THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK
perfume of the scarf round his arm; and gradually he smelled it so often that at last his head sank on to his horse's neck, and he and his horse snored in company.
When the princess arrived they shook him, and beat him, and screamed at him, but it was all no good. Neither man nor horse woke till the coach was seen vanishing away in the distance.
Then John put spurs to his horse, calling with all his might: "Stop! stop!" But the coach drove on as before, and though the little soldier rode after it for a day and a night, he never got one step nearer.
Thus they left many villages and towns behind them, till they came to the sea itself. Here John thought that at last the coach must stop, but, wonder of wonders! it went straight on and rolled over the water as easily as it had done over the land. John's horse, which had carried him so well, sank down from fatigue, and the little soldier sat sadly on the shore watching the coach, which was fast disappearing on the horizon.
However, he soon plucked up his spirits again and walked along the beach to try and find a boat in which he could sail after the princess. But no boat was there, and at last, tired and hungry, he sat down to rest on the steps of a fisherman's hut.
In the hut was a young girl who was mending a net. She invited John to come in and set before him some wine and fried fish, and John ate and drank and felt comforted, and he told his adventures to the little fisher-girl. But though she was very pretty, with a skin as white as a gull's breast, for which her neighbors gave her the name of the Seagull, he did not think about her at all, for he was dreaming of the green eyes of the princess.
When he had finished his tale she was filled with pity and said:
"Last week, when I was fishing, my net grew verv heavy, and when I drew it in I found a great copper vase, fastened with lead. I brought it home and placed it on the fire. When the lead had melted a little, I opened the vase with my knife and drew out a mantle of red cloth