THE CASTLE OF KERGLAS 255
he had to swim across. The colt, who was accustomed to it, plunged into the water without hesitation ; but as soon as the dragons caught sight of Peronnik they approached from all parts of the lake in order to devour him.
This time Peronnik did not trouble to take off his cap, but he threw the beads he carried with him into the water, as you throw black corn to a duck, and»with each bead that he swallowed a dragon turned on his back and died, so that the idiot reached the other side without further trouble.
The valley guarded by the black man now lay before him, and from afar Peronnik beheld him, chained by one foot to a rock at the entrance, and holding the iron ball which never missed its mark and always returned to its master's hand. In his head the black man had six eyes that were never all shut at once, but kept watch one after the other. At this moment they were all open, and Peronnik knew well that if the black man caught a glimpse of him he would cast his ball. So, hiding the colt behind a thicket of bushes, he crawled along a ditch and crouched close to the very rock to which the black man was chained.
The day was hot, and after a while the man began to grow sleepy. Two of his eyes closed, and Peronnik sang gently. In a moment a third eye shut, and Peronnik sang on. The lid of a fourth eye dropped heavily, and then those of the fifth and the sixth. The black man was asleep altogether.
Then, on tiptoe, the idiot crept back to the colt, which he led over soft moss past the black man into the vale of pleasure, a delicious garden full of fruits that dangled before your mouth, fountains running with wine, and flowers chanting in soft little voices. ' Further on, tables were spread with food, and girls dancing on the grass called to him to join them.
Peronnik heard, and, scarcely knowing what he did