THE GREEN KNIGHT
arrived, and ran to his arms in her joy at seeing her dear father again.
' And did you see the Green Knight ? ' she asked.
' Yes,' answered the king, drawing out the casket the knight had sent,' and he begged me to give you this that you may know him when he arrives and not mistake him for somebody else.'
When the princess saw the portrait she was delighted, and exclaimed : ' It is indeed the man whom I have seen in my dreams ! Now I shall be happy, for he and no other shall be my husband.'
Very soon after the Green Knight arrived, and he looked so handsome in his green armour, with a long green plume in his helmet, that the princess fell still more in love with him than before, and when he saw her, and recognised her as the lady whom he had so often dreamt of, he immediately asked her to be his bride. The princess looked down and smiled as she answered him :
' We must keep the secret from my step-mother until the wedding-day,' said she, ' for otherwise she will find a way to do us some evil.'
' As you please,' replied the prince ; ' but I must visit you daily, for I can live no longer without you! I will come early in the morning and not leave until it is dark; thus the queen will not see me row across the lake.'
For a long time, the Green Knight visited the princess every day, and spent many hours wandering with her through the beautiful gardens where they knew the queen could not see them. But secrets, as you know, are dangerous things, and at last, one morning, a girl who was in service at the palace happened to be walking by the lake early in the morning and beheld a wonderfully handsome young man, in a beautiful suit of green satin, come down to the edge of the lake. Not guessing that he was watched, he got into a little boat that lay moored to the bank, and rowed himself over to the island where the