258 PRINCE AND PRINCESS IN THE FOREST
They went on for some time, until, sure enough, they came to another house, which also had a light in the window.
' We'll go in here,' said the prince.
: No, no ; I am afraid !' cried the queen. ' We shall be attacked and killed ! It is a robbers' den : I am sure it is ! '
' Yes, it looks like it; but we can't help that,' said her son. ' We have had nothing to eat for hours, and I'm nearly as tired as you.'
The poor queen was, indeed, quite worn out; she could hardly stand for fatigue, and in spite of her terror was half anxious to be persuaded.
' And there's going to be a storm,' added the prince ; who feared nothing now that he had the sword.
So they went into the house, where they found nobody. In the first room stood a table laid for a meal, with all sorts of good things to eat and drink, though some of the dishes were empty.
' Well, this looks nice,' said the prince, sitting down and helping himself to some delicious strawberries piled on a golden dish, and some iced lemonade. Never had anything tasted so nice ; but, all the same, it was a robbers' den they had come to, and the robbers, who had only just dined, had gone out into the forest to see whom they could rob.
When the queen and the prince could eat no more they remembered that they were very tired, and the prince looked about till he discovered a comfortable bed, with silken sheets, standing in the next room.
' You get into bed, mother,' he said, ' and I'll lie down by the side. Don't be alarmed ; you can sleep quite safely till the morning.' And he lay down with his sword in his hand, and kept watch until the day began to break ; then the queen woke up and said she was quite rested and ready to start again.
' First I'll go out into the forest and see if I can find