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Full text of "The firelight fairy book"

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UNIVERSITY OF 
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Sheahan 128073_ 

T'op firelight fair:* "book 




126673 
Sheahan 
The firelight fairy book 



UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



00022229134 



This BOOK may be kept out TWO WEEKS 
ONLY, and is subject to a fine of FIVE 
CENTS a day thereafter. It was taken out on 
the day indicated below: 



i£-; ■ . 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 



http://archive.org/details/firelightfairybobest 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 



b 




The Prince begins his journey through the caverns. 



The FIRELIGHT 
FAIRY BOOK 

By HENRY B. BESTON _■'• 




ILLUSTRATIONS BY 
MAURICE E. DAY 




The ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS, Inc. 
BOSTON 



COPYRIGHT, 1919, BY THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY PRESS, Inc. 

All rights reserved, including that of translation 
into foreign languages, including the Scandinavian. 



PRINTED IN THE 
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 



FOREWORD 

J 

THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY 
Washington, September 7, 1922 

Dear Henry: — 

" Grown-ups" arrogate entirely too much to them- 
selves. I know this is so. I discovered it for a fact 
when I was not more than " knee-high to a grasshop- 
per" myself. I knew, for example, that a certain 
amount of dirt on my face and hands in no way 
interfered with my enjoyment of my supper. The 
fact that my finger nails were not all they should 
have been had no bearing whatsoever upon the effi- 
ciency of those same fingers. Washing not only took 
time from other important pursuits, but also was 
mildly unpleasant. Nevertheless, my mother was 
not even open to reasonable argument on the mat- 
ter. Arbitrarily, with the despotism of an early 
Roman Emperor, she rendered a dictum to the effect 
that I must wash, and soapy and submissive I had to 
be before I could come to the table. Again, any 
reasonable child can tell you that pleasure is the main 
object of eating; therefore, in all logic, one should 
eat if one feels like it at ten o'clock in the morning, 
or at three o'clock in the afternoon, a jar of Guava 
jelly, a pound of chocolates, a paper of ginger cook- 
ies, or whatever may appeal to one's aesthetic taste. 
This method of procedure, naturally, might necessi- 
tate recourse to the brown-wood family medicine 



closet. Certain discomfort might ensue. But was 
not the pleasure worth it? Again my mother arbi- 
trarily took the matter into her own hands, disagree- 
ing with me on fundamentals. She maintained that 
eating was not for pleasure simply, but for nourish- 
ment. Sundry unfortunate remarks were made con- 
taining references to gluttony. The pantry was 
locked, and regular meals at regular periods were 
prescribed. Indeed, poems with dreadful morals 
for those who ate between meals were recited to me, 
endeavor being made thereby to substitute terror 
for inclination. 

Any reasonable child will find many such parallel 
instances of the assumed omnipotence of " grown- 
ups." With this awful indictment before me, you 
ask me, a " grown-up," to write an introduction for 
the " Firelight Fairy Book," and thereby to assume 
the responsibility for passing judgment upon it. 
There is but one circumstance that makes me willing 
to do so. I believe that where any nice " grown-up" 
is concerned, if you crack the hard outside shell with 
which circumstances have surrounded him, beneath 
it you will find a child. Banking on this, I venture 
to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the "Firelight 
Fairy Book." I liked particularly the story of the 
poor little prince, whose sneezing had such a disas- 
trous effect; and the lost half hour is unquestionably 
an accurate historical account, because no one could 
have described so accurately, simply from imagina- 



tion, what a lost temper looked like. What makes 
me even more willing to advance my opinion is that 
I do not stand alone. My conclusions are supported 
by a jury of my peers, for I have given the book as a 
Christmas gift, not only to my own children, but to 
other people's children, and to one of the prominent 
Senators of the United States. They have univer- 
sally acclaimed it, and who can question the judg- 
ment of such a jury? 

Good luck to the " Firelight Fairy Book." May 
it, like Scrooge's laugh in the "Christmas Carol," 
"be the father of a long, long line of brilliant" books 
of a like nature for the enjoyment of all true chil- 
dren, whether they be still at day school, or sitting 
in the high places of the world. 

Believe me, 

Yours very truly, 

Theodore Roosevelt 

Henry Beston, Esq. ^ \ \ii \^'oli t iC 

Topsfield, Mass. 



HOW THE NEW FAIRY TALES 
CAME TO BE WRITTEN 

Some twenty years ago, in a pleasant old town by 
the sea, lived a lad who was very, very fond of fairy 
tales. When he had read all the fairy-books which 
his parents and his uncles and his cousins and his 
sisters and his aunts had been kind enough to give 
him, he turned to the town library and read every 
single fairy tale he could find mentioned in the cata- 
logue. But there was an end even to this treasure; 
and, finally, a day came when the fairy-tale lover 
could find no new tales to read. Every Christmas he 
would peek at the new books in the bookshops, only 
to find the same old stories printed, with new pict- 
ures, meant to please grown-ups. What could be the 
matter? Had the fairies all gone away, or locked the 
doors of Fairyland? Where, where, where were the 
new stories, and why, why, why did n't people write 
them? 

Some years passed. One pleasant summer day, as 
the fairy-tale lover sat reading a book beneath the 
low spreading branches of an oak tree, he heard a 
hum of wings, and looking up startled from his book, 
he discovered the Fairy Goldenwand standing close 
by. 

"Are you still seeking new fairy tales?" said the 
Fairy Goldenwand. 

"Yes," said the reader. 



" Will you write them down if I tell you some really 
new ones?" said the Fairy. 

"Oh yes, indeed/' said the reader. "And I'll put 
them into a book; and next Saturday Mr. Day, the art- 
ist, will come down; we shall have tea here under the 
oak tree, — do you like hot buttered toast? — and you 
must tell him all about the fashions in Fairyland." 

"Oh, that will be fine!" said the Fairy Golden- 
wand. "I knew you wouldn't mind my appearing 
so suddenly. Ever so many things have happened 
in Fairyland since the last books were written, and 
we all think it's a dreadful shame that children 
have n't heard about them. Just imagine boys and 
girls not knowing about the adventures of the Prince 
in Lantern Land! Shall I tell you the story?" 

And that's the way the author heard about the 
Shepherd of Clouds, Florian, Marianna, Giles, Bobo, 
and all the other new friends. That you may long 
enjoy their adventures is the wish of 

Henry B. Beston 

Maurice E. Day 

The Fairy Goldenwand 



The Parson Capen House 
Topsfield, Massachusetts 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND .... 1 

THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN ... 20 

THE SELLER OF DREAMS 43 

THE TREASURE CASTLE ...... 57 

PRINCE SNEEZE 70 

MARIANNA 89 

.THE LOST HALF-HOUR 107 

THE ENCHANTED ELM 127 

THE BIRD -BOY 141 

THE MASTER MARINER 154 

THE MARVELOUS DOG AND THE 

WONDERFUL CAT ...... 175 

THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS .... 197 

THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 218 



ILLUSTRATIONS 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

The Prince begins his journey through the caverns . 

THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

Over hill, over dale, F lor ian followed the magic ball . 

THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

ii How much does a dream cost?'''' asked Peter 

"A golden florin," answered the Seller of Dreams . 

THE TREASURE CASTLE 

The three rogues were locked in the flying room . 

PRINCE SNEEZE 

The chest of secrets was made of black stone . 

MARIANNA 

Into the world went Marianna and the yellow bird 

THE LOST HALF- HOUR 

Just as the dragon s mouth w>as at its widest .... 

THE ENCHANTED ELM 

The maiden watched the woodcutters coming through the wood 

THE BIRD -BOY 

Every year, on the Bird-Boy' 's birthday, a great gray bird was seen 

THE MASTER MARINER 

Splash! and the Master Mariner fell into the sea 

THE MARVELOUS DOG AND THE WONDERFUL CAT 

The Dog and the Cat studying their lessons . 

THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

It was Giles's task to open the door of the cloud-bowl . 

THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

For three days the merchant pursued the ship with the fiery sails 



Frontispiece 



20 



55 



57 



70 



89 



108 



127 



142 



159 



175 



197 



218 



THE QUEEN 
OF LANTERN LAND 

Once upon a time the youngest son of a king 
became filled with the desire to go abroad and 
see the world. He got his father's permission 
to depart, kissed his parents good-bye, mounted 
his black horse, and galloped away down the 
high road. Soon the gray towers of the old 
castle in which he was born hid themselves 
behind him. 

The Prince journeyed on, spending the days 
in traveling, and the nights in little wayside 
inns, till one day he found himself in the heart 
of the Adamant Mountains. The great, red 
granite crags of the surrounding peaks rose out 
of the gleaming snow like ugly fingers, and the 
slopes of giant glaciers sparkled in the sun like 
torrents of diamonds. The Prince sat down by 
some stunted trees whose tops had long before 
been broken off by an avalanche, and began to 
eat the bit of bread and cheese which he had 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

stored in his pocket. His black horse, mean- 
while, ate the grass which grew here and there 
along the mountain path. And as the Prince 
sat there in the bright sun and the silence of 
the mountains, he became aware of a low, 
continuous roaring. 

' There must be a waterfall near-by," said the 
Prince to himself. \ I'll go and see it." 

So, casting another look at his steed, who was 
contentedly browsing, the Prince climbed up the 
mountainside in the direction of the sound. 

The Prince climbed and climbed, he went in 
this direction and in that, yet the sound never 
grew any louder or fainter. Suddenly he real- 
ized that he was hopelessly lost. The little 
path up which he had ridden had vanished 
completely, and he had not the slightest idea 
in which direction it lay. He called aloud, but 
only the mountain echoes answered mockingly. 

Night came, and the Prince took shelter behind 
a great rock. All the next day he labored to 
find the path, but in vain. He grew very 

2 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

hungry and cold. Every once in a while he 
would hear the roaring of the waterfall, which 
seemed to have grown louder. 

Another day dawned, and another day again. 
The Prince was getting very weak. He knew 
that he was approaching the mysterious cata- 
ract, for the noise of the water was now tremen- 
dous, and heaven and earth were full of its 
roar. The third night came, and the full moon 
rose solemnly over the snow -clad summits 
of the lonely and mysterious mountains. Sud- 
denly the Prince, walking blindly on, stag- 
gered through a narrow passage-way between 
two splintered crags, and found himself face to 
face with the mystery. 

He stood on the snowy floor of a vast amphi- 
theatre whose walls were the steep sides of the 
giant mountains. Farthest away from him, 
and opposite the moon, the wall of the bowl 
appeared as a giant black precipice, whose top 
seemed to reach almost to the moon-dimmed 
stars; and over this precipice a broad river was 

3 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

endlessly pouring, shining in the night like 
the overflow of an ocean of molten silver. 
Though now very weak from lack of food, 
and dizzy with the roaring of the cataract, the 
Prince made his way to the shore of the foaming 
and eddying lake into which the water was fall- 
ing. Great was his surprise to discover that 
the overflow of this lake disappeared into the 
earth through a long, low opening in the cliff 
behind the fall. Greater still was his surprise 
to see a strange many-colored light burning 
within the cave. 

The Prince made his way toward the light, 
along a narrow beach of white sand lying be- 
tween the wall of the cavern and the racing 
waters of the mysterious river, and found that 
the glow came from a magnificent lantern 
studded with emeralds, topazes, amethysts, 
and rubies, which hung by a chain from the 
roof of the grotto. Directly under this lantern, 
drawn up on the sand, lay a little boat with a 
lantern fastened to the bow . The Prince pushed 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

the boat into the river, and got into it, and the 
swift current seized him and hurried him away. 

At first the cavern grew higher and wider; 
then it shrank again, and the boat, borne along 
with incredible speed, shot down a rocky pas- 
sageway into the very heart of the earth. The 
passageway broadened once more, and the boat 
rode gently through monstrous caves whose 
roofs were upheld by twisted columns taller 
than the tallest tree. There were times when 
all was so still that the Prince could easily have 
imagined himself back in the solitude of the 
mountains; there were times when the foaming 
and roaring of the underground river grew so 
deafening that the Prince feared lest he might 
be approaching the brink of a subterranean 
cataract. 

Many hours passed. The Prince did not know 
whether it was night or day. At length, while 
the boat was gliding through a vast hall, he 
fell asleep. When he awoke, he found that the 
boat was floating on the black, glassy surface 

5 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

of an immense underground ocean. All signs 
of the cavern had disappeared. Far away, over 
the edge of this ocean, a strange, beautiful glow 
mounted into the starless sky of the under- 
world. And while the Prince was gazing at the 
glow, the boat swung into a new current, and 
was borne swiftly toward the light. In a short 
time the light grew so wide and bright that 
one would have believed that a strange, golden 
sun had risen. The boat passed between two 
giant marble pillars supporting enormous crys- 
tal globes filled with a golden fire, and the 
Prince found himself in the harbor of Lantern 
Land. 

A city lay before him, a strange golden city 
edging the shore of a vast, semi-circular bay. 
Because in the centre of the earth there is neither 
sun nor moon, the people have to be continually 
burning lights; and so many and so great were 
the lanterns of Lantern Land that the town 
was as bright as day. The edge of the harbor 
was marked with a row of golden lanterns; 

6 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

there were immense lanterns at every six paces 
along the streets; a lantern hung from every 
house; and the church-towers, instead of hav- 
ing bells in them, had great golden lamps 
which illumined everything for some distance 
about. Moreover, every inhabitant of Lantern 
Land carried a lantern with him wherever he 
went, the rich carrying golden lanterns set 
with transparent precious stones, the poor car- 
rying lights of ordinary glass. 

Soon the Prince saw a magnificent ship com- 
ing out to meet him. The prow was carved in 
the shape of a dragon's head, and a beautiful 
lantern hung from its jaws. Overcome by 
hunger and fatigue, the poor Prince fell in- 
sensible to the floor of his little boat. When he 
came to his senses again, he was lying between 
sheets of the whitest, most delicate linen in a 
great four-poster bed, in a room in the royal 
palace. 

Thanks to his kind hosts, the Prince soon 
recovered his strength. When he was com- 

7 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

pletely himself again, he was summoned to an 
audience with the Queen of Lantern Land. 

The Queen, a very beautiful young woman, 
wearing a wonderful lantern crown, sat on an 
ebony throne. On each side of the throne 
stood a tall soldier, clad in scarlet and holding 
a long ebony staff surmounted by a round 
lantern lit by a golden flame. 

The Prince dropped on his knee, and thanked 
the Queen for her kindness and hospitality. 

"You are the first stranger to come to Lan- 
tern Land for a thousand years/' said the 
young Queen. If it is not asking too much 
from a guest, pray how did you happen to find 
the river of the underworld?" 

So the Prince told her that he was a king's son, 
and described his adventures in the mountains. 
You may be sure the Queen was glad to hear 
of his royal birth, for she had fallen in love 
with him at first sight. 

A month passed. The Prince remained a 
guest in the palace. All kinds of festivities 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

were given in his honor; there were wonderful 
dances, masquerades, picnics, and theatricals 
going on all the time. One day the Prince 
and the Queen, accompanied by a little group 
of courtiers, rode to the frontier of Lantern 
Land. The lovers galloped ahead of the party 
and reached a little hill beyond which there 
were no more lanterns. Ahead of them the 
rolling land, sweeping farther and farther away 
from the light, grew darker and darker, till it 
finally plunged into the eternal night of the 
underworld. 

The Prince looked at the Queen, and saw that 
she was weeping. 

Dear love, why do you weep?" asked the 
Prince, who felt sad to see tears in his lady's 
lovely eyes. 

I weep to think that in spite of our love we 
must soon part forever," said the Queen. 

Part forever? Dear lady, what can you 
mean?" said the anxious Prince. 
' A cruel fate hangs over us," replied the lady. 

9 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

'Know, dear Prince, that I am promised in 
marriage to the Enchanter Dragondel, and 
that in exactly eight days, he will come here to 
claim my hand." 

'The Enchanter Dragondel — who is he?" 
said the Prince. 

'Alas," said the Queen, "the Enchanter Drag- 
ondel is the most powerful magician of all the 
underworld. He is about eight feet tall, has 
cruel sunken eyes that burn like dull fires, and 
dresses entirely in black. We met -at a ball 
given by the King of the Goblins. Dragondel 
pursued me with compliments. A few days 
afterwards, an iron boat arrived in the port of 
Lantern Land, having on board a giant blue 
dog who is Dragondel's younger brother. This 
terrible animal, from whose sight the people of 
Lantern Land fled screaming, made his way 
to the palace, and dropped at my feet a jeweled 
casket, which he carried between his jaws. The 
casket contained Dragondel's request for my 
hand, and added that, were I to refuse him, he 

10 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

would let loose a legion of ghosts and other 
winged spirits against the lanterns of Lantern 
Land. I had a vision of Lantern Land in 
darkness; of my poor subjects dying of fear 
and starvation. Rather than let this vision 
come true, I accepted the Enchanter. Soon I 
shall never see you again, for Dragondel will 
come and take me to his awful castle which lies 
on an island in the dark ocean. Nor will you 
ever be able to save me, for Dragondel has so 
bewitched the waves that a terrible whirlpool 
forms on the sea when a boat approaches the 
enchanted castle, and engulfs it." 

But I can fight Dragondel," said the Prince, 
like the brave youth that he was. 

'That would be of little use," replied the 
Queen, for you would be changed into a stone 
the instant you crossed swords with him. To- 
morrow, the blue dog arrives to remind me of 
my obligation, and to carry back to the island 
some of the palace servants who are to make 
Dragondel's castle ready for my coming." 

11 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The other members of the party now rode up, 
and the Queen dabbed her eyes with her hand- 
kerchief, and pretended not to have been cry- 
ing. The Prince and the Queen felt very un- 
happy as they rode home. 

On the next day, sure enough, the iron boat 
arrived, and the blue dog, who was as large as 
a lion, went to the Queen's palace, and bade 
her make ready for the coming wedding. A 
dozen of the Queen's servants were then or- 
dered to go with the blue dog to Dragondel's 
castle. Among these servants, disguised as a 
kitchen lad, was the Prince; for he had deter- 
mined to see if there was not some way in which 
the young Queen could be rescued from the 
wicked magician. 

The boat neared the island, but no terrible 
whirlpool formed in the enchanted sea. At 
last the boat reached DragondeFs castle. It 
stood on the top of a high lonely rock against 
whose steep sides the waves of the underground 
ocean were forever foaming and breaking, and 

12 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

it was half in ruins and was very poorly lighted. 

The Prince took his place in the kitchen, and 
sought for an opportunity to prevent the mar- 
riage of Dragondel and the Queen. 

For four days of the precious week, however, 
the poor Prince was kept so busy baking and 
making pastries for the coming of the bride 
that he did not have an instant to ask ques- 
tions or do anything else. 

In the morning hours of the fifth day there 
was a terrible moaning and roaring outside, 
and the cooks rushed to the kitchen windows. 
An unhappy fishing boat had been swept by 
the wind too near Dragondel's castle, the en- 
chanted whirlpool had formed, and caught the 
boat in its awful circle. Now it went slowly 
round the outer edge, now, going faster and 
faster, it slid down the side of the awful funnel, 
and finally it vanished. An instant later, the 
whirlpool had disappeared, leaving the sea 
roaring and foaming. 

The Prince shuddered. 

13 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

" Well you may shudder/' said the chief cook', 
"for such would have been your fate if our 
master's brother had not carried with him the 
talisman which rules the whirlpool." 

Talisman ? What talisman ? ' ' said the Prince 
affecting stupidity. 

" Why the little golden hand, you fool/' said 
the chief cook. 

'My! it must be a great big hand to be able 
to quiet that whirlpool/' said the Prince. 

"Big indeed, you ninny!" growled the cook. 
"Why, the magic hand is only as big as a baby's 
hand. I've seen it many times. The master 
carries it in his pocket, and puts it under his 
pillow while he sleeps." 

So, later on, when his work was done, and 
everybody had gone to bed, the Prince, in the 
hope of stealing the talisman, tried to make 
his way to Dragondel's bedchamber. But when 
he reached the foot of the stairs which led to 
the Enchanter's room, he found it guarded by 
two black panthers which stared at him with 

14 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

insolent yellow eyes and switched their long 
tails. The Prince went outdoors, to see if there 
was any hope of climbing to the room along 
the outer wall, and found that the windows of 
DragondePs chamber overlooked a cliff falling 
thousands of feet sheer to the dark sea. Far, 
far away, the Prince saw the glow of Lantern 
Land. Only a short time remained to him in 
which to save his beloved lady of the lanterns. 

As he wandered about, very sick at heart, he 
saw a little black cat running madly back and 
forth along the edge of a steep cliff from one of 
whose crevices came a persistent, unhappy 
mewing. The poor cat was a mother-cat, and 
was trying to rescue a kitten of hers that had 
fallen down between the rocks. At great risk 
of being dashed to pieces himself, the brave 
Prince climbed down the precipice, rescued the 
kitten, and gave it back to its anxious mother. 

" Thank you, brave youth," said the old cat. 

' May it some day be within my power to help 
you as you have helped me." 

15 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

You can help me this very moment ," said 
the Prince. And he told the cat who he was, 
why he had come to the castle, and of his desire 
to get possession of the talisman. 

I will help you get the talisman/' said the 
cat. The panthers will let me pass, for they 
are cousins of mine. But you must make an- 
other little golden hand to take the place of the 
one I shall steal; for if Dragondel misses the 
golden hand, he will summon his demons to 
find it, and we shall both lose our lives. Go 
now to the kitchen, carve a small hand with 
the fingers close together and the thumb lying 
close to the fingers, gild it over with the gold 
dust you have had given you for the pastry 
icings, and bring it to me to-morrow night at 
this very hour." 

So the Prince worked the rest of the night 
carving and gilding the little golden hand, and 
on the next night he gave it to the cat. The 
cat took it in her mouth as she would have 
a mouse, walked coolly by the panthers, and 

16 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

entered Dragondel's room. She had just suc- 
ceeded in getting the true hand out from under 
the magician's pillow when Dragondel woke 
up. The cat was clever enough to pretend to be 
engaged in a mouse-hunt, so the Enchanter 
paid no attention to her and fell asleep once 
more. When the cat, however, got under Drag- 
ondeTs couch again, the two hands lay side by 
side and she could not remember just which one 
was the talisman and which one the false hand. 
So because she had to act quickly, she put one 
of the hands under the pillow, brought the 
other to the Prince and told him her story. But 
so well matched were the little hands, that even 
the Prince was far from certain that he had not 
got his own hand back again. 

And now came the seventh day, the day on 
which Dragondel, the blue dog, and all the 
wicked Enchanter's friends were to sail to 
Lantern Land for the marriage ceremony. The 
iron ship, made gay with a thousand small 
scarlet lanterns, stood ready to carry them 

17 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

over. The Enchanter and his company got in, 
and the vessel left the island. 

The Prince stood watching the ship from the 
top of the cliffs. What anxiety was in his 
heart! If Dragondel still possessed the true 
talisman, he would cross the whirlpool safely, 
and marry the beautiful Queen of Lantern 
Land. 

The vessel sped on. It was now at some dis- 
tance from the island. 

' All is lost/' thought the Prince with a sink- 
ing heart; ' Dragondel has the true talisman." 
And in his bitterness he was about to throw 
the little golden hand which lay in his pocket 
down into the sea. 

Suddenly the air became filled with a terrible 
moaning; the sea became troubled; the whirl- 
pool awoke. And the Prince saw the red lights 
of the Enchanter's ship whirled round and 
round, faster and faster, till they disappeared 
forever in the waters of the sunless sea. 

As for the Prince, he soon found another boat, 

18 



THE QUEEN OF LANTERN LAND 

and taking with him the talisman, his fellow 
servants, and the black cat and her kittens, he 
returned to Lantern Land, married the Queen, 
and lived happily ever after. 




THE ADVENTURES OF 
FLORIAN 

Once upon a time there lived in an old and 
ruinous house by the shore of the wild sea, a 
widowed nobleman and his only child, a daugh- 
ter named Isabella. They were very poor in 
spite of their high birth, so poor that one by 
one the fields and woods of their little domain 

20 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

had been sold in order to buy the bare necessi- 
ties of life. Knowing that his death would 
leave Isabella quite alone in the world and 
practically penniless, her father brought her up 
more like a boy than a girl; she could ride a 
horse as gracefully as an Amazon, she could 
swim like a born mermaid, and even outdo her 
father in his favorite sport of fencing. Yet so 
sweet was the gentle nature which the girl had 
inherited from her mother, that this strange 
upbringing never spoiled her in the least. 

Late one October evening, when the fierce 
gusts of wind from the sea shook the old house 
to its very foundation and set the ragged tap- 
estries swaying on the walls, Isabella's father 
died, leaving her only the ruinous house, a 
handful of copper pence, and a single golden 
florin. The sum of money was enough to keep 
body and soul together for a few weeks, but 
what was Isabella to do when the little pittance 
was gone? Her father had once counseled her 
to go to the King and ask for his protection; 

21 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

but the King's castle was hundreds of miles 
distant, and Isabella shrank from begging on 
the highway. 

At last the brave girl resolved to make her 
own way in the world. Taking the golden 
florin with her, she went to a neighboring town, 
and purchased a suit of clothes such as pages 
and squires wear who are in the service of 
noblemen. She then caused her black hair to 
be cut short, boy-fashion, put on the boy's 
clothes she had purchased, and went into the 
market-place to see if she could not find a situ- 
ation in the service of some great family. 

Now, it was the custom in those days for 
masters and servants to meet by a fountain in 
the market-place, the masters who were in need 
of servants standing on one side of the foun- 
tain, the servants who were in search of masters 
on the other. 

When Isabella came into the market-place, 
there was no one standing on the masters' side 
of the fountain, but on the other side, ready 

22 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

for the first master who should appear, was a 
little group of noisy and impudent squires and 
pages. Isabella, or, as she now called herself, 
Florian, strode boldly over and joined this 
group, her heart beating high with the thrill 
of the great adventure. 

Suddenly a black knight, mounted on a black 
horse and leading another horse by the bridle, 
clattered over the cobble-stones of the square, 
and taking his place by the fountain, called on 
the pages to come to him. In spite of the 
horseman's summons, however, the pages paid 
no attention to him at all. Curious to know 
the reason of this disdain, Florian questioned 
a fellow page, and was told that the knight was 
no other than the Enchanter of the Black Rock, 
and that no page or squire would take service 
with him because his castle was haunted by 
goblins, ghosts, and all manner of terrifying 
spirits. 

Now, Florian was no coward, and, as the say- 
ing is, beggars cannot be choosers. So, much 

23 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

to the astonishment of the pages, Florian 
walked over to the Enchanter, who sat fuming 
with anger and impatience, and offered to go 
with him. The Knight bade Florian mount 
the horse which he was holding; and amid the 
cat-calls and hooting of the pages, master and 
boy galloped away. 

All day long they rode, and when it was near 
the end of the afternoon Florian found himself 
at the edge of a wild and desolate moor. Within 
the great circle of the horizon, under the pale 
sky, not a tree, not a house, not a shepherd's hut 
even was to be seen — nothing but the great 
barren waste rolling, rising and falling to the 
very edge of the world. Lower and lower sank 
the sun; it grew cold, and a blue mist fell. 
Twilight came, a green, mysterious twilight. 

