60 THE STORY OF LITTLE KING LOG
difficult. Luckily, before he started, he had taken with him his magic ring, and the moment it touched the wall the crystal cage split from top to bottom.
' Follow that path, and you will find yourself in the world again,' he said to Youri; and without waiting to listen to the young man's thanks, set out on the road he had come.
' Bog,' he cried to the little man on the crow, who had ridden to meet him, ' hasten to the palace and inform the Princess Abeille that Youri de Blanchelande, for seven years a captive in the kingdom of the Undines, has now returned to the castle of Clarides.'
The first person whom Youri met as he came out of the mountain was the tailor who had made all his clothes from the time that he came to live at the castle. Of this old friend, who was nearly beside himself with joy at the sight of the little master, lost for so many years, the count begged for news of his foster-mother and Abeille.
' Alas ! my lord, where can you have been that you do not know that the Princess Abeille was carried off by the gnomes on the very day that you disappeared yourself ? At least, so we guess. Ah! that day has left many a mark on our duchess ! Yet she is not without a gleam of hope that her daughter is living yet, for every night the poor mother is visited by a dream which tells her all that the princess is doing.'
The good man went on to tell of all the changes that seven years had brought about in the village, but Youri heard nothing that he said, for his mind was busy with thoughts of Abeille.
At length he roused himself, and ashamed of his delay, he hastened to the chamber of the duchess, who held him in her arms as if she would never let him go. By-and-by, however, when she became calmer, he began to question her about Abeille, and how best to deliver