And here together forever shall you and Cuglas dwell, where old age shall never come upon you, and where pain or sorrow or sickness are unknown." A long, long time ago there lived in a little hut on the borders of a great forest a huntsman and his wife and son.
The huntsman, however, looked above him and saw a covey of wild geese flying in the form of a triangle, and said to one of them, "Shoot me down one from each corner." He did it, and thus accomplished his trial shot. Soon after another covey came flying by in the form of the figure two, and the huntsman bade the other also bring down one from each corner, and his trial shot was likewise successful.
When she came and saw the white mouse with the gold claw, she said she was sure that her mistress would be so delighted with his beautiful little curiosity that she would pardon having her orders disobeyed for once. Only, the huntsman must remain where he was; she would take the white mouse to the Princess herself.
When the sport was given up for the day, most of the sportsmen, according to the established hospitality of the country, went to dine at Charlie's Hope. During their return homeward Brown rode for a short time beside the huntsman, and asked him some questions concerning the mode in which he exercised his profession.
Yet no one spoke save Hunrad: "Yes, my Prince, both bow and spear shalt thou have, for the way is long, and thou art a brave huntsman. But in darkness thou must journey for a little space, and with eyes blindfolded. Fearest thou?" "Naught fear I," said the boy, "neither darkness, nor the great bear, nor the were-wolf. For I am Gundhar's son, and the defender of my folk."
The gallant huntsman that plunges into the deep in pursuit of his game. The clear-sighted sportsman that sees his game with one eye. The steady sportsman that always brings down his game. The beagle that runs by nose and not by sight. The jolly sportsman that never beats about the bush. The huntsman's pleasures the field in the morning and the bottle at night. The joys of angling.
Therefore the harvests have failed, and the wolf-hordes have ravaged the folds, and the strength has departed from the bow, and the wood of the spear has broken, and the wild boar has slain the huntsman. Therefore the plague has fallen on our dwellings, and the dead are more than the living in all our villages. Answer me, ye people, are not these things true?"
The little hunchback, not at all indignant at so ambiguous a compliment, directed his benevolent eyes upon the face of the huntsman, and replied "You, Sperver, you are one of the reiters whose story I have been telling you. You have the arm, and the courage, and the whiskers of a reiter of old!
A few low hedges seemed as nothing to Lizzie. She could see her cousin gallop over them ahead of her, as though they were nothing; and her own horse, as he came to them, seemed to do exactly the same. On a sudden they found themselves abreast with the huntsman. "There's a biggish brook below there, my lord," said he. Lizzie was charmed to hear it.
It is a glorious, exhilarating scene, with the beautiful wintry landscape stretching away to the cloudy November sky, and the lords and ladies gay, and the hounds, and the frosty-faced, short-tempered old huntsman, the very perfection of his kind; and the poor cockney snobs on their hired screws, and the meek clod-hopping labourers looking on excited and bewildered, happy for a moment at beholding so much happiness in their betters.