partly because he was sorry for the poor girl, and, even more, because he wished to gain the king's favour. Then he slung the barrel on the mule's back, and in this way the princess was carried to her own home. They arrived at the palace about four o'clock in the morning, and the cooper knocked loudly at the door. When the servants came in haste and saw only the cooper standing at the gate, they were very indignant, and scolded him. soundly for coming at such an hour and waking them all out of their sleep.
The king hearing the noise and the cause of it, sent for the cooper, for he felt certain the man must have some important business, to have come and disturbed the whole palace at such an early hour.
The cooper asked permission to unload his mule, and Cannetella crept out of the barrel. At first the king refused to believe that it was really his daughter, for she had changed so terribly in a few years, and had grown so thin and pale, that it was pitiful to see her. At last the princess showed her father a mole she had on her right arm, and then he saw that the poor girl was indeed his long-lost Cannetella. He kissed her a thousand times, and instantly had the choicest food and drink set before her.
After she had satisfied her hunger, the king said to her: 'Who would have thought, my dear daughter, to have found you in such a state? What, may I ask, lias brought you to this pass?'
Cannetella replied : ' That wicked man with the gold head and teeth treated me worse than a dog, and many a time, since I left you, have I longed to die. But I could n't tell you all that I have suffered, for you would never believe me. It is enough that I am once more with you, and I shall never leave you again, for I would rather be a slave in your house than queen in any other.'
In the meantime Scioravante had returned to the