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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,
You shall not see the morning light:
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 stammered out, "How—how—have you rested? Did you feel anything in the night, or did you see anything?"
"Nothing worth mentioning," said Jack. "A rat ran over the bed and gave me three or four slaps with his tail, but though they disturbed me a little I soon went to sleep again."
The giant was still more astonished at this, but made no reply. Instead, he got two large bowls, each containing about four gallons of hasty pudding, and set them on the table for breakfast. Jack wished the giant to think he had an enormous appetite, so he buttoned a big leathern bag under his loose coat and held it so that, without being seen, he could drop the pudding into the bag while he seemed to be putting it into his mouth.
When breakfast was over Jack said, "I will show you a fine trick that I don't believe you can do. I can cure wounds by simply touching them. I could cut off my head one minute and put it on the next. Why, I can cut open my stomach and let out my breakfast without hurting myself any."
He then seized a knife from the table and made a big gash in the leathern bag, when out came the hasty pudding.
"Ods splutter hur nails," cried the big Welsh giant, who disliked to be beaten by Jack, "hur can do that hurself."
So in turn he snatched up a knife and plunged it into his stomach, and immediately fell dead.
Having tricked the Welsh monster in this curious manner, Jack proceeded on his journey, and after a little met King Arthur's only son, who by his father's leave was traveling into Wales to deliver a beautiful maiden who had been enchanted by a Welsh magician. Seeing that the prince had no servants, Jack offered his services, and with many thanks the prince accepted the offer.
The young prince was a charming man; a handsome and brave knight who gave money freely to everybody he met. At length his last penny was given to an old woman, and turning to Jack the prince said, "That is the last. Let us take neither thought nor care. Still, I warrant you we shall never want for anything."
'Leave that to me," said Jack, who had a little money in his pocket. "I will provide for my prince in some way."
For supper they bought some bread, but this used all of Jack's money excepting a single penny. Night now came on, and the prince showed some uneasiness concerning the place where they should lodge.
"My lord," said Jack, "do not worry. Two miles from here lives a huge giant who has three heads and who can whip five hundred knights in armor. Be of good heart. I will provide a place to sleep."
"Alas," said the prince, "what shall we do with so great a giant? He would eat us at a mouthful. We would scarcely fill a hole in one of his big teeth."
"Leave that also to me," said Jack. "I will go ahead and prepare the way. You wait here till I return."
The prince waited, but Jack hurried on till he came to the castle. There he gave a loud knock at the gates, so that the hills resounded with the sound. The giant hurried to the walls and shouted out in a voice of thunder, "Who is there?"
Jack made answer and said, "No one but your poor cousin, Jack."
"What news, poor cousin Jack?" said the giant.
"Dear uncle," said Jack, "I have heavy news for you."
"Pooh, pooh," said the giant, "what heavy news can come to me? I can whip five hundred knights in armor and have no fear of anything on earth!"
"But," said Jack, "you do not understand. The king's son is coming; yea, is close at hand with one thousand men, and he is coming especially to kill you and to seize your castle and all that you have."
"O cousin Jack," said the giant, "that is heavy news indeed. I will run and hide myself in a great cellar underground. There shall you lock, bolt and bar me in, and you shall keep the keys till the king's son is gone."
When Jack had made the giant fast in the cellar he hurried back and brought the prince to the castle, where they spent the night making merry with the dainties that were in the house. Then they went to bed and slept peacefully while the giant trembled and shook with fear in the cellar.
Early in the morning Jack gathered a supply of gold and silver and gave it to the king's son, whom he then accompanied three miles on his journey. Then Jack returned to the castle and let the giant out of his hole in the ground, explaining that the king's son had passed on and the castle was saved.
"What reward do you wish for saving me thus?" said the giant.
"Why, good uncle," said Jack, "I want only the old cap and coat which are at the head of your bed and the shoes and rusty old sword in your closet."
"You shall have them," said the giant, "and I pray you keep them for my sake, for they will be of great service to you. The coat will make you invisible while you have it on; the cap will give you knowledge; the sword will cut through anything, and the shoes are of wonderful swiftness. Take them all, and welcome."
Jack took them, thanked the giant heartily, and set off after the prince. When he had come up with his master they resumed their journey and soon arrived at the palace of the noble lady who was kept enchanted by the wicked magician. She received