked on some time before he remembered the little box which the youngest of the three daughters of the king had given him. Now, however, he opened it, and a bee and a fly flew out and asked him what he desired. He said, "I want a good horse to carry me to the king's residence, and a decent suit of clothes to wear." Next moment a suit of good clothes lay before him, and a handsome horse stood ready saddled for him to mount. Then he took the clothes, and, mounting the horse, rode off to the city where the king dwelt. Before entering the city, however, he opened his little box, and said to the fly and the bee, "I do not want the horse any more at present." Accordingly they took it with them into their little box.
Peppercorn went to live in the house of an old woman in the city. Next morning he heard the public crier shouting in the street, "Is there anyone bold enough to fight with the mighty Pikeman, the king's son-in-law?"
Peppercorn was very pleased to hear this challenge, and, opening his box without delay, told the bee and fly, who flew out to receive his orders, that he wanted at once a fine suit of clothes and a strong charger, so that he might go to fight with the Pikeman. The bee and fly instantly gave him what he required, and he dressed himself and rode off to the field, where he found the Pikeman proudly awaiting anyone who might presume to accept his challenge.
So Peppercorn and the Pikeman fought, and before very long the first son-in-law of the king was slain.
Then Peppercorn returned home quickly, and opening his box, bade the bee and fly take away the horse and the fine clothes.
The king sought everywhere for the stranger who had killed his son-in-law, but no one knew anything about him. So, after some days, the city crier went round again, proclaiming that the Mill-turner, the second son-in-law of the king, would fight anyone who dared to meet him.
Peppercorn again let out his bee and his fly, and asked for a finer horse and handsomer clothes than the last. So they brought him a very gorgeous suit, and a most beautiful coal-black charger, and with these he went on the field to meet the Mill-turner. They fought, but Peppercorn soon killed the king's second son-in-law, and again went to his lodgings, where he ordered the bee and fly to take the horse and clothes with them into their little box.
Now, not only the king, but all his people were very much puzzled as to who the powerful knight could be who had killed the two valiant sons-in-law of the king. So a strict search was made, and he was sought everywhere. But no one could tell anything about him; while such horses as he rode and such clothes as he wore were not to be found in the whole kingdom.
Some time had passed since the king's sons-in-law had been killed, and people had begun to be a little quieter and had given up all hope of finding out who the stranger knight might be. Then Peppercorn wrote a letter to the king's youngest daughter, and sent it to her by the old woman in whose house he lived. In the letter he told the princess everything that had happened to him since he had sent her up in the basket to his false comrades, and told her also that he himself had slain both of the traitors in fair fight.
The young princess, as soon as she had read the letter, quickly ran to her father and begged him to pardon Peppercorn. The king saw he could not justly deny her this favour, since the two men who had been killed had deceived and deserted their friend, without whose superior courage they would never have been themselves his sons-in-law, seeing that all the three princesses, but for Peppercorn, must have remained in the other world where Yard-high-forehead-and-span-long-beard had carried them.
So, after thinking all this over in his mind, the king told his daughter that he willingly forgave Peppercorn, and that she might invite him to the palace. This the princess did at once, and very soon after, Peppercorn made his appearance before the king in splendid attire and was received very kindly.
Not long afterwards, the marriage of Peppercorn with the beautiful princess, the king's youngest daughter, was celebrated with great rejoicings, and the king built them a fine house near his palace to live in.
There Peppercorn and his princess lived long and happily, and he never had any wish to wander again about the world.