Famous Stories Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Famous Stories Every Child Should Know.

The roar of the Golden River rose on Hans’s ear.  He stood at the brink of the chasm through which it ran.  Its waves were filled with the red glory of the sunset:  they shook their crests like tongues of fire, and flashes of bloody light gleamed along their foam.  Their sound came mightier and mightier on his senses; his brain grew giddy with the prolonged thunder.  Shuddering he drew the flask from his girdle, and hurled it into the centre of the torrent.  As he did so, an icy chill shot through his limbs:  he staggered, shrieked, and fell.  The waters closed over his cry.  And the moaning of the river rose wildly into the night, as it gushed over The Black Stone.


Poor little Gluck waited very anxiously alone in the house for Hans’s return.  Finding he did not come back, he was terribly frightened, and went and told Schwartz in the prison all that had happened.  Then Schwartz was very much pleased, and said that Hans must certainly have been turned into a black stone, and he should have all the gold to himself.  But Gluck was very sorry, and cried all night.  When he got up in the morning there was no bread in the house, nor any money; so Gluck went and hired himself to another goldsmith, and he worked so hard, and so neatly, and so long every day, that he soon got money enough together to pay his brother’s fine, and he went and gave it all to Schwartz, and Schwartz got out of prison.  Then Schwartz was quite pleased, and said he should have some of the gold of the river.  But Gluck only begged he would go and see what had become of Hans.

Now when Schwartz had heard that Hans had stolen the holy water, he thought to himself that such a proceeding might not be considered altogether correct by the King of the Golden River, and determined to manage matters better.  So he took some more of Gluck’s money, and went to a bad priest who gave him some holy water very readily for it.  Then Schwartz was sure it was all quite right.  So Schwartz got up early in the morning before the sun rose, and took some bread and wine in a basket, and put his holy water in a flask, and set off for the mountains.  Like his brother, he was much surprised at the sight of the glacier, and had great difficulty in crossing it, even after leaving his basket behind him.  The day was cloudless, but not bright:  there was a heavy purple haze hanging over the sky, and the hills looked lowering and gloomy.  And as Schwartz climbed the steep rock path, the thirst came upon him, as it had upon his brother, until he lifted his flask to his lips to drink.  Then he saw the fair child lying near him on the rocks, and it cried to him, and moaned for water.

“Water, indeed,” said Schwartz; “I haven’t half enough for myself,” and passed on.  And as he went he thought the sunbeams grew more dim, and he saw a low bank of black cloud rising out of the west; and, when he had climbed for another hour, the thirst overcame him again, and he would have drunk.  Then he saw the old man lying before him on the path, and heard him cry out for water.  “Water, indeed,” said Schwartz; “I haven’t half enough for myself,” and on he went.

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Famous Stories Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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