THE ESCAPE OF THE MOUSE 325
snow on the mountains. And he came out, and made a stand as the dogs rushed on him, driven on by the men. Long he stood at bay ; then at last he betook himself to flight, and fled to a castle which was newly built, in a place where no building had ever been known. Into the castle he ran, and the dogs after him, and long though their masters looked and listened, they neither saw nor heard aught concerning dogs or boar.
' I will go into the castle and get tidings of the dogs,' said Pryderi at last.
' Truly,' answered Manawyddan, ' thou wouldst do unwisely, for whosoever has cast a spell over this land has set this castle here.'
' I cannot give up my dogs,' replied Pryderi, and to the castle he went.
But within was neither man nor beast; neither boar nor dogs, but only a fountain with marble round it, and on the edge a golden bowl, richly wrought, which pleased Pryderi greatly. In a moment he forgot about his dogs, and went up to the bowl and took hold of it, and his hands stuck to the bowl, and his feet to the marble slab, and despair took possession of him.
Till the close of day Manawyddan waited for him, and when the sun was fast sinking, he went home, thinking that he had strayed far.
' Where are thy friend and thy dogs ?' said Rhiannon, and he told her what had befallen Pryderi.
' A good friend hast thou lost,' answered Rhiannon, and she went up to the castle and through the gate, which was open. There, in the centre of the courtyard, she beheld Pryderi standing, and hastened towards him.
' What dost thou here ? ' she asked, laying her hand on the bowl, and as she spoke she too stuck fast, and was not able to utter a word. Then thunder was heard and a veil of darkness descended upon them, and the castle vanished and they with it.