THE FLYING TRUNK
little creak he was in terror lest the trunk should go to pieces, for then he would have turned a dreadful somersault — just think of it!
In this way he arrived at the land of the Turks. He hid the trunk in a wood under some dry leaves, and then walked into the town. He could do that quite well, for all the Turks were dressed just as he was — in a dressing-gown and slippers.
He met a nurse with a little child.
'Halloa! you Turkish nurse,' said he, 'what is that great castle there close to the town ? The one with the windows so high up? '
' The sultan's daughter lives there,' she replied. ' It is prophesied that she will be very unlucky in her husband, and so no one is allowed to see her except when the sultan and sultana are by.'
'Thank you,' said the merchant's son, and he went into the wood, sat himself in his trunk, flew on to the roof, and crept through the window into the princess's room.
She was lying on the sofa asleep, and was so beautiful that the young merchant had to kiss her. Then she woke up and was very much frightened, but he said he was a Turkish god who had come through the air to see her, and that pleased her very much.
They sat close to each other, and he told her a story about her eyes. They were beautiful dark lakes in which her thoughts swam about like mermaids. And her forehead was a snowy mountain, grand and shining These were lovely stories.
Then he asked the princess to marry him, and she said yes at once.
' But you must come here on Saturday,' she said, ' for then the sultan and the sultana are coming to tea with me. They will be indeed proud that I receive the god of the Turks. But mind you have a really good story ready, for my parents like them immensely. My mother