314 PUNISHMENT OF THE FAIRY GANGANA
was leaving it, and sharp words were exchanged between them. After her enemy had flown off in a rage, the Fairy of the Fields poured out the whole story of Gangana's wickedness to the queen, and implored her counsel.
' Be comforted,' answered the fairy queen. ' For a while she must work her will, and at this moment she is carrying off Cadichon to the island where she still holds her niece captive. But should she make an evil use of the power she has, her punishment will be swift and great. And now I will give you this precious phial. Guard it carefully, for the liquid it contains will cause you to become invisible, and safe from the piercing eyes of all fairies. Against the eyes of mortals it has no charm ! '
With a heart somewhat lighter, the Fairy of the Fields returned to her own island, and, the better to protect the six new marionettes from the wicked fairy, she sprinkled them with a few drops of the liquid, only avoiding just the tips of their noses, so that she might be able to know them again. Then she set off for the kingdom of Petaldo, which she found in a state of revolt, because for the first time since he had ascended the throne he had dared to impose a tax. Indeed, matters might have ended in a war, or in cutting off the king's head, had not the fairy discovered a means of contenting everybody, and of whispering anew to the queen that all was well with her children, for she dared not tell her of the loss of Cadichon.
And what had become of Cadichon ? Well, the Fairy of the Fields had found outóby means of her books, which had told heróthat the poor little boy had been placed by Gangana in an enchanted island, round which flowed a rapid river, sweeping rocks and trees in its current. Besides the river, the island was guarded by twenty-four enormous dragons, breathing flames, and forming a rampart of fire which it seemed as if none could pass.