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according to Esthonian notions, the use of
blood commonly implies a compact with
the Evil One, Elsie shuddered not a little.

However, the lady soon persuaded her that
the blood with which she parted would only
be used for her own good, and concluded
her discussion by puncturing the girl's
arm with a golden needle, which she handed
to the old man, who at once thrust it into
the left side of the image. He then put
the figure into his basket, in order, as he
said, that it might grow, and he promised
the lady that, he would show her on the
following morning what a fine work of art
he had executed. The extraordinary duties
of the day having been thus satisfactorily
discharged, every lady retired to rest, and
Elsie was conducted by the smartest of
chambermaids into a room where a nice
bed had been prepared for her.

Nothing could exceed her amazement and
delight when she rose in the morning, and
found everything so wonderfully bright and
comfortable. The bed on which she lay
was of silk; the nightgown that she wore,
was of the finest quality; and on a chair
by the wall lay the splendid dress which
she was to wear. She was only too glad
when the smart chambermaid reappeared
and told her that it was time to get
washed and combed, for now she could
adorn herself with all her new finery. But
what charmed her most was the dainty
little pair of shoes destined for her feet.
Hitherto she had been accustomed to walk
barefoot; and to her eyes a pair of shoes,
even badly cobbled, was a marvellous
luxury. What words, then, could express
her admiration at the shoes which lay
before her? The clothes she had worn
yesterday were not to be seen, nor did she
make any curious inquiries concerning them.
But when she had left the room, and joined
the company in the great hall, she found
that even her humble garments had been
put to good use.

The image, fashioned on the previous
evening, had been a thriving image, for it
had become quite as big as Elsie, and,
dressed in her old clothes, looked exactly
like her.

"That image is the very image of me!"
exclaimed Elsie; but, when the figure
began to walk about, and made two or
three diabolical faces, she could not conceal
her terror.

"Don't be frightened, child." said the
kind lady. "Nothing can harm you here.
We intend this interesting object as a
present to your stepmother. We may say of it,
as people will say of the photographic
portraits that will be invented after several
centuries shall have passed, that, as a likeness,
it is not flattering, but nevertheless it will
sufficiently answer its purpose. Your
stepmother wants something to beat, and this
lubberly form of clay can stand any amount
of beating, without wince or flinch. But it
has a temper of its own, embodied in the
black worm, and if your stepmother does
not mend her manners she may in time find
that she has met her match."

Elsie was not hypocritical enough to
express any anxiety about the trouble which
her counterpart might occasion to her
stepmother, and as soon as the "sham" was
out of her sight she dismissed it from her
thoughts, resolved to devote all her energies
to the important duty of enjoying herself,
for the performance of which she had such
ample opportunity. The regularity with
which the affairs of the household were
conducted was in itself admirable, and the
means that were used to promote this
regularity were more admirable still. The
talents of the old gentleman who had
fashioned her counterpart were by no means
confined to modelling. He could, and did,
make himself generally useful. Regularly
every day, when the hour of dinner had
arrived, he went to a huge block of granite
that stood some twenty paces or so from
the palace, took a short silver staff out of
his bosom, and struck the rock three times,
making it sound like the most musical of
bells. The answer to this gentle summons
was the appearance of a golden cock, who,
springing from the block, perched upon its
summit, crowing and flapping his wings
with all his might and main. Nor was
this a mere expression of idle joy. At every
crow and flap, something serviceable issued
from the granite. Crow and flap the first
produced a long table, furnished with as
many plates as were required for the
company, which glided into the dining-hall of
its own accord. Crow and flap the second
were followed by a sally of chairs, which set
themselves in their proper places round
the table, and then came a succession of
well-laden dishes, which, flying through
the air, arranged themselves in due order.
(That the dinner was not served à la Russe
may be explained by the fact that in those
days Revel was not a Russian province.)
Flasks of mead, which was the beverage of
the repast, and fruits of the choicest quality,
came whizzing along from the same source,
and, when every one had eaten enough, the
clever old gentleman again tapped the block