Suddenly, from a hillock of the moor, Florian 
beheld afar the enchanted dwelling. A great 
sunken marsh lay before him, beginning at the 
foot of the little hill and stretching away, 
league after league, till its farther shore was 

24 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

hidden in the gathering darkness . The autumn 
wind stirred the dead sedges at its brim, and 
though the dying twilight was still gleaming 
in the sky, the great bog had caught little of 
its glow, and lay full of coiling blue mists, pale 
quagmires, and islands of mysterious dark- 
ness. A dreadful moaning cry, uttered by 
some demon of the moor, sounded through the 
mist, chilling the blood in Florian's veins; and 
as if in answer to the cry, thousands upon 
thousands of will-o'-the-wisps appeared, dart- 
ing and dancing. In the very heart of this ter- 
rible marsh a great black rock uprose, and on 
this rock, its turrets and battlements outlined 
against the burning face of the moon, stood the 
castle. Ghostly lights, now green, now blue, 
flickered in its windows. 

The Enchanter reined up his horse at the 
brink of the mire, and cried, — 

"List! List! 
Will-o'-the-Wisp, 
Lend me your light." 
25 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Scarcely had the last word fallen from the 
Enchanter's mouth, when the dancing witch- 
fires hurried toward him from all sides of the 
marsh. Soon a pale road leading across the bog 
to the castle stood revealed, an enchanted road 
which melted away behind the riders as smoke 
melts into the winter air. To the very gates of 
his castle did the ghost-fires accompany the 
Enchanter; then, rising swiftly high into the air, 
they fled like startled birds, in every direction. 

Doors opened of their own will, strange gob- 
lins and ghostly creatures passed, and bright, 
whirling globes of fire fled hissing across the 
castle courtyard. Just as they were about to 
enter the castle itself, the Enchanter turned, 
and fastened his burning eyes on Florian. 

"Boy," said he, let nothing that you hear 
or see make you afraid. Be assured that no 
power or spirit can harm you. There is only 
one demon in the world whose power is greater 
than mine, and that is Fear himself. Be brave, 
keep the doors of your heart locked against 

26 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

Fear; be faithful, and you shall never have 
cause to regret your coming." 

So Florian, who was by nature brave, felt 
ashamed of having allowed the demon Fear to 
knock at the door of his heart, and resolved 
never to let his courage fail, no matter what 
might happen. And true to this resolve the 
lad remained during the years he spent in the 
service of the Enchanter. At first, to be sure, 
he had to struggle to conquer his fear of some 
of the goblins; but as time passed and no ghost 
or goblin ever ventured to annoy him, he grew 
accustomed to their presences and ended by 
paying no more attention to them than he 
paid to the great ravens who flew croaking 
over the mire. So faithful and courageous was 
the little page that, when his year was up, the 
Enchanter begged him to remain yet another 
year, promising him rich rewards if he stayed. 
When this second year was up, however, Florian 
felt a longing to see the world again, and told 
the Enchanter that he must be going. 

27 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Very well, ' ' said the Enchanter, who respected 
the courage of the brave page, "thou shalt do 
as thou desires t. Thou art a brave and faith- 
ful lad. Here is a purse of gold for thy wages, 
and here are three gifts to reward thy courage 
and good- will." He opened a copper casket 
and took forth a little golden bird with out- 
stretched wings hanging from a fine golden 
chain, a golden key, and a scarlet sphere marked 
with a band of white. "This little bird," con- 
tinued the Enchanter, "will protect you from 
the spells of any sorcerer whose power is less 
than mine, and will sing when you fare into 
hidden danger; this key will open every door 
in the world; and should you ever lose your 
way, you have but to put this sphere on the 
ground, and it will roll home of its own accord. 
Moreover, if you are ever yourself in deadly 
peril, call upon me, and I will come and help 
you." 

So Florian thanked the Enchanter, and tak- 
ing his gifts, went back into the world again. 

28 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

But so gentle and kind was he that he soon 
gave away to the unfortunate all the gold he 
had earned, and was forced to go in search of 
another situation. At length he entered the 
service of the King and Queen of the Twelve 
Towers. 

This royal couple , who were renowned in 
Fairyland as much for their goodness and gen- 
erosity as for their wealth and magnificence, 
had but one son, Prince Florizel. No braver 
or more gallant prince ever drew breath. He 
had driven the dragon of the blue cavern out 
of his father's kingdom; he had fought three 
wicked ogres one after the other, and finished 
each one; he had delivered the diamond castle 
of a terrible spell which lay upon it. 

When Florian entered the service of the King 
and Queen, these excellent parents were send- 
ing their son on a visit to his uncle, the Emperor 
of the Plain, and Florian was ordered to join 
the gay company of lords and ladies, knights 
and soldiers, who were to make the journey. 

29 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

According to the gossip of the company, Prince 
Florizel was being sent to his uncle's in the 
hope that he would fall in love with his uncle's 
Ward, the beautiful Princess Rosamond. 

Now in some way or other, after the company 
had been a few days on the road, Prince Florizel, 
who watched over the company as carefully as 
a good captain does over his soldiers, became 
aware of the bravery, trustworthiness, and 
modest bearing of Florian, the little page, and 
promoted him to be his own personal squire. 
Alas! no sooner had he been advanced, than 
Florian the little page, though remaining out- 
wardly a page, became at heart the runaway 
girl, Isabella. Though she fought as hard as 
she could against her own heart, it was of 
little use, and she knew herself to be deeply in 
love with the gallant Florizel. Yet she suffered 
no word or sign of her affection to escape her, 
for Prince Florizel thought her only a little 
page, and to speak would be to betray the se- 
cret she had so long and successfully guarded. 

30 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

One morning, as the cavalcade was riding 
through a charming country, Florian, for so 
we must still continue to call Isabella, was fol- 
lowing close behind his master, when the Prince 
caught sight of a wonderful scarlet flower, 
something like a scarlet lily, blooming by the 
roadside. At the same moment, the little 
golden bird that Florian wore round his neck 
sang a few clear notes as if it were alive. 

" What a pretty flower !" said the Prince. "I 
must have it." 

And he was about to dismount and pick the 
flower, when Florian spurred on ahead of him, 
grasped the enchanted flower, and tossed it 
into a ditch. 

Fie, what a naughty page !" cried the lords 
and ladies. 

The company rode on a few miles more, and 
suddenly the Prince caught sight of a beautiful 
jeweled dagger lying in the highway. At the 
same moment the little golden bird sang a few 
clear notes of warning. 

31 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

"What a fine dagger!" cried the Prince, "I 
must have it." 

And he was about to dismount and pick up 
the dagger, when Florian spurred on ahead of 
him, seized the dagger, and tossed it into a 
ditch. 

"Fie, what a naughty page!" cried the lords 
and ladies. 

The company now rode on for a few miles 
more, and the Prince saw by the roadside a 
beautiful enchanted garden. Birds of many 
colors sang in the branches of the trees, foun- 
tains sparkled and danced in the sunlight, and 
the sweetest of music was heard. At the same 
moment the golden bird sang louder and longer 
than ever. 

"What a beautiful garden!" cried the Prince. 
"Let us ride in and look about." 

So Florian hurried to the Prince's side, and 
implored him not to enter, saying that the 
garden was enchanted and that some harm 
would certainly befall him. 

32 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

At this, all the lords and ladies, who were a 
little jealous, perhaps, that a page should know 
more than they, laughed at poor Florian, and 
even Florizel smiled at him and said, All that 
is only fancy, little Florian/ ' and dashed in 
through the garden gate. For a minute or 
so nothing happened, and the first to enter 
mocked at Florian again; but when the whole 
company had entered the garden, • there was 
a clap of thunder, and everybody except the 
Prince and Florian, who was protected by the 
Enchanter's charm, was turned into stone. 
The echoes of the thunder had hardly ceased 
rolling when two frightful demons with lions' 
heads rushed towards them through the gar- 
den, seized the Prince, and hurried him away. 
Florian was left alone in the garden. Night 
was fast approaching. 

Now, the owner of the enchanted garden was 
a witch, who had a daughter so frightfully 
ugly that even her mother's powerful magic 
could not make her beautiful. In spite of her 

. 33 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

ugliness, however, the witch's daughter con- 
sidered herself quite beautiful, and was always 
importuning her mother to invite to the castle 
princes whom she considered worthy of her 
hand. So the old witch gave wonderful dances 
and parties, to which all the eligible young 
kings and princes of the neighborhood were in- 
vited; but just as soon as the witch's daughter 
appeared with a horrid smirk on her ugly face, 
the young men were sure to make their excuses 
and ride away. 

At length the old witch, who had just had a 
severe tongue - lashing from her daughter for 
not punishing the Prince of Zagabondiga after 
that prince had failed to ask her for a dance, 
could endure her daughter's scolding no longer, 
and resolved to catch the first prince who came 
past her garden, and force him, willy nilly, to 
accept her ugly daughter. Into her trap poor 
Florizel had walked, and the witch, hoping to 
bend him to her will by terrifying him, had 
thrown him into a deep dungeon. The ugly 

34 . 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

daughter had immediately peeked through the 
key-hole of the prison, and fallen in love with 
Florizel at first sight. 

The witch was just considering what to do 
next, when her lion-headed servitors informed 
her that one of the company had resisted her 
enchantment, and was wandering about the 
garden. So the witch put on her cloak of in- 
visibility, and going down to the garden, found 
poor Florian wandering disconsolately under 
the trees. She saw at once that it was the 
little golden bird which had protected him from 
her magic; and being afraid of the charm and 
yet unable to work the poor lad any harm 
while the bird was in his possession, she de- 
cided to rid herself of Florian by transporting 
her castle, gardens and all, over to the other 
side of the world. So she uttered a spell, and 
everything disappeared. 

When Florian woke the next morning, and 
found that the castle was gone, his heart sank. 
Nevertheless, he did not despair, but taking 

35 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

from his pocket the little scarlet ball which his 
master the Enchanter had given him, he put 
it on the ground, and bade it guide him back 
to the Enchanted Garden. 

The little ball immediately began rolling 
ahead at Florian's own pace; at night it glowed 
with a scarlet fire. Day after day, month after 
month, the scarlet ball rolled on; it led Florian 
over hill and down dale, through the land of 
the men who have only one eye, through the 
country of the dwarfs, and the valley of the 
talking trees, never stopping till it reached the 
gate of the witch's garden. 

A year, meanwhile, had gone by, and during 
that year the witch had done everything she 
could to induce Prince Florizel to accept her 
ugly daughter. First she had tried frightening 
him, then she had tried to win him by giving 
splendid fetes, then she had tried terrifying 
him again; but as the Prince was neither to be 
terrified nor cajoled, she came to her wits' end. 
Finally she told the Prince that, if he were not 

36 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

willing to accept her daughter in marriage on 
the very next day, she would turn him into a 
hare and set her dogs upon him. The Prince 
made no answer to her terrible threat, and the 
witch went ahead and made preparation for 
the grandest of weddings. On that night,, 
Florian arrived at the garden. 

When it was very late, and the moon, which 
was a quarter full, had disappeared behind a 
bank of clouds, Florian crept unobserved to 
the door of Florizel's prison; for the witch had 
locked him up so securely that she had not 
taken the trouble to find a watchman. Alas! 
the poor Prince lay at the top of a high tower, 
and twenty different doors, each one opened 
by a different key, stood between him and the 
ground. 

But Florian was not to be daunted, and 
drawing from his bosom the key which the 
Enchanter had given him, he opened one door 
after the other till he arrived in the cell occu- 
pied by the Prince. 

37 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The poor Prince lay chained on a bed of straw, 
trying to read a book by the light of a single 
candle. He was very unhappy, for he had 
resolved to let himself be torn in pieces rather 
than marry the ugly witch maiden. You may 
be sure he was glad to see Florian. 

Dear Florian/ ' said the unhappy Prince, "if 
I had only obeyed your counsel, all would 
have been well." And he begged Florian to 
tell him where he had been all the long year. 

So Florian told the Prince of his adventures. 

Now, the chains which the Prince wore were 
riveted cruelly upon him, and since there was 
no lock to them, the magic key was of no avail. 
At length, however, Florizel managed to work 
them off; but in doing so, he injured his foot, 
and found to his dismay that he could only 
limp along. 

Little by little the freshened air and the stir 
of leaves began to foretell the coming of the 
dawn. Finally, just as the dawn -star began 
to pale, Florizel and Florian hurried out of the 

38 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

prison through the twenty doors, and fled to 
the highroad, 

But they had traveled only a few miles, when 
the wicked witch discovered Florizel's flight, 
and, dreadfully enraged, commanded that her 
dragon car be got ready in order that she might 
go in pursuit of him. So the car was brought 
forth, and into it the witch leaped, and 
mounted into the sky. Hearing the hissing 
and roaring of the dragons in the air, Florian 
and Florizel tried to hide under some trees; 
but the witch instantly saw them, and pro- 
nounced a spell to turn them into hares. But 
though the hate of the witch was quick, the 
woman's heart of Isabella was quicker, and 
sacrificing herself for the man she loved, she 
threw the chain and the golden bird over the 
Prince's head. An instant later she had turned 
into a little gray hare crouching at Florizel's 
feet. At the same moment, the cruel witch, 
who had arrived at her castle, let loose her pack 
of fierce hunting dogs, who soon took up the 

39 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

trail of the hare and came bounding toward 
her in full cry. 

The poor Prince picked up the hare and hob- 
bled forward as fast as he could go, forgetting 
the dreadful pain it caused him; but the dogs 
were running a hundred times faster than he. 
Nearer and nearer came the pack, their red 
tongues lolling from their black throats. By 
good fortune, just as the leader of the pack was 
not more than fifty feet away, Isabella had wit 
enough to remember the promise which the 
Enchanter had made her, and called upon him. 
Immediately a strong glass wall, as high as a 
castle tower, shot up from the ground behind 
Isabella and the Prince; and the pack, hurry- 
ing forward, found themselves baulked of their 
prey. Snarling and yelling, they threw them- 
selves against the magic wall; but in vain. 

In another instant, the Enchanter himself 
stood before them, and touching the hare with 
his wand, restored Isabella to her human form. 
She still wore the garments of Florian, how- 

40 



THE ADVENTURES OF FLORIAN 

ever, and the Prince still thought her a boy. 

Suddenly a shadow fell on the ground near 
them, and looking up, all beheld the wicked 
witch and her ugly daughter, who had ridden 
out in the dragon car to enjoy Florizel's cruel 
death. The Enchanter immediately caused the 
dragon car to vanish, and the witch and her 
daughter fell tumbling through the air into a 
pond, and were changed into ugly little fishes. 
Then the Enchanter carried Florizel and Florian 
back to the witch's castle, where they found the 
tables spread and the dinner being prepared 
which was to celebrate the wedding of Florizel 
and the witch's daughter. Last of all, he 
released Florizel's company from the witch's 
spell. 

Now, one of the ladies, when she heard how 
the witch had tried to match Florizel with her 
daughter, and saw the preparations for the 
wedding, told the Prince that it was a pity that 
the Princess Rosamond were not at hand, so 
that there might be a wedding after all. 

41 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

"A wedding? No," said Florizel, 'not till I 
have found a wife who shall have proved herself 
as faithful and true as little Florian." 
* "She is already here/' said the Enchanter. 
And he touched Florian with his wand. 

Immediately there was a flash of flame, and 
out of it, Florian no longer, but her own self, 
appeared Isabella. Her hair had grown long 
again, and the Enchanter had clad her in the 
most magnificent of gowns. Never was there 
a lovelier girl to be seen on earth. You may 
be sure that the Prince stepped forward, took 
her by the hand, and claimed her for his bride. 

Soon the parents of Florizel, who had been 
summoned by the Enchanter, arrived, ' and 
there was a wedding after all. When the merry- 
making was over, the Enchanter went back to 
his castle on the Black Rock, while Florizel and 
Isabella returned to their own country, and 
lived there happily to a good old age. 



THE SELLER OF 
DREAMS 

Once upon a time a mother called her only 
son into the kitchen, gave him a basket of fine, 
fresh eggs, and bade him carry them to his 
Aunt Jane, who lived a few miles down the 
valley. The son, a lively lad about twelve years 
of age, obeyed his mother with joy, and clap- 
ping his little green hat on his head, stepped 
forth into the road. It was a beautiful clear 
morning in the spring, and the earth, released 
from the icy chains of winter, was rejoicing in 
her freedom and the return of the sun. A few 
birds, just back from the southland, rocked on 
twigs swollen with bursting buds, a thousand 
rills flowing from everywhere and in every di- 
rection sparkled and sang, and the air was 
sweet with the odor of ploughed fields. 

The boy, whose name was Peter, walked along 
whistling. Suddenly he saw a spot on the road 
shining as dazzlingly as if a bit of the sun itself 

43 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

had fallen to the earth. A bit of glass ," 
thought Peter. But it was not a bit of glass 
after all, but a fine golden florin which must 
have dropped from somebody's purse. 

Peter stooped, picked up the gold piece, put 
it in his pocket, and walked off whistling louder 
than ever. In a little while he came to a place 
where the road wound down a little hill, and 
Peter saw, trudging up this hill, a very strange- 
looking old man. He was a very old man; his 
face was puckered up into a thousand wrinkles 
like the skin of a shrunken apple, and he had 
long, snow-white hair and a white beard which 
reached almost to his waist. Moreover, he 
was strangely dressed in a robe of cherry scarlet, 
and wore golden shoes. From a kind of belt 
hung two horns on silver chains, one an ordi- 
nary cow's horn, the other a beautiful horn 
carved of the whitest ivory, and decorated with 
little figures of men and animals. 

' Dreams to sell! Dreams to sell!" called out 
the old man as soon as he caught sight of 

44 



THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

Peter. Don't you want to buy a dream, 
young man?" 

What kind of dreams have you?" asked 
Peter. 

Good, bad, true, false — all kinds," replied 
the seller of dreams. ' I have even a few thrill- 
ing nightmares. Dreams to sell! Dreams to 
sell!" 

How much does a dream cost?" asked Peter. 

A golden florin," answered the merchant. 

I '11 have one, please," said Peter; and he 
handed over the florin he had found. 

The old man took a kind of wonderful sugar- 
plum out of the ivory horn, and gave it to Peter 
to eat. 

You will have the dream next time you 
sleep," said he, and trudged on. 

So Peter continued his journey, stopping 
every once in a while to look back at the strange 
old man, who was slowly climbing the hill. 
At length Peter came to a little quiet grove of 
pines, and there he sat down on a big stone 

45 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

and ate the luncheon which his mother had 
prepared for him. The sun was high in the 
heavens; it was close on to high noon. Now, 
as Peter was contentedly munching his bread 
and cheese, he heard, at first far away, then 
quite near at hand, the clear notes of a coach- 
man's horn. The notes of the second call died 
away in a great pattering of hoofs and tinkling 
of little bells, and suddenly, arriving in a 
great swirl of yellow dust, came a magnificent 
coach drawn by twelve white horses. A lady, 
very richly dressed and wearing many spark- 
ling diamonds, sat within the coach. To Pe- 
ter's astonishment, the lady was his Aunt Jane. 

The coach stopped with a great jingling of 
the twelve harnesses, and Aunt Jane leaned 
out of the window, and said to Peter, 'What 
are you doing here, child?" 

I was on my way to your cottage with a 
basket of fine fresh eggs," answered Peter. 

"Well, it 's fortunate I found you," said Aunt 
Jane, ''for I have given up living in the cot- 

46 



THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

tage, and have now got a castle of my own. 
Jump in, Peter, and don't forget your basket." 
So Peter climbed into the coach, closed the 
door behind him, and was driven away. The 
coach went over hill and down dale; it went 
through strange forests from whose branches 
green parrots whooped and shrieked; it rolled 
through valleys in strange shining mountains. 
Peter stole a look at Aunt Jane and saw that 
she was wearing a crown. 

Are you a queen, Aunt Jane?" he asked. 
1 Indeed, I am/' replied his aunt. 'You see, 
Peter, two days ago, while I was looking for 
my white cow who had strayed away, I came 
upon the magnificent castle to which we are 
now going. It has four beautiful towers, and 
a door set with diamonds. 

Whose castle is this?' I said to the lodge- 
keeper. 

It 's nobody's, marm,' said he. 

What,' said I; do you mean to say that 
nobody owns this fine castle?' 

47 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

That's just what I mean to say, marm,' 
answered he; 'the castle belongs to any one 
who wants it.' 

( So into the castle I walked, and I did n't go 
out, you may be sure, till I had been into every 
room that I could find. Then I put on these 
clothes and these diamonds, which I found in 
a cupboard, and went down and told the 
servants I intended to be queen. You see, 
Peter dear, there 's nothing that a woman of 
determination and energy can't accomplish." 

The coach rolled on, and soon Peter caught 
sight of Aunt Jane ' s castle . It was rather large , 
and had an enormous round tower at each 
corner — a thing which brought to Peter's 
mind the picture of an elephant lying on its 
back. Peter and Aunt Jane, accompanied by 
a train of servants dressed in blue-and-buff 
livery, walked into the castle through the 
diamond - studded door. 

' Do you think you could eat a little more of 
something?" said Aunt Jane, taking off her 

48 



THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

white-kid gloves; ' because if you can I '11 have 
a place set for you at the luncheon table." 

And Peter, who like all boys, could eat a little 
more anywhere and at any time, readily an- 
swered, Yes." 

So Peter and Aunt Jane sat down to a won- 
derful little table covered with a snow-white 
cloth. 

"Draw your chair nearer, Peter dear," said 
Aunt Jane. 

".I can't" said Peter, 'it's stuck to the 
floor." 

And so it was; the chair was stuck to the floor, 
and no amount of pushing or pulling could 
budge it. 

"That 's odd," said Aunt Jane; "but never 
mind, I'll push the table over to the chair." 

But like the chair, the table refused to budge. 
Peter then tried to slide his plate of soup closer 
to him, but the plate, which the servant had 
placed on the cloth but an instant before, had 
evidently frozen to the table in some extra- 

49 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

ordinary manner and could not be moved an 
inch. The soup in the plate, however, was not 
fastened to the dish, nor were the wonderful 
strawberry-cakes and the delicious ices with 
which the dinner closed. 

' You don't suppose this castle is enchanted, 
do yc . Aunt Jane?" asked Peter. 

"JV a bit of it," replied Aunt Jane. "And 
even if it were," she continued recklessly, "I 
should n't mind, for there 's nothing that a 
woman of determination and energy can't 
accomplish." There was a pause, and then 
Aunt Jane added, I am going to have some 
guests to dinner this evening, so run round and 
amuse yourself as well as you can. There's 
ever so much to see in the castle, and in the 
garden there 's a pond with swans in it." 

Attended by her servants, Aunt Jane majes- 
tically walked away. Peter spent the after- 
noon exploring the castle. He went through 
room after room; he scurried through the attics 
like a mouse, and was even lost for a while in 

50 



THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

the cellars. And everywhere he went, he found 
everything immovable. The beds, tables, and 
chairs could neither be moved about nor lifted 
up, and even the clocks and vases were mys- 
teriously fastened to their places on the 
shelves. 

The night came on. Coach after coach oiled 
up to the diamond vloor, which sparked ;U the 
moonlight. When the guests had all arrived, 
a silver trumpet sounded, and Aunt Jane, 
dressed in a wonderful gown of flowering bro- 
cade edged with pearls, came solemnly down 
the great stairway of the castle hall. Two little 
black boys, dressed in oriental costume and 
wearing turbans, held up her gorgeous train, 
and she looked very grand indeed. Peter, to 
his great surprise, found himself dressed in a 
wonderful suit of plum-colored velvet. 

' Welcome, my friends," said Queen Jane, who 
had opened a wonderful ostrich-feather fan. 

Are we not fortunate in having so beautiful 
a night for our dinner?" 

51 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

And the Queen, giving her arm to a splendid 
personage in the uniform of an officer of the 
King's dragoons, led the way to the banquet- 
hall. 

The wonderful party, all silks and satins, and 
gleaming with jewels, swept like a peacock's 
tail behind her. Soon dinner was over, and 
the guests began to stray by twos and threes 
to the ballroom. Aunt Jane and the soldier 
led off the grand march; then came wonder- 
ful, stately minuets, quadrilles, and sweet old- 
fashioned waltzes. The merriment was at its 
height when somebody ran heavily up the great 
stairs leading to the ballroom, and the guests, 
turning round to see whence came the clatter, 
saw standing in the doorway a strange old 
man dressed in a robe of cherry scarlet and 
wearing golden shoes. It was the seller of 
dreams. His white hair was disheveled, his 
robe was awry, and there was dust on his 
golden shoes. 

Foolish people!" screamed the old seller of 

52 



C( 



THE SELLER OF DREAMS 

dreams, his voice rising to a shriek, Run for 
your lives! This castle lies under a terrible 
enchantment; in a few minutes it will turn 
upside-down. Have you not seen that every- 
thing is fastened to the floor? Run for your 
lives!" 

Immediately there was a great babble of 
voices, some shrieks, and more confusion, and 
the guests ran pell-mell down the great stairs 
and out the castle door. To Peter's dismay, 
Aunt Jane was not among them. So into the 
castle he rushed again, calling at the top of 
his voice, Aunt Jane! Aunt Jane!" He ran 
through the brilliantly lit and deserted ball- 
room; he saw himself running in the great mir- 
rors of the gallery. Aunt Jane!" he cried; but 
no Aunt Jane replied. 

Peter rushed up the stairs leading to the castle 
tower, and emerged upon the balcony. He 
saw the black shadow of the castle thrown upon 
the grass far below by the full moon; he saw 
the great forest, so bright above and so dark 

53 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

and mysterious below, and the long snow -clad 
range of the Adamant Mountains. Suddenly 
a voice, louder than the voice of any human 
being, a voice deep, ringing, and solemn as the 
sound of a great bell, cried, — 

"'T is time!" 

Immediately everything became as black as 
ink, people shrieked, the enchanted castle 
rolled like a ship at sea, and leaning far to one 
side, began to turn upside-down. Peter felt the 
floor of the balcony tip beneath him; he tried 
to catch hold of something, but could find 
nothing; suddenly, with a scream, he fell. He 
was falling, falling, falling, falling, falling. 

When Peter came to himself, instead of its 
being night, it was still noonday, and he was 
sitting on the same stone in the same quiet 
roadside grove from which he had caught sight 
of his Aunt Jane in her wonderful coach. A 
blue jay screamed at him from overhead. For 
Aunt Jane, the coach, and the enchanted castle 

54 




How much does a dream cost ? ' ' asked Peter. 
A golden florin," answered the Seller of Dreams 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

had been only a dream. Peter, you see, had 
fallen asleep under the pines, and while he 
slept, he had dreamed the dream he purchased 
from the seller of dreams. 

Very glad to be still alive, Peter rubbed his 
eyes, took up his basket of eggs, and went down 
the road whistling. 



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THE TREASURE CASTLE 



Once upon a time a hunter was roaming 
through the wildwood when he heard a voice 
crying piteously for aid. Following the sound, 
the hunter plunged ahead, and discovered a 
dwarf caught in a pit which had been dug to 
trap wild animals. 

After the hunter had rescued the dwarf from 

57 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

his prison, the little man said to him: Go ten 
leagues to the north till you arrive at a gigantic 
pine; then turn to the east, and go ten leagues 
more till you come to a black castle. Enter the 
castle without fear, and you will discover a 
round room in which stands a round ebony 
table laden with gold and j ewels . Help yourself 
to the treasure, and return home at once. And 
do not — now mark me well — go up into the 
turret of the castle; for if you do, evil will come 
of it." 

So the hunter thanked the dwarf, and after 
making sure that he had plenty of bread and 
cheese in his knapsack, hurried northwards as 
fast as his legs could carry him. Through 
bramble and brier, through valley and wooded 
dale went he, and at dusk he came to a gigantic 
pine standing solitary in a rocky field. Wearied 
with his long journey, the hunter lay down 
beneath the pine and slept. 

