The Fish and the Ringpage 2 / 3
"Oh! that's easy to guess," said the Baron; some yokel or other. But I'll cast her horoscope. Come here, girl, and tell me on what day you were born"
"I don't know, sir," said the girl, "I was picked up just here after having been brought down by the river about fifteen years ago."
Then the Baron knew who she was, and when they went away, he rode back and said to the girl: "Hark ye, girl, I will make your fortune. Take this letter to my brother in Scarborough, and you will be settled for life." And the girl took the letter and said she would go. Now this was what he had written in the letter:
"Dear Brother,—Take the bearer and put her to death immediately.
So soon after the girl set out for Scarborough, and slept for the night at a little inn. Now that very night a band of robbers broke into the inn, and searched the girl, who had no money, and only the letter. So they opened this and read it, and thought
it a shame. The captain of the robbers took a pen and paper and wrote this letter:
"Dear Brother,—Take the bearer and marry her to my son immediately.
And then he gave it to the girl, bidding her begone. So she went on to the Baron's brother at Scarborough, a noble knight, with whom the Baron's son was staying. When she gave the letter to his brother, he gave orders for the wedding to be prepared at once, and they were married that very day.
Soon after, the Baron himself came to his brother's castle, and what was his surprise to find the very thing he had plotted against had come to pass. But he was not to be put off that way; and he took the girl out for a walk, as he said, along the cliffs. And when he got her all alone, he took her by the arms, and was going to throw her over. But she begged hard for her life. "I have not done anything," she said: "if you will only spare me, I will do whatever you wish. I will never see you or your son again till you desire it." Then the Baron took off his gold ring and threw it into the sea, saying: "Never let me see your face till you can show me that ring;" and he let her go.