ENGLISH

Six soldiers of fortune

日本語

六人男、世界を股にかける


There was once a man who was a Jack-of-all-trades; he had served in the war, and had been brave and bold, but at the end of it he was sent about his business, with three farthings and his discharge. "I am not going to stand this," said he; "wait till I find the right man to help me, and the king shall give me all the treasures of his kingdom before he has done with me." Then, full of wrath, he went into the forest, and he saw one standing there by six trees which he had rooted up as if they had been stalks of corn. And he said to him, "Will you be my man, and come along with me?" - "All right," answered he; "I must just take this bit of wood home to my father and mother." And taking one of the trees, he bound it round the other five, and putting the faggot on his shoulder, he carried it off; then soon coming back, he went along with his leader, who said, "Two such as we can stand against the whole world."

And when they had gone on a little while, they came to a huntsman who was kneeling on one knee and taking careful aim with his rifle. "Huntsman," said the leader, "what are you aiming at?" - "Two miles from here," answered he, "there sits a fly on the bough of an oak-tree, I mean to put a bullet into its left eye." - "Oh, come along with me," said the leader; "three of us together can stand against the world." The huntsman was quite willing to go with him, and so they went on till they came to seven windmills, whose sails were going round briskly, and yet there was no wind blowing from any quarter, and not a leaf stirred. "Well," said the leader, "I cannot think what ails the windmills, turning without wind," and he went on with his followers about two miles farther, and then they came to a man sitting up in a tree, holding one nostril and blowing with the other. "Now then," said the leader, "what are you doing up there?" - "Two miles from here," answered he, "there are seven windmills; I am blowing, and they are going round." - "Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "four of us together can stand against the world."

So the blower got down and went with them, and after a time they came to a man standing on one leg, and the other had been taken off and was lying near him. "You seem to have got a handy way of resting yourself," said the leader to the man. "I am a runner," answered he, "and in order to keep myself from going too fast I have taken off a leg, for when I run with both, I go faster than a bird can fly." - "Oh, go with me," cried the leader, "five of us together may well stand against the world."

So he went with them all together, and it was not long before they met a man with a little hat on, and he wore it just over one ear. "Manners! manners!" said the leader; "with your hat like that, you look like a jack-fool." - "I dare not put it straight," answered the other; "if I did, there would be such a terrible frost that the very birds would be frozen and fall dead from the sky to the ground." - "Oh, come with me," said the leader; "we six together may well stand against the whole world."

So the six went on until they came to a town where the king had caused it to be made known that whoever would run a race with his daughter and win it might become her husband, but that whoever lost must lose his head into the bargain. And the leader came forward and said one of his men should run for him. "Then," said the king, "his life too must be put in pledge, and if he fails, his head and yours too must fall." When this was quite settled and agreed upon, the leader called the runner, and strapped his second leg on to him. "Now, look out," said he, "and take care that we win." It had been agreed that the one who should bring water first from a far distant brook should be accounted winner. Now the king's daughter and the runner each took a pitcher, and they started both at the same time; but in one moment, when the king's daughter had gone but a very little way, the runner was out of sight, for his running was as if the wind rushed by. In a short time he reached the brook, filled his pitcher full of water, and turned back again. About half-way home, however, he was overcome with weariness, and setting down his pitcher, he lay down on the ground to sleep. But in order to awaken soon again by not lying too soft he had taken a horse's skull which lay near and placed it under his head for a pillow. In the meanwhile the king's daughter, who really was a good runner, good enough to beat an ordinary man, had reached the brook, and filled her pitcher, and was hastening with it back again, when she saw the runner lying asleep. "The day is mine," said she with much joy, and she emptied his pitcher and hastened on. And now all had been lost but for the huntsman who was standing on the castle wall, and with his keen eyes saw all that happened. "We must not be outdone by the king's daughter," said he, and he loaded his rifle and took so good an aim that he shot the horse's skull from under the runner's head without doing him any harm. And the runner awoke and jumped up, and saw his pitcher standing empty and the king's daughter far on her way home. But, not losing courage, he ran swiftly to the brook, filled it again with water, and for all that, he got home ten minutes before the king's daughter. "Look you," said he; "this is the first time I have really stretched my legs; before it was not worth the name of running." The king was vexed, and his daughter yet more so, that she should be beaten by a discharged common soldier; and they took counsel together how they might rid themselves of him and of his companions at the same time. "I have a plan," said the king; "do not fear but that we shall be quit of them for ever." Then he went out to the men and bade them to feast and be merry and eat and drink; and he led them into a room, which had a floor of iron, and the doors were iron, the windows had iron frames and bolts; in the room was a table set out with costly food. "Now, go in there and make yourselves comfortable," said the king. And when they had gone in, he had the door locked and bolted. Then he called the cook, and told him to make a big fire underneath the room, so that the iron floor of it should be red hot. And the cook did so, and the six men began to feel the room growing very warm, by reason, as they thought at first, of the good dinner; but as the heat grew greater and greater, and they found the doors and windows fastened, they began to think it was an evil plan of the king's to suffocate them. "He shall not succeed, however," said the man with the little hat; "I will bring on a frost that shall make the fire feel ashamed of itself, and creep out of the way." So he set his hat straight on his head, and immediately there came such a frost that all the heat passed away and the food froze in the dishes. After an hour or two had passed, and the king thought they must have all perished in the heat, he caused the door to be opened, and went himself to see how they fared. And when the door flew back, there they were all six quite safe and sound, and they said they were quite ready to come out, so that they might warm themselves, for the great cold of that room had caused the food to freeze in the dishes. Full of wrath, the king went to the cook and scolded him, and asked why he had not done as he was ordered. "It is hot enough there: you may see for yourself," answered the cook. And the king looked and saw an immense fire burning underneath the room of iron, and he began to think that the six men were not to be got rid of in that way.

