S SOON AS Jack had thus tricked the Welsh monster, he went farther on his journey; and a few days after he met with King Arthur's only son, who had got his father's leave to travel into Wales, to deliver a beautiful lady from the power of a wicked magician, who held her in his enchantments. When Jack found that the young prince had no servants with him, he begged leave to attend him; and the prince at once agreed to this, and gave Jack many thanks for his kindness. The prince was a handsome, polite, and brave knight, and so good-natured that he gave money to every body he met. At length he gave his last penny to an old woman, and then turned to Jack, and said: "How shall we be able to get food for ourselves the rest of our journey?" "Leave that to me sir," said Jack; "I will provide for my prince." Night now came on, and the prince began to grow uneasy at thinking where they should lodge. "Sir," said Jack, "be of good heart; two miles farther there lives a large giant, whom I know well. He has three heads, and will fight five hundred men, and make them fly before him." "Alas!" replied the king's son, "we had better never have been born than meet with such a monster." "My lord, leave me to manage him, and wait here in quiet till I return." The prince now staid behind, while Jack rode on full speed. And when he came to the gates of the castle, he gave a loud knock. The giant, with a voice like thunder, roared out: "Who is there?" And Jack made answer, and said: "No one but your poor cousin Jack." "Well," said the giant, "what news, cousin Jack?" "Dear uncle," said Jack, "I have some heavy news." "Pooh!" said the giant, "what heavy news can come to me? I am a giant with three heads; and can fight five hundred men, and make them fly before me." "Alas!" said Jack, "Here is the king's son, coming with two thousand men, to kill you, and to destroy the castle and all that you have." "Oh, cousin Jack," said the giant, "This is heavy news indeed! But I have a large cellar under ground, where I will hide myself, and you shall lock, and bar me in, and keep the keys till the king's son is gone."
Now when Jack had made the giant fast in the vault, he went back and fetched the prince to the castle; they both made themselves merry with the wine and other dainties that were in the house. So that night they rested very pleasantly, while the poor giant lay trembling and shaking with fear in the cellar under ground. Early in the morning, Jack gave the king's son gold and silver out of the giant's treasure, and set him three miles forward on his journey. He then went to let his uncle out of the hole, who asked Jack what he should give him as a reward for saving his castle. "Why, good uncle," said Jack, "I desire nothing but the old coat and cap, with the old rusty sword and slippers, which are hanging at your bed's head," Then said the giant: "You shall have them; and pray keep them for my sake, for they are things of great use: the coat will keep you invisible, the cap will give you knowledge, the sword cut through anything, and the shoes are of vast swiftness; these may be useful to you in all times of danger, so take them with all my heart." Jack gave many thanks to the giant, and then set off to the prince. When he had come up with the king's son, they soon arrived at the dwelling of the beautiful lady, who was under the power of a wicked magician. She received the prince very politely, and made a noble feast for him; and when it was ended, she rose, and wiping her mouth with a fine handkerchief, said: "My lord, you must submit to the custom of my palace; to-morrow morning I command you to tell me on whom I bestow this handkerchief or lose your head." She then went out of the room. The young prince went to bed very mournful: but Jack put on his cap of knowledge, which told him that the lady was forced, by the power of enchantment, to meet the wicked magician every night in the middle of the forest. Jack now put on his coat of darkness, and his shoes of swiftness, and was there before her. When the lady came, she gave the handkerchief to the magician. Jack with his sword of sharpness, at one blow, cut off his head; the enchantment was then ended in a moment, and the lady was restored to her former virtue and goodness.
She was married to the prince on the next day, and soon after went back with her royal husband, and a great company, to the court of King Arthur, where they were received with loud and joyful welcomes; and the valiant hero Jack, for the many great exploits he had done for the good of his country, was made one of the Knights of the Round Table. As Jack had been so lucky in all his adventures, he resolved not to be idle for the future, but still to do what services he could for the honour of the king and the nation. He therefore humbly begged his majesty to furnish him with a horse and money, that he might travel in search of new and strange exploits. "For," said he to the king, "there are many giants yet living in the remote parts of Wales, to the great terror and distress of your majesty's subjects; therefore if it please you, sire, to favour me in my design, I will soon rid your kingdom of these giants and monsters in human shape." Now when the king heard this offer, and began to think of the cruel deeds of these blood-thirsty giants and savage monsters, he gave Jack every thing proper for such a journey. After this Jack took leave of the king, the prince, and all the knights, and set off; taking with him his cap of knowledge, his sword of sharpness, his shoes of swiftness, and his invisible coat, the better to perform the great exploits that might fall in his way. He went along over high hills and lofty mountains, and on the third day he came to a large wide forest, through which his road led. He had hardly entered the forest, when on a sudden he heard very dreadful shrieks and cries. He forced his way through the trees, and saw a monstrous giant dragging along by the hair of their heads a handsome knight and his beautiful lady. Their tears and cries melted the heart of honest Jack to pity and compassion; he alighted from his horse, and tying him to an oak tree he put on his invisible coat, under which he carried his sword of sharpness.
