On the third day a bird alighted in the palace, and said that he must have the youngest of the Sultan's daughters. The Padishah and the second brother were again unwilling to agree to it, but the youngest brother stood them out that the bird ought to be allowed to fly back with his sister. Now this bird was the Padishah of the Peris, the emerald Anka. But now let us see what happened in that castle of which we have before spoken.
In this castle there dwelt just about this time a Padishah and his three daughters. Rising one morning and going out, he saw a man walking in the palace. He went out into the courtyard, and saw a serpent cut in two on the staircase, and a sword sticking in the stone column, and going on still further, and searching in all directions, he perceived the bodies of the forty robbers in his castle moat. "Not an enemy, but only the hand of a friend could have done this," thought he; "and he has saved me from the robbers and the serpent. The sword is my good friend's, but where is the sword's master?" And he took counsel with his Vizier.
"Oh, we'll soon get to the bottom of that," said the Vizier. "Let us make a great bath, and invite every one to come and bathe in it for nothing. We will watch carefully each single man, and whosoever has a sheath without a sword will be the man who has saved us." And the Padishah did so. He made ready a big bath, and the whole realm came and bathed in it.
Next day the Vizier said to him: "Every one has been here to bathe save only the King's three sons, they still remain behind." Then the Padishah sent word to the King's three sons to come and bathe, and looking closely at their garments, he perceived that the youngest of the three wore a sheath without a sword.
Then the Padishah called the King's son to him and said: "Great is the good thou hast done to me, ask me what thou wilt for it!" - " I ask nought from thee," replied the King's son, "but thy youngest daughter."
"Alas! my son, ask me anything but that," sighed the Padishah. "Ask my crown, my kingdom, and I'll give them to thee, but my daughter I cannot give thee."
"If thou givest me thy daughter I will take her," replied the King's son, " but nought else will I take from thy hand."
"My son," groaned the Padishah, "I will give thee my eldest daughter, I'll give thee my second daughter, nay, I'll give thee the pair of them if thou wilt. But my youngest daughter has a deadly enemy, the Wind-Demon. Because I would not give her to him, I must needs fence her room about with walls of steel, lest any of the devil race draw near to her. For the Wind-Demon is such a terrible monster that eye cannot see nor dart overtake him; like the tempest he flies, and his coming is like the coming of a whirlwind."
But whatever the Padishah might say to turn him from seeking after the damsel fell on deaf ears. He begged and pleaded so hard for the damsel that the Padishah was wearied by his much speaking, and promised him the damsel, nay they held the bridal banquet. The two elder brothers received the two elder damsels, and returned to their kingdom, but the youngest brother remained behind to guard his wife against the Wind-Demon.
Time came and went, and the King's son avoided the light of day for the sake of his lovely Sultana. One day, however, the King's son said to his wife: "Behold now, my Sultana, all this time I have never moved from thy side, methinks I will go a-hunting, though it only be for a little hour or so."
"Alas! my King," replied his wife, "if thou dost depart from me, I know that thou wilt never see me more." But as he begged her for leave again and again, and promised to be back again immediately, his wife consented. Then he took his weapons and went forth into the forest.
Now the Wind-Demon had been awaiting this chance all along. He feared the famous prince, and durst not snatch his wife from his arms; but as soon as ever the King's son had put his foot out of doors, the Wind-Demon came in and vanished with the wife of the King's son.
Not very long afterwards the King's son came back, and could find his wife nowhere. He went to the Padishah to seek her, and came back again, for it was certain that the Demon must have taken her, no other living soul could have got near her. Bitterly did he weep, fiercely did he dash himself against the floor, but then he quickly rose up again, took horse, and galloped away into the wide world, determined to find either death or his consort.
He went on for days, he went on for weeks, in his trouble and anguish he gave himself no rest. All at once a palace sprang up before him, but it seemed to him like a mirage, which baffles the eye that looks upon it. It was the palace of his eldest sister. The damsel was just then looking out of the window, and lo! she caught sight of a man wandering there where never a bird had flown and never a caravan had travelled. Then she recognized him as her brother, and so great was their mutual joy that they could not come to words for hugging and kissing.
Towards evening the damsel said to the King's son: "The lion will be here shortly, and although he is very good to me, he is only a brute beast for all that, and may do thee a mischief." And she took her brother and hid him.
The King's Son and the Lion. - p. 121.
In the evening the lion came home sure enough, and when they had sat down together and begun to talk, the girl asked him what he would do if any of her brothers should chance to come there. "If the eldest were to come," said the lion, "I would strike him dead with one blow, if the second came I would slay him also, but if the youngest came, I would let him go to sleep on my paws if he liked."
" Then he has come," said his wife.
"Where is he - where is he? Bring him out, let me see him!" cried the lion; and when the King's son appeared, the lion did not know what to do with himself for joy. Then they began to talk, and the lion asked him why he had come there, and whither he was going. The youth told him what had happened, and said he was going to seek the Wind-Demon.