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Fairy Tales Every Child Should Know

Not only returned Jack hearty thanks for their deliverance


he came up to the giant, he made several strokes at him, but could not reach his body, on account of the enormous height of the terrible creature, but he wounded his thighs in several places; and at length, putting both hands to his sword, and aiming with all his might, he cut off both the giant's legs just below the garter; and the trunk of his body tumbling to the ground, made not only the trees shake, but the earth itself tremble with the force of his fall. Then Jack, setting his foot upon his neck, exclaimed, "Thou barbarous and savage wretch, behold I come to execute upon thee the just reward for all thy crimes;" and instantly plunged his sword into the giant's body. The huge monster gave a hideous groan, and yielded up his life into the hands of the victorious Jack the Giant Killer, whilst the noble knight and the virtuous lady were both joyful spectators of his sudden death and their deliverance. The courteous knight and his fair lady, not only returned Jack hearty thanks for their deliverance, but also invited him to their house, to refresh himself after his dreadful encounter, as likewise to receive a reward for his good services. "No," said Jack, "I cannot be at ease till I find out the den that was the monster's habitation." The knight on hearing this grew very sorrowful, and replied, "Noble stranger, it is too much to run a second hazard; this monster lived in a den under yonder mountain, with a brother of his, more fierce and cruel than himself; therefore, if you
should go thither, and perish in the attempt, it would be a heart-breaking thing to me and my lady; so let me persuade you to go with us, and desist from any farther pursuit." "Nay," answered Jack, "if there be another, even if there were twenty, I would shed the last drop of blood in my body before one of them should escape my fury. When I have finished this task, I will come and pay my respects to you." So when they had told him where to find them again, he got on his horse and went after the dead giant's brother.

Jack had not rode a mile and a half, before he came in sight of the mouth of the cavern; and nigh the entrance of it, he saw the other giant sitting on a huge block of fine timber, with a knotted iron club lying by his side, waiting for his brother. His eyes looked like flames of fire, his face was grim and ugly, and his cheeks seemed like two flitches of bacon; the bristles of his beard seemed to be thick rods of iron wire; and his long locks of hair hung down upon his broad shoulders like curling snakes. Jack got down from his horse, and turned him into a thicket; then he put on his coat of darkness, and drew a little nearer to behold this figure, and said softly: "Oh, monster! are you there? It will not be long before I shall take you fast by the beard." The giant all this while, could not see him, by reason of his invisible coat: so Jack came quite close to him, and struck a blow at his head with his sword of sharpness, but he missed his aim, and only cut off his nose, which made him roar like loud claps of thunder. And though he rolled his glaring eyes round on every side, he could not see who had given him the blow; yet he took up his iron club, and began to lay about him like one that was mad with pain and fury.

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