Then the Soldier climbed up the tree, let himself down through the hole, and found himself standing, as the Witch had said, underground in the large hall, where the three hundred lamps were burning.
'You are a fine fellow!' said the Soldier, and put him on the Witch's apron, took as much copper as his pockets could hold; then he shut the chest, put the dog on it again, and went into the second room.
The spectral soldier was at his side like a stalking reproach.
"Yeh know," said the tall soldier, "I was out there." He made a careful gesture.
"If he" (he meant the enemy) "begins popping at the bridge now," said the old soldier dismally to a comrade, "you'll forget to scratch yourself."
That soldier passed on, and after him came another sitting on a cart.
Just as he was going to lie down, the eldest of the princesses brought him a cup of wine; but the soldier threw it all away secretly, taking care not to drink a drop.
When they were all ready, they went and looked at the soldier; but he snored on, and did not stir hand or foot: so they thought they were quite safe; and the eldest went up to her own bed and clapped her hands, and the bed sank into the floor and a trap-door flew open.
The Soldier hastened to do this, while Tip, who had arrived at his heels, remained in the courtyard to look at the Scarecrow with wondering eyes.
At this moment the Soldier with the Green Whiskers returned, and the Scarecrow asked:
He had given the above description of the enmity between the townspeople and the soldiers
in order to Prepare the minds of his auditors for a very terrible event.
"I thank you for the pewter soldier
, my little friend!" said the old man.