When it was dawn he woke refreshed, and 
turning his eyes toward the level rays of the 

58 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

rising sun, began his journey to the east. Pres- 
ently he reached a height in the forest, and from 
this height, he saw, not very far away, a black 
turret rising over the ocean of bright leaves. 
At high noon he arrived at the castle. It was 
ruinous and quite deserted; grass grew in the 
courtyard and between the bricks of the terrace, 
and the oaken door was as soft and rotten as 
a log that has long been buried in mire. 

Entering the castle, the hunter soon discov- 
ered the round room. A table laden with won- 
derful treasures stood in the centre of the cham- 
ber, directly under a shower of sunlight pouring 
through a half-ruined window in the mildewed 
wall. How the diamonds and precious stones 
sparkled and gleamed! 

Now, while the hunter was filling his pockets, 
the flash of a jewel lying on the floor happened 
to catch his eye, and looking down, he saw that 
a kind of trail of jewels lay along the floor lead- 
ing out of the room. Following the scattered 
gems, — which had the appearance of having 

59 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

been spilled from some treasure-casket heaped 
too high, — the hunter came to a low door, 
and opening this door, he discovered a flight of 
stone steps leading to the turret. The steps 
were strewn carelessly with the finest emeralds, 
topazes, beryls, moonstones, rubies, and crys- 
tal diamonds. 

Remembering the counsel of his friend the 
dwarf, however, the hunter did not go up the 
stairs, but hurried home with his treasure. 

When the hunter returned to his country, the 
wonderful treasures which he had taken from 
the castle in the wood made him a very rich 
man, and in a short time the news of his pros- 
perity came to the ears of the King. This King 
was the wickedest of rogues, and his two best 
friends, the Chamberlain and the Chancellor, 
were every bit as unscrupulous as he. They 
oppressed the people with taxes, they stole from 
the poor, they robbed the churches; indeed 
there was no injustice which they were not ready 
to commit. So, when the Chamberlain heard 

60 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

of the hunter's wealth, he — being a direct, 
straightforward rascal — declared that the sim- 
plest thing to do would be to kill the hunter 
and take his money. 

The Chancellor, who was somewhat more cun- 
ning and worldly, declared that it would be 
better to throw the hunter into a foul, dark 
dungeon till he was ready to buy his freedom 
with all his wealth. 

The King, who was the wickedest and wisest 
of the precious three, declared that the best 
thing to do was to find out whence the hunter 
had got his treasure, so that, if there happened 
to be any left, they could go and get it. Then 
of course, they could kill the hunter and take 
his treasure too. 

Thus it came to pass that by a royal order the 
hunter was thrown into a horrible prison, and 
told that his only hope of release lay in reveal- 
ing the origin of his riches. So, after he had 
been slowly starved and cruelly beaten, he told 
of the treasure castle in the wood. 

61 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

On the following morning, the King, the 
Chamberlain, and the Chancellor, taking with 
them some strong linen bags and some pack- 
mules, rode forth in quest of the treasure. 
Great was their joy when they found the treas- 
ure castle and the treasure room just as the 
hunter had described. The Chancellor poured 
the shining gems through his claw-like fingers, 
and the King and the Chamberlain threw their 
arms around each others' shoulders and danced 
a jig as well as their age and dignity would 
permit. The first fine careless rapture over, 
they began pouring the treasure into the linen 
sacks they had brought with them, and these, 
filled to the brim, they carried to the castle 
door. 

Soon not the tiniest gem was left on the table. 
Suddenly the Chamberlain happened to catch 
sight of the gems strewn along the floor. 

" See, see!" he cried, his voice shrill and greedy. 

There is yet more to be had!" 

So the three rogues got down on their hands 

62 



u 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

and knees and began stuffing the stray jewels 
into their bulging pockets. The trail of jewels 
led them across the hall to the little door open- 
ing on the stairway, and up this stairway they 
scrambled as fast as they could go. 

At the top of the stair, in the turret, they found 
another round room lit by three narrow, barred 
windows, and in the centre of this turret cham- 
ber, likewise laden with gold and jewels, they 
found another ebony table. With shrieks of 
delight, the King and the Chancellor and the 
Chamberlain ran to this second treasure, and 
plunged their hands in the glittering golden 
mass. 

Suddenly, a great bell rang in the castle, a 
great brazen bell whose deep clang beat about 
them in throbbing, singing waves. 

What's that?" said the three rogues in one 
breath, and rushed together to the door. 

It was locked! An instant later there was a 
heavy explosion which threw them all to the 
floor, tossing the treasure over them; and then, 

63 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

wonder of wonders, the castle turret, with the 
three rogues imprisoned in it, detached itself 
from the rest of the castle, and flew off into the 
air. From the barred windows, the King, the 
Chamberlain, and the Chancellor saw league 
upon league of the forest rushing by beneath 
them. Suddenly the flying room began to 
descend swiftly, and landed lightly as a bird 
in the middle of a castle courtyard. Strange- 
looking fellows with human bodies and heads 
of horses came rushing toward the enchanted 
turret, and seized its prisoners. In a few mo- 
ments they were brought before the King to 
whom the treasure belonged. 

Now this King was a brother of the dwarf 
whom the hunter had rescued from the pit. 
He had a little gold crown on his head, and 
sat on a little golden throne with cushions of 
crimson velvet. 

With what are these three charged ?" said 
the Dwarf-King. 

With having tried to rob the treasure castle, 

64 



a 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

Your Majesty/' replied one of the horse-headed 
servitors in a firm, stable tone. 

Then send for the Lord Chief Justice at once," 
said the Dwarf-King. 

The three culprits were left standing uneasily 
in a kind of cage. They would have tried to 
speak, but every time they opened their mouths, 
one of the guards gave them a dig in the ribs. 

For a space of five minutes there was quiet in 
the crowded throne-room, a quiet broken now 
and then by a veiled cough or the noise of 
shuffling feet. Presently, from far away, came 
the clear, sweet call of silver trumpets. 

He's coming! He's coming!" murmured 
many voices. A buzz of excitement filled the 
room. Several people had to be revived with 
smelling salts. 

The trumpets sounded a second time. The 
excitement increased. 

The trumpets sounded a third time, near at 
hand. A man's voice announced in solemn 
tones, ' ' The Lord Chief Justice approaches . ' ' 

65 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The audience grew very still. Hardly a rustle 
or a flutter was heard. Suddenly the great 
tapestry curtains which overhung the door 
parted, and there appeared, first of all, an 
usher, clad in red velvet and carrying a golden 
wand; then came two golden-haired pages, also 
clad in red velvet and carrying a flat black- 
lacquer box on a velvet cushion. Last of all 
came an elderly man dressed in black, and 
carrying a golden perch on which sat a fine 
green parrot. On reaching the centre of the 
hall, the parrot flapped its wings, arranged an 
upstart feather or two, and then resumed that 
solemn dignity for which birds and animals 
are so justly famous. 

With great ceremony the gentleman in black 
placed the Lord Chief Justice on a lacquer 
stand close by the throne of the Dwarf-King. 

Trumpets sounded. Two servitors hurried 
forward with the captive King. 

Your Venerability," spoke the Dwarf-King 
to the parrot, who watched him intently out 

66 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

of its round yellow eye, and nodded its head, 

'this rascal has been taken in the act of rob- 
bing the treasure castle. What punishment 
do you suggest?" 

At these words, the two golden-haired pages, 
advancing with immense solemnity, lifted the 
lacquer box to within reach of the parrot's 
beak. The box was full of cards. Over them, 
swaying from one leg to the other as he did so, 
the parrot swept his head. 

An icy silence fell over the throng. The King, 
the Chancellor, and the Chamberlain quaked 
in their shoes. Presently the parrot picked out 
a card, and the gentleman in black handed it 
to the Dwarf-King. 

Prisoner," said the Dwarf-King to the other 
King, the Lord Chief Justice condemns you 
to be for the rest of your natural life Master 
Sweeper of the Palace Chimneys." 

Discreet applause was heard. The Chancellor 
was then hurried forward, and the bird picked 
out a second card. 

67 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 



it 



Prisoner/' said the Dwarf-King, the Lord 
Chief Justice condemns you to be for the rest 
of your natural life Master Washer of the 
Palace Windows." 

More discreet applause was heard. And now 
the Chamberlain was brought to the bar. The 
parrot gave him quite a wicked eye, and hesi- 
tated for some time before drawing a card. 

Prisoner," said the Dwarf-King, reading the 
card which the parrot had finally chosen, "the 
Lord Chief Justice condemns you for the rest 
of your natural life to be Master Beater of the 
Palace Carpets." 

Great applause followed this sage judgment. 

So the three rogues were led away, and unless 
you have heard to the contrary, they are still 
making up for their wicked lives by enforced 
diligence at their tasks. The palace has five 
hundred and ninety-six chimneys, eight thou- 
sand, seven hundred and fifty-three windows, 
and eleven hundred and ninety-nine large dust- 
gathering carpets, and the chimneys, windows, 

68 



THE TREASURE CASTLE 

and carpets have to be swept, washed, and 
beaten at least once a week. 

Now when the King, the Chancellor, and the 
Chamberlain failed to return, the people took 
the hunter out of his prison and made him 
king, because he was the richest and most 
powerful of them all. 

As for the treasure of the treasure castle, it is 
still there, packed in the linen sacks, lying just 
inside the great door. 

Perhaps some day you may find it. If you 
do, don't be greedy, and don't go up to the 
turret chamber. 




PRINCE SNEEZE 



Once upon a time a king and a queen gave a 
magnificent party in honor of the christening 
of their new-born son, Prince Rolandor. To 
this party the royal parents took good care to 
invite every single fairy in Fairyland, for they 
knew very well the unhappy consequences of 
forgetting to invite fairies to christenings. 

70 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

When all the invitations had been sent out, the 
Queen went down to the kitchen to superin- 
tend the cooking of the master-dainty of the 
feast, a huge strawberry-tart. 

The morning on which the grand ceremony 
was to take place arrived. At half-past ten 
the Court Astrologer, who was master of cere- 
monies, gave the order to form in line; and at 
ten minutes to eleven the splendid procession 
started for the church. The road was lined 
with the King's vassals shouting, Hurrah, 
hurrah!" Countless little elves with gauzy 
wings watched from the branches of the trees; 
and the great cathedral bells went clang, bang, 
clang, as merrily as could be. 

Just behind the royal body-guard came the 
King's gold-and-diamond coach shining in the 
sunlight of June, with the King and the Queen 
in it on one side and the Court Astrologer and 
the fairy Titania, prospective godparents of 
the little Prince, on the other. The Prince him- 
self, swathed in a wonderful silk mantle edged 

71 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

with pearls and turquoises, slept in the Astrol- 
oger's arms. 

The procession entered the church, where the 
venerable Lord Archbishop, surrounded by a 
magnificent choir, was awaiting its coming. 
A hush went over the great assembly as the 
parents and the godparents advanced to the 
flower-decked font, and the silence lasted until 
His Eminence had sprinkled the Prince and 
given him the name of Rolandor. Then the 
bells rang again, the organ roared so that the 
windows shook in their casements, and the 
choristers sang like birds on a summer after- 
noon. 

The christening over, the procession went 
back to the castle, past the waiting rows of 
bystanders, not one of whom had changed his 
place or gone away, so superb had been the 
spectacle. 

The christening banquet was laid in the great 
hall of the castle, and, thanks to the Court 
Astrologer, things went off beautifully. It was 

72 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

the only large banquet ever known in the his- 
tory of the world where courses were served all 
at one time, and while one person was finish- 
ing an ice, another was not beginning with the 
soup. Nor was the menu mixed, which hap- 
pens so frequently to-day that you are apt to 
have soup, ice, cake, roast, soup, and a roast 
again. No, from soup to ice the banquet was 
a huge success; but, alas, disaster came with 
the strawberry-tart. 

As the Queen was chatting with the Lord 
Chancellor of the Enchanted Islands, she hap- 
pened to notice — for like a good hostess she 
had been keeping an eye to the comfort of her 
guests — that nobody on the right-hand side 
of the hall had been served with strawberry- 
tart. Almost at the same moment, the chief 
cook, looking rather pale and worried, bustled 
through the throng and whispered in her ear, 

Your Majesty, the strawberry-tart has given 
out!" 

The Queen turned pale. At length she man- 

73 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

aged to ask in a weak voice, 'Have you plenty 
of other pastries?" 

" Yes, Your Majesty," replied the cook. 
Then let them be served at once." 

The cook withdrew, and the Queen, though 
somewhat shaken, took up the conversation 
again. Ten minutes passed, and she was be- 
ginning to forget her start, when a voice, rising 
clear and rasping over the hubbub of the hall, 
said suddenly, Where's my piece of straw- 
berry-tart?" 

Everybody turned toward the speaker, an 
elderly fairy from the Kingdom of the Black 
Mountains, named Malvolia. She stood up 
in her place, her arms akimbo, glowering at 
her plate, on which an attendant had just de- 
posited a small chocolate eclair. 

" Where's my piece of strawberry-tart ?" she 
repeated. 

The Queen rose. 'I am very sorry, Madam 
Malvolia," said she in her sweetest voice, but 
the strawberry-tart has given out." 

74 



u 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

Hoity-toity/' answered Malvolia rudely; 

you mean that you only baked enough for 
your own personal friends." 

At this several guests cried, Sh! Sh!" and 
the King began to look worried. 

"We will send for some at once/' announced 
His Majesty. 

"Oh yes, — strawberry-tart baked by the 
Queen's own hands for her own dear friends," 
said Malvolia sneeringly; but for me, a fairy 
of age and distinction, an ordinary, low baker's 
eclair. The Kingdom of the Black Mountains 
has been deliberately insulted in my person!" 

"No, no, no, no!" cried the King and the 
Queen. We assure you, madam, that it was 
a simple mischance." 

"Pish and tush!" replied Malvolia, who, like 
a great many people, secretly enjoyed feeling 
herself aggrieved. I consider the affair an 
affront, a deliberate affront. And you shall 
pay dear for this humiliation," she screamed, 
quickly losing control of her temper. Every 

75 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

time the Prince sneezes something shall change 
until— " 

At this very moment, alas, a northeast wind 
blew gustily through the open windows of the 
hall, shaking the tapestries from the walls, 
and carrying away the last of Malvolia's sen- 
tence. The angry fairy turned herself into a 
great black raven and flew, cawing hoarsely, 
over the heads of the banqueters and out of the 
window with the wind. 

A baby's cry was heard, and the King and the 
Queen rushed panic-stricken to where their 
little son lay in his cradle on a raised platform 
at the head of the hall. The little Prince's fat, 
pink face was twisted into dreadful lines; he 
opened his mouth wide several times and half 
closed it again; then, opening it wider than 
ever, he sneezed a terrible sneeze. 

There came a loud clap of thunder. When 
the confusion was over, the Court Astrologer 
was found to have turned into an eight-day 
clock, with a sun, moon, and stars arrange- 

76 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

ment, a planetary indicator, and a calendar 
calculated for two thousand years. The ban- 
quet ended rather gloomily, although the gifts 
of the other fairies, such as health, wealth, and 
beauty, managed to make everyone a little 
more cheerful. 

When the guests were gone, the King and 
Queen sent for Doctor Pill, the court physician, 
to consult him in regard to the measures which 
ought to be taken to prevent the Prince's 
sneezing. As for the poor Court Astrologer, he 
was hung up in the sacristy of the cathedral, 
and every eight days his wife wound him up, 
with tears. 

' What shall we do, doctor?" asked the King 
rather mournfully. 

The Prince must be preserved from the 
things which cause sneezing," said the doctor 
sagely. 

"Such as draughts?" suggested the King. 
Draughts, head-colds, snuff, and pepper," 
answered the leech. Let his little highness be 

77 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

put into a special suite of rooms; admit no 
person to them until he has been examined for 
head-cold, and has put on germ-proof garments; 
and as his little highness grows older, forbid 
the use of pepper in his food. Better still, if 
Your Majesty has a castle in the mountains, 
let the Prince be taken there for the sake of the 
purer air." 

There is the tower on the Golden Mountain, ' • 
said the King. 

At this the Queen began to weep again, for 
she, quite naturally, did not wish to part with 
her child. 

But, my dear, we can't have him sneezing, 
and things changing all the time," said the 
King. 

"I beg Your Majesty to consider the danger 
of a head-cold," put in the doctor. 

"Yes, think of the danger of a head-cold," 
echoed the King, who saw clearer than the 
Queen the chaos that might result if the Prince 
was attacked by a prolonged fit of sneezing. 

78 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

People with head-colds may sneeze ten or 
fifteen times a day." 

' Or fifty," said the doctor. 
Or fifty," echoed the King again, shaking 
his head, for he was torn between paternal love 
and kingly duty. " Imagine fifty enchant- 
ments in a day! By eventide the whole king- 
dom would be upset, undone, and the people 
plotting a revolution." 

The tower on the Golden Mountain is in a 
fine healthful locality," said the doctor, and 
the Prince could be brought up as happily 
there as in the palace." 

So at length the Queen consented. In a few 
days the little Prince, who had not sneezed a 
second time, was removed to the tower on the 
Golden Mountain. His room, designed by 
Doctor Pill, was completely protected from 
draughts, and every breath of air that entered 
it was tri-bi-sterilized. Mrs. Pill, who had 
been a hospital nurse, took care of him. Three 
times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and 

79 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Fridays, his royal parents rode out to the 
tower, and after putting on germ-proof gar- 
ments, were admitted to the nursery of their 
infant son. 

And so the years went by. Nobody was 
found able to break Malvolia's spell, and the 
clue to its undoing had been carried away by 
the wind. Malvolia herself had disappeared. 

The Prince became a handsome little boy. 
Accomplished teachers taught him history, 
music, drawing, dancing, and all the other 
things that a prince ought to know. But of 
real life he knew almost nothing at all. 

His most faithful friend during these lonely 
years was a French poodle, who spoke both 
French and English exceedingly well. Of 
course, he had a marked canine accent, rather 
growling his g's and howling the aw's and the 
ow's, but his words were well chosen and his 
vocabulary extensive. Never was seen a more 
friendly, wise, and devoted animal. 

When the King decided to have him sent away 

80 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

for a while, for he feared that his son was get- 
ting a touch of Poldo's barky manner of speak- 
ing, from too close an association, the little 
Prince became really ill from grief, and the 
King was forced to alter his decision. 

During his imprisonment in the tower, in 
spite of all precautions, the Prince sneezed three 
times. At the first sneeze, all the dogs in the 
kingdom except Poldo changed into cats, and 
all the cats into dogs. Though this was not 
a serious trouble, the change was certainly 
inconvenient. All the dog-cats came out meow- 
ing at people as the dogs used to bark at them, 
and they chased people down the street; the 
cat-dogs, on the other hand, stayed in the 
kitchen under the stove, and watched for mice 
in the pantry. Great St. Bernards might be 
seen licking their paws and rubbing them over 
their foreheads, and fat, old cat-lap-dogs used 
to try to purr. 

At the second sneeze, all the elderly gentle- 
men over seventy changed into elm trees, a 

81 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

proceeding that caused a terrible lot of trouble. 

At the third sneeze, all the people in the pic- 
tures at the Art Museum became alive, and for 
a week the soldiers of the royal guard spent 
most of their time rescuing poor, bewildered 
fauns, satyrs, nymphs, Roman senators, and 
long dead celebrities and historical person- 
ages from the worst destitution. The King 
finally had to build a special castle for them. 

As the Prince's twenty-first birthday drew 
near, he began to feel very sad at the idea of 
having to stay shut up in the tower all his 
life. Though he was a very brave and very 
manly young man, he lay down on his couch 
and wept in sorrow. 

Suddenly, standing with his forepaws on the 
coverlet, Why do you weep, dear master?' ' 
said the little dog. 

At my fate," replied the poor Prince. I 
cannot bear to think that I may have to spend 
all my days in this tower, and never see the 
great wide world." 

82 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

The poodle was silent for a few minutes. At 
length he said, Dear Prince Rolandor, do not 
give up hope. Have you ever thought of con- 
sulting my old master, the Giant of the North 
Pole? He has a large chest in his palace full 
of secrets which the winds have overheard, and 
perhaps the key to Malvolia's spell is among 
them. If you will have a warm fur coat and 
four fur boots made for me, I will go to the 
Giant and ask him." 

The Prince gave his consent, and on the next 
day the royal tailor made the poodle a mag- 
nificent sealskin coat and four splendid fur- 
lined boots. Then the King wished him good 
speed, the Queen cried over him, and the 
Prince, who could see from his high tower 
every corner of the kingdom, watched him till 
he disappeared over the hills and far away. 

Straight north the poodle ran. Soon he had 
left the fertile plains behind him, and entered 
great, black pine forests where never a road 
was to be seen. The cold wind howled through 

83 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the trees, and at night the brilliant stars 
sparkled over the dark and waving branches. 
Hungry wolves and savage bears often pur- 
sued him, but somehow he always managed to 
escape them all. At the end of the forest he 
found the frozen ocean lit by the shuddering 
light of the aurora, flashing in a great fan from 
east to west. Past white-tusked walruses and 
sleepy penguins he flew, till on the eleventh day 
he saw the green, icy pinnacles of the Giant's 
palace against the waving curtain of the Polar 
lights. On the evening of the twelfth day he 
entered the castle. 

The Giant of the North Pole was a tall, 
strong, yellow-haired fellow wearing a crown 
of ice and a great sweeping mantle made from 
the white fur of the polar bear. His servants 
were the Gusts, — strange, supple, shadowy 
creatures moving quickly to and fro, — and his 
courtiers were the whirlwinds and the storms. 
The Giant's wife sat by his side; she had dark 
hair and eyes of icy, burning blue. 

84 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

. Welcome, little Poldo," said the Giant; and 
his voice sounded like the wind in the tree- 
tops; "what seek you here?" 

I seek some words of the Fairy Malvolia 
which were carried away by the northeast wind 
at Prince Rolandor's christening," replied the 
poodle. 

Whew, oo-oo," whistled the Giant of the 
North Pole. If I have them, the words are 
yours." 

He summoned two Gusts to bring forth the 
chest of secrets. It was made of black stone, 
and edged with diamonds of ice. In it were 
stored all the mysteries which the wind had 
ever overheard; there were secrets, confessions, 
vows, merry laughs, and simple words. And 
sure enough, in the corner of the chest lay the 
rest of Malvolia's spell — a row of little, old- 
fashioned, dusty words; the words: 'Until he 
finds someone brave enough to marry him." 

So the good poodle learned the words by 
heart, thanked the Giant, and hurried home 

85 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

with the message. When he came to the King's 
palace, he ran, barking with joy, right into the 
King's own room. There he saw the unhappy 
parents. 

"Have you found the last of the sentence?" 
cried the Queen. 

" Yes," said Poldo. "The spell will end when 
the prince marries." 

That very evening the King and the Queen 
sent forth ambassadors to ask for the hand of 
the loveliest princess of all Fairyland, Princess 
Adatha of the Adamant Mountains. But so 
afraid was Adatha of being turned into some- 
thing else, that she refused the offer. 

The King and the Queen then made a request 
for the hand of Princess Alicia of the Crystal 
Lakes. But Alicia also was afraid of being 
turned into something else, and she too re- 
fused the alliance. So did the Princess of the 
Golden Coasts, the Princess of the Seven Cities, 
and many others. Finally the only princess 
left in all Fairyland was a princess who herself 

86 



PRINCE SNEEZE 

lay under an enchantment. A jealous witch 
had turned her golden hair bright blue, and 
given her a nose a foot long. This unhappy 
maiden was the only princess willing to accept 
poor Rolandor. 

The wedding day arrived. The Prince, though 
perhaps a little pale from his confined life, 
looked very handsome, and led his ugly bride 
to the altar like a man. Just exactly as the 
marriage ceremony was half over, a spasm 
contorted the muscles of the Prince's face; the 
poor young man felt strongly inclined to sneeze. 
Though he could be seen making heroic efforts 
to control the impulse, the audience got very 
nervous and panicky. 

All was in vain! The Prince sneezed, "Ker 
choo!" A terrific clap of thunder rent the air, 
and everybody looked about to see what had 
happened. 

The effect of the sneeze was an odd one. As 
it had occurred exactly at the moment when 
the Prince was half-married, the spell had 

87 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

reacted upon itself. Just like a kick from a 
gun/' Dr. Pill said next day. 

The cats became dogs again, and the dogs 
became cats; the elm trees became cross , elderly 
gentlemen looking for their families; the poor, 
excited Roman senators, fauns, nymphs, satyrs, 
celebrities and historical personages, went back 
to their pictures; and to cap the climax, the 
ugly bride became once more her sweet and 
lovely self. 

While everybody was cheering, who should 
walk out of the sacristy but the Court Astrol- 
oger! An instant later, he had fallen into the 
affectionate arms of the faithful wife who had 
wound him up for twenty-one years. 

After the wedding reception, the Prince and 
his bride went on a honeymoon to the En- 
chanted Islands. As for Poldo the poodle, he 
was created Prime Minister and lived to a fine 
old age. 




MARIANNA 



Once upon a time a wicked nobleman rose in 
rebellion against his rightful king, and taking 
the royal forces by surprise, defeated them and 
seized the kingdom. The dethroned King, 
who had been severely wounded in battle, was 
cast in prison, where he soon died; but his 
widow, the Queen, managed to escape from the 

89 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

palace before the usurper could lay hands upon 
her. 

Into the dark forest which lay behind the 
palace ran the Queen, holding her baby daugh- 
ter in her arms. It was winter time, and a 
heavy snow had hidden the foot-paths and the 
roads. Presently the Queen realized that she 
was lost. All afternoon, however, she trudged 
bravely on through the silence and the cold, 
her heart sinking as mile after mile revealed 
no sign of a house or a shelter. 

But late in the afternoon, when the red shield 
of the sun could scarcely be seen through the 
tangle of the wild wood-branches, she per- 
ceived a light coming from a little grove of 
cedars by the shore of a frozen lake. The 
Queen made her way toward this light, and 
discovered a little thatched hut in the silent 
wood; it was the house of one of the dwarfs of 
the forest. The dwarf took pity on the Queen, 
but his efforts were vain, for the poor woman 
was so weak and exhausted that she died with- 

90 



MARIANNA 

out telling the dwarf anything about herself 
or the child she carried. 

So the little dwarf, who was a good, kind old 
fellow, brought the little girl up as if she were 
his own child. His brother, the dwarf of the 
mountain, made her the prettiest red-leather 
shoes, and his cousins, the dwarfs of the pines, 
made the little girl dresses from cloth woven 
on fairy looms. 

Now, on the night her mother brought her 
to the hut, the little girl was wearing a golden 
heart-shaped locket, with a crown and the 
letter M upon it in diamonds. So the dwarf 
called the little girl Marianna. 

Seventeen years passed, and Marianna grew 
to be quite the loveliest lass in all the world. 
Her hair was as black as the raven's wing, her 
eyes were as blue as the midsummer sea, and 
her skin was fair as the petal of a rose. One 
spring morning a little yellow bird flew into 
the cedar grove, and gave the dwarf a letter 
which it held in its beak. 

91 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The dwarf read the letter, and said to Mari- 
anna, Little Marianna, the Emperor of the 
Elves has bidden me come to the great assem- 
bly of the dwarfs which is to be held next year 
on the Golden Mountain. Alas, what are we 
to do ? I can not take you with me, dear child, 
for it is forbidden on pain of death to bring 
mortals to the assembly, nor can I leave you 
here in this lonely wood." 

To this Marianna replied, Do not fear, dear 
father. Give me but yon crystal flask of the 
water of healing, and I shall go forth into the 
world until it is time for you to return again. 
Perhaps I shall discover somebody who can 
tell me the meaning of this locket, or the his- 
tory of my dear mother." 

