THE GREEN FAIRY BOOK.
thick wood where a thousand paths and roads crossed each other. Their pursuers entered the forest, but searched in vain for Prince Milan and his bride. At last they found themselves back at the same spot they had started from, and in despair they returned once more with empty hands to the magician.
"Then I'll go after the wretches myself," he shouted. "Bring a horse at once. They shan't escape me."
Once more the beautiful Hyacinthia murmured: "I hear horses' hoofs quite near." And the prince answered: "They are pursuing ns hotly and are quite close."
"We are lost now, for that is my father himself. But at the first church we come to his power ceases. He may chase us no further. Hand me your cross."
Prince Milan loosened from his neck the little gold cross his mother had given him and as soon as Hyacinthia grasped it she had changed herself into a church, Milan into a monk, and the horse into a belfry. They had hardly done this when the magician and his servants rode up.
"Did you see no one pass by on horseback, reverend father?" he asked the monk.
"Prince Milan and Princess Hyacinthia have just gone on this minute. They stopped for a few minutes in the church to say their prayers, and bade me light this wax candle for you and give you their love."
"I'd like to wring their necks," said the magician, and made all haste home, where he had every one of his servants beaten to within an inch of their lives.
Prince Milan rode on slowly with his bride without fearing any further pursuit. The sun was just setting, and its last rays lit up a large city they were approaching. Prince Milan was suddenly seized with an ardent desire to enter the town.
"Oh, my beloved," implored Hyacinthia, "please don't go; for I am frightful and fear some evil."
"What are you afraid of?" asked the prince. "We'll only go and look at what's to be seen in the town for about an hour, and then we'll continue our journey to my father's kingdom."
"The town is easy to get into, but more difficult to gst out of," sighed Hyacinthia. "But let it be as von wish. Go, and I will await you here, bat I will first change my-