814 THE ICE MAIDEN
kick too! out at the door and up to the mountain among the chamois ; and he may take aim at them now, may Rudy, and not at our Babette.'
* But what did they say ? ' asked the Kitchen Cat.
* What did they say ? Why, they said everything that people are accustomed to say when they come a-wooing. " I love her and she loves me, and if there 's milk enough in the pail for one, there 's enough for two." " But she 's perched too high for you," said the miller. " She's perched on grist, on golden grist, as you very well know, and you can't reach up to her." " Nothing is so high that a man can't reach it, if he has the will," said Rudy, for he is a bold fellow. " But you can't reach the eaglet, you said so yourself the other day, and Babette is higher than that." " I shall take both of them," exclaimed Rudy. "I'll give you Babette when you give me the young eaglet alive," said the miller, and he laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks. " But now I must thank you for your visit. Call again to-morrow, and you'll find nobody at home. Good-bye to you, Rudy." And Babette said good-bye too, as pitifully as a little kitten that can't see its mother yet. " Your word is your bond," cried Rudy. " Don't cry, Babette : I'll bring you the eaglet! " " You'll break your neck first, I hope," said the miller, " and then we shall be rid of your dangling here ! " That's what I call a capital kick !
* And now Rudy is gone, and Babette sits and weeps, but the miller sings German songs that he has learned on his late journey. I don't like to be downhearted about it, for that can do no good ! '
' Well, after all, there 's some prospect for him still/ observed the Kitchen Cat.
The Eagle's Nest
Down from the rocky path sounded a fresh song, merry and strong, indicating courage and good spirits ; and the singer was Rudy, who came to seek his friend Vesinand.
* You must help me ! We will have Ragli with us. I want to take the eaglet out of the nest on the rock.'