256 THE CASTLE OF KERGLAS
drew the colt into a slower pace. He sniffed greedily the smell of the dishes, and raised his head the better to see the dancers. Another instant and he would have stopped altogether and been lost, like others before him, when suddenly there came to him like a vision the golden bowl and the diamond lance. Drawing his whistle from his pocket, he blew it loudly, so as to drown the sweet sounds about him, and ate what was left of his bread and bacon to still the craving of the magic fruits. His eyes he fixed steadily on the ears of the colt, that he might not see the dancers.
In this way he was able to reach the end of the garden, and at length perceived the castle of Kerglas, with the river between them which had only one ford. Would the lady be there, as the old man had told him ? Yes, surely that was she, sitting on a rock, in a black satin dress, and her face the colour of a Moorish woman's. The idiot rode up, and took off his cap more politely than ever, and asked if she did not wish to cross the river.
' I was waiting for you to help me do so,' answered she. ' Come near, that I may get up behind you.'
Peronnik did as she bade him, and by the help of his arm she jumped nimbly on to the back of the colt.
' Do you know how to kill the magician ? ' asked the lady, as they were crossing the ford.
' I thought that, being a magician, he was immortal, and that no one could kill him,' replied Peronnik.
' Persuade him to taste that apple, and he will die, and if that is not enough I will touch him with my finger, for I am the plague,' answered she.
' But if I kill him, how am I to get the golden bowl and the diamond lance that are hidden in the cellar without a key ? ' rejoined Peronnik.
' The flower that laughs opens all doors and lightens all darkness,' said the lady ; and as she spoke, they