In the meanwhile, Blue Beard, with a great cimeter in his hand, bawled as loud as he could to his wife, “Come down at once, or I will fetch you.” “One moment longer, I beseech you,” replied she, and again called softly to her sister, “Sister Anne, do you see any one coming?” To which she answered, “I see nothing but the sun, which makes a dust, and the grass, which looks green.” Blue Beard now again bawled out, “Come down, I say, this very moment, or I shall come to fetch you.” “I am coming; indeed I will come in one minute,” sobbed his wretched wife. Then she once more cried out, “Anne! sister Anne! do you see any one coming?” “I see,” said her sister, “a cloud of dust a little to the left.” “Do you think it is my brothers?” said the wife. “Alas! no, dear sister,” replied she, “it is only a flock of sheep.” “Will you come down, madam?” said Blue Beard, in the greatest rage. “Only one single moment more,” said she. And then she called out for the last time, “Sister Anne! sister Anne! do you see no one coming?” “I see,” replied her sister, “two men on horseback coming; but they are still a great way off.” “Thank God,” cried she, “they are my brothers; beckon them to make haste.” Blue Beard now cried out so loud for her to come down, that his voice shook the whole house. The poor lady, with her hair loose, and all in tears, now came down, and fell on her knees, begging him to spare her life; but he stopped her, saying, “All this is of no use, for you shall die,” and then, seizing her by the hair, raised his cimeter to strike off her head. The poor woman now begged a single moment to say one prayer. “No, no,” said Blue Beard, “I will give you no more time. You have had too much already.” And again he raised his arm. Just at this instant a loud knocking was heard at the gates, which made Blue Beard wait for a moment to see who it was. The gates now flew open, and two officers, dressed in their uniform, came in, and, with their swords in their hands, ran straight to Blue Beard, who, seeing they were his wife’s brothers, tried to escape from their presence; but they pursued and seized him before he had gone twenty steps, and plunging their swords into his body he fell down dead at their feet.
The poor wife, who was almost as dead as her husband, was not able at first to rise and embrace her brothers; but she soon came to herself; and, as Blue Beard had no heirs, she found herself the owner of his great riches. She gave a part of his vast fortune as a marriage dowry to her sister Anne, who soon after became the wife of a young gentleman who had long loved her. Some of the money she laid out in buying captains’ commissions for her two brothers, and the rest she gave to a worthy gentleman whom she married shortly after, and whose kind treatment soon made her forget Blue Beard’s cruelty.
CINDERELLA; OR, THE LITTLE GLASS SLIPPER