THE OLIVE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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She looked lovingly at him as she spoke ; but, to her surprise, his face grew dark, and he answered hastily :
' Never speak to me again of the Moors or of war. It was to escape from them that I fled from my own land, and at the first word of invasion I should leave you for ever.'
' How funny you are,' cried she, breaking into a laugh. ' The idea of anyone as big as you being afraid of a Moor! But still, you mustn't say those things to anyone except me, or they might think you were in earnest.'
Not very long after this, when the people of the city were holding a great feast outside the walls of the town, a body of Moors, who had been in hiding for days, drove off all the sheep and goats which were peace­fully feeding on the slopes of a hill. Directly the loss was discovered, which was not for some hours, the king gave orders that the war drum should be beaten, and the warriors assembled in the great square before the palace, trembling with fury at the insult which had been put upon them. Loud were the cries for instant vengeance, and for Samba, son-in-law of the king, to lead them to battle. But shout as they might, Samba never came.
And where was he? No further than in a cool, dark cellar of the palace, crouching among huge earthen­ware pots of grain. With a rush of pain at her heart, there his wife found him, and she tried with all her strength to kindle in him a sense of shame, but in vain. Even the thought of the future danger he might run from the contempt of his subjects was as nothing when compared with the risks of the present.
' Take off your tunic of mail,' said the princess at last; and her voice was so stern and cold that none would have known it. ' Give it to me, and hand me besides your helmet, your sword and your spear.' And
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