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.
The princess was glad to find some one again with whom to play cards and whom she might overcome. She had him brought in without delay. The game began. The man lost; but he didn't mind that, for whenever he lost he shook the purse and had ten ducats again. So he kept losing and shaking the purse till the princess was astonished, and thought to herself: "Where dost thou get all these ducats, good man? Thou hast not a treasury at thy side, and still thou hast plenty of money. How dost thou get it?"
She watched him and saw that he shook the purse on his knee, from which he took the ducats'. She had already won a great bag of ducats, but still was not able to win all he had. She kept thinking how to get that magic purse. "Now let us rest a little," said she, and went to the next room, from which she brought two goblets of wine. One she gave him and drank the other herself, for they were tired and needed refreshment. Her wine was pure, but in his she put a sleeping-powder. She drank to his health, and he emptied his goblet at a draught. After a while he was so very drowsy that he slipped from the seat, dropped under the table, and fell soundly asleep. That was his misfortune. The princess took the magic purse and gave him one like it containing ten ducats.
When he woke up the princess said to him: "Now let us play again." They played while he had ducats. When the ducats were gone he shook and shook the purse, but in vain. The princess said: "Well, my dear man, since thou hast no money, go. But that disgrace which I have put on others I will not put on thee. I will not have thee flogged out of the castle because I have won much money from thee; go in peace".
He went to his friends in great trouble. They greeted him from afar, and called out: "-Well, how didst thou prosper?"
"Oh, badly, very badly, brothers; I no longer have the purse; I lost that".
"Oh, comrade, that is bad; how shall we live now? We are in debt for food and drink, and have nothing to pay with".
The one who had the magic mantle said: "Do ye know what, brothers? I 'll take a good vengeance on that wicked woman!"
"But how?" was the question.
He answered, "This is how I 'll do it. Let me have thy cap so that no one may see me, and I 'll take my mantle. When the princess is going to church I 'll seize her, fly with her through the air to desert regions, so far away that she will never be able to come home again".
"Yes, that will be a just punishment for her," said the two others. The third one immediately took the cap, wrapped the mantle around him, and waited for the princess. As she was going along the street he seized her, flew far away with her to wild mountains, and let her down there on the ground near a pear-tree. On that tree were beautiful pears.
The princess begged the man to climb the tree and shake it, so that she might have some of the fruit to eat. "I 'll gratify thee just once," said he. But he was so cunning that he did not leave the cap or magic mantle on the ground, but took them up on the tree, hung them both on a limb, and shook the tree with all his might. The cap and the mantle fell to the ground before the pears. The princess put the cap on her head at once, wrapped the mantle around her, and was off in an instant, sooner than the man on the tree had recovered from his fright.
He was now alone in the wild mountains. What was he to do? He stood motionless as the tree at his side, as if senseless from a thunderbolt; he had no longer magic cap or magic mantle. "Oh, where shall I go?" groaned he, and walked around on the mountains. In his trouble and fright he picked up some pears and ate them. Then other terrible miseries came upon him, for he had barely eaten the pears when unheard of gigantic horns grew out of his head, so that he could not walk through the woods nor turnaround; the horns stopped him everywhere; he could barely crawl forward.
With great care and much struggling, he dragged himself over a bit of road and came to a deep ravine, in which a hermit lived whose name was Wind.
"Oh, friend," said the man, "help me from the mountain, and take me home".
Said Wind, "I am not strong enough to bear thee to thy home, but go to my brother; he is the strongest of us. He will take thee home quickly".
"I should like to go to him, but I cannot move".
"He is not far from here, - there, on that side; but go as well as thou art able. He will rid thee of those horns".
The man pushed through as best he could, and came, covered with sweat, to another cave, in which the eldest Wind brother was living. He fell on his knees before Wind, and cried imploringly: "Be so kind as to bear me home!"
"I should,like to help thee, my friend; but it is not so easy as may seem to thee. I must go to the Lord to ask with what force Wind may blow. If Wind may blow so trees will be torn out with their roots, thou canst reach home; if Wind blows but weakly, thou wilt not go there, for 't is far. Wait a while; I 'll come back soon".
Wind went to ask the Lord how hard he might blow, and the Lord commanded him to blow mightily.
When he returned, the man asked: "How is it? '
"Well," said Wind, "I must blow mightily; thou wilt reach home. But knowest thou there is an apple-tree over there? Climb it, pluck an apple, cut it into four parts, and eat; thy great horns will fall off".
The man was glad, climbed the apple-tree quickly, but the horns hindered him much. He plucked an apple and ate it; how soon was he free of the horns! He came down from the tree like a squirrel, and thought: "Oh, brother, thou 'It get back thy things!" As he was coming down he took more apples and put them in his pocket; then went to the pear-tree and took pears. Soon Wind caught him up, bore him off swiftly, and in a short time put him down in front of the inn where his friends were waiting impatiently. They were all very glad,
"Where wert thou?" asked they.