THE ORANGE FAIRY BOOK - online childrens book

A Collection of Illustrated classic fairy tales for children by Andrew Lang

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214
THE WHITE DOE
thin that her bones showed through the stuff. Besides that her nose was hooked, and her teeth black and ugly.
In his turn, the prince stood rooted to the spot. At last he spoke, and his words were addressed to his father and not to the bride who had come so far to marry him.
'We have been deceived,' he said, 'and it will cost me my life.' And he leaned so heavily on the envoy that Becasigue feared he was going to faint, and hastily laid him on the floor. For some minutes no one could attend to anybody but the prince; but as soon as he revived the lady in waiting made herself heard.
'Oh, my lovely princess, why did we ever leave home?' cried she. 'But the king your father will avenge the insults that have been heaped on you when we tell him how you have been treated.'
'I will tell him myself,' replied the king in wrath; 'he promised me a wonder of beauty, he has sent me a skeleton! I am not surprised that he has kept her for fifteen years hidden from the eyes of the world. Take them both away,' he continued, turning to his guards, 'and lodge them in the state prison. There is something more I have to learn of this matter.'
His orders were obeyed, and the prince, loudly bewailing his sad fate, was led back to his bed, where for many days he lay in a high fever. At length he slowly began to gain strength, but his sorrow was still so great that he could not bear the sight of a strange face, and shuddered at the notion of taking his proper part in the court ceremonies. Unknown to the king, or to anybody but Becasigue, he planned that, as soon as he was able, he would make his escape and pass the rest of his life in some solitary place. It was some weeks before he had regained his health sufficiently to carry out his design; but finally, one beautiful starlight night, the two friends stole away, and when the king woke next morning he found a letter lying by his bed, saying that his son had gone, he knew not whither. He wept bitter
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