And he thought of a new plan by which it might be managed, so he sent for the leader and said to him, "If you will give up your right to my daughter, and take gold instead, you may have as much as you like." - "Certainly, my lord king," answered the man; "let me have as much gold as my servant can carry, and I give up all claim to your daughter." And the king agreed that he should come again in a fortnight to fetch the gold. The man then called together all the tailors in the kingdom, and set them to work to make a sack, and it took them a fortnight. And when it was ready, the strong man who had been found rooting up trees took it on his shoulder, and went to the king. "Who is this immense fellow carrying on his shoulder a bundle of stuff as big as a house?" cried the king, terrified to think how much gold he would carry off. And a ton of gold was dragged in by sixteen strong men, but he put it all into the sack with one hand, saying, "Why don't you bring some more? this hardly covers the bottom!" So the king bade them fetch by degrees the whole of his treasure, and even then the sack was not half full. "Bring more!" cried the man; "these few scraps go no way at all!" Then at last seven thousand waggons laden with gold collected through the whole kingdom were driven up; and he threw them in his sack, oxen and all. "I will not look too closely," said he, "but take what 1 can get, so long as the sack is full." And when all was put in there was still plenty of room. "I must make an end of this," he said; "if it is not full, it is so much the easier to tie up." And he hoisted it on his back, and went off with his comrades. When the king saw all the wealth of his realm carried off by a single man he was full of wrath, and he bade his cavalry mount, and follow after the six men, and take the sack away from the strong man. Two regiments were soon up to them, and called them to consider themselves prisoners, and to deliver up the sack, or be cut in pieces. "Prisoners, say you?" said the man who could blow, "suppose you first have a little dance together in the air," and holding one nostril, and blowing through the other, he sent the regiments flying head over heels, over the hills and far away. But a sergeant who had nine wounds and was a brave fellow, begged not to be put to so much shame. And the blower let him down easily, so that he came to no harm, and he bade him go to the king and tell him that whatever regiments he liked to send more should be blown away just the same. And the king, when he got the message, said, "Let the fellows be; they have some right on their side."

So the six comrades carried home their treasure, divided it among them, and lived contented till they died.
昔、いろいろなわざを心得ている男がいました。この男は戦争で勇敢によく働きましたが、戦争が終わるとくびになり、道中の費用に三ファージング受け取りました。「おいおい」と男は言いました。「これっぽちで納得しないぞ。おれがちゃんとした手下に出会ったら、王様に国の宝をみんな出させてやる」そうしてすっかり怒って、森へ入って行くと、男がいて、まるで麦の茎のように六本の木を抜いているのが見えました。それでその男に「おれの手下になって一緒に行かないか」と言いました。「いいよ。」と男は答えました。「だが、先にこの小さな枝の束をうちのおふくろに持って行くよ」そうして六本の木から一本とって他の五本に巻き、束を肩にのせて運んでいきました。それから戻ってくると頭目と一緒に出かけました。頭目は、「おれたち二人でかなりうまく世間を渡り歩けるぞ」と言いました。少し歩いたあと、二人は猟師に会いました。その猟師は膝をついて、銃を肩にかけ、今撃とうというところでした。

頭目は猟師に、「猟師、何を撃とうとしてるんだい?」と言いました。猟師は「ここから二マイルのところでハエが樫の木の枝にとまっているんだ。おれはそいつの左目を撃ち抜こうとしてるのさ。」と答えました。「すごい!おれと一緒に来いよ」と頭目は言いました。「おれたち三人が一緒なら、きっと世界中でうまくできるぜ。」猟師は承知して、一緒に出かけました。三人は七基の風車があるところに来ました。風車の帆はすごい速さでぐるぐる回っていましたが、右にも左にも風は吹いていないし、木の葉もまるで揺れていませんでした。それで頭目は、「なんで風車が回っているのかわからないな。風がそよとも吹いていないのによ。」と言いました。