So the dwarf took his knotted staff, and went 
away over hill, over dale to the Golden Moun- 
tain. 

Then Marianna took the crystal flask of the 
water of healing, and walked boldly out of 
the wood into the wide, wide world. It was 

92 



MARIANNA 

the middle of the spring, the ice and snow had 
all disappeared; the trees were putting forth 
their leaves, and there were clusters of prim- 
roses by the roadside. In the swaying, rust- 
ling heart of a great elm tree, a little thrush 
was singing. Through cities and towns went 
lovely Marianna, bringing good cheer to the 
helpless and the sick, and curing all who came 
to her, rich and poor, with the wonderful 
water of healing. But never did she find any- 
body who could tell her about the gold heart 
with the diamond crown. 

Now it came to pass that, as Marianna was 
one day walking through a village in the heart 
of the Adamant Mountains, a ragged old 
woman besought her with tears to come to a 
hamlet which stood at the head of a high and 
dangerous path. Touched by the old woman's 
supplication, Marianna followed her to the 
hamlet, and found in a wretched hut, lying on 
a wretched bed, a beautiful young peasant girl 
dying of a fever. So Marianna touched the girl 

93 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

with the water of healing, and in an instant 
she became well and strong. 

Dear lady/' said the peasant girl, pressing 
Marianna's hand to her lips, how sweet and 
kind thou art! Great is the debt I owe thee." 

And as the girl poured out her thanks, Mari- 
anna heard a faint chirp, chirp/' and looking 
down, beheld a little yellow bird crouching on 
the hearthstone. Every now and then he hid 
his head under his wings and cried unhappily. 
It was the yellow bird which had brought the 
message from the Emperor of the Elves. 

'Poor little bird/ 7 said Marianna, bending 
down and taking him up in her hands, why 
criest thou so mournfully ? Who hath done 
thee harm ?" 

But the bird uttered only a forlorn little cry, 
and hid his head again under his wings. 

I found him on the rocks at the mountain- 
top yesterday/' said the mother. Someone 
has wounded him. His wing is broken." 

And she put the bird on the floor of the house 

94 



MARIANNA 

and bade Marianna watch how he fluttered 
trailing a wing in the dust. Again Marianna 
stooped, and picking up the bird, touched the 
wounded wing with the water of healing. 
Scarcely had she done so, when the yellow bird 
burst into a joyous and golden song, and fly- 
ing to the window, beat madly against the 
panes. Then the peasant girl threw open the 
casement, and the yellow bird flew out into the 
streaming sun. 

'He is gone forever," said the peasant girl. 

'Nay, he returns," said Marianna, gently, 
as the yellow bird flew back and perched in the 
sheltering bower of Marianna's arms. Then, 
accompanied by the peasant girl and the yel- 
low bird, who flew singing before her, Mari- 
anna went down the dangerous path to the 
high road in the valley. When they reached 
the foot of the path, the peasant girl cried: — 
Farewell, dear Marianna; may it some day 
be mine to repay thee!" 

Into the world again went Marianna, and 

95 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

with her went the yellow bird. Presently she 
came to the fairest land which she had ever 
seen, a land of rolling fields, little hills, and 
rivers bordered with pale willow trees. This 
pleasant land, unknown to Marianna, was part 
of her father's kingdom, and she was really 
its queen because her father had been the last 
rightful king. 

Now while Marianna had been in the forest, 
the wicked nobleman who had stolen the king- 
dom from Marianna's father had died, leav- 
ing his brother Garabin in charge of the king- 
dom and of the interests of his little son, Prince 
Desire. This Garabin, however, taking ad- 
vantage of the youth and helplessness of his 
nephew, had himself assumed the state and 
airs of king. For some time he had enjoyed 
undisturbed the possession of his stolen 
throne; but as Desire grew taller and stronger 
every year, Garabin began to fear the day 
when he would be compelled to resign in favor 
of his nephew. 

96 



MARIANNA 

When the Prince reached his twentieth year, 
Garabin would certainly have killed him openly 
had he dared; but, fearing the people, he re- 
solved, to use secret methods, and bribed a 
cruel magician to afflict poor Desire with a 
deadly and mysterious malady. Of this mal- 
ady, Desire was slowly dying, for no medicine 
could cure him or even give him any relief from 
his constant pain. Every morning the cruel 
Garabin, in the hope of finding his nephew 
dead, would go to the sick room; and you may 
be sure that his wicked heart rejoiced when he 
found the Prince weaker and more feverish. 

Garabin had just returned from a visit to 
the Prince, who was rapidly failing, when the 
Captain of the Castle Guard came to him with 
the news that the wonderful Marianna had 
arrived in the kingdom. The King gave orders 
that she be brought before him. So Marianna, 
walking between two halberdiers and followed 
across the courtyard by crowds of curious 
people, was led before the King. The little 

97 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

yellow bird sat on Marianna's shoulder, and 
never did maiden appear lovelier or more 
gentle. 

Scarcely had Garabin set eyes on Marianna, 
when he caught sight of the golden locket 
which she wore about her neck. Had he not 
been very old and crafty, he would have started 
from his golden throne, for he knew that the 
little golden heart set with diamonds had been 
one of the crown jewels, and that therefore 
Marianna must be the missing Princess, and 
rightful queen of the kingdom. 

What was he to do ? If he refused to let Mari- 
anna help the Prince, the people might begin 
to suspect him, and start a revolution which 
would thrust him from his throne; if he al- 
lowed Marianna to cure the Prince, the Prince 
would certainly demand the kingdom on his 
twenty-first birthday. What was he to do 
with Marianna, whose right to the throne was 
superior even to his nephew's ? Perplexed, and 
with fear in his heart, the King sought the 

98 



MARIANNA 

cruel magician who had cast the spell on Desire. 

The magician lived in a gloomy tower, and 
had an enchanted black dog that he fed with 
flaming coals. He listened to Garabin's story, 
stirring a great cauldron all the while, and 
said, 'Do not fear. We will destroy both 
claimants to the throne at once." 

Garabin rubbed his hands together with glee. 

" To-night I shall cast a spell of sleep on Mari- 
anna, steal the crystal flask, empty it of the 
water of healing, and refill it with a liquid which 
will cause death within a night and a day. I 
shall then replace the flask before Marianna 
wakes. You will allow Marianna to visit the 
Prince; she will touch him with the deadly 
water, and the Prince will die. You can then 
try Marianna for having killed the Prince, and 
condemn her to be thrown from the precipice ." 

So pleased was Garabin with this horrid plot, 
that he could have danced for joy. That very 
night, the magician filled Marianna's flask with 
the poisonous water, and departed, thinking 

99 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

that nobody had noticed him. The yellow 
bird, however, had seen everything, and fol- 
lowed the magician to note where he hid the 
real water of healing. 

The next morning Marianna was once more 
led before the King. 

4 Welcome, thrice welcome, lovely maiden/* 
said Garabin with the most dreadful hypoc- 
risy. I have long hoped that you would turn 
your footsteps hither, for my poor dear nephew, 
Prince Desire, only son of the late King, has 
been ill for some months of a malady no phy- 
sician can cure. Perhaps you can cure him 
with the water of healing." 

Marianna replied that she would do her best 
to help the Prince; so the Court Chamberlain 
gave her his arm, and escorted her to the 
Prince's sick room. The King and many court- 
iers followed after him. 

Desire lay in a great old-fashioned bed, his 
face flushed with fever. So weak was the poor 
Prince, that he could scarcely lift his head to 

100 



MARIANNA 

look at his visitors. A great pity swept over 
Marianna's heart the instant she saw him; 
as for Desire, he fell madly in love with Mari- 
anna at first sight. 

Now just as Marianna bent over the Prince 
to touch his forehead with the water of healing, 
the yellow bird screamed and cried as madly 
as if he were caught in a net. Marianna looked 
at the crystal flask. Nothing seemed changed; 
the water within seemed as pure and diamond- 
like as ever. She touched the Prince with the 
liquid. Alas, in a moment, so terrible was the 
magician's poison that the Prince turned white 
as the driven snow, and fell back on the pil- 
lows insensible. The lookers-on, who had ex- 
pected to see him spring up entirely cured, 
began to murmur, and Marianna herself, ter- 
rified at what had happened, let fall the flask, 
which broke into a thousand sparkling pieces. 

Suddenly, Garabin cried at the top of his 
voice, " Seize the witch; she has killed the 
Prince!" 

101 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Presently there was a great confusion, rough 
hands seized Marianna, and somebody caught 
the yellow bird. The Prince remained insensi- 
ble on the bed. At high noon, a trial was held, 
and since the doctors declared that the Prince 
was dying, Marianna was condemned to be 
thrown from the precipice. When somebody 
asked about the yellow bird, Garabin laughed, 
and gave orders that the cook should wring its 
neck, and toss it to the cat. 

So Marianna was hurried to a dark prison- 
room and loaded with chains, and the yellow 
bird was taken to the castle kitchen, and given 
to the cook. 

"Here, you wring its neck," said the cook to 
one of her helpers, while I go call the cat." 

By great good fortune, the cook's helper was 
no other than the peasant girl whom Mari- 
anna had saved. This girl recognized the yel- 
low bird, and instead of wringing its neck, let 
it fly out of the window. The yellow bird flew 
to the window of the magician's room. The 

102 



MARIANNA 

magician was in the chamber, stirring the 
giant cauldron. The bird flew to the window 
of Prince Desire's room, and saw that he was 
still insensible. 

An hour later the castle-bell began to toll, 
and a dismal procession was seen walking from 
the castle toward the frightful cliff from which 
condemned witches and sorcerers were thrown. 
First came a troop of soldiers, then Marianna, 
weighted down with chains, and last of all, a 
little group in which were Garabin, the magi- 
cian, and some of Garabin's favorites. 

The bell kept on sadly tolling and tolling. It 
roused the Prince from his swoon, and with his 
last measure of strength, poor Desire dragged 
himself to the window. The procession was 
then passing directly underneath the window, 
and Desire's eyes met the eyes of Marianna. 
Stop! Stop!" cried the poor Prince, wildly; 

I forbid—" 

An instant later he sank fainting to the floor. 
The procession went on. 

103 






THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Meanwhile the yellow bird had returned to 
the magician's chamber. It was empty. With 
a joyous cry, the bird fluttered through the 
window -bars, and discovered the phial into 
which the magician had poured the water of 
healing. Clutching it in his claws, the bird 
flew once more to the Prince's room. Desire 
still lay in a heap by the window, and over 
him the yellow bird poured the contents of 
the phial. 

The Prince sprang up, strong as a lion, seized 
his sword, and rushed down to save Marianna. 
He arrived at the cliff just as the poor maiden 
was about to be pushed off into space, and 
standing by her side, dared any one to lay 
hands upon her. 

Garabin, seeing his precious plot miscarry, 
grew mad with rage. 

" Seize them," cried he, and toss them both 
over the precipice!" 

So the soldiers rushed at Marianna and the 
Prince, intending to carry out their wicked 

104 



MARIANNA 

master's orders. But even as they did so, there 
came a flash of flame and the little dwarf, 
Marianna's foster-father, took his place beside 
the lovers. 

'Cruel King!" cried the dwarf sternly, and 
thou, wicked and perfidious magician, the hour 
of thy punishment is at hand." 

Immediately the sky grew black, the light- 
ning crashed, and there arose a terrible, howl- 
ing wind. Three giant gusts drove fiercely by, 
the first one blowing the King and the magi- 
cian head-over-heels over the precipice, the 
second carrying away the soldiers, and the 
third the rascally favorites. When the sky 
cleared, only the dwarf, Marianna, and Desire 
were left of the company. 

Marianna," said the little dwarf, the Em- 
peror of the Elves has told me all your his- 
tory, and it is thanks to him that I have 
returned in time, with the storm at my heels. 
You, Marianna, are the rightful Queen of this 
country." 

105 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Dear Queen," said the honest and gallant 
Desire, 'let me be the first of your subjects to 
salute you." And he knelt before her, and 
humbly kissed her hand. 

"Nay, Prince," said the young Queen, an- 
swering the adoring look in her lover's eyes, 

your father took the kingdom; if I were you, 
I should take the Queen." 

Which was a bit forward, of course, but no- 
body minded that very much in those fairy 
times. 

So Desire and Marianna were married, and 
lived happily ever after. The yellow bird went 
to the wedding, and when the ceremony was 
over rose singing into the air, and flew joyously 
home to the land of the Elves. 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

Once upon a time there was an old widow 
woman who had three sons: the first two were 
clever enough, but the third, Bobo by name, 
was little better than a silly simpleton. All 
his mother's scoldings and beatings— and she 
smacked the poor lad soundly a dozen times 
a day — did him no good whatever. 

Now it came to pass that one morning 
Princess Zenza, the ruler of the land, happened 
to pass by the cottage and heard Bobo being 
given a terrible tongue-lashing. Curious as to 
the cause of all the noise, the Princess drew 
rein, and summoned Bobo's mother to come 
near. On hearing her story, it occurred to the 
Princess that so silly a lad might amuse her; 
so she gave the mother a golden florin, and 
took poor silly Bobo with her to be her page. 

You may be sure that it did not take the wise 
folk at the castle long to discover how great a 
simpleton had arrived. Courtiers, footmen, 
lackeys, turnspits even, were forever sending 

107 




Just as the dragon's mouth was at its widest . . 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

him off on ridiculous errands. Now he would 
be sent to find a white crow's feather or a spray 
of yellow bluebells; now he was ordered to look 
for a square wheel or a glass of dry water. 
Everybody laughed at him and made fun of 
him — that is, everybody except little Tilda, 
the kitchen-maid. When poor Bobo used to 
return from some wild-goose chase, tired out, 
mud-stained, and often enough wet to the 
skin, instead of laughing, little Tilda would 
find him a glass of warm milk, hang his coat 
by the fire to dry, and tell him not to be such 
a simpleton again. Thus, after a while, Bobo 
learned to ask Tilda's advice before going 
away on a wild-goose chase, and was in this 
way saved from many a jest. 

Tilda, the kitchen-maid, was as sweet and 
pretty as she was kind and good. She was 
said to be the daughter of an old crone who 
had come to the castle one day, asking for 
help. 

One pleasant mid-summer morning, when 

109 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Bobo had been nearly a year at the castle, 
Princess Zenza overslept half an hour and did I 
not come down to breakfast at the usual time. 
When she did get up, she found her court wait- 
ing for her in the castle gardens. As she came 
down the steps of the garden terrace, the Prin- 
cess looked up at the castle clock to see how 
late she was, and said to her lady in waiting, — 

"Dear me — why, I We lost half an hour this 
morning !" 

At these words, Bobo, who was in attendance, 
pricked up his ears and said, — 

Please, Your Highness, perhaps I can find 
it." 

At this idea of finding a lost half-hour, the 
Princess laughed, and found herself echoed by 
the company. 

" Shall we send Bobo in search of the lost half- 
hour?" said the Princess to the courtiers. 

Yes ! Yes P ' cried the courtiers. ' Bobo shall 
look for the lost half-hour." 

I'll give him a horse," said one. I'll give 

no 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

him my old hat/' said another. He can have 
an old sword I broke last week/' said still 
another. 

And so, in less time than it takes to tell about 
it, poor simpleton Bobo was made ready for 
his journey. 

Before he left the castle, Bobo went down to 
the kitchen to say good-bye to Tilda. 

'What, off again?" said the little kitchen- 
maid. Where are you going now?" 

"The Princess has lost a half-hour and I am 
going in search of it," said Bobo, proudly. 
And he told how the Princess herself had com- 
manded him to seek the half-hour through the 
world, and promised to bring Tilda a splendid 
present when he returned. 

The good kitchen-maid said little, for she 
feared lest some misadventure overtake the 
poor simpleton; but when the chief cook was 
not looking, she tucked a fresh currant-bun 
into Bobo's pocket, and wished him the best 
of good fortune. 

in 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

So Bobo went to the castle gate, and mounted 
his horse, which stumbled and was blind in 
one eye. 

" Good-bye, Bobo/' cried the assembled court- 
iers, who were almost beside themselves with 
laughter at the simpleton and his errand. 

Don't fail to bring back the lost half-hour!" 

So Bobo rode over the hills and far away. 
Every now and then he would stop a passer-by 
and ask him if he had seen a lost half-hour. 

The first person whom he thus questioned 
was an old man who was wandering down the 
high road that leads from the Kingdom of the 
East to the Kingdom of the West. 

" A lost half-hour?" said the old man. I 've 
lost something much more serious, I 've lost 
my reputation. You have n't seen a lost repu- 
tation lying about here, have you? It was 
very dignified and wore tortoise-shell glasses." 

But Bobo had to answer No," and the old 
man wandered on again. 

Another day the simpleton encountered a tall, 

112 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

dark, fierce kind of fellow, who answered his 
polite question with a scream of rage. 

"A half-hour/' he roared. "No, I have n't 
seen your half-hour; I would n't tell you if I 
had; what's more, I don't want to see it. I 'm 
looking for something I 've lost myself. I 've 
lost my temper. I lost it two years ago at 
home, and have n't been able to find it any- 
where since. Answer me, you silly, have you 
seen a lost temper anywhere? It 's about the 
size of a large melon and has sharp little 
points." 

On Bobo's answering No, "this dreadful per- 
son uttered so perfectly awful a screech of rage, 
that Bobo's horse took fright and ran away 
with him, and it was all that Bobo could do 
to rein him in three miles farther down the 
road. 

Still farther along, Bobo came to Zizz, the 

capital city of the Kingdon of the Seven 

Brooks, and was taken before the King himself. 

'A lost half-hour?" said the King. "No, I 

113 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

am quite sure it has not been seen in my do- 
minions. Would you mind asking, as you go 
through the world, for news of my little daugh- 
ter?" (Here the poor old King took out a 
great green handkerchief and wiped his eyes.) 

She was stolen by the fairies on midsummer 
eve fifteen years ago. Find her, worthy Bobo, 
and an immense reward will be yours." 

So Bobo left the proud city of Zizz, and once 
again rode over the hills and far away. But 
never a sign of the lost half-hour did he find, 
although he asked thousands of people. His 
faithful white horse died, and he continued his 
way on foot. 

Three long years passed, and Bobo grew into 
a handsome lad, but remained a simpleton 
still. Finally, after he had wandered all about 
Fairyland, he came to the edge of the sea. 
Finding a ship moored in a little harbor, 
Bobo asked the sailors if they had seen a lost 
half-hour. 

"No," said the sailors, but we are going to 

114 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

the Isles of Iron; suppose you go with us. The 
lost half-hour may be there. 7 ' 

So Bobo went aboard the ship, and sailed out 
upon the dark sea. 

For two days the weather was warm and 
clear, but on the third day, there came a dread- 
ful storm, and on the third night the vessel 
was driven far off her course into the unknown 
ocean, and was wrecked upon a mysterious 
island of rocks that shone in the night like wet 
matches. A great wave swept the decks, and 
Bobo was borne away from his companions 
and carried toward the shining land. Though 
pounded and battered by the foaming waves, 
the simpleton at length managed to reach the 
beach, and took refuge in a crevice of the cliff 
during the stormy night. 

When the dawn broke, all sign of the ship had 
disappeared. Looking about, Bobo found him- 
self on a lovely island whose heart was a high 
mountain mass hidden in the fog still sweep- 
ing in from the sea. There was not a house, 

115 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

a road, or a path to be seen. Suddenly Bobo 
noticed a strange little door in the bark of a 
great lonely tree, and, opening this door, he 
discovered a little cupboard in which were a 
pair of wooden shoes. Above the shoes was 
a card, saying simply, — 

Put us on. 

So Bobo sat down on a stone by the foot of 
the tree, and put on the wooden shoes, which 
fitted him very nicely. Now these shoes were 
magic shoes, and Bobo had hardly stepped 
into them before they turned his feet inland. 
So Bobo obediently let the shoes guide him. 
At corners the shoes always turned in the right 
direction, and if Bobo forgot and blundered 
on the wrong way, the shoes swiftly began to 
pinch his toes. 

For two days Bobo walked inland toward the 
great mountain. A warm wind blew the clouds 
and rain away, the sun shone sweet and clear. 
On the morning of the third day, the simpleton 

116 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

entered a wood of tall silent trees, and as that 
day was drawing to a close, turrets of a mag- 
nificent castle rose far away over the leaves of 
the forest. 

Bobo arrived at twilight. 

He found himself in a beautiful garden, lying 
between the castle walls and the rising slopes 
of a great mountain. Strange to say, not a 
living creature was to be seen, and though 
there were lights in the castle, there was not 
even a warder at the gate. Suddenly a great 
booming bell struck seven o'clock; Bobo began 
to hear voices and sounds; and then, before the 
humming of the bell had died away, a youth 
mounted on a splendid black horse dashed at 
lightning speed out of the castle and disap- 
peared in the wood. An old man with a white 
beard, accompanied by eleven young men, — 
whom Bobo judged, from their expressions, to 
be brothers, — stood by the gate to see the 
horseman ride away. 

Plucking up courage, Bobo came forward, 

117 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

fell on his knee before the old man, and told 
his story. 

Truly, you should thank the storm fairies/ ' 
said the old man; for had you not been 
wrecked upon this island, never would you 
have discovered the lost half-hour. I am 
Father Time himself, and these are my twelve 
sons, the Hours. Every day, one after the 
other, they ride for an hour round the whole 
wide world. Seven O'clock has just ridden 
forth. Yes, you shall have the lost half-hour, 
but you must look after my sons' horses for 
the space of a whole year." 
To this Bobo willingly agreed. So Twelve 
O'Clock, who was the youngest of the Hours, 
took him to the stables and showed him the 
little room in the turret that he was to have. 
And thus for a year Bobo served Father Time 
and his sons. He took such good care of the 
great black horses of the Hours of the Night, 
and the white horses of the Hours of the Day, 
that they were never more proud and strong, 

118 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

nor their coats smoother and more gleaming. 

When the year was up, Bobo again sought 
out Father Time. 

" You have served faithfully and well/ 7 said 
Father Time. 'Here is your reward." And, 
with these words, he placed in Bobo's hands 
a small square casket made of ebony. The 
half-hour lies inside. Don't try to peek at it 
or open the box until the right time has come. 
If you do, the half-hour will fly away and dis- 
appear forever." 

" Farewell, Bobo," said kind young Twelve 
O'Clock, who had been the simpleton's good 
friend. ' I, too, have a gift for thee. Drink 
this cup of water to the last drop." And the 
youth handed the simpleton a silver cup full 
to the brim of clear shining water. 

Now this water was the water of wisdom, and 
when Bobo had drunk it, he was no longer a 
simpleton. And being no longer a simpleton, 
he remembered the man who had lost his repu- 
tation, the man who had lost his temper, and 

119 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the king whose daughter had been stolen by 
the fairies. So Bobo made so bold as to ask 
Father Time about them, for Father Time 
knows everything that has happened in the 
whole wide world. 

"Tell the first/ 7 said Father Time, "that his 
reputation has been broken into a thousand 
pieces which have been picked up by his neigh- 
bors and carried home. If he can persuade his 
neighbors to give them up, he should be able 
to piece together a pretty good reputation 
again. As for the man who lost his temper, 
tell him that it is to be found in the grass by 
the roadside close by the spot where you first 
met him. As for the missing daughter, she is 
the kitchen-maid in Princess Zenza's palace, 
who is known as Tilda.' 7 

So Bobo thanked Father Time, and at noon, 
Twelve 0' Clock placed him behind him on the 
white charger, and hurried away. So fast they 
flew that Bobo, who was holding the ebony 
casket close against his heart, was in great 

120 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

danger of falling off. When they got to the 
seashore, the white horse hesitated not an 
instant, but set foot upon the water, which 
bore him up as if it had been, not water, but 
earth itself. Once arrived at the shore of Fairy- 
land, Twelve 0' Clock stopped, wished Bobo 
good-speed, and, rising in the air, disappeared 
into the glare of the sun. Bobo, with the 
precious ebony casket in his hand, continued 
on in the direction of Princess Zenza's palace. 
On the second morning of his journey, he 
happened to see far ahead of him on the high- 
way the unfortunate aged man who had lost 
his reputation. To him, therefore, Bobo re- 
peated the counsel of Father Time, and sent 
him hurrying home to his neighbors 7 houses. 
Of the man who had lost his temper, Bobo 
found no sign. In the grass by the roadside, 
however, he did find the lost temper — a queer 
sort of affair like a melon of fiery red glass all 
stuck over with uneven spines and brittle 
thorns. Bobo, with great goodness of heart, 

121 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

took along this extraordinary object, in the 
hope of finding its angry possessor. 

Farther on, the lad encountered Tilda's father, 
the unhappy King, and delivered his message. 
The joy of the monarch knew no bounds, and 
Bobo, the one-time simpleton, became on the 
spot Lord Bobo of the Sapphire Hills, Marquis 
of the Mountains of the Moon, Prince of the 
Valley of Golden Apples, and Lord Seneschal 
of the proud City of Zizz — in a word, the 
greatest nobleman in all Fairyland. Then, 
having got together a magnificent cohort of 
dukes, earls, and counts, all in splendid silks, 
and soldiers in shining armor, the delighted 
King rode off to claim his missing daughter 
from Princess Zenza. 

So on they rode, the harnesses jingling, the 
bridle-bells ringing, and the breastplates of 
the armed men shining in the sun. After a 
week of almost constant progress (for the King 
was so anxious to see his beloved daughter 
that he would hardly give the cavalcade time 

122 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

to rest) , they came to the frontiers of Princess 
Zenza's kingdom. 

Strange to say, black mourning banners hung 
from the trees, and every door in the first vil- 
lage which the travelers saw was likewise hung 
with black streamers. On the steps of one of 
the cottages sat an old woman, all alone and 
weeping with all her might. 

" What is the matter, my good woman?" said 
the King. 

"0 sir," said the peasant woman, evil days 
have fallen upon our unhappy kingdom. 
Three days ago a terrible dragon alighted in 
the gardens of the palace and sent word to 
Princess Zenza that if within three days she did 
not provide him with someone brave enough to 
go home with him and cook his meals and keep 
his cavern tidy, he would burn our fields with 
his fiery breath. Yet who, I ask you, would be 
housekeeper for a dragon? Suppose he did n't 
like the puddings you made for him — why, 
he might eat you up ! All would have been lost 

123 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

had not a brave little kitchen-maid named 
Tilda volunteered to go. It is for her that we 
are mourning. At two o'clock she is to be 
Carried off by the dragon. It is almost two 
now. Alas! Alas!" 

Hardly were the words out of her mouth, 
when the town bell struck twice, solemnly and 
sadly. 

1 Quick! quick!" cried the King and Bobo in 
the same breath, ' Let us hurry to the castle. 
We may save her yet." 

But they knew in their hearts that they were 
too late, and that poor Tilda had given herself 
to the dragon. And so it proved. In spite of 
his mad dash, Bobo, who had spurred on ahead, 
arrived exactly half an hour late. The mon- 
strous dragon with Tilda in his claws was just 
a little smoky speck far down the southern sky. 
Princess Zenza and her court stood by wringing 
their jeweled hands. 

Suddenly Bobo thought of the half-hour. He 
had arrived half an hour late, but he could have 

124 



THE LOST HALF-HOUR 

that half-hour back again! Things should be 
exactly as they were half an hour before. 

He opened the cover of the ebony box. Some- 
thing like a winged white flame escaped from 
it, and flew hissing through the air to the sun. 
As for the sun itself, turning round like a cart- 
wheel and hissing like ten thousand rockets, it 
rolled back along the sky to the east. The 
hands of the clocks, which marked half-past 
two, whirred back to two o'clock in a twinkling. 
And, sure enough, there was brave little Tilda 
standing alone in a great field waiting for the 
dragon to come and take her away. Lumber- 
ing heavily along like a monstrous turtle, and 
snorting blue smoke, the dragon was advanc- 
ing toward her. 

