242 THE FROG AND THE LION FAIRY
she bore it for a long while because it was the king's wish, but when time passed and there were no signs of the war drifting in the direction of the castle, she grew bolder, and sometimes strayed outside the walls, in the direction of the forest.
Then came a dreadful period, when news from the king ceased entirely.
'He must surely be ill or dead,' thought the poor girl, who even now was only sixteen. T can bear it no longer, and if I do not get a letter from him soon I shall leave this horrible place, and go back to see what is the matter. Oh! I do wish I had never come away!'
So, without telling anyone what she intended to do, she ordered a little low carriage to be built, something like a sledge, only it was on two wheels — just big enough to hold one person.
'I am tired of being always in the castle,' she said to her attendants; 'and I mean to hunt a little. Quite close by, of course,' she added, seeing the anxious look on their faces. 'And there is no reason that you should not hunt too.'
All the faces brightened at that, for, to tell the truth, they were nearly as dull as their mistress; so the queen had her way, and two beautiful horses were brought from the stable to draw the little chariot. At first the queen took care to keep near the rest of the hunt, but gradually she stayed away longer and longer, and at last, one morning, she took advantage of the appearance of a wild boar, after which her whole court instantly galloped, to turn into a t>ath in the opposite direction.
Unluckily, it did not happen to lead towards the king's palace, where she intended to go, but she was so afraid her flight would be noticed that she whipped up her horses till they ran away.
When she understood what was happening the poor young queen was terribly frightened, and, dropping the reins, clung to the side of the chariot. The horses, thus