The youth studied the faces of his compan- ions, ever on the watch to detect kindred emo- tions.
The youth, considering himself as separated from the others, was saddened by the blithe and merry speeches that went from rank to rank.
The youth kept from intercourse with his companions as much as circumstances would allow him.
"I thought you was objecting to this march a little while ago," said the youth coldly.
"How do you know you won't run when the time comes?" asked the youth.
'Take some weeks to consider if you like, and take counsel with your own heart.' And to make the time pass pleasantly, she took the youth over every part of her beautiful dwelling, and showed him all her splendid treasures.
When the youth heard these words a cold shudder ran over him, for he remembered that his soul was at stake.
When the youth heard all this he determined to try and get possession of the ring, though he did not quite believe in all its wonderful gifts.
She put it on the middle finger of her left hand, and told the youth to take a knife and try as hard as he could to cut her with it, for he would not be able to hurt her.
'Do let me try,' said the youth, 'whether I can do these wonderful things.'
The youth pretended to have forgotten what to do, and asked what finger he must put the ring on so that no sharp weapon could hurt him?'
She took the knife and tried to strike the youth, and he even tried to cut himself with it, but found it impossible.
But the youth had no mind to do that; on the contrary, he went farther off, then put the ring on the little finger of his left hand, and soared into the air like a bird.
'You wretch,' cried he, 'you shall soon learn what it is to shudder, for you shall die.' 'Not so fast,' replied the youth. 'If I am to die, I shall have to have a say in it.' 'I will soon seize you,' said the fiend.
'Of these,' said he, 'one part is for the poor, the other for the king, the third yours.' In the meantime it struck twelve, and the spirit disappeared, so that the youth stood in darkness.