そうして手下と一緒に進んでいき、二マイル歩くと、木の上に男が座っているのが見え、男は片方の鼻穴をふさいでもう片方から鼻息を吹きだしていました。「なんてこった!その上で何をしてるんだい?」男は「ここから二マイルのところに風車が七基あるんだ。見てみろよ、風車を鼻息で回しているのさ。」「すごいねぇ、おれと一緒に来いよ」と頭目は言いました。「おれたち四人がそろえば、世界中をものにできるぜ」

すると鼻吹き男は降りてきて、一緒にでかけました。しばらくして一行は一本足で立って、もう一本の脚ははずして横においていた男を見ました。そこで頭目は、「やあ、とても気持ちよさそうに休んでるね、うまいやり方じゃないか」と言いました。「おれは走り人だよ。」と男は答えました。「あまり速く走りすぎないために片足をはずしておいたんだ。両脚で走ると鳥が飛ぶより速いもんでね」「すごい、一緒に来いよ。おれたち五人がそろえば、世界中をものにできるぜ。」そこで走り人は一緒にでかけました。

まもなく一行は帽子をかぶっていて片耳をすっかりおおっている男に出会いました。そこで頭目は男に、「かっこよく、かっこよく。帽子を片耳にかぶせるなよ、大バカみたいに見えるぜ。」と言いました。「こうするしかないんだ」と男は言いました。「帽子をまっすぐにすると、ひどい霜が出てきて、空中の鳥はみんな凍って死んで地に落ちてしまうからな。」「すごい、おれと一緒に来いよ」と頭目は言いました。「おれたち六人がそろえば、世界中をものにできるぜ。」

さて六人はある町にやってきましたが、そこの王様は自分の娘と競走して勝った者は娘の夫とする、但し負けた者は首をはねる、とお触れを出していました。そこで頭目は名乗りをあげ、「おれがやろう、だが、家来を代わりに走らせてくれ」と言いました。王様は「ならば、その者の命も賭けねばならん。その者の首とお前の首の両方を勝負に賭けることになる。」と答えました。それがしっかり決められると頭目は走り人にもう一方の脚をはめ、「さあ、速く走って勝ってくれよ」と言いました。

はるか遠くの泉から先に水を汲んできた方が勝ち、と決められました。走り人はつぼを受け取り、王様の娘も受け取りました。二人は同時に走り出しました。しかし、あっという間に、王様の娘はほんの少し進んだだけでしたが、もう走り人の姿は見物人に見えなくなりました。まるで風がピューと吹き抜けたかのようでした。まもなく走り人は泉に着き、つぼに水を入れ、引き返しました。ところが半分戻ったところで疲れ果て、つぼを下におくと寝転がり、眠ってしまいました。

ところが、走り人は寝心地が悪くすぐ目が覚めるようにと、地面に転がっていた馬の頭蓋骨を枕にしました。その間に、普通の人間としてはかなり速く走れる王様の娘が泉に着いてしまい、水を入れたつぼを持ち急いで引き返してきました。王女は走り人がそこで眠って横になっているのを見ると、喜び、「敵は私の手の内だわ。」と言って、走り人のつぼから水をあけ、走っていきました。そうして、運よく城のてっぺんに猟師が立って、鋭い目でこの有様を見ていなかったら、すっかり負けてしまっていたでしょう。

そうして猟師は、「王様の娘にまだ勝たせないぞ」と言うと、銃に弾を込め、うまく狙いをつけ、走り人に怪我をさせないでその頭の下から馬の頭蓋骨を撃ってとばしました。すると走り人は目を覚まし,飛びあがって、つぼが空っぽで、王様の娘がもうずっと前にいるのがわかりました。しかし、走り人は気を落とさず、つぼを持って泉に戻り、また水を汲んで、王様の娘より十分早くゴールしました。「どうだい!」と走り人は言いました。「今まで本気に走ったことはなかった。前に走ったのは走ったうちに入らないな。」

しかし、王女がそのような身分の卑しい兵隊あがりに連れ去られるのは、王様にとって不快なことで王女本人にはなおさらでした。それで二人はこの兵隊あがりと仲間をどうしたら厄介払いできるか相談しました。すると王様は娘に、「手を考えたよ。心配するな。あの者たちに二度と戻って来させない。」と言いました。そうして一行に、「さあ、みんなで飲んで食べて陽気にやってくれ。」と言い、床が鉄で、戸も鉄でできており、窓は鉄格子のはまっている部屋に案内しました。

