THE FAIR CIRCASSIANS 253
torches that we understood what had occurred. Indeed the first thought of both of us was that we must have changed clothes.
' Now in spite of what we may say, we all prefer our own bodies to those of anybody else, so notwithstanding our love for each other, at first we could not help feeling a little cross with Thelamis. However, so deep was the prince's passion for me, that very soon he began to congratulate himself on the change. " My happiness is perfect," he said, " my heart, beautiful Dely, has always been yours, and now I have your head also."
' But though the prince made the best of it, Thelamis was much ashamed of his stupidity. " I have," he said hesitatingly, " two other pastilles which have the same magic properties as those I used before. Let me cut off your heads again, and that will put matters straight." The proposal sounded tempting, but was a little risky, and after consulting together we decided to let things remain as they were. u Do not blame me then," continued Thelamis, " if you will not accept my offer. But take the two pastilles, and if it ever happens that you are decapitated a second time, make use of them in the way I have shown you, and each will get back his own head." So saying he presented us with the pastilles, and wre all returned to the castle.
' However, the troubles caused by the unfortunate exchange were only just beginning. My head, without thinking what it was doing, led the prince's body to my apartments. But my women, only looking at the dress, declared I had mistaken the corridor, and called some slaves to conduct me to his Highness's rooms. This
was bad enough, but when — as it was still night — my servants began to undress me, I nearly fainted from surprise and confusion, and no doubt the Prince's head was suffering in the same manner at the other end of the castle!
' By the next morning — you will easily guess that we