J. t *
THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
horns that would not have disgraced the head of a goat. Then his courage failed him.
"As if it was not enough," said he, "that a woman should trick me, but the devil must mix himself up in it and lend me his horns. What a pretty figure I should cut if I went back into the world!"
But as he was still hungry and the mischief was done, he climbed boldly up another tree and plucked two plums of a lovely green color. No sooner had he swallowed two than the horns disappeared. The little soldier was enchanted, though greatly surprised, and came to the conclusion that it was not good to despair too quickly. When he had done eating an idea suddenly occurred to him.
"Perhaps," thought he, "these pretty little plums may help me to recover my purse, my cloak, and my heart from the hands of this wicked princess. She has the eyes of a deer already; let her have the horns of one. If I can manage to set her up with a pair, I will bet my money that I shall cease to want her for my wife. A horned maiden is by no means lovely to look at."
So he plaited a basket out of the long willows and placed in it carefully both sorts of plums. Then he walked bravely on for many days, having no food but the berries by the wayside, and was in great danger from wild beasts and savage men. But he feared nothing, except that his plums should decay, and this never happened.
At last he came to a civilized country, and with the sale of some jewels that he had about him on the evening of his flight he took passage on board a vessel for the Low Countries. So at the end of a year and a day he arrived at the capital of the kingdom.
The next day he put on a false beard and the dress of a date merchant, and taking a little table he placed himself before the door of the church.
He spread carefully out on a fine white cloth his Mira-
belle plums, which looked for all the world as if thev had
been freshly gathered, and when he saw the princess'com-
ing out of church he began to call out in a feigned voice:
Fine plums! lovely plums!"