部屋にはおいしいご馳走が並んだテーブルがあり、王様は一行に、「さあさ、入って大いにやってくれ。」と言いました。そうして一行が中に入ると、戸を閉めかんぬきをかけさせました。それから料理人を呼びよせて、鉄が真っ赤になるまで部屋の下で火を燃やすようにと命じました。料理人はそうしました。食卓にいる六人はとても熱く感じ始めましたが、食べ物のせいだと思っていました。ところがどんどん熱くなっていくので、外に出ようとして、戸や窓にみんな鍵がかけられているのがわかりました。それで、王様が謀り自分たちの息の根を止めようとしているんだと気がつきました。

「だが、そうはさせないぞ」と帽子をかぶっている男が言いました。「おれが寒気を出してやろう、火だって恥ずかしくなってこそこそ逃げ出すぜ。」そうして帽子をまっすぐかぶりました。途端にすごい寒気がやってきて熱がすっかり消え、皿の食べ物は凍り出しました。一、二時間経つと、王様は、あの者たちは熱で死んでしまっただろう、と思い、戸を開けさせ、自分で見てみました。しかし、戸が開けられると六人全員が生きてぴんぴんしてそこに立っていました。そうして、おれたちは暖まるために出たいんだ、食べ物は寒さでがちがちに皿に凍りついてしまったからね、と言いました。それで、かんかんに怒り、王様は料理人のところに降りて行くと、どなりつけて、なぜ命令に従わなかったのだ?と尋ねました。ところが料理人は「十分かんかんに燃やしています。ご自身でご覧下さい。」と答えました。それで王様は鉄の部屋の下で恐ろしいほど火が燃やされているのを見て、このやり方ではあの六人をやっつけることができないと知りました。

王様はまたしてもこの不快なお客を厄介払いする方法を考えて、頭目を呼んでこさせ、「お前が金貨を受け取り娘をあきらめるなら、好きなだけやるがどうだ?」と言いました。「いいですとも、王様」と頭目は答えました。「私の家来が運べるだけください、そうすれば、王女様をいただきたいと申しません。」

これを聞いて王様は満足しました。頭目は続けて、「14日したら、受け取りに戻ってまいります。」と言いました。そのあと、頭目は国じゅうの仕立て屋をみんな呼び寄せ、14日かかって袋を一つ縫わせました。袋ができると、木を引き抜いた力持ちの男にその袋を背負わせ、一緒に王様のところへ行きました。

すると王様は、「すごい力のある男だ、家ほども大きい麻袋を担いでくるぞ」と言って、「どれだけたくさん金貨を持っていけるだろう」と心配でした。そうして一トンの金貨を運んで来させました。王様の力のある男が16人かかってその金貨を運びましたが、力持ちの手下は片手でそれをつかみ、袋に入れて、「なんでもっといっぺんにもってこないのか?これっぽちじゃ袋の底もふさがらないぞ!」と言いました。そこで、少しずつ出して結局全部の宝を、王様は持って来させることになり、、力持ちの手下が袋に入れましたが、それでも袋の半分も入っていませんでした。

「もっと持ってこい」と力持ちは叫びました。「こんなかけらばかりじゃいっぱいにならん。」そこで国じゅうから七千台の金貨を積んだ荷車が集められましたが、力持ちの手下は荷車につないである牛ごと袋に入れ、「もういちいち調べないよ」と言いました。「袋がいっぱいになりゃくるものは何だって入れちまおう」全部中に入れてしまってもまだたくさん空きがありました。そこで力持ちは「これで終わりにしよう。いっぱいでなくても時には袋を結わえるからな。」と言いました。そうして袋を担ぐと仲間と一緒に去っていきました。王様はたった一人の男が国の財産全部を持ち去って行くのをみると、怒り出し、騎兵たちに馬に乗って六人を追いかけるようにと言って、力持ちの手下から袋をとりあげるよう命じました。

二個連隊はあっという間に六人に追いつき、「お前たちは捕虜だ、金貨の袋を下に降ろせ、さもないと全員切り刻んでくれる!」と叫びました。「何を言ってやがる?」と鼻吹き男が叫びました。「おれたちが捕虜だと?それよりむしろ、お前たちを空中で踊らせてやるよ。」そうして一つの鼻穴をふさいで、もう一つから二個連隊を吹きました。すると騎兵たちはばらばらになって、青空の中を山々を越えてあちこちに飛ばされていきました。一人の曹長が、どうか許してくれ、と叫び、傷が九つできるほど勇敢に戦ったんだ、こんなひどい扱いをされる覚えはない、と言いました。鼻吹き男が少し止めたので、総長は怪我も無く降りてきました。それで鼻吹き男は、「さあ王様のところへ帰れ。そうして王様にもっとたくさん騎兵を送った方がいいと言うんだ。そうしたらおれはそいつらをみんな空に吹き飛ばしてくれる。」と言いました。王様はこれを聞くと、「あの者どもをほうっておけ。とてもかなわない。」と言いました。そうして六人は財宝を持ち帰り、六人で山分けして、死ぬまで満足して暮らしました。




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