A Scotsman, an Englishman, and an Irishman, all soldiers, desert together. They are dying of hunger when the Scotsman sees a castle and goes without telling the others. He is fed there by an astoundingly beautiful woman, and given a bed, and falls soundly asleep. The Englishman follows and does the same. The Irishman, following after, sees the same and asks what it means before he eats anything. Whereupon the woman tells him that she is a princess and can be saved only by a man who stays in a little room from ten o'clock till midnight for three nights on end. When he does so, he is beaten severely every night, but the princess revives him.
She vanishes. He is told that he must stay awake to see her, but a little boy sticks a pin in his coat, which puts him to sleep. She leaves. He searches for her for three years and is ready to kill himself, but when he draws his sword that she had given him, it tells him he will find her in the Blue Mountains. He searches onward. Two hermits can't tell him, but each send him on to another, and the third can command all the birds of the world. When they arrive, only an eagle knows of the Blue Mountains, but is willing to carry him there. He arrives the day she is forced to marry, and gets the hen-wife to bring her to him, and so they marry instead of the man she was being forced to.
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- Cool Sword
- Curiosity Is a Crapshoot: Ask what's going onI have been here for sixteen years now, and no one who ever came to the castle has asked me who I was, except yourself.
- Damsel in Distress: The beautiful woman. It helps to ask.
- Driven to Suicide: The Irishman
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Takes him seven years to get there
- Everything's Better with Princesses: The beautiful woman
- Family-Unfriendly Violence
- Faux Death: The other men
- Forbidden Fruit: He's told he has to stay awake.
- Healing Hands: The princess can revive him.
- Nameless Narrative: No one at all is named
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: What he must endure to save her
- Rags to Royalty: The Irisman
- Rescue Romance: The princess and the soldier
- Standard Hero Reward'I am an enchanted Princess, and my father has promised that the man who releases me from the spell shall have the third of his kingdom while he is alive, and the whole of it after he is dead, and marry me as well
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: How long he must endure until to save her.
- A Year and a Day: How long the wedding lasts
- You Have Waited Long Enough: He arrives just in time.