East India was besieged by an enemy who would not retire until he had received six hundred dollars. Then the townsfolk caused it to be proclaimed by beat of drum that whosoever was able to procure the money should be burgomaster. Now there was a poor fisherman who fished on the lake with his son, and the enemy came and took the son prisoner, and gave the father six hundred dollars for him. So the father went and gave them to the great men of the town, and the enemy departed, and the fisherman became burgomaster. Then it was proclaimed that whosoever did not say, "Mr. Burgomaster," should be put to death on the gallows.
The son got away again from the enemy, and came to a great forest on a high mountain. The mountain opened, and he went into a great enchanted castle, wherein chairs, tables, and benches were all hung with black. Then came three young princesses who were entirely dressed in black, but had a little white on their faces; they told him he was not to be afraid, they would not hurt him, and that he could deliver them. He said he would gladly do that, if he did but know how. At this, they told him he must for a whole year not speak to them and also not look at them, and what he wanted to have he was just to ask for, and if they dared give him an answer they would do so. When he had been there for a long while he said he should like to go to his father, and they told him he might go. He was to take with him this purse with money, put on this coat, and in a week he must be back there again.
Then he was caught up, and was instantly in East India. He could no longer find his father in the fisherman's hut, and asked the people where the poor fisherman could be, and they told him he must not say that, or he would come to the gallows. Then he went to his father and said, "Fisherman, how hast thou got here?" Then the father said, "Thou must not say that, if the great men of the town knew of that, thou wouldst come to the gallows." He, however, would not stop, and was brought to the gallows. When he was there, he said, "O, my masters, just give me leave to go to the old fisherman's hut." Then he put on his old smock-frock, and came back to the great men, and said, "Do ye not now see? Am I not the son of the poor fisherman? Did I not earn bread for my father and mother in this dress?" Hereupon his father knew him again, and begged his pardon, and took him home with him, and then he related all that had happened to him, and how he had got into a forest on a high mountain, and the mountain had opened and he had gone into an enchanted castle, where all was black, and three young princesses had come to him who were black except a little white on their faces. And they had told him not to fear, and that he could deliver them. Then his mother said that might very likely not be a good thing to do, and that he ought to take a holy-water vessel with him, and drop some boiling water on their faces.
He went back again, and he was in great fear, and he dropped the water on their faces as they were sleeping, and they all turned half-white. Then all the three princesses sprang up, and said, "Thou accursed dog, our blood shall cry for vengeance on thee! Now there is no man born in the world, nor will any ever be born who can set us free! We have still three brothers who are bound by seven chains they shall tear thee to pieces." Then there was a loud shrieking all over the castle, and he sprang out of the window, and broke his leg, and the castle sank into the earth again, the mountain shut to again, and no one knew where the castle had stood.
敌人包围了东印度，他们说不拿到六百元钱决不撤走。 于是城里就鸣锣宣告，说谁能出六百元钱就能当镇长。 那时有个穷渔翁正和儿子在海边打鱼，敌人来了，掠走了他的儿子，给了父亲六百元钱。 父亲拿着钱去交给了城里的要人，敌人退了，渔翁便当了镇长。 接着镇里又出了告示，说有谁不称他"镇长先生"，就得处以绞刑。
那儿子又从敌人手中逃走了，他来到了一座大山的森林旁。 突然山裂开了，他走了进去，来到广阔的魔国，那儿所有的桌椅板凳都披着黑色。 这时来了三位公主，全身着黑，只露出一点白色的脸蛋在外。 她们叫他别害怕，说他们不会伤害他，并说他能救她们。 他说他乐意效劳，只是不知该怎么做。 三位公主便要求他在一年内既不能说话，又不能看她们一眼，不过他有什么需要尽管开口，只要她们能做到，就会尽量满足他。 于是他在那住下了，过了一段时间，他提出要去他爹那儿，她们答应了，临走时让他带上一袋钱，披上他的旧罩衣，过一礼拜就得赶回来。
于是他被送上了天，眨眼间就到了东印度。 他在渔翁的茅棚里找不着爹，便问人那位穷渔翁可能在哪儿，人家告诉他不能那样称呼，否则就得上绞架。 他来到他爹的跟前，说："渔翁，你怎么到这里来了？"他爹说："你可不要那样大呼小叫的，如果让城里的要人听见了，就会被送上绞架。"可他却不肯改口，于是被带向了绞架。 他到了那儿时说："哦！老爷们，让我去我爹的渔棚一下吧！"然后他披上了他的旧罩衫，回到了要人们的跟前，说："现在你们瞧瞧吧，难道我不是那穷渔翁的儿子吗？我从前就是穿着这件衣服给我爹娘挣衣食的。"这时他爹认出了他，请他原谅，并把他领回了家。 搂着儿子向他讲述了发生的一切：自己是如何走进大山中的森林，然后大山裂开，他走进了一个魔国，那儿一切都是黑色的，后来了三位公主，也是全身着黑，只露出一张小白脸。 她们又怎样让自己别害怕，并说自己能救她们。 听到这儿他娘说这恐怕不好，他得带根圣烛去，并在她们脸上滴上几滴溶烛。
他又回去了，心里充满了恐惧。 趁三位公主仍在睡觉，他在她们脸上滴上溶化了的蜡烛，她们便都白了一半。 三位公主立刻跳起来，说："你这该死的狗东西 ，我们不报此仇，誓不罢休！ 现在世上再也无人能救我们了；我们还有三个兄弟，他们仍被七根铁链铐着，到时他们会把你撕得粉碎的。 "接着一声嘶心的尖叫声响彻整个魔国的上空，他从窗口一跃而出了，可惜跌断了腿。宫殿再次陷入地下，山缝合拢，从此便无人知晓它在何方了。