Bobo ran down into the field and stood beside 
Tilda, ready to defend her to the end. 

The dragon came nearer and nearer. Sud- 
denly, angered by the sight of Bobo and his 
drawn sword, he roared angrily, but contin- 
ued to approach. Bobo struck at him with 

125 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

his sword. The blade broke upon his steely 
scales. The dragon roared again. Now just 
as the dragon's mouth was its widest, Bobo 
who had been searching his pockets desper- 
ately, hurled into it the lost temper. 

There was a perfectly terrific bang! as if a 
million balloons had blown up all at once. 
For the dragon had blown up. The lost tem- 
per had finished him. Only one fragment of 
him, a tiny bit of a claw, was ever found. 
Everybody, you may be sure, began to cry 
Hurrah " and Hooray," and soon they were 
firing off cannon and ringing all the bells . Then 
Tilda's father took her in his arms, and told 
her that she was a real princess. The Grand 
Cross of the Order of the Black Cat was con- 
ferred upon Bobo by Princess Zenza, who also 
asked his pardon for having treated him so 
shabbily. This Bobo gave readily. A won- 
derful fete was held. When the rejoicings were 
over, Bobo and Tilda were married, and lived 
happily together all their days. 




THE ENCHANTED ELM 



Once upon a time, while riding, a brave, young 
prince dashed merrily ahead of his friends, and 
after galloping across a ploughed field, turned 
his horse's head down a grassy road leading to 
a wood. For some time he cantered easily along, 
expecting any moment to hear the shouts and 
halloos of his friends following after; but they 

127 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

by mistake took quite another road, and no 
sound except the pounding of his courser's 
hoofs reached the Prince's ear. Suddenly an 
ugly snarl and a short bark broke the stillness 
of the pleasant forest, and looking down, the 
Prince saw a gray wolf snapping at his horse's 
heels, 

Though the horse, wild with fear, threatened 
to run away any instant, the Prince leaned over 
and struck the wolf with his whip. 

Hardly had he done so, when an angry voice 
cried, How dare you strike my pet?" 

A little distance ahead, a wicked old witch 
stood at one side of the road. With its tail 
between its legs, the wolf cowered close to her 
skirts, and showed its long yellow fangs, 

"Pet, indeed!" cried the Prince. 'Keep him 
away from my horse or I will strike him again. ' ' 

"At your peril, Prince," answered the witch. 
And then, as the Prince turned his horse's head 
and galloped back, she called out, ' You shall 
rue this day! You shall rue this day!" 

128 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

Now by the time the Prince had arrived at the 
ploughed field and the great road again, his 
friends had galloped on so far that they were 
lost to sight . Thinking that he might overtake 
them by following a shorter road, he turned 
down a byway skirting the wood in which he 
had encountered the enchantress. Presently he 
began to feel very thirsty. Chancing to see an 
old peasant woman in the fields, the Prince 
called to her and asked where he could find a 
roadside spring. 

Now this old peasant woman was the wicked 
witch under another form. Overjoyed at hav- 
ing the Prince fall so easily into her power, she 
curtsied, and replied that within the wood was 
to be found the finest spring in the country. 
Anxious not to lose time, the Prince begged her 
to lead him to the water. Little did he know 
that the witch was leading him back into the 
wood, and that she had just bewitched the 
water ! 

When they arrived at the pool, the Prince 

129 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

dismounted, and kneeling by the brim, made a 
cup of his hands and drank till his thirst was 
satisfied. He was just about to seize his horse 
again by the bridle and put his foot into the 
stirrup, when a terrible pang shot through his 
body, darkness swam before his eyes, his arms 
lengthened and became branches, his fingers, 
twigs; his feet shot into the ground, and he 
found himself turned into a giant elm. 

A giant elm he was; a giant elm he remained. 
Unable to find him after a long search, his 
friends gave him up for lost, and a new Prince 
ruled over the land. Though the elm tried 
many times to tell passers-by of his plight, none 
ever seemed to understand his words. Again 
and again, when simple wood-cutters ventured 
into the great dark wood, he would tell them 
his story and cry out, "I am the Prince! I am 
the Prince !" But the wood-cutters heard only 
the wind stirring in the branches. Ah, how 
cold it was in winter when the skies were steely 
black and the giant stars sparkled icily! And 

130 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

how pleasant it was when spring returned, and 
the gossipy birds came back again! 

The first year a pair of wood-pigeons took to 
housekeeping in his topmost branches. The 
Prince was glad to welcome them, for though 
denied human speech, he understood the lan- 
guage of trees and birds. On Midsummer Eve, 
the pigeons said to him, "To-night the King 
of the Trees comes through the wood. Do you 
not hear the stir in the forest ? All the real trees 
are preparing for the King's coming; they are 
shedding dead leaves and shaking out their 
branches." 

"Tell me of the King/' said the Prince. 

"He is tall and dark and strong," said the 
doves. l ' He dwells in a great pine in the North. 
On Midsummer Eve, he goes through the world 
to see if all is well with the tree people." 

"Do you think he can help me?" asked the 
Prince. 

" You might ask him," replied the doves. 

The long, long twilight of Midsummer Eve 

131 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

came to a close; night folded the world beneath 
its starry curtains. At twelve o'clock, though 
not a breath of air was stirring, the trees were 
shaken as if by a mighty wind, the rustling of 
the leaves blending into strange and lovely 
music, and presently the King of the Trees 
entered the haunted wood. Even as the wood- 
doves had said, he was tall and dark and 
stately. 

"Is all well with you, my people?" said the 
King, in a voice as sweet and solemn as the wind 
in the branches on a summer's day. 

"Yes, all is well," answered the trees softly. 
Though some replied, "I have lost a branch"; 
and a little tree called out unhappily, "My 
neighbors are shutting out all my sunlight." 

"Then fare ye well, my people, till next Mid- 
summer Eve," said the stately King. And he 
was about to stride onward through the dark 
wood when the enchanted Prince called aloud 
to him! 

Stay, King of the Trees," cried the poor 

132 



u 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

Prince. "Hear me even though I am not of 
your people. I am a mortal, a prince, and a 
wicked witch has turned me into a tree. Can 
you not help me?" 

" Alas, poor friend, I can do nothing/' replied 
the King. " However, do not despair. In my 
travels through the world, I shall surely find 
someone who can help you. Look for me on 
next Midsummer Eve." 

So the great elm swayed his branches sadly, 
and the King went on his way. 

The winter came again, silent and dark and 
cold. At the return of spring, a maiden who 
dwelt with a family of wood-cutters came often 
to rest in the shade of the great tree. Her father 
had once been a rich merchant, but evil times 
had overtaken him, and at his death the only 
relatives who could be found to take care of the 
little girl were a family of rough wood-cutters 
in the royal service. These grudging folk kept 
the poor maiden always hard at work and 
gave her the most difficult household tasks. 

133 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The Prince, who knew the whole story, pitied 
her very much, and ended by falling quite in 
love with her. As for the unhappy maiden, it 
seemed to her that beneath the sheltering shade 
of the great elm she enjoyed a peace and happi- 
ness to be found nowhere else. 

Now it was the custom of the wood-men to 
cut down, during the summer, such trees as 
would be needed for the coming winter, and one 
day the wood-cutter in whose family the maiden 
dwelt announced his intention of cutting down 
the great elm. 

"Not the great elm which towers above all 
the forest?" cried the maiden. 

"Yes, that very tree," answered the wood- 
cutter gruffly. "To-morrow morning we shall 
fell it to the ground, and to-morrow night we 
shall build the midsummer fire with its smaller 
branches. What are you crying about, you 
silly girl?" 

"Oh, please don't cut the great elm! " begged 
the good maiden. 

134 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

" Nonsense!" said the wood-cutter. "I 
wager you have been wasting your time under 
its branches. I shall certainly cut the tree 
down in the morning." 

All night long, you may be sure, the maiden 
pondered on the best way to save the great 
tree; and since she was as clever as she was 
good, she at length hit upon a plan. Rising 
early on Midsummer Morn, she ran to the 
forest, climbed the great elm, and concealed 
herself in its topmost branches. She saw the 
rest of the wood beneath her, and the distant 
peaks of the Adamant Mountains; and she 
rejoiced in the dawn songs of the birds. 

An hour after the sun had risen, she heard 
the voices of the wood-cutter and his men as 
they came through the wood. Soon the band 
arrived at the foot of the tree. Imagine the feel- 
ings of the poor Prince when he saw the sharp 
axes at hand to cut him down! 

"I shall strike the first blow," said the chief 
wood-cutter, and he lifted his axe in the air. 

135 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Suddenly from the tree-top a warning voice 

sang,— 

"Throw the axe down, harm not me. 
« I am an enchanted tree. 

He who strikes shall breathe his last, 
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed." 

" There is a spirit in the tree/' cried the wood- 
cutters, thoroughly frightened. "Let us hurry 
away from here before it does us a mischief." 
And in spite of all the chief wood-cutter's re- 
monstrances, they ran away as fast as their 
legs could carry them. 

The chief wood-cutter, however, was bolder- 
hearted, and lifted the axe again. As the blade 
shone uplifted in the sun, the maiden sang once 

more, — 

" Throw the axe down, harm not me. 
I am an enchanted tree. 
He who strikes shall breathe his last 
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed." 

Hearing the voice again, the chief began to 
feel just the littlest bit alarmed; nevertheless, 

136 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

he stood his ground and lifted the axe a third 

time. Once more the girl sang,— 

" Throw the axe down, harm not me. 
I am an enchanted tree. 
He who strikes shall breathe his last 
Before Midsummer Eve hath passed." 

At the same moment, the elm managed to 
throw down a great branch which struck the 
rogue a sound thump on the shoulders. Now 
thoroughly terrified, the chief wood-cutter 
himself fled from the spot. 

All day long, for fear lest he return, the maiden 
remained hidden in the tree. At twilight, 
overcome by weariness, she fell into a deep sleep. 
Just before midnight, alas, she was awakened 
from her slumber by hearing an angry voice 
cry,— 

"Come down from the tree, wicked, deceitful 
girl, or I shall cut it down at once!" 

Very much alarmed, the poor maiden looked 
down through the branches, and discovered the 
wood-cutter standing at the foot of the elm. A 

137 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

lantern swung from his left hand, and his sharp- 
est axe rested on his right shoulder. He had 
returned home, and not finding the maiden 

u. 

there, had suspected that it was her voice which 
had frightened his men away. 

Come down, ' ' roared the rascal. ' ' I'll teach 
you, you minx, to play tricks with me. One — 
two — three." And lifting the axe in the air, 
he was about to send it crashing into the trunk 
of the elm, when the mysterious murmur which 
heralded the coming of the King of the Trees j 
sounded through the wood. Perplexed and 
frightened again, the chief wood-cutter let fall 
his axe. Presently he perceived two beings 
coming toward him through the solemn forest. 
Uttering a howl of fear, the rogue would have 
fled; but, lifting his wand, the elder of the new- 
comers transfixed him to the spot. The two 
personages were the King of the Trees and his 
friend, the mighty enchanter, Gorbodoc. 

" Descend and fear not, maiden," said the 
King of the Trees. "You have done bravely 

138 



THE ENCHANTED ELM 

and well. Your misfortunes are over, and a 
happier day is at hand." 

So the brave girl hurried down the tree, and 
stood before the enchanter and the King. Very 
pretty she was, too, in her rustic dress and 
ribbons. 

Lifting his wand with great solemnity, Gor- 
bodoc touched the trunk of the elm . There was 
a blinding flash of rosy fire; the great tree ap- 
peared to shrink and dissolve, and presently 
the Prince stood before them. 

" Welcome, Prince," said the enchanter. 
"'Your enemy, the witch, will trouble you no 
more. I have turned her into an owl and given 
her to the Queen of Lantern Land. As for 
you," and here the enchanter turned fiercely 
upon the wood-cutter, "y° u shall be a green 
monkey, until you have planted and brought 
to full growth as many trees as you have cut 
down." 

An instant later, a green monkey swung off 
into the tree-tops. 

139 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Then the grateful Prince thanked the King of 
the Trees, the mighty Gorbodoc, and the brave 
maiden, with all his heart. I am glad to say 
that he got his castle back again and married 
the maiden who had saved his life, and they 
lived happily ever after. 



THE BIRD -BOY 

Late one autumn night a young queen stood 
by her window, gazing upon the silent and de- 
serted meadows gleaming in the moonlight. 
Suddenly, far, far up in the sky, she heard the 
weird cry of birds flying southward, and lift- 
ing her eyes, the Queen beheld bird after bird 
fly across the golden shield of the moon. 

"Oh, lovely, happy birds," said she; "would 
that I might have a son with wings!" 

Now it came to pass that before the harvest 
moon rose again over the land, the Queen 
became the mother of a little boy who was 
born with wings on his shoulders. But instead 
of being pleased with so strange and wonderful 
a little son, the King (who was very supersti- 
tious and under the domination of a wicked 
chamberlain named Malefico) took it into his 
head that his wife was a sorceress, and gave 
orders that she should be imprisoned in a 
lonely tower and the child destroyed. So the 

141 




Every year, on the Bird-Boy' s birthday, a great 
gray bird was seen. 



THE BIRD-BOY 

Queen and her baby were taken to an old and 
gloomy tower on a great rock overlooking the 
northern sea; and after they had been there a 
day or two, the chief jailer came to the Queen's 
room to take the child and kill him. 

The Queen, when she heard this terrible order, 
uttered a gasping scream, and seizing her little 
son from out his cradle, pressed him close to 
her breast. But although she fought for her 
baby with allher might, the rude strength of the 
jailers prevailed, and the child was torn from 
its mother's arms. Then, before any one could 
prevent her, the poor Queen beat open the 
rotted fastening of an old casement window, 
sprang upon the ledge, and giving one last 
look of love and tenderness to her unhappy 
child, leaped down into the sea surging and 
pounding over the rocks hundreds of feet be- 
low. She certainly would have been dashed to 
pieces, had not a good spirit of the ocean taken 
pity on her, and changed her into a great gray 
bird. Crying mournfully, the bird circled the 

143 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

old tower thrice, and disappeared over the 
white-capped waters. 

In spite of his roughness, however, the jailer 
was neither a brutal nor a wicked man, and he 
did not relish the cruel task which the King 
had given him. So, instead of killing the bird- 
boy, he carried him many leagues back into the 
dark forest which bordered the sea, and gave 
him to a family of charcoal-burners. With 
these rough, good people the bird-boy lived till 
he was five years old. And every year, on the 
boy's birthday, a great gray bird came flying 
over the forest from the distant ocean, circled 
thrice the charcoal-burners' hut, and disap- 
peared again, crying mournfully. 

One midsummer day, with a great deal of 
merry hallooing and blowing of sweet- voiced 
horns, the King of the country, accompanied 
by his young wife, came hunting through the 
wood. There was a pretty spring near the door 
of the hut, and the party came to a halt at its 
edge. Out ran the winged boy and his two 

144 



THE BIRD-BOY 

little foster-brothers, to see the wonderful sight. 
And a wonderful sight it was, indeed, to see 
the horses tossing their jeweled bridles, the 
hooded falcons riding on the saddlebow, clutch- 
ing the leather with their curving claws, the 
merry young pages in their dark suits, and all 
the gay company in rich attire. 

'Why, see/' said the young Queen to her hus- 
band, yon little boy hath wings. Really, 
dear, I must have him for my page. Would n't 
it be wonderful to have a winged page? Besides, 
he will be a playmate for Rosabella. " 

So the King gave the charcoal-burner and his 
wife fifty pieces of bright gold, which pleased 
them very much, and the charcoal-burner him- 
self lifted the bird-boy up in his arms, and 
placed him on the King's saddle. Then the 
bird-boy waved good-bye to his two little 
ragged foster-brothers, who were howling as if 
their hearts would break, and rode away with 
the King. In a few hours the company came 
to a splendid castle of shining white stone, 

145 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

standing in beautiful green gardens running 
down to the sea. Once at home, the Queen 
commanded that the little winged boy be 
washed and tidied, and his charcoal-burner's 
rags replaced with a pretty black velvet suit. 
You may be sure that, when the bird-boy was 
washed and dressed, there was no handsomer, 
more winning little boy in all the world. 

So the bird-boy became the best beloved play- 
mate of the Queen's only child, her darling 
Rosabella. Now, if the bird-boy was the pret- 
tiest little boy in all the world, Rosabella was 
the prettiest little girl. Moreover, she had a 
sweet disposition, which is a gift even more 
precious than the gift of beauty. It was a 
lovely picture to see the children building toy 
castles on the floor of the nursery in the castle 
tower, the sun streaming on the black-brown 
hair and silver white wings of the little boy, 
and on the golden curls of Rosabella. 

Twelve years passed. The bird-boy grew into 
a handsome lad; Rosabella into the loveliest 

146 



THE BIRD-BOY 

of princesses. Twice had the bird-boy saved 
Rosabella's life. He had saved her the first 
time by swooping down and catching her in 
his wings just as she was about to tread on a 
wicked yellow viper; he had saved her in the 
same way when she had fallen over a cliff at 
the edge of the sea. 

Every year, on the bird-boy's birthday, a 
great gray bird would fly in from over the sea, 
circle the castle thrice, and disappear, crying 
mournfully. 

Now when the bird-boy and Rosabella were 
in their seventeenth year, it came to pass that 
the King was summoned to war. His enemy 
was no other than the wicked chamberlain 
Malefico, who had succeeded to the kingdom 
of the bird-boy's father, when that Prince had 
died some years before. So the good King, 
who had been a real father to the bird-boy, put 
on his shining armor, kissed his dear wife and 
child good-bye, and rode off to the battlefield. 
The bird-boy begged and pleaded to be taken 

147 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

with him as his squire, but the King would not 
hear of it, and insisted that he remain in the 
castle to take care of the Queen and Rosabella. 
There was little cheer in the castle that unhappy 
evening. And all night long, the bird-boy 
thought he could hear the wings of a great 
bird beating fiercely against the window-panes. 

A month passed, an unhappy month in which 
there were no tidings from the King. Then, 
one liny morning, a messenger who had rid- 
den so hard that his poor horse could scarcely 
stagger, rode to the castle gate bearing very 
evil news. A great battle had been fought, the 
army of Rosabella's father had been completely 
defeated, and the troops of the wicked Malefico 
were hurrying toward the castle as fast as they 
could come. 

And so it was; for before the Queen had had 
time to summon the people and gather to- 
gether a few belongings, the troops of the 
enemy burst in at the gate, and a dozen fierce 
soldiers surrounded the Queen, Rosabella, and 

148 



THE BIRD-BOY 

the bird-boy, and dragged them to Malefico. 

When Malefico saw the bird-boy, a look 
3f surprise appeared on his face, for he had 
oelieved that the wonderful child was dead, 
rhen he fell to thinking, and as he thought, 
kicked purposes swept over his cruel face just 
is the shadows of dark clouds sweep over a 
gloomy pool. 

If it were known that the winged child is 
ilive," he thought, the people would tb ust 
ne from my place, and restore him to nis 
"ather's throne. Now that the bird-boy is in 
my hands, I will destroy him, and be sure of 
ny power." 

So he smiled, and began to think of some 
manner in which he could bring the bird-boy 
bo a shameful end. At last he hit upon a plan. 
He would declare that the bird-boy was not a 
auman lad at all, but a witch-child; he would 
then accuse the good King of having protected 
i witch-child, and condemn them both to 
be stoned. So he threw the King and the 

149 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Queen, Rosabella and the bird-boy, into an old 
dungeon-tower, and went through the mockery 
of having a trial. When it was over, he sent 
"a soldier to tell the King and the bird-boy that 
they were to be punished the following day. 

And now dawned the unhappy day. The 
bird-boy took Rosabella's hand in his, and to- 
gether they went to the barred window of the 
prison and looked out upon the world. The 
morning was fresh and fair; a pleasant south- 
west wind was blowing. The King and the 
bird-boy were to be led forth at noon. The 
clock marked a quarter to twelve. 

Dear Rosabella/ 7 said the bird-boy sadly, 

we have forgotten that to-day is the day on 
which the great gray bird comes from the 
ocean and circles the castle towers. If thou 
shouldst see the bird when I am gone, greet it 
in my name, as we did when we were happy 
children." 

"The bird may come," said Rosabella amid 
her sobs. 

150 



THE BIRD-BOY 

No, Rosabella," said the bird-boy, C I shall 
never see the gray bird again. And even if it 
were to come, what could it do to save us from 
these cruel people?" 

When the clock stood at five minutes to 
twelve, there was a confused noise below, and 
Malefico and the judges who shared with him 
the guilt of the unrighteous punishment took 
their places on a kind of platform which over- 
looked the place of execution. 

They will soon be coming to get us," said the 
King to the bird-boy. 

And sure enough, they heard the jangle of 
the jailer's keys at the foot of the stair. 

Suddenly the sunlight in the room faded 
swiftly into a strange gray gloom, and the 
bird-boy rushed to the window to see if a storm 
was at hand. A great shadowy cloud, advanc- 
ing with inconceivable rapidity, already filled 
half the sky, and as the boy gazed into this 
cloud, he saw to his astonishment that it was 
not a cloud at all, but hundreds and hundreds 

151 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

of thousands of great gray birds, flapping their 
long wings. The shadow of the birds fell over 
the platform on which the cruel Malefico sat 
waiting for the King and the bird-boy to be 
brought forth, and then ceased moving even 
as a ship that has come into harbor. 

Far ahead of the vast swarm flew one lonely 
bird, and suddenly this bird uttered a shrill 
and piercing cry. Immediately every bird let 
fall a great beach-stone which he held in his 
claws, and for a long minute, the sky rained 
stones, round, polished stones that fell like 
bolts of thunder. When the storm was over, 
and the cloud had begun to break into rifts 
and speckles of light and flapping gray wings, 
the wicked Malefico and his cruel nobles lay 
buried forever beneath mound upon mound 
of stones. The doom which Malefico had in- 
tended for another had overtaken him. 

The King and the Queen, Rosabella and the 
bird-boy, rushed down the stairs and out into 
the sunlight. As they did so, the gray bird 

152 



THE BIRD-BOY 

who had led the cloud, sank through the air 
and alighted at their feet. But scarcely had the 
bird's claws touched the ground, when there 
was a flash of flame, and the bird-boy's mother 
stood before them. She took her son in her 
arms, and told them all his history and her 
misfortunes, and how she had watched over 
him year after year and gathered the birds to 
save him. 

Thus it came to pass that, when the troops 
of Malefico saw their former Queen and heard 
her story, they acclaimed the bird-boy as their 
rightful king, and carried him back in triumph 
into his own country. So the bird-boy became 
a, king, married Rosabella, and lived happily 
3ver after. 



THE MASTER MARINER 

Once upon a time a fine young fisherman rose 
early in the morning, and sailed alone to the 
fishing-grounds. There was very little wind, 
and beneath the speckled clouds and the cold, 
pearly light of the late dawn, the broad, low 
billows went slowly and unrippled to the land. 

The fisherman cast anchor, and threw over- 
board his lines. Suddenly his boat moved 
uneasily, and close to its side the oily surface 
of the pale sea broke into a tumbling mass of 
foam. In the heart of the troubled waters, the 
fisherman beheld, to his great astonishment, 
a man clad in a strange garment of gleaming 
black scales, struggling with an enormous 
scarlet fish. A battle of life and death they 
fought, the man of the sea trying to stab the 
fish with a short dagger of shining steel, the 
fish trying, wolf-like, to tear at the body of its 
enemy. Now, with a swift lash of its bright 
scarlet body, the fish would rush at the man; 

154 



THE MASTER MARINER 

now, with a long sure stroke of his powerful 
arms, the man would escape the attack. Sud- 
denly, the fish hurled itself clear out of the 
water, and falling against the man, struck 
him a terrible blow with its tail. Then the 
ocean man, who was stunned for a moment, 
would have perished, had not the young fisher- 
man swiftly seized his spear and plunged deep 
into the body of the fish. Mortally wounded, 
the scarlet creature sank through the sunless 
waters, the dark blood flowing from its side. 

The man of the sea clutched the rail of the 
boat with his webbed hands, and said to the 
fisherman, ' I am the King of the Caves of the 
Sea. I owe you my life, and you shall have a 
reward. Take this little silver fish. It will 
bring you good fortune; and should you ever 
be in deadly peril, you have but to cast it into 
the sea, and it will come and find me." 

The fisherman thanked the King of the Caves, 
and took the silver fish. It was about the 
length of your little finger, and had pale moon- 

155 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

stones for eyes. The fisherman hung the tal- 
isman on a chain and wore it round his neck. 

From that morning on, everything prospered 
with the youth. His boat never leaked, he 
was never caught in a storm, and the fish came 
to his lines and nets the instant he threw them 
overboard. Within a year or two he had grown 
so rich that he was able to buy the finest mer- 
chant ship in the world, and became a master 
mariner. Surely no more splendid fellow than 
this gallant, young captain was ever found on 
the Seven Seas. He sailed to cold and foggy 
Flannel Land, where the inhabitants all have 
incurable head colds, and have no other cloth 
but red flannel; he traded in the ports of gor- 
geous Velvet Land, whose inhabitants dress in 
velvet, and cover their walls with velvet hang- 
ings and their floors with velvet rugs. 

One pleasant morning, running before a fine 
westerly breeze, he came to the Eastern Islands. 
Down the street of the bazaar walked the 
Master Mariner, followed by those who had 

156 



THE MASTER MARINER 

articles to sell. Some showed him bright- 
colored birds which they had caught in the 
forests; others waved squares of figured cloth 
and called upon him to buy them; others still 
offered strange flasks and bottles of brass and 
gleaming copper. At the end of the street, the 
Master Mariner discovered a little quiet coun- 
ter on which lay some dozens of puffy and dis- 
tended brown-leather bags. 

"What are these?" said the Master Mariner 
to a tall, lean man with beady, brown eyes who 
was in charge of the shop. 

" These are breezes, Master Captain," replied 
the shopman. ' If you are going south, here is 
a bag of a very reliable northwest wind" (he 
picked up one of the brown bags) ; 'if you are 
going east, here are some of the best-assorted 
westerly gusts. I am selling them at a very low 
price to-day, in fact at less than they cost me. 
What will you have?" 

" I '11 have a smart easterly, ' 'replied the Master 
Mariner. 

157 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

He put down fifty gold pieces on the counter, 
took the bag which the shopman gave him, 
and walked away. 

Now all these leather bags looked very much 
alike, and instead of selling the Master Mariner 
a brisk easterly breeze, the shopman had made 
an error, and sold him a frightful storm. 

Again the Master Mariner went to sea; but 
luckily for him, he put the imprisoned storm 
away in a locker, intending to use it on some 
other voyage. Presently he came to Silk Land, 
loveliest of all the Cloth Islands. There the 
inhabitants dress only in the finest of silks; 
the roofs and walls are covered with layers of 
silk; the sun always shines, and pretty birds 
with silken plumage chatter in the fern-like 
trees. 

Now the island of Silk Land was at this time 
ruled by the prettiest of princesses. She was 
about eighteen years old; she was tall for her 
age, and her eyes were quite the loveliest shade 
of brown. When the Master Mariner's fine 

158 




Splash ! and the Master Mariner fell into the sea. 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

ship came into the harbor of Silk Land, cleav- 
ing the turquoise water, and with the bright 
sun shining on her silvery-white sails, the 
Princess happened to be resting under a silken 
awning on the roof of her palace. Catching 
sight of the ship, the Princess cried to her com- 
panions: — 

See what a fine ship is coming into port! She 
must be laden with many wonderful things. 
Send word to the Captain that I intend to 
visit her to-morrow morning." 

