Some thanks I get! After three horrific nights in the castle, I broke the spell on the princess, and woke everybody up. Many of the men had been asleep for over a decade. I gave them a meal, filled their pockets with silver and gold, and watched them leave. When I went looking for the princess, she had disappeared, along with her wily servant.
What am I to do now? I go to the stable to find a good horse, saddle up, and set off into a pathless forest. I have no idea where to go to find her, or whether I should even bother. I got beaten up three nights in a row to save her life. I nearly died, too, but I never felt more beaten than I do right now.
The Beaten-Up Irishman in The Blue Mountains, Yellow Fairy Book. Painting by Gustave Coubert.