Sarah was beautiful, she found all the young men in the town very boring, they just weren’t glamorous enough for her and so it was when she was walking through the market one day with a friend a coach with six black horses and silver trim rode into the market place and Sarah said:
Who’s that, it looks exciting, he looks exciting.
Her friend said:
It’s Mr Fox, avoid him.
Well of course if you say that to a young woman, it’s the worse thing you can possibly say and she sought out Mr Fox and she made sure that on the next market day when he was walking through the square, she accidentally dropped her handkerchief as he passed. Mr Fox picked it up. He bowed and said:
Is this yours my dear.
And his white teeth glinted as he said so. Well that was it wasn’t it, a couple of days later she was meeting Mr Fox and after that she was going out on a steady basis with Mr Fox and some months after this they were officially engaged. Her friends said:
Stay away from Mr Fox.
Her parents were distraught with worry about her and Mr Fox but then she announced that she was going to marry Mr Fox.
And her friends renewed their warnings, her mother and her father pleaded with her to break off her engagement with Mr Fox, but she wouldn’t have it, but as time wore on it got nearer the wedding, in fact a day off, some doubts crept into her mind, She decided she would find out more about Mr Fox, thus it was that she crept down to the stables on the eve of her wedding, wrapped the horses hooves in blanket and led him out through the stable yard and into the road where she took the blanket off and rode up the hill, over the pass towards the lake where Mr Fox’s castle stood in the middle of the lake joined only by a slim causeway to the shore.
She rode across the causeway and as she got nearer where the drawbridge was it mysteriously descended as if to welcome her to Mr Fox’s castle, however she stopped on the drawbridge and looked up at the top of the gate, and across the top of the gate was carved:
She hurried the horse through the gate and into the courtyard and in the yard were statues, many statues of young people, young men, young women and even animals and they all looked as if they had been frozen in time but she wanted to see Mr Fox’s castle so she hurried across the yard to the castle door, she looked above the door, above the door were the words,
Be bold, but not too bold
She pushed open the door and before her was a great hall with a very long table set with silver plates, silver knives, silver folks, silver candelabras and an enormous silver swan in the centre of the table, she walked up the table touching the glamorous silver, enjoying its richness, its ostentation and when she got to the end of the table she looked towards the winding staircase that swept down into the room and she imagined herself looking down it and as she was doing this she looked to the side of the staircase, there was a small door and as she was about to enter she looked up again and above the door it said:
Be bold but not too bold, lest that thy heart’s blood run cold
She pushed open the door, which obligingly creaked (sound) and when she entered the room it was too dark to see anything at first, but gradually her eyes grew accustomed to the gloom and when she looked she wished that she hadn’t looked. All round the room on the wall on the floor, hanging from the ceiling were the bodies of young women, mutilated and many dead, and those that weren’t dead were wishing that they were.
She was about to scream when she heard a noise of voices, she rushed out of the room, there coming across the great hall was Mr Fox pulling behind him a young woman who was screaming "Please Mr Fox, please No! No!" Sarah snuk down below the stairs and as they came across the young woman grabbed hold of the newel post and clung onto it. Mr Fox tugged at her, she wouldn’t release it, so he took his sabre, slicing through the air, slicing through her wrist, her hand spiralled up into the air and fell down into Sarah’s lap and she only just managed to suppress an almighty scream and when she looked up Mr Fox and the young woman were disappearing into the small room. Sarah was up even before she thought about it and started dashing across the room out into the courtyard, up onto her horse and across the drawbridge and across the causeway and back to her father’s house.
In the morning it was the wedding breakfast, and the wedding breakfast in this country was held before the wedding. It was also the custom in this country for the bride to speak at the wedding breakfast, so it came to her turn to speak and she stood up and looking across at Mr Fox, she said:
Last night, husband to be, I had a dream.
And Mr Fox’s teeth glinted and his eyes sparkled.
Last night, husband to be, I dreamt I went to your castle.
And the smile disappeared from Mr Fox’s face and his hand went to the hilt of his sabre.
And when I went to our castle, husband to be, I noticed over the gate by the drawbridge were the words:
And Mr Fox clenched the hilt of his sabre. And she said:
But it could not be, and it would not be, for twas only a dream
Mr Fox relaxed his grip and she said:
Husband to be, I went into the courtyard and across the courtyard passing the statues of frozen men, women and animals.
Mr Fox’s eyes narrowed.
And I looked above the door to the castle and it said:
Be bold, but not too bold
And Mr Fox’s hand wrapped again round the hilt of the sabre and the first half-inch of the blade appeared.
But it could not be and it would not be, for twas only a dream
And she said:
Mr Fox, husband to be, I entered the castle and there was a long table with silver cutlery and silver dishes, silver plates, a great silver swan and silver candelabra and I walked towards the end of the table touching the luxurious items spread about it and as I got to the end of the table…
Mr Fox’s eyes were now narrowing, his smile had completely disappeared, him jaw was set.
And as I got to the end of the table, husband to be, I saw a small door by the stairs, and when I got to the small door I looked up above the door and it said:
Be bold, but not too bold, lest that thy heart’s blood run cold
And Mr Fox now had a couple of inches of sabre showing and he was almost out of his chair and she said:
But it could not be and it would not be, for twas only a dream.
And then she said:
Husband to be I went into the small room beyond the door and in there I saw young women dying and dead and it was not a dream it was you Mr Fox, it was your room.
And Mr Fox was up and his sabre flashed and glinted in the air and Sarah ran towards the door and his blade narrowly missed her and then he took the train of the wedding dress and sliced the back of the bodice of the wedding dress and she pushed through the door to the outside.
Mr Fox raised his saber to plunge it into her but just as he did so the blades of Sarah’s brothers soared and sliced into Mr Fox and sliced him up into small red bloody pieces.
And that was the end of Mr Fox.