THE SNOW QUEEN 271
so it always is when one does not keep one's wits about one. **»
1 What, are there no roses here ? ' cried Gerda.
And she went among the beds, and searched and searched, but there was not one to be found. Then she sat down and wept : her tears fell just upon a spot where a rose-bush lay buried, and when the warm tears moistened the earth, the bush at once sprouted up as blooming as when it had sunk ; and Gerda embraced it, and kissed the Roses, and thought of the beautiful roses at home, and also of little Kay.
1 Oh, how I have been detained ! ' said the little girl. 11 wanted to seek for little Kay ! Do you not know where he is ? ' she asked the Roses. ' Do you think he is dead ? '
' He is not dead,' the Roses answered. ' We have been in the ground. All the dead people are there, but Kay is not there.'
' Thank you,' said little Gerda ; and she went to the other flowers, looked into their cups, and asked, ' Do you not know where little Kay is ? '
But every flower stood in the sun thinking only of her own story or fairy tale : Gerda heard many, many of them ; but not one knew anything of Kay.
And what did the Tiger-Lily say ?
1 Do you hear the drum " Rub-dub " ? There are only two notes, always ' rub-dub I' Hear the morning song of the women, hear the call of the priests. The Hindoo widow stands in her long red mantle on the funeral pile; the flames rise up around her and her dead husband; but the Hindoo woman is thinking of the living one here in the circle, of him whose eyes burn hotter than flames, whose fiery glances have burned in her soul more ardently than the flames themselves, which are soon to burn her body to ashes. Can the flame of the heart die in the flame of the funeral pile ? '
■ I don't understand that at all!' said little Gerda.
* That's my story,' said the Lily. What says the Convolvulus ?
* Over the narrow road looms an old knightly castle : thickly the ivy grows over the crumbling red walls, leaf by leaf up to the balcony, and there stands a beautiful girl; she bends over the balustrade and looks down at