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X. How Hans Brought Terror to the Kitchen.
 Hans found himself in a pretty pickle in the chimney, for the soot got into his one eye and set it to watering, and into his nose and set him to sneezing, and into his mouth and his ears and his hair. But still he struggled on, up and up; “for every chimney has a top,” said Hans to himself “and I am sure to climb out somewhere or other.” Suddenly he came to a place where another chimney joined the one he was climbing, and here he stopped to consider the matter at his leisure. “See now,” he muttered, “if I still go upward I may come out at the top of some tall chimney-stack with no way of getting down outside. Now, below here there must be a fire-place somewhere, for a chimney does not start from nothing at all; yes, good! we will go down a while and see what we make of that.”  
It was a crooked, zigzag road that he had to travel, and rough and hard into the bargain. His one eye tingled and smarted, and his knees and elbows were rubbed to the quick; nevertheless One-eyed Hans had been in worse trouble than this in his life.
Down he went and down he went, further than he had climbed upward before. “Sure, I must be near some place or other,” he thought.
As though in instant answer to his thoughts, he heard the sudden sound of a voice so close beneath him that he stopped short in his downward climbing and stood as still as a mouse, with his heart in his mouth. A few inches more and he would have been discovered;—what would have happened then would have been no hard matter to foretell.
Hans braced his back against one side of the chimney, his feet against the other and then, leaning forward, looked down between his knees. The gray light of the coming evening glimmered in a wide stone fireplace just below him. Within the fireplace two people were moving about upon the broad hearth, a great, fat woman and a shock-headed boy. The woman held a spit with two newly trussed fowls upon it, so that One-eyed Hans knew that she must be the cook.
“Thou ugly toad,” said the woman to the boy, “did I not bid thee make a fire an hour ago? and now, here there is not so much as a spark to roast the fowls withall, and they to be basted for the lord Baron’s supper. Where hast thou been for all this time?”
“No matter,” said the boy, sullenly, as he laid the fagots ready for the lighting; “no matter, I was not running after Long Jacob, the bowman, to try to catch him for a sweetheart, as thou hast been doing.”
The reply was instant and ready. The cook raised her hand; “smack!” she struck and a roar from the scullion followed.
“Yes, good,” thought Hans, as he looked down upon them; “I am glad that the boy’s ear was not on my head.”
“Now give me no more of thy talk,” said the woman, “but do the work that thou hast been bidden.” Then—“How came all this black soot here, I should like to know?”
“How should I know?” snuffled the scullion, “mayhap thou wouldst blame that on me also?”
“That is my doing,” whispered Hans to himself; “but if they light the fire, what then becomes of me?”
“See now,” said the cook; “I go to make the cakes ready; if I come back and find that thou hast not built the fire, I will warm thy other ear for thee.”
“So,” thought Hans; “then will be my time to come down the chimney, for there will be but one of them.”
The next moment he heard the door close and knew that the cook had gone to make the cakes ready as she said. And as he looked down he saw that the boy was bending over the bundle of fagots, blowing the spark that he had brought in upon the punk into a flame. The dry fagots began to crackle and blaze. “Now is my time,” said Hans to himself. Bracing his elbows against each side of the chimney, he straightened his legs so that he might fall clear His motions loosened little shower of soot that fell rattling upon the fagots that were now beginning to blaze brightly, whereupon the boy raised his face and looked up. Hans loosened his hold upon the chimney; crash! he fell, lighting upon his feet in the midst of the burning fagots. The scullion boy tumbled backward upon the floor, where he lay upon the broad of his back with a face as white as dough and eyes and mouth agape, staring speechlessly at the frightful inky-black figure standing in the midst of the flames and smoke. Then his scattered wits came back to him. “It is the evil one,” he roared. And thereupon, turning upon his side, he half rolled, half scrambled to the door. Then out he leaped and, banging it to behind him, flew down the passageway, yelling with fright and never daring once to look behind him.
All the time One-eyed Hans was brushing away the sparks that clung to his clothes. He was as black as ink from head to foot with the soot from the chimney.
“So far all is good,” he muttered to himself, “but if I go wandering about in my sooty shoes I will leave black tracks to follow me, so there is nothing to do but e’en to go barefoot.”
He stooped and drawing the pointed soft leather shoes from his feet, he threw them upon the now blazing fagots, where they writhed and twisted and wrinkled, and at last burst into a flame. Meanwhile Hans lost no time; he must find a hiding-place, and quickly, if he would yet hope to escape. A great bread trough stood in the corner of the kitchen—a hopper-shaped chest with a flat lid. It was the best hiding place that the room afforded. Without further thought Hans ran to it, snatching up from the table as he passed a loaf of black bread and a bottle half full of stale wine, for he had had nothing to eat since that morning. Into the great bread trough he climbed, and drawing the lid down upon him, curled himself up as snugly as a mouse in its nest.
For a while the kitchen lay in silence, but at last the sound of voices was heard at the door, whispering together in low tones. Suddenly the door was flung open and a tall, lean, lantern-jawed fellow, clad in rough frieze, strode into the room and stood there glaring with half frightened boldness around about him; three or four women and the trembling scullion crowded together in a frightened group behind him.
The man was Long Jacob, the bowman; but, after all, his boldness was all wasted, for not a thread or a hair was to be seen, but only the crackling fire throwing its cheerful ruddy glow upon the wall of the room, now rapidly darkening in the falling gray o............
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