Once upon a time there was a sorcerer who disguised himself as a poor man, went begging from house to house, and captured beautiful girls. No one knew where he took them, for none of them ever returned.
One day he came to the door of a man who had three beautiful daughters. He appeared to be a poor, weak beggar, and he carried a pack basket on his back, as though he wanted to collect some benevolent offerings in it. He asked for a bit to eat, and when the oldest daughter came out to give him a piece of bread, he simply touched her, and she was forced to jump into his pack basket. Then he hurried away with powerful strides and carried her to his house, which stood in the middle of a dark forest.
Everything was splendid in the house, and he gave her everything that she wanted. He said, "My dear, you will like it here with me. You will have everything that your heart desires."
So it went for a few days, and then he said to her, "I have to go away and leave you alone for a short time. Here are the house keys. You may go everywhere and look at everything except for the one room that this little key here unlocks. I forbid you to go there on the penalty of death."
He also gave her an egg, saying, "Take good care of this egg. You should carry it with you at all times, for if you should lose it great misfortune would follow."
She took the keys and the egg, and promised to take good care of everything.
As soon as he had gone she walked about in the house from top to bottom examining everything. The rooms glistened with silver and gold, and she thought that she had never seen such splendor.
Finally she came to the forbidden door. She wanted to pass it by, but curiosity gave her no rest. She examined the key. It looked like any other one. She put it into the lock and twisted it a little, and then the door sprang open.
What did she see when she stepped inside? A large bloody basin stood in the middle, inside which there lay the cut up parts of dead girls. Nearby there was a wooden block with a glistening ax lying on it.
She was so terrified that the egg, which she was holding in her hand, fell in the basin. She got it out again and wiped off the blood, but it was to no avail, for it always came back. She wiped and scrubbed, but she could not get rid of the stain.
Not long afterward the man returned from his journey, and he immediately asked for the key and the egg. She handed them to him, shaking all the while, for he saw the red stain, that she had been in the blood chamber.
"You went into that chamber against my will," he said, "and now against your will you shall go into it once again. Your life is finished."
He threw her down, dragged her by her hair into the chamber, cut off her head on the block, then cut her up into pieces, and her blood flowed out onto the floor. Then he threw her into the basin with the others.
"Now I will go get the second one," said the sorcerer, and, again disguised as a poor man, he went to their house begging.