Gathering up the pieces of iron, he now carried them to a third smith, who undertook to make him a good strong mace, and demanded a ducat for doing so. Next morning Peppercorn went for the mace and, after trying it three times, each time throwing it up higher in the air and letting it fall on his head, where it raised great bumps, he owned that he was satisfied with it, and accordingly paid the smith the ducat as he had promised.
Having now a good strong mace, Peppercorn started off at once for the forest, in which his three elder brothers and his sister had been lost. After wandering about for some time, he came to the place where the shepherdess sat watching her sheep, and, in reply to his questions, she told him that she had seen his three brothers go down the ravine in search of their sister, but had never seen them come up again.
Notwithstanding this, Peppercorn went resolutely down the ravine, calling aloud upon his sister by name. When she heard this she was exceedingly surprised, and said to herself, "Who can this be calling me by name, now that all my brothers are killed? I have no other relations to come and look for me." Then she went to the entrance of the cave and called out, "Who is it that calls me; I have no longer any brothers?"
Peppercorn said to her, "I am your brother who was born after you left home, and my name is Peppercorn".
On hearing this, his sister led him into the palace, but he had hardly had time to say a few words to her before a loud whirring was heard in the air, and the giant's mace fell to the ground. For a moment Peppercorn was terrified at this, but he recovered himself quickly, and, pulling the mace out of the ground, flung it back to the giant, who, in astonishment, said to himself, "Who is this who throws my mace back to me? Methinks I have at last found someone able to fight with me".
When the giant came home he immediately asked his wife who had been in the cave, and she answered him, "It is my youngest brother." Thereupon the giant ordered the shepherd to bring the largest sheep in his flock. When this was brought the giant killed it himself, and, whilst preparing it for roasting, said to Peppercorn, "Will you turn the meat, or will you take care of the fire?" Peppercorn said he would rather gather wood and make the fire; so he went out and tumbled down some large trees with his mace. These he carried to the mouth of the cave, and made a large fire ready for the meat.
When the sheep was roasted the giant cut it in two parts, and gave one half to Peppercorn, saying, "Take this half, and if you eat it before I eat my half you are free to kill me; but if you don't, I shall surely kill you." So Peppercorn and the giant began to eat as fast as they could, swallowing down large pieces of meat, and, in their haste, almost choking themselves. At last Peppercorn, by trickery, managed to get rid of his share of the sheep, and, according to the arrangement, killed the giant. This done, with the help of his sister, he collected all the treasures the giant had heaped up in his palace, and, taking them with him, returned home with his sister, to the great joy of their parents.
Peppercorn remained some time after this with his father, mother, and sister, and they lived very merrily on the treasures he had brought from the giant's cave. At length, however, he saw that the riches were coming to an end, so he resolved to go into the world to seek his fortune.
After travelling about a good while he came one day to a large city, where he saw a great crowd gathered about a man who held an iron pike in his hand, and every now and then squeezed drops of water out of the iron. Whilst the people watched, wondering and admiring his great strength, Peppercorn went up and asked him, "Do you think there is any man in the world stronger than yourself?"
"There is only one man alive who is stronger than myself, and that one is a certain person called Peppercorn," answered he. "Peppercorn can receive a mace on his head without being hurt".
Thereupon Peppercorn told the man who he was, and proposed to him that they should travel about the world together.
"That will I right gladly," said the Pikeman. "How can I help being glad to go with a trusty fellow like you!"
Travelling together they came one day to a certain city, and, finding a concourse of people assembled, they went to see what was the matter. They found a man sitting on the bank of a river turning the wheels of nine mills with his little finger. So they said to him, "Is there anyone stronger than you in the world?"
And he answered them, "There are only two men stronger than I am - a certain person named Peppercorn and a certain Pikeman." Hearing this, Peppercorn and the Pikeman told him who they were, and proposed that he should join them in their travels about the world.
The Mill-turner very gladly accepted the offer, and so all three continued their journey together.
After travelling some time they came to a city where they found all the people greatly excited because some one had stolen the three daughters of the king, and, notwithstanding the immense rewards his majesty had offered, no one had as yet dared to go out to look for the princesses. As soon as Peppercorn and his two comrades heard this they went to the king and offered to search for his three daughters. But in order to accomplish the task they demanded that the king should give them a hundred thousand loads of wood. The king gave them what they wanted, and they made a fence all around the city with the timber. This done they began to watch.
The first morning they prepared a whole ox for their dinners, and discussed the question which of the three should stay behind to mind the meat whilst the other two watched the fence. The Pikeman said, "I think I will stay here and take care of the meat, and I will have dinner ready for you when you come back from looking after the fence." So it was thus settled. Just, however, as the Pikeman thought the ox was well roasted he was frightened by the sudden approach of a man with a forehead a yard high and a beard a span long. This man said to the Pikeman, "Good morning!" but the latter ran away instead of answering, he was so shocked by the strange appearance of the man.