THE ENCHANTED DEER 161
kingdom but shall die also.' And running up to where the fisher's son was standing, she took him by the hand, saying,
' Father, this is no robber or murderer, but the victor in the three races, and he loosed the spells that were laid upon me.'
Then, without waiting for a reply, she conducted him into the palace, and he bathed in a marble bath, and all the dirt that the fairies had put upon him disappeared like magic, and when he had dressed himself in the fine garments the princess had sent to him, he looked a, match for any king's daughter in Erin. He went down into the great hall where she was awaiting him, and they had much to tell each other but little time to tell it in, for the king her father, and the princes who were visiting him, and all the people of the kingdom were still in their places expecting her return.
' How did you find me out ? ' she whispered as they went down the passage.
' The birds in the box told me,' answered he, but he could say no more, as they stepped out into the open space that was crowded with people. There the princesa stopped.
' 0 kings ! ' she said, turning towards them,' if one of you were killed to-day, the rest would fly ; but this man put his trust in me, and had his head cut off three times. Because he has done this, I will marry him rather than one of you, who have come hither to wed me, for many kings here sought to free me from the spells, but none could do it save Ian the fisher's son.'
From ' Popular Tales of the West Highlands.