The next morning, sure enough, the Princess 
paid a visit to the ship, which lay at a wharf 
below the palace. In honor of the Princess's 
coming, everything had been swept, scrubbed, 
and brightened, and gorgeous carpets from the 
Eastern Islands covered the decks. In shaded 
ndoks, under costly tapestries, lay the treas- 
ures of the cargo — wonderful cloths and spices 
from the Eastern Islands, vessels of gold and 
silver from the Adamant Mountains, and jewels 
from the Desert of the Moon. 

160 



THE MASTER MARINER 

Now scarcely had the Master Mariner set 
eyes on the Princess, than he began to think 
her quite the most wonderful person he ever 
had beheld; as for the Princess, scarcely had 
the Master Mariner directed two or three re- 
spectful and somewhat tender glances in her 
direction, than she began to believe him quite 
the most gallant youth she had ever seen. She 
gave orders that several of the marvels be 
brought to her palace, and was looking about 
for something else, when her eyes chanced to 
fall upon the silver fish the Master Mariner 
was wearing. 

"Pray, what is that little silver fish?" asked 
the Princess. 

A mere trifle which a friend once gave me/' 
replied the Master Mariner, reading in the 
Princess's eyes and demeanor that she desired 
the talisman. 'if Your Majesty will only 
deign to accept it, it is yours." 

And blinded by the Princess's eyes, he gal- 
lantly, but somewhat incautiously, took the 

161 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

silver fish from its chain and gave it to the 
Princess, who laughed prettily, and accepted 
the gift. 

' Silver trumpets sounded, the servitors gath- 
ered up the treasures which the Princess had 
chosen, and the royal party returned to the 
palace with a good deal of chattering and 
laughter. 

In a few days, the Master Mariner disposed of 
his cargo, and went again to sea. But wherever 
he went, the image of the beautiful Princess of 
Silk Land went with him. 

Under the silken awning, on the wind-swept 
balcony, sat the Princess, and the image of 
the young Captain was often in her mind. 

After three months had passed, the Princess 
took it into her head that it was time for the 
Master Mariner to return to Silk Land, and 
gave orders that a sharp watch be kept from 
the tower of the palace for his returning vessel. 
One morning, just as the Princess was having 
breakfast in her wonderful silken bed, news was 

162 



THE MASTER MARINER 

brought to her that a large ship was headed for 
the harbor. 

'is it the Master Mariner's ship?" asked the 
Princess. 

I do not know, Your Majesty/' replied the 
messenger. ' The vessel is still many miles out 
to sea." 

So the Princess jumped out of bed, and with- 
out waiting for the ladies of the bedchamber to 
dress her, ran upstairs to her balcony. A great 
ship was coming in under a favoring breeze. 
Nearer and nearer it came, till the Princess 
could even distinguish the men aboard. Sud- 
denly she uttered a little scream, and ran down 
stairs pell-mell. At the same moment the bells 
of Silk Land all began to ring wildly, and the 
beating of drums sounded through the town. 

The approaching ship was a pirate ship ! From 
the topmast flew the terrible black flag of the 
pirates of the Northern Isles! 

Great confusion followed. 

Warned by the uproar of the bells and drums, 

163 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the people came scurrying through the streets 
to the palace; some carrying children in their 
arms; others the best beloved of their house- 
hold furnishings. The palace was hastily made 
ready for a siege. 

Soon, cursing and swearing, the black-bearded 
pirates arrived, and began to sack the town. 
Into every house they went, pulling out all the 
bureau drawers, reading private letters, upset- 
ting the clocks, and leaving the water running 
in the kitchen sinks. They filled their pockets 
with cuff-links and watches. 

Now, if the pirates had taken only the cuff- 
links, stick-pins, cameo brooches, silver candle- 
sticks, souvenir spoons, and sugar-tongs, and 
then gone away, the raid would not have been 
too terrible; but the rogues, bribed by the 
horrid old King of the Oyster Mountains, a 
rejected suitor, were bent on getting possession 
of the Princess. On discovering that she had 
locked herself up in the strong palace, their 
rage knew no bounds. They made a dozen 

164 



THE MASTER MARINER 

different attempts to break open the palace 
door, but all in vain. Finally, they decided to 
besiege the fortress. 

For four days all went well enough with the 
Princess and her imprisoned people; but by the 
sixth day most of the food had been eaten; and 
by the end of the eighth day, the Princess knew 
she would have to surrender the following morn- 
ing. With a sinking heart she went to a tur- 
ret and looked out over the ocean in the hope 
of catching sight of a passing sail. But she 
saw only the deserted town and the pirate ship 
riding at anchor in the bay. An hour later she 
went to the turret again, and again she saw 
no sign of anything at sea. A terrible despair 
seized upon her, but nevertheless once more to 
the turret she climbed. 

Far out at sea, headed toward land, was the 
brave ship of the Master Mariner! 

So great was the joy of the poor Princess at 
the sight of the gallant vessel that she almost 
swooned; but recovering herself, like the Prin- 

165 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

cess that she was, she ran down into the court- 
yard and told the news to her people. Im- 
mediately those who were weak or fretful from 
hunger began to take heart, and all who could 
crowded to the barred windows. 

The Master Mariner's vessel came riding into 
the port; the watchers saw her drop anchor, 
saw the boats being lowered, and the sailors 
coming ashore. Soon the pirates and the sail- 
ors were at it hammer and tongs; a ceaseless 
clack clack of steel beating upon steel rose to 
the turrets of the palace; there were dreadful 
duels in the alleyways and battles in the public 
squares. Alas! just as the sailors were carrying 
the day, the Master Mariner received a blow 
on the head which knocked him insensible, and 
the mariners, disorganized by the loss of their 
chief, were soon surrounded and taken prison- 
ers. Then, taking heart, the pirates rushed the 
palace, and burst open the doors. 

When the rogues had taken everything on 
which they could lay their hands, they brought 

166 



THE MASTER MARINER 

the prisoners and the plunder to the market- 
place. 

" Shall we bind all these people and take them 
aboard?" asked a pirate. 

' No ! ' ' roared the one-eyed pirate chief. ' Take 
only the Princess and that rogue of a Master 
Mariner." 

The people now began to cry, Oh, don't take 
the Princess, our dear Princess!" But all their 
prayers were useless. 

Now, because the Master Mariner's ship was 
far more swift and beautiful than the pirate 
ship, the pirates, after setting fire to their own 
vessel, abandoned her, and put their plunder 
Dn board the Master Mariner's vessel. The 
following morning, leaving the people of Silk 
Land robbed and mourning, the pirates sailed 
away. 

Within a few hours, all signs of land had 
disappeared. The sea was as black as ink. 
Against the horizon's edge, the great waves 
were leaping and breaking into foam. 

167 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 



it 



Bring me the list of booty!" cried the pirate 
captain, roaring the last word. 

So the pirate treasurer came on deck, and 
read a long list beginning, — 
Fifty-three scarf-pins." 
Hooray!" shouted the pirate crew. 
A hundred and eighty-five sterling silver 
berry-spoons," next announced the treasurer. 
Hooray!" cried the crew again. 
One thousand clocks!" cried the treasurer. 
How many with alarms?" asked an old 
pirate anxiously. 

There was a strained silence. The treasurer 
consulted his list. 

Seven hundred and forty-nine," he answered. 
' Hooray!" yelled the pirate crew. 
When the list had been read (it took very 
nearly half an hour to do it) the one-eyed cap- 
tain cried, ' Bring forth the Master Mariner!" 
So the Master Mariner was brought forth, 
and thrown brutally against a mast. The 
pirate chief put his arms akimbo, cleared his 

168 



THE MASTER MARINER 

throat savagely, and roared, "So you thought 
you were going to punish me, did you! Well, 
I'll show you what happens to people who 
upset my plans. Here, Hawk Eye, and you, 
Toby, throw this fellow overboard.' 7 

Hearing this awful order, the Princess 
screamed and would have run to the Master 
Mariner, had not rude hands restrained her. 

Splash! the Mariner fell into the inky sea. 
Swift as a bird, his own ship went by him; he 
saw the mocking face of the pirate chief leering 
at him from over the rail; in a few minutes he 
was alone, all, all alone in the wide, wide sea. 
For some time he swam about, and by great 
good luck discovered a log of wood strong 
enough to bear his weight, floating near at 
hand. Upon this he climbed, and there we 
shall leave him for the present. 

When the Captain had disappeared from sight 
miles behind, the pirate chief walked over to 
the Princess, and looking at her, said sneer- 
ingly, 'Well, my beauty, are you going to 

169 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

make up your mind to be the wife of the King 
of the Oyster Mountains? I'm taking you to 
him, and mind now, no fooling!" 

The Princess shrank from him with horror, 
and as she fell back, the sun gleamed on the 
silver fish she was wearing at her throat. The 
chief made a rude snatch at it; the Princess, 
however, was quicker than he, and hit him a 
good box on the ear. 

Ow!" cried the chief, dancing up and down 
with rage. I'll fix you, you ill-tempered minx. 
Here, somebody, tie this girl to the mast for 
the rest of the day, and give her nothing but 
bread and water." 

In obedience to his order, the Princess, with 
her arms tied by the wrists behind her back, 
was lashed to the mast. When she had been 
securely bound, the chief, whose ear was still 
tingling, took the silver fish. He was looking 
at it when he saw something which made him 
drop the fish on the deck. 

Out of the forecastle door thick clouds of 

170 



THE MASTER MARINER 

black mist were rolling, exactly as if the hold 
of the ship were on fire. For a meddlesome 
pirate had found the leather bag of storm-wind 
and had opened it, mistaking it for a bag of 
wine. 

The strange clouds, swirling round the deck, 
grew instant by instant darker and denser. 
Soon the tops of the masts could no longer be 
distinguished. The sun took on a horrible cop- 
per hue, and the sea became a mottled black 
and green. A howling wind arose. 

A moment later, with the violence of an ex- 
plosion, the storm burst. Mountain-high rose 
the glassy white-capped waves. The lightning 
fell in violet cataracts, and thunder roared and 
tumbled through the caverns of the sky. An 
ocean of hissing rain fell into the waters. 

Suddenly the pirate chief, as he staggered 
down the stairs, shouted, We are lost!" 

Just astern, an enormous, glassy wave, higher 
than the masts of the ship, was about to 
break. The pirates yelled, but little good their 

171 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

yelling did them. An instant later the wave 
broke upon the deck, and crashing tons of 
green water swept every single pirate into the 
sea. Slowly, and with the tense struggle of a 
wounded animal, the good ship lifted itself 
from the waves. 

The Princess was the only human being left 
on board. Only the cords which bound her to 
the mast had saved her from being swept away. 

Now, when the water swept the deck, the sil- 
ver fish which lay at the Princess's feet became 
alive and darted over the rail into the sea. 

The storm continued. The helpless Princess 
expected every minute to sink with the ship 
into the roaring waters. Suddenly, to her hor- 
ror, a high rocky island appeared a few miles 
ahead. Toward this island, over whose cruel 
reefs the ocean was foaming and breaking, the 
ship was drifting fast. Tied to the mast, the 
Princess listened to the terrible cry of the break- 
ers, and, spell-bound, watched the jagged rocks 
of the island ever drawing nearer. 

172 



THE MASTER MARINER 

Now while the Princess was in this terrible 
situation, the Master Mariner, who had been 
blown before the storm like a feather, also 
came in sight of the rocky island. The instant 
he caught sight of the shore, and heard the 
roaring of the breakers, he knew that he could 
not hope to reach the land. He was on the 
edge of the reefs when the King of the Caves of 
the Sea, who had been summoned by the sil- 
ver fish, rose out of the water beside him, and 
taking him in his webbed hands, swam with 
him to a place of safety. Just as they reached 
the shallows, the mists of the tempest parted, 
and driving through the darkness and the 
storm, headed for the reefs, came the Master 
Mariner's ship with the Princess tied to the 
mast. 

Oh, save her! Save the Princess!" cried the 
Master Mariner. 

The King of the Caves of the Sea stretched out 
his hands over the island and uttered a strange 
and mysterious word. So awful was its power 

173 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

that the rocky cliffs split open, forming a safe 
and sheltered harbor. Into this port came the 
ship, safe at last as a bird in its nest. 

So the Master Mariner, the Princess, and the 
ship were all wonderfully preserved, and when 
the storm was over, the King of the Caves saw 
them home to Silk Land. There the Master 
Mariner found his crew waiting for him, and in 
a few days they had rigged new sails for the 
ship which were even whiter than the old. The 
inhabitants got back the fifty-three scarf pins, 
the hundred and eighty-five sterling silver berry- 
spoons, the thousand clocks, and the rest of 
the booty which the pirates had stowed away 
in the Master Mariner's ship. 

Great was the rejoicing. 

Greater still was the joy, however, when the 
Master Mariner married the Princess. 




THE MARVELOUS DOG 

AND THE 

WONDERFUL CAT 

Once upon a time there was an old enchanter 
who taught magic and enchantment to the 
younger fairies. Year after year, and morning 
after morning, he was to be found at his school- 
room in the Fairies' College, standing between 

175 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

his desk and a blackboard, now writing down 
the spell for turning noses into turnips, now 
changing sunflower seeds into pearls before the 
very eyes of his pupils. 

The old enchanter liked this life of quiet and 
study, and doubtless would have been teaching 
in Fairyland to this very day, had he not been 
so unfortunate as to quarrel with the terrible 
sorcerer Zidoc, who was then Lord High Chan- 
cellor of the Fairies' College. I have forgotten 
exactly what the quarrel was about, but I think 
that it had to do with the best spell for causing 
castles to fall to pieces in an instant. At any 
rate, Zidoc, who considered himself quite the 
most wonderful enchanter in Fairyland, was 
furious at being opposed, and told the old 
enchanter, very angrily, that he was not to 
have his classes any more and must leave the 
college at once. So the poor old gentleman 
packed up his magic books, put his enchanter's 
wand into its silver case, and went to the coun- 
try one pleasant day in search of a house. 

176 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

Thanks to the advice of a friendly chimney 
swift, it did not take him long to find one. The 
dwelling was the property of the Fairy Jocapa. 
It stood just off the high road, close by a lane of 
great oaks whose shiny, fringed leaves glistened 
in the hot noon-day sun; it had a high roof with 
sides steep as mountain slopes, and one great 
chimney; and its second story thrust itself out 
over the first in the old-fashioned way. Green 
fields, little hills, and pleasant meadows in 
which red and white cows were grazing lay 
behind the dwelling. 

Seeing the front door wide open, the enchanter 
walked in. It was very quiet. Only the far 
away klingle-klangle of a cow-bell could be 
heard. 

"Here shall I live," said the enchanter. And 
he brought his possessions to the house. 

Now, one autumnal morning, when a blue 
haze hung over the lonely fields from which the 
reapers had departed, and the golden leaves 
were wet underfoot, the old enchanter went for 

177 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

a walk down the lane, and finding the day 
agreeable, kept on until he found himself in 
the woods. Arriving at the crest of a little hill 
Si the woodland, he saw below him, almost 
at the foot of the slope, a countryman with a 
white puppy and a black kitten following at 
his heels. The little dog barked merrily out of 
pure high spirits, whilst the kitten leaped and 
struck with its tiny paws at the passing white 
butterflies. 

As the old enchanter approached the coun- 
tryman, he happened to hear him say to the 
animals, — 

"Alas, my poor innocents, what a pity that I 
should have to abandon you!" 

" What's that?" said the enchanter, halting 
the countryman. ''You intend to abandon 
these helpless creatures?" 

"Alas, I must," replied the countryman, pull- 
ing a large blue bandanna handkerchief from 
his pocket and applying it to the corners of his 
eyes. "We are too poor to be able to feed 

178 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

them, and my children love them so well that 
I cannot find it in my heart to do them harm. 
I am taking them into these woods to abandon 
them, in the hope that, like the wild animals, 
they will soon learn to shift for themselves." 

"Give them to me," said the old enchanter, 
"I will bring them up." The countryman 
nodded his head. "As for you, here is a golden 
florin. May it bring you better fortune." 

Thus did the white puppy and black kitten 
change hands. 

Once he had led the animals safely home, the 
enchanter resolved to make them the most 
wonderful animals that had ever been seen in 
the whole wide world, whether in Fairyland or 
out of it. Being an enchanter, he could, of 
course, do this more easily than other people. 
So he taught the cat and the dog all the known 
languages, then history, arithmetic, dancing, 
social deportment, and a variety of the best 
magic and spells. The cat, as was to be ex- 
pected, was particularly good on anything that 

179 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

had ' cat ' in it; he once catalogued all the prin- 
cipal catastrophes; while the dog, although a 
good student, had a fancy for writing doggerel. 
Many and many a time, when the enchanter 
and his wonderful animals were seated in their 
armchairs round a blazing fire, talking exactly 
as any three good friends might talk, a nose 
would flatten itself against the panes, and the 
three companions would see looking in at them 
some stranger whose curiosity had got the 
better of his manners. 

The dog, I may say, had grown up to be a fine 
fellow of the short-haired, white bull terrier 
family; the cat had grown to be as aristocratic 
as a panther. When their education was com- 
plete, the animals came to their teacher and 
begged him to let them go away and see the 
world. For a long time the enchanter, who 
loved his charges very much indeed, resisted 
their request; but as they continued to press 
him, he came at length to yield. Calling them 
before him, he said to them: — 

180 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

"Well, dear pupils, if you must go, you must 
go. I owe the Fairy Jocapa twelve months rent 
for this house. She is now living with her 
nephew, the King of the Land of the Runaway 
Rivers. You shall take twelve golden florins 
to her. Your route will take you over all the 
kingdoms of the whole wide world.' ' 

So the white dog, who was the stronger of. 
the two, took the purse with the twelve golden 
coins, and put it in a large wallet which he wore 
at his side, and then both the wonderful ani- 
mals said good-bye. At the corner of the lane 
they turned again to look for the last time at 
their dwelling, and saw their old master still 
waving at them from the little window over 
the door. Then they fared over the hills and 
far away. 

So wise, so well-bred and good-tempered were 
these wonderful animals, that their journey 
across the world was a great success from the 
beginning. Their fame spread from kingdom 
to kingdom like wild-fire. The universities, 

181 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

colleges, and other learned societies fought with 
each other for the privilege of entertaining 
these distinguished students . To this very day, 
the address which the cat made on catapults 
and cataplasms, before the professors of the 
University of Sagessa, is remembered as one of 
the great events of the time ; while the dog's 
address on dogma before the assembled schol- 
ars of the Royal Academy of Fairyland was 
printed in a special book bound in gold leaf 
and walpus leather. Both the cat and the dog 
were awarded countless honorary decorations. 
And so, little by little, they came to a hilly 
land in which all the streams raced pell-mell 
to the sea, and there they knew themselves to 
be in the Kingdom of the Runaway Rivers. A 
three days' journey brought them to the royal 
castle. Arriving in the twilight, they were 
somewhat surprised to find a number of torch- 
bearers waiting for them in the castle court- 
yard. With great respect, these attendants 
conducted the cat and the dog into a little ante- 

182 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

room, and then retired, leaving them alone. 
A few minutes later, a very old woman, who, 
the animals noticed, was stone-blind, came to 
take them before the king. 

"How strange! " whispered the cat in its 
rather meouw-y voice. 

" Very/' whispered back the dog in his deeper 
tone. 

Having opened, one after the other, three 
great doors with three different iron keys, the 
old woman, guiding herself by touching the 
wall with her hand, led the animals into a long 
dark corridor. The cat, who could see quite 
well in the dark, did not mind this, but the 
dog was not particularly pleased. The echoes 
of the old woman's boots went rolling along in 
the hollow darkness; the dog could hear his 
heart beat, and saw his black companion's eyes 
glowing like pools of flame. Then, to their 
mutual relief, the animals saw a point of light 
appearing far down the passage, and on reach- 
ing this, they discovered a second blind old 

183 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

woman holding a torch. The first old woman 
beckoned them to follow this new guide, and 
disappeared again into the dark corridors by 
which they had arrived. 

The second old woman, lifting high the torch, 
first led her charges through three more great 
doors, all of which she carefully locked behind 
her. Soon the animals found themselves at 
the top of a winding stair whose end was lost 
in darkness. Down this stair they went, turn- 
ing, ever turning, down and round, down and 
round, till both cat and dog felt dizzily that 
they must have reached the heart of the earth. 
Then, little by little, a pin-point of light began 
to glow brighter and brighter, and the animals 
found themselves at the foot of the stairs and 
opposite a little door. And there, by this door, 
stood another blind old woman, who held a 
torch and beckoned to the animals to follow. 

Three more doors they passed, the last one 
opening on a very narrow, winding passage. 
In and out they turned, walking one behind the 

184 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

other, for a time that seemed very, very long. 
Suddenly a narrow door appeared in the wind- 
ing wall, which opened inward as they drew 
near, revealing a beautiful round chamber 
riclily furnished and hung with the finest tap- 
estries. Beside the fireplace, in which a wood- 
fire was cheerily burning, sat a gray-haired lady, 
who was no other than the Fairy Jocapa, and 
in the centre of the room, reading a great book 
by the light of many candles, sat a young man, 
the King. 

In spite of the enchanter's careful training in 
manners, the cat and the dog, I am sorry to 
say, almost stared for an instant at the King. 
Small wonder that they did so, for the unfor- 
tunate young man lay under a horrid spell, and 
his face and hands were not pink or white 
or sun-brown, like yours or mine, but bright 
green, like a parrot's wing! 

" Welcome, wonderful animals," said the 
enchanted King. "Your fame has gone before 
you into every land, and it is said that there is 

185 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

no question you cannot answer. Listen, then, 
to my story and help me if you can. 

"You see me before you, hideously changed. 
Until you entered here, an instant past, no 
eyes but those of my aunt had beheld my horri- 
ble countenance. It was she who caused this 
enchanted chamber to appear in the heart of 
the foundations of my castle; and in this cham- 
ber I have hidden since that terrible hour when 
the spell was put upon me. My subjects only 
know that I am still alive . The Lord Chancellor 
rules the kingdom in my stead. But hearken 
to my story. 

Ten months ago, as I was driving my chariot 
down a narrow road built along a river-bank 
close to the stream, I encountered a chariot 
being driven furiously in the opposite direction. 
The driver of the chariot was a tall, elderly 
man, wearing a wizard's cap; his face was red 
as with anger, an evil light gleamed in his small 
malicious eyes. In order to let him pass, I 
turned to one side, as near to the river-brink as 

186 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

I dared; but the space was too narrow, our 
chariots locked wheels, and his was overthrown. 
Turning upon me a face aflame with hatred, 
he cried out, 'I will teach you what it is to 
offend the Enchanter Zidoc'; and an instant 
later the wizard himself, the struggling horses, 
and the overturned chariot disappeared in a 
rumble of thunder and a great flash of flame. 
"I turned homeward, never noticing that any- 
thing had happened to me. As I chanced to 
pass a roadside cottage, a little child playing 
about saw me and ran, screaming for fear, 
to the door. A little farther on, I stopped to 
drink of a spring. Judge of my horror when I 
leaned over the clear pool of water and saw that 
my face had turned a bright green! I waited 
till nightfall, stole into the castle unobserved, 
and sought the aid of my aunt, the fairy. You 
know the rest. Speak, wonderful dog and 
wonderful cat, and bid me hope a little!" 

And the poor King hid his bright green face 
in his hands. 

187 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

"The Enchanter Zidoc is an old enemy of our 
dear master/' said the white dog, "and his 
power as a sorcerer is the greatest in Fairy- 
land." 

'I have tried all my powers against him in 
vain," said the Fairy Jocapa, sadly. 

"But let us not despair," broke in the cat. 
"Zidoc is now to be found in these dominions. 
His castle lies on the border of the Silver Hills. 
The dog and I will go there, and see if we can 
help the King." 

So the Fairy and the unhappy King thanked 
the wise animals, and sent for the blind old 
women to lead them back to the upper world. 
Early next morning, the famous pair began 
the journey to the Enchanter's den. The dog's 
plan was to pretend to be but an everyday 
stray dog, and to this end, he rolled several 
times in a mud-puddle; the cat, too, was to 
appear as a stray cat, and neglected his fine 
black coat in order to look the part. 

Unfortunately for their plan, Zidoc had in 

188 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

his chamber a little enchanted bell which rang 
shrilly when danger threatened him. Hearing 
the bell ring late at night, Zidoc rose from his 
bed, and hurrying to the turret window, saw, 
by the light of the waning moon, the dog and 
the cat making their way to the castle through 
the wood. • Rubbing his hands with glee, he 
determined to let the two animals walk head- 
long into his power, and then inflict upon them 
some terrible revenge. 

The first day the dog went indoors, and con- 
cealed himself under a sofa, while the cat re- 
mained outside. When twilight came, the dog 
ran out and met the cat in the castle garden. 

"Did you discover anything?" asked the cat. 

" Nothing whatever," replied the dog. 

"I will try to-morrow," said the cat. 

And so, when the morning came, the dog re- 
mained outside while the cat concealed himself 
behind a curtain. When the twilight came, 
the animals met again. 

" Did you discover anything?" asked the dog. 

189 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

"Very little/' replied the cat. "The Sorcerer 
Serponel is coming to-morrow to pay Zidoc a 
visit. One of us must hide in the room in which 
they will talk; for perhaps we may learn some- 
thing which may help us to lift the spell from 
the King." 

11 To-morrow it is my turn," said the dog. 
And so the next morning he stole into the house 
and hid again beneath the sofa. 

Now Zidoc knew very well where the dog had 
concealed himself. Moreover, he had sum- 
moned the powerful Serponel to his aid in 
order that the dog and the cat should have no 
opportunity to escape. 

When Serponel arrived, both the wicked 
enchanters went to the room in which the 
dog lay concealed. First, Zidoc locked the only 
door with a great key and then he said to 
Serponel, — 

"Brother, someone tells me that there is an 
enemy hidden under the sofa." 

"Yes, brother," replied the dreadful Serponel. 

190 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

"And something tells me that it is time to let 
him feel your staff." 

Now Zidoc had an enchanted staff whose 
blows were mortal, and knowing this, the poor 
dog, who was trapped between the wall and 
the two sorcerers, grew cold with fear to the tip 
of his white tail. Just as he was about to make 
a bolt into the open, Zidoc dragged the sofa 
swiftly aside, and aimed a terrible blow at him, 
which by the greatest good luck just missed its 
mark. He then ran out into the room, pur- 
sued by the sorcerers, who little by little forced 
him toward a corner. 

And now, just as Zidoc, holding the staff up- 
lifted, was about to strike the poor dog with all 
his force, a black shape, with flaming eyes and 
paws outstretched to scratch, leaped through 
the open window and landed upon Zidoc's back. 
It was the brave cat, who had heard the fracas 
from his hiding-place below and had clawed 
his way up the castle wall to help his friend. 
Valiant Puss, forgetting in one instant, I must 

191 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

admit, all its knowledge of languages, catas- 
trophes, history, social deportment, and agri- 
culture, plunged instantly into the fray, and 
gave Zidoc a frightful scratch, which so upset 
him that it caused him to drop his staff, while 
the dog profiting by the confusion, and forget- 
ting all about geometry, mathematics, agricul- 
ture, and dogma, managed to give Serponel a 
good bite just above the ankle. 

The wily Zidoc, however, was not to be so 
easily thwarted. Uttering a magic word, he 
caused the room to be filled with darkness, and 
in the cover of this darkness he transformed 
himself instantly into a black cat exactly like 
the learned cat, while Serponel changed him- 
self into a white dog exactly like the learned 
dog. At the same moment he caused the locked 
door to fly open. 

