THE STORY OF LITTLE KING LOG 59
is doing; while, as for Youri, I cannot tell if he is dead or alive.'
The gnomes were all silent. Kind as they were, they were not mortals, and had never felt either great joys or deep sorrows. Only King Loc dimly guessed at something of both, and he went away to consult an old, old gnome, who lived in the lowest depth of the mountain, and had spectacles of every sort, that enabled him to see all that was happening, not only on the earth, but under the sea.
Nur, for such was his name, tried many of these spectacles before he could discover anything about Youri de Blanchelande.
' There he is ! ' he cried at last. ' He is sitting in the palace of the Undines, under the great lake ; but he does not like his prison, and longs to be back in the world, doing great deeds.'
It was true. In the seven years that had passed since he had left the castle of Clarides to go with Abeille to the blue lake, Youri in his turn had become a man.
The older he grew the more weary he got of the petting and spoiling he received at the hands of the green-haired maidens, till, one day, he flung himself at the feet of the Undine queen, and implored permission to return to his old home.
The queen stooped down and stroked his hair.
' We cannot spare you,' she murmured gently. ' Stay here, and you shall be king, and marry me.'
' But it is Abeille I want to marry,' said the youth boldly. But he might as well have talked to the winds, for at last the queen grew angry, and ordered him to be put in a crystal cage which was built for him round a pointed rock.
It was here that King Loc, aided by the spectacles of Nur, found him after many weeks' journey. As we know, the gnomes walk slowly, and the way was long and