How Thorston Became Rich





When spring came Thorston made ready his ship and put twenty-four men on

board of her. When they came to Finland they ran her into a harbour, and

every day he went on shore to amuse himself.



He came one day to an open part of the wood, where he saw a great rock,

and a little way out from it was a horribly ugly dwarf. He was looking

over his head, with his mouth wide open, and it appeared to Thorston

that it stretched from ear to ear, and that the lower jaw came down to

his knees.



Thorston asked him why he acted so foolishly.



"Do not be surprised, my good lad," answered the dwarf, "do you not see

that great dragon that is flying up there? He has taken off my son, and

I believe that it is Odin himself that has sent the monster to do it. I

shall burst and die if I lose my son."



Then Thorston shot at the dragon, and hit him under one of the wings, so

that he fell dead to the earth; but Thorston caught the dwarf's child in

the air, and brought him to his father.



The dwarf was very glad, more rejoiced than any one can tell, and he

said--



"I have to reward you for a great service, you who are the deliverer of

my son. Now choose your reward in silver or gold."



"Take your son," said Thorston; "but I am not used to accept rewards for

my services."



"It would not be becoming," said the dwarf, "if I did not reward you. I

will give you my vest of sheep's wool. Do not think it is a contemptible

gift, for you will never be tired when swimming, or wounded, if you wear

it next your skin."



Thorston took it and put it on, and it fitted him well, though it had

appeared too small for the dwarf.



The dwarf next took a gold ring out of his purse and gave it to

Thorston, and bade him take good care of it, telling him he should never

want money while he had the ring.



Next he gave him a black stone, and said--



"If you hide this stone in the palm of your hand no one will see you. I

have not many more things to offer you, or that would be of any value to

you. I will, however, give you a firestone for your amusement."



He took the stone out of his purse, and with it a steel point. The stone

was triangular, white on one side and red on the other, and a yellow

border ran round it. The dwarf said--



"If you prick the stone with the point in the white side there will come

on such a hailstorm that no one will be able to look at it. If you want

to stop the shower you have only to prick on the yellow part, and there

will come so much sunshine that the hail will melt away. If you prick

the red side then there will come out of it such fire, with sparks and

crackling, that no one will be able to look at it. You may also get

whatever you will by means of this point and stone, and they will come

of themselves back to your hand when you call them. I can give you no

more of such gifts."



Thorston then thanked the dwarf for his presents, and returned to his

men; and it was better for him to have made that voyage than to have

stayed at home.





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