"Now," thought he, "I will cause the cat to 
follow the wrong white dog, and the dog to 
follow the wrong cat; we shall thus separate 
the animals, and when we have lured them 

192 ■ 



THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

far away from each other, Serponel and I will 
resume our true forms, and destroy these med- 
dlesome creatures." 

When the darkness cleared, the hearts of the 
true animals fell for fear lest the sorcerer's ruse 
be successful; but they met the challenge read- 
ily, and instead of fleeing, stood their ground; 
the true dog battling with the false dog, the 
real cat with the false cat. Never was such a 
hullaballoo heard in Fairyland. Then, seeing 
that he was in danger of being badly scratched, 
Zidoc brought on another darkness, the floor 
of the castle shook, a noise as of thunder roared 
and rattled through the room. When the 
darkness ended, both the enchanters had been 
separated and the cats were confused, the real 
dog was chasing the real cat, thinking that he 
was following Zidoc, while Serponel, who had 
been the false white dog, was pursuing Zidoc, 
who had been the false black cat! Down the 
stairs, over the terraces and the gardens ran 
the true dog, pursuing the true cat, while in- 

193 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

doors, up and down through the rooms and 
over the furniture, raced the false animals. 

The poor cat, thinking he was being pursued 
by the wrong dog, grew short of breath, and, 
hearing the snapping at his heels, ran up a con- 
venient tree. Hardly had he reached a point 
above the dog's jaws when a voice said: — 

u Why, my pupils, my pupils! What a way 
to behave ! Stop your quarreling this instant V ' 

The animals turned to look, and saw their 
master, the old enchanter. He had been wor- 
ried by their long absence and had gone forth to 
look for them. Thus, at the same moment that 
the poor dog saw that he had been pursuing 
his friend, the cat saw that he had been escap- 
ing from his comrade. 

Suddenly a noise from the castle arrested 
their attention, and on looking up, all saw 
through the windows the false dog pursuing 
the false cat down the hall of state. 

Now, if you remember the first part of this 
story, you will recall that Zidoc quarreled with 

194 



« THE WONDERFUL DOG AND CAT 

the old enchanter over the right spell for de- 
stroying castles. A triumphant smile shone 
on the lips of the old teacher; he stretched forth 
his hand toward the castle and uttered a magic 
word. 

There was a roar as of twenty thousand cata- 
racts, and in the twinkling of an eye, the castle 
collapsed in a cloud of dust, burying the two 
wicked magicians in its ruins. 

" There, I told him so!" said the old en- 
chanter. 

When the dog and the cat had recovered from 
the events of the day, the three friends began 
their journey back to the palace of the en- 
chanted King. He came to the castle gate to 
meet them, for Zidoc's overthrow had broken 
the spell which had so oddly disfigured him. 
Through the open doors, a splendid banquet 
could be seen waiting, and the sound of music 
was heard. 

So the old enchanter gave his arm to the Fairy 
Jocapa, the Prince gave his to the white dog, 

195 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK i 

and the cat followed all by himself. Then came 
the host of rejoicing courtiers. 
When the festival was over, the enchanter and 
the wonderful animals went back, loaded with 
royal gifts, to their own little house and lived 
happily there to a good old age. 




THE SHEPHERD OF 
CLOUDS 

Once upon a time a young husband and wife 
named Giles and Phyllida lived in a cottage in 
the heart of a great plain. League upon league, 
the rich land fell away to the west, there to end 
at a wall of high mountains into whose fast- 
nesses no one had ever ventured. Yet the 
mountains were very beautiful. In the cold of 

197 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

a clear winter's day, the snowy summits and 
rust-colored pinnacles shone bright and near 
at hand; in the spring, fogs hid them, and lay 
like gray mantles upon the lower slopes. Mid- 
way in the mountain wall, a wide chasm marked 
the entrance to a deep, gloomy valley, out of 
which a roaring mountain torrent hurried, to 
lose itself in the plain below. And because 
somewhere in the heart of this dark valley 
storms were brewed, whose dark clouds, laden 
with lightning and hail, poured from between 
the crags of the valley out over the land, this 
valley was known as the Valley of Thunder. 
According to an old legend, out of this valley 
a king should one day come to rule over the 
people of the plain. 

Giles and Phyllida kept house by themselves. 
They had two cows, one red and white, the 
other black and white, a flock of hens, some 
hives of bees, a white horse, a dog, and a cat. 
All day long Phyllida worked happily at the 
household tasks, baking the sweet white bread 

198 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

and marking the fresh golden butter into 
square pats, while Giles went out to work in 
the waving grain; and Phyllida, watching from 
a window, would see the sun flash on the up- 
lifted blade of her husband's scythe. 

One day Phyllida said to Giles: — 

' I have made a dress for the youngest child 
of our cousins, Jack and Jill, and this morning 
I shall saddle the white horse and ride over to 
their cottage. Perhaps I may stay with them 
for a few days. You will find a fresh baking of 
bread and a meat-pie in the larder. Good-bye, 
Giles; I'll soon be home again." 

So Giles answered, Good-bye," and away 
rode Phyllida on the white horse. 

A few days passed, and Giles, wandering here 
and there through the quiet house, felt very 
lonely indeed. Finally he could stand it no 
longer, and said to himself, "Phyllida must be 
on her way home now; I shall walk down the 
highway and meet her." 

So he turned all the animals loose in the 

199 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

fields, and putting a few slices of bread and 
cheese in his pockets, set forth upon the road. 
Leagues ahead of him stood the mysterious 
mountains rising palely through the haze of 
the midsummer afternoon. A pale violet light 
fell on their distant precipices, and the snow in 
the rifts upon their sides appeared of the purest 
and loveliest white. Gusts of wind hurrying 
from the distant summits swept the great plain, 
and the fields of ripening wheat bent before 
them and rustled harshly. 

Suddenly, down the throat of the Thunder 
Valley, Giles saw a river of lightning fall, and 
from far away came a low murmur of thunder. 
Then, faster and faster, a storm poured down 
the chasm like a flood, drowning out the light 
of the sun, stilling the songs of the little birds, 
and turning to the sky the pale underside of 
the leaves of the roadside trees. A darkness as 
of night itself covered the land. Rain began to 
fall in great spattering drops. Now, by the 
glare of the lightning, Giles would see the end- 

200 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

less fields, drenched and waving in the rain; 
now the Thunder Valley itself, covered' with a 
floor of onrushing cloud unfolding, turning, 
and sinking in continuous and multitudinous 
activity. 

Night came on amid the storm, and a flash 
of lightning revealed to Giles that he had lost 
his way. Hoping to find a shelter or some 
friendly cottage, however, he plunged on; but 
the road became worse and worse, and he was 
again and again forced to wade brooks flooded 
by the tempest. At length his steps led him 
into a pine wood, and there in the thickest part 
he found a little shelter, and fell asleep. 

When he woke, numb, cramped, and cold, he 
found to his horror that in the night and dark- 
ness he had blundered on into the Valley of 
Thunder, into which no living soul had ever 
before advanced. Worst of all, he could not 
find the way by which he had entered, for high 
crags rose on every side and held him prisoner. 
Presently, to his amazement, he beheld a nar- 

201 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

row flight of steps cut in the solid rock of the 
mountainside. Up these steps climbed Giles, 
and as he mounted higher, the stairs began to 
twist and turn amid the crags and pinnacles. 
At the end of an hour's ascent, he found him- 
self at a turn from which the Thunder Valley, 
the chasm through which it opened into the 
plain, and the wide plain itself, could all be 
seen. 

Giles lingered there a while, trying to see his 
own cottage, or perhaps Phyllida on her white 
horse; but he could see neither one nor the 
other. So he began to climb again. All day 
long he climbed and climbed and climbed. 
Twilight fell. The circle of the sun dropped 
below the level horizon of the distant fields. 
One still golden star hung on the fringe of the 
sun-glow. The stairs began to widen, and 
presently Giles found himself at the summit of 
the mountain. Before his eyes lay a little level 
field surrounded by strange crags and pinna- 
cles, looming tall and black against the fast- 

202 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

appearing stars, and as Giles rubbed his eyes 
in wonder, lights shone here and there in the 
sides of the towering rocks, even as lights shine 
in the windows of a village when you see it from 
afar. 

Giles rubbed his eyes again. Lights? What 
could they mean? Presently a great door, cut 
in the side of a towering mass of stone, opened 
with a burst of light, and toward Giles there 
hurried the two strangest creatures whom he 
had ever seen. These were two elves, alike as 
two peas and each about three feet tall. In- 
stead of having ears much like other elves, 
however, the first one had ears like great curved 
cornucopias, which projected almost a foot 
on each side of his enormous round head, 
while the other, whose ears were quite natural, 
had but one huge eye in the centre of his fore- 
head. 

Without saying a single word, these strange 
elves seized Giles by the hands, and after hur- 
rying him across the open space, urged him 

203 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

through the open doors into the house in the 
crags. 

Still keeping silence, the elves led Giles through 
hundreds of splendid rooms and great halls, all 
lighted by hanging lamps as countless in num- 
ber as the leaves upon the trees. Suddenly, a 
great archway rose before them, through which 
appeared a hall larger and brighter than all 
the others seen before. At one end of it, under 
a canopy of rosy-gray, stood a golden throne, 
and on the throne sat a being dressed in radiant 
blue — in blue such as the sky wears after a 
rain, when the dark clouds with bright edges 
break asunder and reveal the glory overhead. 
At the same moment, the countless mountain 
elves gathered in the hall began to sing: — 

"All Hail, All Hail to the Shepherd of Clouds, 

Who, high in his mountain-top, rules o'er the 
weather; 
He sends the rich rain over mountain and plain, 
And sprinkles the dew-drops afar o'er the 
heather." 

The elves led Giles before the Shepherd. 

204 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

How comest thou, mortal, to invade my 
mountain ?" said the Shepherd. 
"I went forth to seek Phyllida," said Giles, 
and lost my way in the storm." 

What sayest thou, Eye-o?" said the Shep- 
herd to the elf with the single great eye in his 
forehead. 

'The mortal speaks the truth," answered 
Eye-o in the queerest, squealiest voice. " I saw 
him set out yesterday from his cottage on the 
plain. He had not gone far when the storm 
which Your Mightiness prepared in the morn- 
ing and sent forth in the afternoon overtook 
him. He lost his way, and chance led him to 
your dwelling, Shepherd of Clouds." 

'What sayest thou, Ear-o?" said the Shep- 
herd to the elf with the great ears. 

I heard him say good-bye to his wife Wednes- 
day last," replied the elf in a voice exactly like 
that of his brother. Phyllida said to him, 
' You will find a fresh baking of bread and a 
meat-pie in the larder.' " 

205 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

The Shepherd of Clouds fixed his deep, solemn 
gaze upon Giles and said: — 

" Mortal, I have hearkened to your story and 
to the words of my faithful Eye-o, who sees all 
things that happen in the whole wide world; 
I have paid heed to the words of Ear-o, who 
hears all things that are to be heard under the 
sun. Chance has led you to discover the secret 
of the weather. Nevermore must you revisit 
the lower world. Here shall you stay till Death 
overtakes you. Obey me, and I will give you 
happiness and honor; seek to escape, and my 
lightnings will find you wheresoever you may 
hide." 

"Oh, no! no! no!" cried poor Giles, throwing 
himself down before the throne. " Great Shep- 
herd of Clouds, do not keep me here. Let me 
return to my cottage on the plain, to Phyllida 
who waits for me, and knows not whither I am 
gone or whether I am living or dead. Oh, let 
me go, let me go!" 

But the Shepherd only shook his head aus- 

206 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

terely, and rising from his throne, disappeared 
behind the rose-gray curtains. Again the 
mountain elves sang, and as they sang, the 
great hall slowly grew darker than the darkest 
night, and cold gusts of wind arose wailing in 
the darkness. Presently Giles felt his body 
grow weak, strong hands seized him and bore 
him up, and an instant later a deep sleep 
blotted out the world. 

When he awoke, he found himself in a little 
room. Dawn was at hand, and the sweet, cold 
mountain air was blowing through the eastern 
window. Suddenly, the door swung open, and 
Eye-o and Ear-o entered. 

"The sun is rising, Giles," said Ear-o, "and 
your appointed task awaits you. The Shep- 
herd wishes the clouds released at once. Hurry, 
hurry, hurry, Giles, and open their prison- 
door." 

So Giles went forth with the elves. Over the 
summit of the mountain they ran, along a 
path which wandered here and there — now 

207 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

dodging between huge boulders, now skirting 
terrible precipices. Presently Giles saw a mon- 
strous wall of rock rising before him, in which 
were fixed two brazen doors taller and more 
stately than he had ever seen in the world 
below. Beside these doors, a flight of steps 
began, which led to the top of the wall. 

Curious to see what lay behind the wall and 
the closed doors, Giles hurried to the top. He 
found himself standing at the brink of a great 
bowl, many miles wide and many miles long, 
hollowed out of the very rock of the mountain- 
top. Within this bowl, like a giant flock of 
sheep, lay hundreds of clouds on whose misty 
tops the rising sun poured gold, pale lavender, 
and rose. At first, Giles thought them mo- 
tionless, but as he gazed intently within the 
bowl, he saw that the clouds moved and swayed 
much like anchored ships in a tide. 

This bowl was the weather-bowl. In it the 
Shepherd of Clouds prepared the weather for 
the neighboring countries. One day he would 

208 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

keep the fair-weather clouds at home and let 
the rain-clouds sail over the land; on another 
day, he would keep all the clouds in and let the 
sun shine; on other days he would mix together 
such frosts, mists, and snow-flurries as the 
season required. 

Suddenly, ringing infinitely sweet over the 
mountain-top, rose the clear music of a silver 
horn. 

"it is the Shepherd!" cried Eye-o and Ear-o. 

The hour is at hand to send the clouds over 
the earth. Quick, Giles, unbar the doors!" 

So Giles unbound the giant doors, which of 
their own volition opened wide. A sound as of 
thunder heard from far away over the sea beat 
upon Giles's ear as the portals turned upon 
their hinges. In answer to this sound, the 
clouds rose and lifted their golden heads, and 
hastening to the brazen doors, one by one es- 
caped through them to the sunlit spaces of 
the morning sky. There, they formed them- 
selves into a fleet, and sailed majestically away. 

209 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Thus Giles became the servant of the Shep- 
herd of Clouds. It was his task to unbar the 
door when the Shepherd had prepared the 
weather; it was his to lock the clouds in, once 
they had returned from the heavens in answer 
to the Shepherd's summoning horn. In time 
he came to know the rain-clouds from their 
fair-weather brothers; he learned how frosts 
were sent forth; how fogs were made; and he 
was even allowed to prepare a small storm. 
He saw the icy caverns in which the hail-stones 
lie piled in monstrous bags, the lightning- 
bolts in their crystal jars, and even the prisoned 
storm-winds. You may be sure that, when 
he could so arrange it, Phyllida's garden had 
quite the finest variety of weather. For Eye-o 
and Ear-o would tell him about her. 

"Tell me, what is Phyllida doing?" Giles 
would say again and again. 

And Eye-o would answer, " She is out in the 
garden gathering plums"; or, "she is in the 
kitchen making gingerbread." 

210 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

And then Giles would say to Ear-o, " Tell me, 
what is Phyllida saying?" 

And Ear-o would answer, *'" Oh, would that 
my lad were home!' " 

Two years passed, and Giles, who had found 
no opportunity of escape, began to lose hope 
of doing so. Never again, he feared, would he 
see Phyllida. One day, with Eye-o and Ear-o 
by his side, he sat on a great boulder and gazed 
gloomily down on the plain. Spring was just 
ripening into early summer, the plain was at 
its very greenest and loveliest, and here and 
there a little blue wood-smoke hung over the 
tiny villages. Giles thought of Phyllida far, 
far away, and a terrible loneliness poured into 
his heart. Eye-o and Ear-o sitting beside him, 
their long, strange arms clasped about their 
knees, looked on with sympathy. Presently 
Ear-o' s right ear turned itself about, and after 
a moment's silence, the elf said: — 

"I hear voices telling of war. I hear the Rob- 
ber King of the Black Lakes summoning his 

211 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

terrible army. He is preparing a secret attack 
on the people of the plain." 

"I see him! I see him!" cried Eye-o. "He is 
talking to the Grand Chamberlain Scelerato," 

1 Listen," said Ear-o; "he is saying, 'We will 
sweep the land at dawn, steal the grain, and 
destroy every village to its foundation.' " 

"I see the robbers gathering," said Eye-o. 
"They are hiding in the dark pine forests, lest 
they be seen by the people of the plain. The 
sunlight pierces here and there through the 
thick branches and shines on the breastplates 
of the armed men." 

At this terrible news, Giles was stricken to 
the heart with anxiety and fear. What was to 
become of Phyllida and the people of the plain? 
If he could only hurry down the mountain 
and warn them! If he could only escape! And 
he looked round eagerly, as he had looked a 
thousand times before, for any avenue of escape; 
but his gaze met only the great precipices of 
the mountain and the guarded stairs. What 

212 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

could he do? His heart became like ice, and 
he feared to gaze upon the plain lest he see the 
smoke of burning villages. All night long he 
never closed his eyes. At dawn he rose and 
hurried to the top of the gate which overlooked 
the cloud-bowl. For two whole weeks, not a 
cloud had been allowed to roam the sky, and 
it seemed to Giles that the mists were angry, 
and that a darkness brooded upon them. Turn- 
ing toward the plain, Giles saw, at the edge of 
the land, a little glow of fire. The robbers 
had invaded the plain! 

Presently Eye-o came clambering up the steps. 

" I see a village in flames, " said the elf. " The 
inhabitants are fleeing down the roads. The 
news is spreading, and the people of the plain 
are hurrying to seek refuge in the mountains." 

"Oh, where is Phyllida?" cried Giles. 

"She is on the highway with Jack and Jill 
and their children, hastening toward the Valley 
of Thunder," answered the elf. 

Suddenly Giles stood up, and throwing his 

213 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 



arms high over his head, uttered a loud shout. 
"I can save them," he cried. "Let us send a 
storm against the robbers. Hurry, let us pre- 
pare the worst tempest that ever was seen." 

And away he ran to the hail-stone caverns, 
and carrying bag after bag to the brim, emptied 
them all into the weather-bowl; he then tossed 
in a dozen skinsful of the fiercest storm-winds, 
and ended by casting in all the jars of thunder- 
bolts that were to be found in the cavern. You 
should have heard the crash of the crystal vases 
on the rocky floor of the weather-bowl, and the 
hiss with which the lightning escaped and hid 
in the rolling edges of the clouds. The great 
bowl roared and trembled, the clouds massed 
together and grew dark; lightning played over 
the black crests of the thunder-heads. From 
the top of the gate, Giles took one satisfied 
look into the prisoned tempest, and then hur- 
ried down to unbar the door. 

Through the gates, like wild herds, poured 
the clouds, and rising in the air, were caught 

214 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

by the spreading storm-winds and whirled 
madly over the sky. The thunder roared as no 
mortal had ever before heard it or ever will 
hear it again, and the tempest sailed away to 
break in all its anger over the heads of the rob- 
ber army. So terrible was the noise that the 
enchanted mountain trembled to its very foun- 
dations. 

Hearing the roar, the Shepherd of Clouds 
himself was roused and ran down to the cloud- 
bowl; but so dark was the mountain-top that 
he lost his way, and narrowly missed falling 
down a precipice. The mountain elves, terrified 
by the confusion, ran hither and thither like 
ants whose nests had been opened. Crash went 
the thunder! Rumble, rumble, rumble, room, 
rrrr-rang bang! bang! 

Once he had seen the storm break over the 
robber army, Giles, taking advantage of the 
darkness, noise, and confusion, determined to 
make one more effort to escape. Down the 
endless stairs he hurried, splashing through the 

215 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

falling rain, down, and down, and down. Once 
at the bottom, he was lucky enough to find the 
path out of the chasm, and hurried along it to 
the mouth of the Valley of Thunder. 

He was free! The terrible storm had spent 
itself, and the sun was beginning to shine on 
the thousand rain-drops caught in the matted 
grass. A rainbow formed just as Giles ap- 
proached the plain, and the little birds came 
out to shake the rain from their feathers. 

Now, in the secure shelter of an overhanging 
cliff, were to be found those people of the plain 
who had fled to the valley for refuge; and when 
these poor worried folk saw Giles coming down 
the valley, they recalled the prophecy that a 
king should come to them out of the valley, 
and hailed Giles as their king. Best of all, 
Phyllida herself ran out, and threw her arms 
about her husband. As for the robbers, the 
storm had overwhelmed them and swept them 
all into the river. There, I am glad to say, 
they turned into little fishes. 

216 



THE SHEPHERD OF CLOUDS 

When the Shepherd of Clouds found that 
Giles had escaped after making all this dis- 
turbance, he was very angry, and rushed to his 
lightning closet to hurl some thunderbolts at 
him. When he got to the closet, however, he 
found that Giles had used every single bolt, 
and that the cupboard was empty. Conse- 
quently, he had to wait till the end of summer 
before he could get some new lightning, and by 
that time, he was so busy arranging the autumn 
frosts that he quite forgot about Giles. 

So Giles and Phyllida became King and 
Queen of the people of the plain and lived 
happily ever after. 







n. 'I I 




THE CITY UNDER 
THE SEA 

Once upon a time, in a country of mountains 
which bordered upon the sea, dwelt a rich 
merchant who had three sons. The eldest and 
the second-born were his joy, for they were 
merchants too, and remained at his side; but 
the youngest often caused him much anxiety. 
Not that this youngest son was a wild or a bad 

218 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

lad; but love of the sea and desire for adven- 
ture ran like fire in his veins, and he could 
not bring himself to sit beside his father and 
his brothers in the counting-house. 

Weary at length of the constant reproaches of 
his kinsmen, he turned away one night from 
his father's house and joined a ship as a com- 
mon sailor. Clad in sailor blue, wearing a lit- 
tle cap, a blouse open at the throat, and trou- 
sers cut wide at the bottoms, the runaway lad 
sailed over the sea to foreign lands and isles. 
And as the years passed, one by one, and 
brought no tidings of him, his father and his 
brothers gave him up for lost. 

Now the King of the country in which the 
rich merchant and his son dwelt loved rare 
gems and precious stones more than anything 
else in the world. Hidden secretly away in the 
deep foundations of his castle lay his treasure- 
room: it was circular in shape and built of 
black marble, and at equal distance one from 
the other, along the curving wall, stood a 

219 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

hundred statues of armed men, holding ever- 
burning lights. A hundred coffers of green 
stone lay on the floor, one at the base of each 
statue, each coffer piled high with gems. 

Night after night, when all was still, the King 
would descend to the secret chamber, and 
throwing open the covers of the jewel-chests, 
would gaze long and silently into the gleaming 
mass within. 

One night the King led his neighbor, the 
Emperor of the Seven Isles, to the jewel-room, 
and showed him his treasures. 

"Are there fairer jewels to be found in the 
whole wide world?" said the King proudly. 

"They are indeed noble," replied the Em- 
peror, nodding his gray head. "But how hap- 
pens it that the Emerald of the Sea is not 
among them? The Emerald of the Sea is the 
most glorious jewel in the whole wide world. 
Years ago a fisherman of the Land of the Dawn 
found it in a strangely carved box which a 
storm had washed into his nets. I saw it when 

220 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

I was but a young prince; it hung by a chain 
from the throat of the Princess of the Dawn, 
and shone there as if the very secret of the sea 
were hidden in its heart. " 

" Where is this emerald to be found?" asked 
the King, who was consumed with the desire 
to add the jewel to his possessions. "Tell me, 
that I may at once send an expedition in search 
of it." 

" I have not heard of it for many a long year," 
replied the Emperor, "but I think it is still in 
the Land of the Dawn." 

So great was the King's impatience to become 
the owner of the Emerald of the Sea, that he 
could scarcely wait for the morning. All night 
long he slept not a wink for thinking of it, and 
hardly had the red shield of the morning sun 
risen above the thin mists lying at the edge 
of the sea and sky, when he sent for the rich 
merchant to come to the palace at once. 

Wondering much at the summons, the mer- 
chant made haste to the palace, and was there 

221 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

taken instantly before the King. When the 
King saw him, he said: — 

/'You are the greatest and richest merchant 
in my dominions. Know, then, that I have a 
task worthy of you. In the Land of the Dawn 
there is a jewel called the Emerald of the Sea; 
it is your task to discover it and purchase it 
for me. To possess it, I would give all the gold 
in my realm. Take heed that you return with 
it, for if you fail me, my anger shall strike you 
down." 

At these words the merchant bowed low, and 
replied that he would that very day sail for the 
Land of the Dawn in his fastest ship. Then, 
returning home, he gave orders that the best 
vessel in all his fleets be immediately prepared 
for the journey; and so swiftly was this done, 
that the merchant sailed for the Land of the 
Dawn on the morning tide. 

Many days and many leagues he sailed, over 
shining seas, till he reached the harbor of the 
Land of the Dawn. Ships were entering and 

222 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

ships were leaving the lovely mountain-circled 
bay. How the broad sails tugged at their 
ropes as a steady wind filled their curving white 
depths! How silver-clear shone the furrows of 
foam flowing back from the onward-hurrying 
bows! 

Making her way out toward the great, still 
mirror of the summer sea, was a strange black 
vessel, with sails as red as fire. 

The merchant anchored his ship in a quiet bay, 
and hastened ashore to find the Lord Treas- 
urer of the Kingdom. He found this nobleman 
at ease on a balcony of his castle which over- 
looked the sea. Upon hearing the merchant's 
story, the nobleman started with surprise, and 
said: — 

' You are just too late! At the command of 
my royal master, the Prince of the Land of the 
Dawn, I sold the Emerald of the Sea only an 
hour ago to the master of a strange vessel. See, 
there she is now." And the Lord Treasurer 
pointed out over the sea to the black ship with 

223 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the red sails, which was just then disappearing 
over the horizon. 

Thankful that the other ship was still in 
sight, the merchant hurried back to his own 
vessel and gave chase. Luckily for him, there 
was a full moon that night, by which the 
shadowy hulk and the swaying masts of the 
mysterious ship could be seen. 

All the next day they sailed, but never an 
inch nearer to the other vessel did they come, 
though the merchant loaded his ship with all 
the canvas she could bear. Another night and 
another day found them no nearer. Finally, 
late in the afternoon of the third day, a great 
storm came sailing over the edge of the sea; a 
blast of wind struck the merchant's ship, then 
a torrent of rain, and night came on just as 
the storm was at its height. 

When the daylight came again, the other ship 
had completely disappeared; and though the 
worried merchant sailed here and sailed there, 
never a sign of the stranger could he find. At 

224 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

last, with a heavy heart, he gave up the quest 
and returned to his King with the evil tidings. 

The King, I hardly need say, was beside him- 
self with rage and disappointment. Scowling 
so terribly that his eyebrows almost met, he 
cried to the merchant: — 

" Wretch, through you I have lost the finest 
jewel in the world! If you do not find it within 
a year, your life and your possessions shall be 
forfeited to me." 

On hearing these terrible words, the merchant 
turned pale, for he had no more idea where the 
Emerald of the Sea was to be found than had 
a new-born child. His two sons, however, when 
they had heard his story, bade him not to de- 
spair, and declared that they would that very 
night go forth and seek the emerald through 
the world. 

Now, because the poor merchant could not 
bear to be left quite alone, it was finally agreed 
that only the eldest son should go in search of 
the jewel, while the second-born should remain 

225 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

at home. This, of course, was much against 
the will of the second son; nevertheless, so it 
was arranged. 

