THE YELLOW DWARF
maid, who brought me here to rescue you, my Princess, from the unworthy hands that hold you. Do not refuse the aid of your most faithful lover.' So saying, he threw himself at her feet and held her by her robe. But, alas ! in so doing he let fall the magic sword, and the Yellow Dwarf, who was crouching behind a lettuce, no sooner saw it than he sprang out and seized it, well knowing its wonderful power.
The Princess gave a cry of terror on seeing the Dwarf, but this only irritated the little monster; muttering a few magical words he summoned two giants, who bound the King with great chains of iron.
' Now,' said the Dwarf, ' I am master of my rival's fate, but I will give him his life and permission to depart unharmed if you, Princess, will consent to marry me.'
' Let me die a thousand times rather,' cried the unhappy King.
'Alas! ' cried the Princess, 'must you die ? Could anything be more terrible ?'
' That you should marry that little wretch would be far more terrible,' answered the King.
' At least,' continued she, ' let us die together.'
' Let me have the satisfaction of dying for you, my Princess,' said he.
'Oh, no, no!' she cried, turning to the Dwarf; 'rather than that I will do as you wish.'
' Cruel Princess!' said the King, ' would you make my life horrible to me by marrying another before my eyes ? '
' Not so,' replied the Yellow Dwarf; ' you are a rival of whom I am too much afraid: you shall not see our marriage.' So saying, in spite of Bellissima"s tears and cries, he stabbed the King to the heart with the diamond sword.
The poor Princess, seeing her lover lying dead at her feet, could no longer live without him; she sank down by him and died of a broken heart.
So ended these unfortunate lovers, whom not even the Mermaid could help, because all the magic power had been lost with the diamond sword.
As to the wicked Dwarf, he preferred to see the Princess dead rather than married to the King of the Gold Mines ; and the Fairy of the Desert, when she heard of the King's adventures, pulled down the grand monument which she had built, and was so angry at the