330 THE SILENT PRINCESS
' " I am growing old," she said to herself, " and if I do not choose a husband soon, I shall never get one ! I know that either of those men would gladly marry me to-morrow, but I cannot decide between them. I must invent some way to find out which of them is the best, and lose no time about it."
' So instead of going to sleep, she thought all night long of different plans, and in the morning she arose and dressed herself.
' " That will have to do," she muttered as she pulled out the white hair which had cost her so much trouble. " It is not very good, but I can think of nothing better; andówell, they are none of them clever, and I dare say they will easily fall into the trap." Then she called her slave and bade her let Jagdschi know that she would be ready to receive him in an hour's time. After that she went into the garden and dug a grave under a tree, by which she laid a white shroud.
' Jagdschi was delighted to get the gracious message ; and, putting on his newest garments, he hastened to the lady's house, but great was his dismay at finding her stretched on her cushions, weeping bitterly.
' " What is the matter, 0 Fair One ? " he asked, bowing low before her.
' " A terrible thing has happened," said she, her voice choked with sobs. " My father died two nights ago, and I buried him in my garden. But now I find that he was a wizard, and was not dead at all, for his grave is empty and he is wandering about somewhere in the world."
' " That is evil news, indeed," answered Jagdschi; " but can I do nothing to comfort you ? "
' " There is one thing you can do," replied she, " and that is to wrap yourself in the shroud and lay yourself in the grave. If he should not return till after three hours have elapsed he will have lost his power over me, and be forced to go and wander elsewhere."
' Now Jagdschi was proud of the trust reposed in