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he had scattered a little dirt so as to make it look like solid ground.
When his trap was finished Jack placed himself on the side opposite the giant's cave and blew a long, loud blast upon his horn, Tan-ta-ra, Tan-ta-ra, Tanta-ra.
The giant was startled from his sound sleep and rushed out of his cavern, foaming with wrath. Catching sight of Jack, he roared in his thunderous voice, “You incorrigible villain, you shall pay dearly for spoiling my rest. I will broil you whole and eat you for my breakfast.”
Scarcely had he uttered these words when he stepped upon the frail cover of the pit and plunged headlong to its bottom with a crash that shook the Mount to its very foundations.
“Oho, Mr. Giant,” said Jack, looking down into the pit. “How are you now? How is your appetite? You are nicely landed in Lob's Pound now.' Will nothing answer for your breakfast but poor broiled Jack?”
In this way Jack continued his teasing till the giant struggled to his feet and began to climb up the sides. As soon as his head appeared above the edge, Jack struck him with the pickaxe a terrible blow in the middle of the forehead. The giant fell back into the pit stone dead, and Jack filled the pit and covered it over with stones and rubbish.
Before returning, Jack searched the cave and found treasure enough to make him a rich man for life. The magistrates and all the countryside were delighted to hear what Jack had done, and at a great meeting they gave him the name Jack the Giant-Killer, and presented him with a sword, a scabbard and an embroidered belt on which was written in letters of gold:
1. Lob's Pound is an old phrase by which joking reference was made to a prison of any kind.
“Here is the gallant Cornishman
The news of Jack's victory was soon told all over England, until it came to the ears of Blunderbore, another great giant, who vowed that if ever he was fortunate enough to see Jack he would have revenge. Blunderbore lived in an enchanted castle in the midst of a dark and lonely wood, and about four months after the death of Cormoran Jack happened to pass by the castle while he was on his way into Wales. Becoming very weary, he lay down to rest by the side of a spring of clear, cold water, and fell sound asleep. This spring happened to be the very fountain from which the giant got his water, and while Jack was lying there, Blunderbore came down for his daily drink.
As he drew near the spring he saw Jack lying there, and creeping up softly, read the inscription on his belt. Overjoyed at finding his enemy, he lifted Jack gently up and laid him across his shoulders, intending to carry him to his castle. As he passed through a thicket, however, a branch of a tree brushed Jack roughly on the cheek, and he awakened, frightened, indeed, when he found himself in the clutches of the giant Blunderbore. When he entered the castle and found the floor covered all over with skulls of men and women, his terror increased tenfold. The giant took no pity on him, but savagely told him that soon his bones would be among those on the floor.
Having satisfied himself in tantalizing Jack, he took him to an upper chamber, on the floor of which lay hearts and arms and legs of human beings but lately killed. With a horrid grin the giant said, “Hearts and arms and legs are dainty morsels, eaten with pepper and vinegar. I shall soon try yours.”
Leaving Jack in despair, the giant locked the door and went away through the forest to bring another giant to rejoice with him over the capture of the famous Giant-Killer.
When he had gone, Jack heard terrible shrieks and cries from many parts of the castle, and a sad and mournful voice which continually cried:
“Hasten, stranger, haste away,
Or you will be the giant's prey." This terrible warning still further increased Jack's terror, if such a thing were possible. In despair he ran to the window, and on looking out saw the two giants striding on toward the castle.
“Surely,” said Jack, “either death or deliverance must be close at hand. I must think quickly.”
Jack had noticed that the window was directly over the gate of the castle, and as be turned away he saw two strong cords in the room. Working rapidly, he made two large nooses with slip knots,
and as the giants were entering the iron gate of the castle he dropped a noose over the head of each and drew them taut. He threw the ends of the ropes over a beam, pulled with all his might, and then securely fastened the cords. Running back to the window he saw both his enemies quite black in the face and struggling wildly. When they had exhausted themselves, Jack slipped down the ropes, drew his sword, and killed them both.
Searching their pockets he found a bunch of keys, with which he entered the castle, where after a long search he found three ladies tied up by their hair and nearly starved. They told him that the giant had killed their husbands, and because they would not eat the flesh he had slowly starved them.
“My dear ladies,” said Jack, “the giant Blunderbore is dead, as is also his terrible brother, both slain by my hands. I now set you free, and in return for your loss and suffering I will give you Blunderbore's castle and all it contains.”
Thereupon he politely handed them the keys, and after bidding them adieu, continued on his journey to Wales.
Jack had not taken any of the giant's money, and as he had little of his own, he felt that he must travel as fast as he could. In his haste he lost his way, and when night came on he was in a lonely valley between two lofty mountains. He walked on for several hours without seeing a house, so that when he finally came upon a large and beautiful dwelling he felt that he was very fortunate indeed.
Without hesitation he knocked loudly, but to his great astonishment the gate was opened by a monstrous giant with two great heads, who was very civil
in his greeting to Jack, for he was a Welsh giant and accomplished his purposes by malice and cunning and not by great display of force. Jack explained that he was a traveler who had lost his way, and the huge monster invited him into the castle and gave him a good bed in a handsomely furnished room.
Jack was weary enough, and hastily taking off his clothes he jumped into bed. Do what he would, however, he could not go to sleep, and after a while he heard the giant walking back and forth in the next room and muttering to himself:
“Though here you lodge with me this night,
My club shall dash your brains out quite.” “Say you so?” thought Jack. “So these are your tricks on travelers! Perhaps, though, I can be as cunning as you are.”
Getting out of bed and groping about in the dark he found a long, thick stick of wood; he laid it in the bed and covered it up as though he were there himself. Then, hiding himself in the dark corner of the room, he waited patiently. In the middle of the night the giant crept in, and with his great club struck the bed many heavy blows where Jack had laid the stick of wood; and if Jack had been there himself there would not have been a bone in his body unbroken.
Early the next morning Jack walked into the giant's room, and putting on a bold face said, “I thank you for my bed and lodging last night.” • The giant started when he saw Jack come in, but concealing his surprise as well as he could, he stam