O SHOW THEM that what he said was true, he unlocked the gate, and set them all free. Then he led them to the great room, placed them round the table, and set before them two quarters of beef, with bread and wine; upon which they feasted to their fill. When supper was over, they searched the giants' coffers, and Jack shared the store in them among the captives, who thanked him for their escape. The next morning they set off to their homes, and Jack to the knight's house, whom he had left with his lady not long before. It was just at the time of sunrise that Jack mounted his horse to proceed on his journey.
He arrived at the knight's house, where he was received with the greatest joy by the thankful knight and his lady, who, in honour of Jack's exploits, gave a grand feast, to which all the nobles and gentry were invited. When the company were assembled, the knight declared to them the great actions of Jack, and gave him, as a mark of respect, a fine ring, on which was engraved the picture of the giant dragging the knight and the lady by the hair, with this motto round it:
"Behold, in dire distress were we,
Under a giant's fierce command;
But gained our lives and liberty,
From valiant Jack's victorious hand."
Among the guests then present were five aged gentlemen, who were fathers to some of those captives who had been freed by Jack from the dungeon of the giants. As soon as they heard that he was the person who had done such wonders, they pressed round him with tears of joy, to return him thanks for the happiness he had caused to them. After this the bowl went round, and every one drank to the health and long life of the gallant hero. Mirth increased, and the hall was filled with peals of laughter and joyful cries. But, on a sudden, a herald, pale and breathless with haste and terror, rushed into the midst of the company, and told them that Thundel, a savage giant with two heads, had heard of the death of his two kinsmen, and was come to take his revenge on Jack; and that he was now within a mile of the house; the people flying before him like chaff before the wind. At this news the very boldest of the guests trembled; but Jack drew his sword, and said: "Let him come, I have a rod for him also. Pray, ladies and gentlemen, do me the favour to walk into the garden, and you shall soon behold the giant's defeat and death." To this they all agreed, and heartily wished him success in his dangerous attempt. The knight's house stood in the middle of a moat, thirty feet deep and twenty wide, over which lay a drawbridge. Jack set men to work to cut the bridge on both sides, almost to the middle; and then dressed himself in his coat of darkness, and went against the giant with his sword of sharpness. As he came close to him, though the giant could not see him, for his invisible coat, yet he found some danger was near, which made him cry out:
"Fa, fe, fi, fo, fum,
I smell the blood of an Englishman;
Let him be alive, or let him be dead,
I'll grind his bones to make me bread."
"Say you so my friend?" said Jack, "you are a monstrous miller indeed." "Art thou," cried the giant, "the villain that killed my kinsmen? Then I will tear thee with my teeth, and grind thy bones to powder." "You must catch me first," said Jack; and throwing off his coat of darkness, and putting on his shoes of swiftness, he began to run; the giant following him like a walking castle, making the earth shake at every step.
Jack led him round and round the walls of the house, that the company might see the monster; and to finish the work Jack ran over the drawbridge, the giant going after him with his club. But when the giant came to the middle, where the bridge had been cut on both sides, the great weight of his body made it break, and he tumbled into the water, and rolled about like a large whale. Jack now stood by the side of the moat, and laughed and jeered at him, saying: "I think you told me, you would grind my bones to powder. When will you begin?" The giant foamed at both his horrid mouths with fury, and plunged from side to side of the moat; but he could not get out to have revenge on his little foe. At last Jack ordered a cart rope to be brought to him. He then drew it over his two heads, and by the help of a team of horses, dragged him to the edge of the moat, where he cut off the monster's heads; and before he either eat or drank, he sent them both to the court of King Arthur. He then went back to the table with the company, and the rest of the day was spent in mirth and good cheer. After staying with the knight for some time, Jack grew weary of such an idle life, and set out again in search of new adventures. He went over the hills and dales without meeting any, till he came to the foot of a very high mountain. Here he knocked at the door of a small and lonely house; and an old man, with a head as white as snow, let him in. "Good father" said Jack, "can you lodge a traveller who has lost his way?" "Yes," said the hermit, "I can, if you will accept such fare as my poor house affords." Jack entered, and the old man set before him some bread and fruit for his supper. When Jack had eaten as much as he chose, the hermit said, "My son, I know you are the famous conqueror of giants; now, on the top of this mountain is an enchanted castle, kept by a giant named Galligantus, who, by the help of a vile magician, gets many knights into his castle, where he changes them into the shape of beasts. Above all I lament the hard fate of a duke's daughter, whom they seized as she was walking in her father's garden, and brought hither through the air in a chariot drawn by two fiery dragons, and turned her into the shape of a deer. Many knights have tried to destroy the enchantment, and deliver her; yet none have been able to do it, by reason of two fiery griffins who guard the gate of the castle, and destroy all who come nigh. But as you, my son, have an invisible coat, you may pass by them without being seen; and on the gates of the castle, you will find engraved, by what means the enchantment may be broken."
Jack promised, that in the morning, at the risk of his life he would break the enchantment: and after a sound sleep he arose early, put on his invisible coat, and got ready for the attempt. When he had climbed to the top of the mountain, he saw the two fiery griffins; but he passed between them without the least fear of danger; for they could not see him because of his invisible coat. On the castle gate he found a golden trumpet, under which were written these lines:
"Whoever can this trumpet blow,
Shall cause the giant's overthrow."
As soon as Jack had read this, he seized the trumpet, and blew a shrill blast which made the gates fly open and the very castle itself tremble. The giant and the conjurer now knew that their wicked course was at an end, and they stood biting their thumbs and shaking with fear. Jack, with his sword of sharpness, soon killed the giant. The magician was then carried away by a whirlwind and every knight and beautiful lady, who had been changed into birds and beasts, returned to their proper shapes. The castle vanished away like smoke and the head of the giant Galligantus was sent to King Arthur. The knights and ladies rested that night at the old man's hermitage, and next day they set out for the court. Jack then went up to the king, and gave his majesty an account of all his fierce battles. Jack's fame had spread through the whole country; and at the king's desire, the duke gave him his daughter in marriage, to the joy of all the kingdom. After this the king gave him a large estate; on which he and his lady lived the rest of their days, in joy and content.