And so the eldest son sailed away. The days 
lengthened into weeks, the weeks into months, 
the months into a year, yet the eldest son did 
not return. A guard of soldiers led the un- 
happy merchant before the King. 

4 'Well, have you found the Emerald of the 
Sea?" said the King. 

"No," replied the merchant, hopelessly. 

And now all would certainly have been over 
with the poor merchant, had not his second 
son begged and pleaded with the King for a 
year of respite in which he, too, might search 
for the emerald through the world. Though 
at first unwilling, the King at length yielded to 
the plea, but exacted one half of the merchant's 
possessions as a forfeit. 

And so the second son sailed away. Days 
lengthened into weeks, weeks lengthened into 
months, the months into a year, yet the second 

226 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

son did not return. Cruel storms wrecked so 
many of the merchant's ships that he lost the 
other half of his possessions, and was forced 
to take refuge in a miserable cottage by the 
marshes beyond the town. 

On the last night of the year granted to him 
by the King, the unhappy man sat in his poor 
house by a crumbling driftwood fire, listening 
to the surf breaking on the beach that edged 
the marsh. Far away, he heard the bells of the 
royal city sound the midnight hour. Neither 
the eldest son nor the second-born had re- 
turned. The second year of respite was at an 
end; nothing now could stay the anger of the 
King. 

Suddenly there came a vigorous rat-tat-tat 
on the door. 

"I am lost," murmured the poor merchant to 
himself. "The King's soldiers are already at 
the door." And advancing unsteadily across 
the room, he threw the door open wide. 

A gust of wind from the sea blew in, which 

227 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

bent back the flame of the taper in his hand, 
and then across the threshold stepped the 
youngest son. He was still a sailor and clad in 
sailor blue, and there was a cutlass in his belt. 
So shaken with joy was the merchant that for 
some time he could not utter a word, but 
merely clung to the strong shoulders of the 
young seaman. 

As for the sailor son, he managed to let his 
father know that he had returned from distant 
lands only that very evening, and had just 
heard of the disasters which had overtaken his 
family. 

As they talked, steps were heard outside; and 
then, without waiting to knock, a sergeant of 
the King's guard forced open the door, and, 
followed by a handful of soldiers, entered the 
wretched room and took the merchant and his 
son prisoners. They spent the night on the 
straw in the royal dungeons, and in the morn- 
ing were led before the King. 

On seeing the merchant, the irate King scowled 

228 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

more angrily than ever, — for the loss of the 
Emerald of the Sea had never ceased from 
troubling him, — and said: — 

"Well, have you found the Emerald of the 
Sea?" 
'No/' said the poor merchant. 

"Summon the executioner!" cried the King. 

And now the poor man would certainly have 
bade farewell to earth, had not the youngest 
son, like his brothers, interceded with the King. 

At first the King would hear not a word of 
it, and called to his guard to take the pris- 
oners instantly away; but it being whispered 
that the sailor, although not much more than 
a lad, had once fought bravely and been sorely 
wounded in the royal service, he at length gave 
ear to the youngest son's prayer and said: — 

u Yes, you shall have another year. But 
know that this year shall be the last. If you 
do not return with the Emerald of the Sea 
within a twelvemonth, nothing shall save you. 
I have spoken." 

229 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

And thus the sailor son went in search of the 
Emerald. What happened to him upon his 
search, in what situation he discovered his 
brothers, and how he visited the City under the 
Sea, you shall shortly hear. 



Now the youngest son had a little boat of his 
own. It was so small that, when the wind no 
longer filled its sails, it could be rowed along, 
and in this boat the sailor lad began his voy- 
age. From harbor to harbor, from nation to 
nation, he sailed, but never a soul he found 
who could tell him aught of the strange black 
ship with the fiery sails or the lost Emerald of 
the Sea. Even the people of the Land of the 
Dawn could tell him only that the gem had 
been sold to an unknown prince. 

Presently the winter of the year overtook him, 
and in one of the sudden storms that heralded 

230 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

the coming of the cold, his little boat went 
ashore on a rocky coast, and was soon pounded 
to pieces by the breakers. Thrown into the 
sea during the wreck, the sailor was himself 
so tossed and trampled by the waves that he 
reached the shore far more dead than alive. 
Indeed, had it not been for a poor fisherman 
and his wife, there would have been no more 
story to tell. These good people, I am glad to 
say, rescued the sailor from the fury of the 
waters and nursed him back to health and 
strength again 

When his strength was quite restored, the 
sailor told this good couple the story of how 
he had gone forth to seek through the wide 
world the Emerald of the Sea. 

"But my poor lad," said the kind fisherman, 
"the Emerald of the Sea has vanished forever 
from mortal eyes." 

"What! You know of the emerald?" cried 
the sailor. 

"Alas, yes," replied the fisherman. "Two 

231 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

years ago the Prince of the Unknown Isles sent 
the finest vessel in his fleet to the Land of the 
Dawn to buy the jewel. A beautiful ship was 
she, 11 with a hull as black as night and sails as 
red as fire. My brother and I sailed in her crew. 
The jewel was taken aboard. Our brave ship 
set sail for the Unknown Isles. Hardly were 
we three days out of the sight of land, when 
a storm overtook us and sank the vessel. I 
chanced to be tossed in the water near a great 
fragment of the mast, and clung to this until 
a passing vessel found me. Of all aboard, I 
alone survived. Forty fathoms deep lies the 
Emerald of the Sea, never more to be seen but 
by the dumb creatures of the waters. " 

At these tidings the brave sailor's heart be- 
came like ice; nevertheless, he cried: — 

"Alas, good friend, I know that what you say 
is true, yet shall I not despair; for, come what 
will, I must save my father !" 

Hearing this, the fisherman's wife, a quiet, 
good body who had had little to say, whispered 

232 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

that it would be well first to consult the Witch 
of the Sands. 

"The Witch of the Sands? Who is she and 
where can I find her?" cried the sailor. 

"The Witch of the Sands dwells a hundred 
leagues from here/' replied the fisherman's 
wife. "All the mysteries of the waters are in 
her keeping and she has an answer for them all. 
You must go to her and ask her to help you." 

So the sailor thanked the good fisherman and 
his wife, and set out to walk the hundred leagues 
to the house of the Witch of the Sands. His 
path lay along a desolate and lonely shore, on 
whose rocky beaches the wooden bones of old 
wrecks lay rotting, half buried in stones and 
weed. Just as the third day's sun was sinking 
in the shining waters, the sailor arrived at the 
Witch's dwelling. 

The Witch made her home in a deserted old 
ship, which a storm of long ago had cast far up 
the sands. As for the Witch herself, she was a 
woman so old that the sailor thought she surely 

233 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

must have been living when the moon and the 
stars were made. A fringe of sea-shells circled 
the crown of her high hat, and round her wrists 
were bracelets of pearly periwinkles. 

Just as the sailor approached the Witch's 
door, a young fur seal, who had been basking 
in a little pool left along the beach by the tide, 
hastened out of his puddle, and running swiftly 
toward him on his flappers, nuzzled his hand 
with his sleek, wet head, just like a young dog. 

"Down, Neptune, down!" cried the witch 
shrilly. 

"Good evening, madam," said the sailor in 
his politest manner. 

1 You are the third person who has come here 
to ask me the question you are going to ask," 
screamed the Witch of the Sands, whose magic 
powers had revealed to her the reason of the 
sailor's coming. "I know you! You are the 
youngest son. Your two brothers have been 
here to ask me the way under the sea, and I 
told them; but bless me, they have n't come 

234 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

back yet. Just like young men to forget an 
old woman's warning. I 've a good mind not 
to tell you the way to the under- waters; indeed, 
I would n't if you were n't a sailor and a child 
of the sea. Yes, I can show you the road to 
under the sea; but you must not ask me about 
the emerald, because I don't know where it is 
myself. It was in the Land of the Dawn, and 
that 's the last I heard of it! When you do get 
to the under-waters, don't forget that. You '11 
have to hurry back like the wind, for the year 
which the King gave your father is almost 
gone. Don't ask me questions! I know you 
are going to ask one, because I 'm not a man; 
and I know what you are going to ask, because 
I 'ma witch." 

And the strange old lady laughed and, putting 
her hands on her waist, swayed so violently 
from side to side that the sea-shells on her hat 
rattled and clicked. Then, after a pause to 
gather breath, she continued: ''Before you can 
go down into the waters, I shall have to give 

235 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

you an enchanted ring. Mind you bring it 
back, for there are only three of them in the 
whole wide world, and your brothers have the 
other two. Goodness me, but I don't know 
why I let them take my magic rings. Now 
that I come to think of it, I don't know as I 
shall let you take my ring. However, it has 
been on my mind for some time to tell the 
King of the City under the Sea that he's been 
telling the tide to come altogether too near 
my ship. You can take the ring if you will 
promise to deliver my message. Promise!" 

There was a pause, and the sailor, who had 
listened to the Witch's every word, solemnly 
promised to carry her message to the King 
under the Sea. He was just about to ask a 
question or two, when the Witch of the Sands, 
drawing another long, long breath, cried out 
again: — 

" Don't ask questions! I 've told you once 
and I've told you twice, and I '11 tell you as 
many times as there are drops of water in the 

236 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

sea ! The path to the City under the Sea begins 
a hundred leagues to the north; in the high 
cliffs there, when the tide is low, you '11 find the 
mouth of a great cave; walk down this cave, 
and down and down and down, till you feel 
water rising round your feet. Then put on my 
ring and walk boldly ahead. In a little while 
you will see the city shining in the waters. 
Once there, seek out the King and tell him of 
your quest. But on no account' 7 (and here 
the Witch solemnly turned round three times) 
"eat or drink anything offered to you while 
you are in the under- waters. If you do, you 
will forget everything of your past life, your 
father, your quest, and the Emerald of the Sea. 
Let one drop pass your lips, and you will spend 
the rest of your life under the waves. Here is 
the enchanted ring. Put it in your pocket." 

With these words, the Witch took from a little 
leather purse a simple golden ring and handed 
it to the youngest son, who put the ring in his 
pocket, thanked the Witch, and set off for the 

237 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

cavern which led to the City under the Sea. 
You may be sure it did not take him very 
long to find it. After feeling carefully in his 
pocket to see if the ring was still safe, the sailor 
plunged on into the winding cave. In a short 
time, the roar of the breakers on the beach, 
which had been loud at the mouth of the cav- 
ern, began to fade and grow faint, and the 
tunnel grew dark and cold. Feeling for the 
wall of the passage with one hand, the youngest 
son advanced into the blackness. Creatures of 
the sea, with round shining eyes, stared at him 
from shallow pools, and now and then his hand, 
running along the wall, would touch and shake 
from its ph ce a starfish or great snail. 

Down anu down and down went the sailor. 
Presently he heard the lapping of wavelets in 
the darkness, and a few minutes after, he felt 
himself advancing into deepening water. Stop- 
ping for an instant, he put on the golden ring. 
Then, walking on again, he felt the water rise 
from his ankles to his waist, and from his waist 

238 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

to his throat. One step more, and the water 
closed over his head. 

Once under the waves, the sailor hesitated, 
uncertain as to which way to turn. Little by 
little, however, his eyes grew accustomed to 
the touch of the water, and he saw, lying on 
the bottom a few feet ahead of him, a small 
ball glowing with a pale phosphorescent light. 
Stooping to touch this strange object, the sailor 
discovered it to be a small round sea-plant 
which had anchored itself to a stone, and pres- 
ently he discovered that this light was but one 
of thousands which together formed a long 
straight line across the level floor of the sea. 
Rightly imagining these lights to }© signs of a 
sea-world road, the sailor advanced nlong them. 
A slow walk of ten long leagues brought him to 
the gate of the City under the Sea. 

There was very little light there, save for that 
which came through the waters from the world 
above, and this was but a faint, pale green 
glow, which lay, more like a shadow than a light 

239 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

on the roofs and tower-tops of the submerged 
town. 

The sailor walked unchallenged through the 
gate, and found himself in the great street of 
the city. Along the broad avenue grew giant 
sea-plants with brown leaves, set out in rows 
like trees; and through the foliage which moved 
heavily in the currents, little fish darted like 
birds. Many people walked slowly to and 
fro — strange people of the sea, all dressed alike 
in tight-fitting garments of shining, fish-like 
scales. 

The sailor looked into their faces and saw that 
a broad golden ring encircled the pupils of 
their eyes. Suddenly two men of the sea, dis- 
tinguished from the others by swords of red 
stone, moved through the water, and seizing 
the sailor in their webbed hands, hurried him 
before the King of the Under- Waters. 

On a coral throne, in a great hall roofed with 
a high circular dome, sat the King. The flow- 
ing waters within were bright, and a queer, 

240 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

pale green light pierced through the hall from 
a kind of fountain of light in the centre of the 
floor under the dome. Approaching this shin- 
ing fountain, the sailor discovered it to be a 
mass of glowing sea-creatures, living flowers 
of the deep, which, even as he looked, stirred 
their mysterious petals. 

" Welcome, Wearer of the Enchanted Ring, " 
said the King, staring hard at the sailor with 
his large golden eyes. ' You come at a fortu- 
nate time. This very evening we celebrate the 
wedding of the second of my three daughters 
with the mortal wearer of the second ring. 
Stand you upon the steps of the throne, for 
they are coming at once. Let the trumpets 
sound!" 

At this command, two youths of the sea lifted 
huge conch-shells to their mouths and sounded 
them. 

Great doors instantly opened wide, and a 
gorgeous procession entered. First, appeared 
a dozen pages; then, in walked the Sea King's 

241 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

second daughter, hand in hand with a merry 
young man, in whom the sailor recognized his 
second oldest brother. 

Presently the conch-shells sounded again. 

"The Prince and the Princess!" cried a voice. 

The King leaned over from his throne and 
whispered in the sailor's ear: — 

"My eldest daughter and her husband . They 
were married just a year ago. The Prince is a 
youth of the world above, and wears the first 
of the enchanted rings." 

Now entered the eldest Princess of the Sea, 
walking by the side of her husband. And in 
the husband the young sailor beheld the elder 
of his two brothers. And though the young 
sailor stretched out his arms to them, neither 
of his brothers remembered him, for while faint 
and hungry, they had forgotten the warning of 
the Witch of the Sands and had eaten of the 
bread of the under- world. Thus had the mem- 
ory of the world above, the lost emerald, and 
their father's plight faded away. 

242 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

The conches sounded a third time. 

"Come to the wedding banquet," cried the 
King. "You shall sit beside my youngest 
daughter." 

And now the sailor lad, willy nilly, was hurried 
into the banquet hall, and seated at the royal 
table beside the King's youngest daughter. 
And she was quite the most beautiful of all the 
three. Noticing that the youngest son touched 
no food, she said to him: — 

"Why do you refuse to taste of the wedding 
banquet?" 

"Princess," replied the sailor, I have come 
to the Under-Waters to seek the Emerald of the 
Sea; for if I return to my own country without 
it, my father's life will be forfeited. Would 
you have me forget?" 

"But you will never find the Emerald of the 
Sea!" cried the Princess. 

"Never find the Emerald of the Sea! What 
do you mean?" said the sailor anxiously. 

"The Emerald of the Sea has disappeared," 

243 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

continued the little Princess, fixing the sailor 
with her golden eyes. ' Years ago it was stolen 
from my father's treasury by a wicked Prince 
of the Under- Waters. My father pursued him 
and overthrew him, but in the struggle the 
emerald was lost, and rising to the surface, 
drifted to the shores of the Land of the Dawn. 
There it remained till the Prince of the Un- 
known Isles purchased it and took it away in 
his black ship. This ship, overcome by a storm, 
sank; but where it lies we know not, though we 
have searched far and wide through the waters. 
Whosoever finds it shall be master of the land 
under the sea, for the emerald is master of us 
all. My father will not lift a finger to help you 
find it; indeed, if he knows that you are in 
search of it, he will force you to eat of the bread 
of the under-waters. Say nothing, therefore, 
of your quest." 

At these words, the brave sailor's heart sank 
very low. Mindful of the Witch's warning, he 
dared touch no morsel of food, yet he knew that 

244 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

hunger would soon bring weakness in its train. 
Either he must find the emerald at once, or 
he must abandon all hope of finding it. He 
could not live long if he touched no food, and 
if but one morsel touched his lips he would 
forget the upper world. 

Far away, the poor merchant, whom the King 
had now cast in prison, watched the days pass 
one by one, and the last year approach its end. 
Every morning he would ask for tidings of his 
sailor son, and ask in vain. 

Now, when the wedding banquet was over, 
and the ball which followed was at its height, 
the eldest of the princesses called her sister, the 
bride, aside and said to her: — 

u We must rid ourselves at once of this new- 
comer. Do you not see that he is the younger 
brother of our husbands ? I beheld him stretch 
out his arms to them as they passed. Who can 
tell but that he may lead them away from us? 

245 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

Let us tell our servants to lie in wait for him 
and deliver us from such a danger." 

So said the eldest sister, of the golden eyes. 
Alas, I fear that the people of the under-waters 
are sometimes quite as shocking as those of the 
world above. 

Later that evening, just as the poor sailor was 
standing by one of the great doors, a dozen or 
so stout rogues in the service of the eldest sis- 
ter fell upon him, bound him with cords, and 
dragged him through the water to the royal 
stables. 

Now the people of the under-waters, having 
no horses, — for sea horses are but tiny creat- 
ures, — had tamed great dolphins to carry them 
about. A hundred of these monsters, each 
with a bronze ring in his nose, were ranged along 
the sides of the stables, and on the fiercest and 
angriest of them all, the Princess's servants 
tied the sailor. How the great fish, fastened to 
a bar by a chain and his nose-ring, pulled, 
rolled, swerved aside, and thrashed his tail! 

246 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

But all his twistings were of no avail, for the 
poor sailor lad was soon fastened to his back 
with a rope of seaweed. Then the creature was 
released from his chain, given a blow on the 
side with a whip of shark-skin, and turned into 
the wilds of the under-waters. 
For half an hour, the fish, frightened at his 
burden, fled at lightning speed over the roofs 
of the city, and sped on into the lonely plain. 
Then, ceasing his mad flight, he tried again to 
shake himself free of the sailor. He turned, he 
leaped, he dived, but all in vain, for the sailor 
was securely fastened to his back. Terrified 
anew, with a swift motion of his great fins, he 
shot violently to one side and rushed on and 
on into the dark. All that long night he fled. 
Toward the morning of the next day, however, 
the sailor managed to work one arm free, and 
draw the cutlass from his waist. With this he 
made short work of his bonds and rolled off the 
fish's back. The great animal, delivered of the 
weight which had lain upon it, rose on the tip 



247 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

of its tail and shot madly toward the surface, 
and the sailor tumbled through the waters to 
the bottom. 

Weak and hungry, the poor young seaman 
gazed about in the half-gloom, and found him- 
self on the lower slopes of a sunken mountain 
rising from the ocean floor. In no direction 
could he find a sign of the City under the Sea. 
Hoping, however, to see better from the moun- 
tain's top, he decided to climb it. Strange 
plants and shells lay in the crevices of the weedy 
rocks, schools of bright fish fled past him like 
living arrows, and huge crabs scuttled away 
as he appeared. Suddenly, lying on her side in 
a little ravine of the mountain, he saw a ship — 
the black ship of the Emerald of the Sea! 
Weary and weak though he was, it took the 
sailor but a moment to clamber aboard, and 
hurry past the broken masts into the captain's 
cabin. A steady, green radiance shone in one 
corner of the weedy room, and hastening to- 
ward it, the sailor found, at last, the Emerald 

248 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

of the Sea. The box which had enclosed it had 
rotted away and fallen apart. 

"Victory!" cried the sailor, "victory! The 
emerald is mine at last, and I shall save mv 
father." 

He took the great jewel from the broken box 
and rested it in the cup of his two hands. How 
it glowed on the pale flesh! Then, thrusting it 
mto a pocket and holding onto it with one 
hand, he hurried out again to the mountain- 
side. 

In the world above, it was high noon, and the 
level rays of the sun beat deep into the green 
waters. So bright had the slope become, that 
the sailor lad felt sure that he could not be far 
from the surface of the waves. Moreover, if the 
mountain-top rose above the waters, it would 
form an island in the upper world. And so, 
indeed, it was. Climbing on toward the top of 
the mountain, the sailor first scaled a steep 
cliff, and at the top of this he found a gentle 
slope of sand. The sun's rays now illumined 

249 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the water so brightly that the air seemed only 
a little distance away. Presently a beach-crab 
ran nimbly away from beneath the sailor's feet. 
The water grew very much warmer. The shore 
was at hand ! A few steps more, and the young- 
est son emerged on the beach of a beautiful isle. 

Half-blinded by the sun, he walked toward 
the dry land. There he found some delicious 
fruits growing, and a rippling brook of crystal 
water. He ate and drank, and his strength 
returned. 

Himself again, the sailor took the Emerald of 
the Sea in his hands, and cried, — 

"By the power of the Emerald of the Sea, I 
summon here the two elder princesses of the 
under-waters, and my two brothers, their hus- 
bands!" 

There was a sound of far thunder under the 
clear blue sky, and a moment later, four heads 
rose out of the waters, and shaking the salt 
spray from their eyes, the princesses and the 
brothers walked through the shallows to where 

250 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

the sailor was standing. Now, the princesses 
were very much frightened when they beheld 
the sailor holding the all-powerful emerald, 
and falling on their knees before him, begged 
him to forgive their misdeeds, and not to take 
away their loved ones. Tears fell from their 
golden eyes, and mingled with the drops of the 
salt ocean still coursing down their black scales. 
As for the brothers, they would have hurled 
themselves upon the sailor, had not the magic 
force of the emerald prevented their approach. 
"Be merciful and forgive," said the younger 
of the sisters. "After all, had we not caused 
you to be spirited away, you never would have 
found the emerald." 

'Yes, that is true," said the sailor. "My 
brothers shall decide for themselves. Break, 
then, the spell which binds them to the under- 
waters, restore to them their memory of the 
past, and if then they choose to remain, I shall 
not try to lead them away. Reverse the spell!" 
"That is easily done," said the elder sister. 

251 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

"Let them but touch the food or drink of the 
upper world and their memory will return." 

And in less time than it takes to tell it, the 
sisters offered the enchanted brothers water 
from the rivulet. When they had drunk of it, 
both the brothers became pale as death, their 
eyes opened wide, and they stared as strangely 
as men suddenly waked from sleep. Then, see- 
ing their younger brother, they ran to him and 
threw their arms about him, and asked a thou- 
sand questions about their father and the 
quest of the emerald. 

The golden-eyed brides watched them with 
sad faces, and finally broke into quiet tears. 
Imagine their joy, when their husbands re- 
turned to them and bade them be of good cheer. 

Thus was true love found to be mightier than 
the mightiest spell. 

Now, when the princesses of the sea had dried 
their tears, the sailor and his brothers took 
counsel as to how the Emerald of the Sea might 
be brought to the King in time to save their 

252 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

father's life. You may judge of the sailor's 
horror when he discovered that because of a bad 
error in the calendars and clocks of Sixes and 
Sevens (a city he had visited in his search for 
the emerald), the life of his father had been 
forfeited to the King three days before! 

But now we must return to the poor merchant 
himself. 

All the third year the poor man had lain in a 
small cell in the royal dungeons, waiting anx- 
iously, oh, so anxiously, to hear the quick step 
of the sailor son on the winding stairs just out- 
side his prison door. But the year came to an 
end, as you know, without his return. For the 
third and last time, the castle guards led the 
poor man before the King. Now the King had 
never forgiven the merchant for the loss of the 
jewel; his chagrin, indeed, had increased with 
the years, and he was very glad that he could 
at last take his revenge. 

"Have you found the Emerald of the Sea?" 

253 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

said the King, harshly. He stood erect on the 
steps of his judgment-seat, arms folded, eyes 
fixted in a fierce, black frown. 

".No," said the merchant quietly. 
Then you shall seek for it yourself, " cried the 
King. And he gave orders that the merchant 
be tied hand and foot, and tossed into a little 
boat without food or drink, and then sent adrift 
to die helplessly in the lonely seas. And so this 
awful sentence was carried out. 

Bound hand and foot, scarce able to roll from 
side to side, the merchant lay motionless in his 
little craft and stared up at the blue sky. 
Presently a merciful sleep overcame him, and 
while he slept, a wind arose which swept the 
little boat along with it. 

Meanwhile, on the beautiful island, the sailor 
and his companions, stunned at their discov- 
ery, began preparations to return to the under- 
waters. Just as the twilight fell, all walked 
together to the margin of the darkening sea, 
and advanced into the waves. 

254 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

Suddenly, the sailor, whose eyes were the 
keenest, saw a little boat rapidly drifting ashore. 
Now caught in a current of the shallow beach, 
it drifted sideways; now propelled by the rising 
tide, it floated on, bow pointed to the shore. 
The sailor hurried toward it and seized it. 
Suddenly he uttered a ringing cry! The old 
merchant lay on the floor of the boat. He still 
lived, for they could see him gently breathing. 
Lifting him up tenderly, the three sons carried 
him to the shore, unloosed his bonds, and 
brought him back to life. 

Now when the merchant was himself again, 
the sailor, through the power of the emerald, 
caused the waves to carry a great ship to the 
island, and on this ship the three sons, the two 
princesses, and the old merchant returned to 
the merchant's country. All landed secretly, 
however, for they knew that the angry King 
would seize them if he knew of their return. 
And so it came to pass that, one night, shortly 
after the homecoming, word was brought to the 

255 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

sailor that the King had heard of the merchant's 
escape and was sending guards to arrest the 
merchant and his companions. 

It was almost midnight when the sailor lad 
received the warning. Taking the emerald 
with him, he advanced to a window by the 
ocean, and cried out over the moonlit waters, — 

" Waters of the Sea, rise and overwhelm the 
palace of the King! 

Now the King's palace stood apart by itself 
on a tongue of land running far out into the 
tide, and soon the rising waters were flowing 
over the marble floors and pouring in through 
the windows. One by one, the lights in the 
thousand rooms, touched by the waves, hissed, 
sputtered, and expired. The servants of the 
palace, one and all, ran away pell-mell, and left 
the dark castle to its fate. Little by little the 
advancing water crept from the walls to the 
balconies, from the balconies to the towers, 
and from the foot of the towers to their very 
tops. Finally, all the moon could see as it 

256 



THE CITY UNDER THE SEA 

shone upon the flood was the weather-vane of 
the highest turret of all. You should have 
seen the little waves ripple and break about 
it! And finally, even the weather-vane disap- 
peared under the black waves. 

Locked in his secret treasure-room, opening 
the jewel coffers one after the other, the King 
remained quite ignorant of the disaster. For 
some time no sound reached him in his hid- 
den retreat, because the door of the treasure- 
room was very thick and strong. Suddenly he 
heard behind him the sound of falling water, 
and turning toward the door, beheld streams 
of water gushing through the passages between 
the door and its frame. Horror-struck, he 
watched the door burst from its locks and 
hinges; a roaring cascade of cold sea-water 
came pouring into the room, and a moment 
later the whole castle crumbled and fell to 
pieces. 

Now, when the King had met his deserts, the 
people of the country, who greatly respected 

257 



THE FIRELIGHT FAIRY BOOK 

the merchant, offered him the crown; but he re- 
fused it and conferred it on his two elder sons. 
Thus it came to pass that the country had two 
kings. Each brother in turn reigned for six 
months of every year, and spent the other six 
under the sea with the golden-eyed people of 
the waters. 

As for the sailor lad, he sailed the sea for many 
years, and finally married a pretty niece of the 
Witch of the Sands. Then, like all sailors, he 
went to the country to live. His house is built 
of gray stone, ivy climbs over it, and apple 
orchards lie beneath its windows. 

And they all lived happily ever after. 










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