52 THE STORY OF LITTLE KING LOG
splendidly dressed and full of dignity. On his head was a crown of such huge diamonds that you wondered how his small body could support it. A royal mantle fell from his shoulders, and in his hand he held a lance.
' King Loc,' said one of the forest gnomes, ' we found this beautiful child asleep by the lake, and have brought her to you. She says that her name is Abeille, and her mother is the Duchesse des Clarides.'
' You have done well,' answered the king; ' she shall be one of us.' And standing on tiptoe, so that he could kiss her hand, he told her that they would all take care of her and make her happy, and that anything she wished for she should have at once.
' I want a pair of shoes,' replied Abeille.
' Shoes!' commanded the king, striking the ground with his lance ; and immediately a lovely pair of silver shoes embroidered with pearls were slipped on her feet by one of the gnomes.
'They are beautiful shoes,' said Abeille rather doubtfully ; ' but do you think they will carry me all the way back to my mother ?'
' No, they are not meant for rough roads,' replied the king, ' but for walking about the smooth paths of the mountain, for we have many wonders to show you.'
' Little King Loc,' answered Abeille, ' take away these beautiful slippers and give me a pair of wooden shoes instead, and let me go back to my mother.' But King Loc only shook his head.
' Little King Loc,' said Abeille again—and this time her voice trembled—' let me go back to my mother and Youri, and I will love you with all my heart, nearly as well as I love them.'
' Who is Youri ?' asked King Loc.
' Why—Youri—who has lived with us since I was a baby,' replied Abeille; surprised that he did not know what everyone else was aware of, and never guessing that by mentioning the boy she was sealing her own