THE CLEVER CAT 135
he was close upon it, and stood horrified at the spectacle before him. He knew in an instant that his wife must have betrayed his trust, but he would not reproach her, as she must be suffering enough already. Hurrying on he sprang over all that was left of the palace walls, and the princess gave a cry of relief at the sight of him.
'Come quickly,' he said, 'or you will be frozen to death!' And a dreary little procession set out for the king's palace, the greyhound and the cat bringing up the rear.
At the gates he left them, though his wife besought him to allow her to enter.
'You have betrayed me and ruined me,' he said sternly; 'I go to seek my fortune alone.' And without another word he turned and left her.
With his falcon on his wrist, and his greyhound and cat behind him, the young man walked a long way, inquiring of everyone he met whether they had seen his enemy the Jew. But nobody had. Then he bade his falcon fly up into the sky — up, up, and up — and try if his sharp eyes could discover the old thief. The bird had to go so high that he did not return for some hours; but he told his master that the Jew was lying asleep in a splendid palace in a far country on the shores of the sea. This was delightful news to the young man, who instantly bought some meat for the falcon, bidding him make a good meal.
'To-morrow,' said he, 'you will fly to the palace where the Jew lies, and while he is asleep you will search all about him for a stone on which is engraved strange signs; this you will bring to me. In three days I shall expect you back here.'
'Well, I must take the cat with me,' answered the bird.
The sun had not yet risen before the falcon soared high