… The king immediately ordered a tower be built on a densely wooded isle off the coast of his lands and had his daughter put in the tower away from all danger.
Nine home-steads about the foot of the tower and nine hand-maids, one for each home-stead, to ensure that none but the king himself could enter the tower and see the princess.
Once completely satisfied that such a defence could not be breached, without his knowledge, the king set about planning the procurement of the magic halter.
After much deliberation he transformed himself into a red-haired boy and set off for the abode by the sea that housed the three brothers.
The disguised king arrived in the nick of time.
Brother-Smith was busy in the forge making weapons while Brother-Wizard stood alongside casting spells on those weapons.
Brother-Warrior was outside the forge holding the magic halter.
The wondrous cow grazed sedately in a field alongside the forge.
A dispute between Brother-Smith and Brother-Wizard had just arisen, over the tempering of the blades, and Brother-Warrior was summoned to settle the matter.
“Just look after this for awhile will you,” said Brother-Warrior to a red-haired boy who was passing by, “I won’t be a moment,” he handed the magic halter to the boy and entered the forge.
When Brother-Warrior re-emerged from the forge the red-haired boy, the magic halter, and the wondrous cow were gone.
He set up a shout and the smith and the wizard came running out.
“It can only be the King of Castle-Hill,” said Brother-Wizard looking into the far distance, “long has he coveted our wondrous cow.”
“You will have to get the magic halter back,” said Brother-Smith.
“I’ll need your help,” said Brother-Warrior disturbing the wizard’s reverie.
“Yes, yes, of course,” said Brother-Wizard, his eyes narrowing darkly…