The Grey Fairy Book - online childrens book

Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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' Get up, get up, Quickeye, and tell me where is the princess? '
Quickeye looked about for some time without answer­ing. ' Oh, my lord, she is far, very far. Three hundred miles away there lies a black sea. In the middle of this sea there is a little shell, and in the middle of the shell is fixed a gold ring. That gold ring is the princess. But do not vex your soul; we will get her. Only to-day, Long must take Broad with him. He will be wanted badly.'
So Long took Quickeye on one shoulder, and Broad on the other, and they set out. At each stride they left thirty miles behind them. When they reached the black sea, Quickeye showed them the spot where they must seek the shell. But though Long stretched down his hand as far as it would go, he could not find the shell, for it lay at the bottom of the sea.
' Wait a moment, comrades, it will be all right. I will help you,' said Broad.
Then he swelled himself out so that you would have thought the world could hardly have held him, and stoop­ing down he drank. He drank so much at every mouth­ful, that only a minute or so passed before the water had sunk enough for Long to put his hand to the bottom. He soon found the shell, and pulled the ring out. But time had been lost, and Long had a double burden to cany. The dawn was breaking fast before they got back to the castle, where the prince was waiting for them in an agony of fear.
Soon the first rays of the sun were seen peeping over the tops of the mountains. The door burst open, and finding the prince standing alone the wizard broke into peals of wicked laughter. But as he laughed a loud crash was heard, the window fell into a thousand pieces, a gold ring glittered in the air, and the princess stood before the enchanter. For Quickeye, who was watching from afar, had told Long of the terrible danger now threatening the
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