When he came up to the giant, he made several strokes at him, but could not reach his body, on account of the enormous height of the terrible creature, but he wounded his thighs in several places; and at length, putting both hands to his sword, and aiming with all his might, he cut off both the giant's legs just below the garter; and the trunk of his body tumbling to the ground, made not only the trees shake, but the earth itself tremble with the force of his fall. Then Jack, setting his foot upon his neck, exclaimed, "Thou barbarous and savage wretch, behold I come to execute upon thee the just reward for all thy crimes;" and instantly plunged his sword into the giant's body. The huge monster gave a hideous groan, and yielded up his life into the hands of the victorious Jack the Giant Killer, whilst the noble knight and the virtuous lady were both joyful spectators of his sudden death and their deliverance. The courteous knight and his fair lady, not only returned Jack hearty thanks for their deliverance, but also invited him to their house, to refresh himself after his dreadful encounter, as likewise to receive a reward for his good services. "No," said Jack, "I cannot be at ease till I find out the den that was the monster's habitation." The knight on hearing this grew very sorrowful, and replied, "Noble stranger, it is too much to run a second hazard; this monster lived in a den under yonder mountain, with a brother of his, more fierce and cruel than himself; therefore, if you should go thither, and perish in the attempt, it would be a heart-breaking thing to me and my lady; so let me persuade you to go with us, and desist from any farther pursuit." "Nay," answered Jack, "if there be another, even if there were twenty, I would shed the last drop of blood in my body before one of them should escape my fury. When I have finished this task, I will come and pay my respects to you." So when they had told him where to find them again, he got on his horse and went after the dead giant's brother.
Jack had not rode a mile and a half, before he came in sight of the mouth of the cavern; and nigh the entrance of it, he saw the other giant sitting on a huge block of fine timber, with a knotted iron club lying by his side, waiting for his brother. His eyes looked like flames of fire, his face was grim and ugly, and his cheeks seemed like two flitches of bacon; the bristles of his beard seemed to be thick rods of iron wire; and his long locks of hair hung down upon his broad shoulders like curling snakes. Jack got down from his horse, and turned him into a thicket; then he put on his coat of darkness, and drew a little nearer to behold this figure, and said softly: "Oh, monster! are you there? It will not be long before I shall take you fast by the beard." The giant all this while, could not see him, by reason of his invisible coat: so Jack came quite close to him, and struck a blow at his head with his sword of sharpness, but he missed his aim, and only cut off his nose, which made him roar like loud claps of thunder. And though he rolled his glaring eyes round on every side, he could not see who had given him the blow; yet he took up his iron club, and began to lay about him like one that was mad with pain and fury.
"Nay," said Jack, "if this be the case I will kill you at once." So saying, he slipped nimbly behind him, and jumping upon the block of timber, as the giant rose from it, he stabbed him in the back; when, after a few howls, he dropped down dead. Jack cut off his head, and sent it with the head of his brother, whom he had killed before in the forest, to King Arthur, by a wagon which he hired for that purpose, with an account of all his exploits. When Jack had thus killed these two monsters, he went into their cave in search of their treasure: he passed through many turnings and windings, which led him to a room paved with freestone; at the end of it was a boiling caldron, and on the right hand stood a large table where the giants used to dine. He then came to a window that was secured with iron bars, through which he saw a number of wretched captives, who cried out when they saw Jack, "Alas! alas! young man, you are come to be one among us in this horrid den." "I hope," said Jack, "you will not stay here long; but pray tell me what is the meaning of your being here at all?" "Alas!" said one poor old man, "I will tell you, sir. We are persons that have been taken by the giants who hold this cave, and are kept till they choose to have a feast, then one of us is to be killed, and cooked to please their taste. It is not long since they took three for the same purpose." "Well," said Jack, "I have given them such a dinner that it will be long enough before they have any more." The captives were amazed at his words. "You may believe me," said Jack; "for I have killed them both with the edge of the sword, and have sent their large heads to the court of King Arthur, as marks of my great success."