Hearing of this new wonder, the Tsar gave up his purpose to visit the island.
The merchants, having loaded their ship with other goods, sailed on a second voyage, and, passing the Tsaritsa‘s island, cast anchor, and were again entertained; and they recounted there how Tsar Saltan had desired to sail thither till his wife had told him of the mill, the golden column, and the story-telling cat.
As soon as they had made their farewells and sailed away, Tsarevitch Guidon took from the purse the flint and steel, and struck them sharply together, and immediately the ax and the hammer appeared, saying: “Here we are, thy servants! By God’s blessing, by the Order of the Pike, what dost thou bid us do?”
“I will have, near this Palace,” said the Tsarevitch, “a mill which grinds and winnows of itself and throws the chaff a hundred versts away. By it must be a column of gold on which climbs a cat, telling tales and singing songs.”
At once the ax and hammer disappeared, and, next morning, when he went to his balcony, the Tsarevitch saw that the gardens the mill, the golden column, and the clever cat bad all been brought as he had commanded.
He caused his servants, the ax and hammer, to build by the column a crystal summer-house, in which the cat should live, and each day the Tsaritsa and Tsarevitch Guidon amused themselves by listening to its songs and stories.
Time passed, and again the ship returned from her voyage, and the merchants wondered to see the new marvels. They landed, and the Tsaritsa, meeting them, bade them enter and taste of her hospitality. She gave them honey to eat and milk to drink, and treated them so handsomely that they scarce knew themselves for pleasure. “O tradesmen,” she asked them, “what do ye barter, and whither sail ye from here?”
“We have bartered carpets and stallions from the Don around the whole world,” they answered. “Now we sail to the eastward, to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan the Mighty.”
“A good journey to you,” said the Tsaritsa. “Bear to Tsar Saltan greeting from my son, Tsarevitch Guidon.”
The merchants spread sail and voyaged to the Tsardom of Tsar Saltan, and a second time he summoned them to bear him company. And as they ate and drank in his sumptuous hail, he asked them: “O tradesmen and mariners, doubtless ye have traversed the whole earth. What have ye seen, and what news do ye bear? And is there any new marvel in the white world?”
Ivan Bilibin’s art:
During a time of civil war, Karasu Hinata is born the son of a powerful warlord. When he is still a child, his family castle is taken by a rival clan. His father and mother are murdered right before his eyes.
Barely escaping with his life, he is spirited away by the king of the tengu. The shape-shifting raven leads him to the hidden mountain retreat of a sect of mystic warriors. Mountain priests who practice the magic of Shugendo.
Ten years have passed. The time has come for Karasu to leave the mystic’s protective lair and face his demons in the world beyond. But the fiend that haunts his nightmares is also the one that shattered his life. More than a bad dream, it wants him dead.
In Legend of the Tengu Prince, nothing is as it seems. Shape-shifting creatures, both good and evil, populate the magical world of feudal Japan. And a young man will pay the ultima
te price for a deadly rival spawned in the mists time. This riveting first volume of a epic fantasy adventure will leave you stunned and begging for more.