free, and the Snow-queen will keep her power over him.'
' But cannot you give little Gerda something so that she can have power over her?'
' I can give her no greater power than she has already; don't you see how great it is ? Don't you see how men and beasts must help her when she wanders into the wide world with her bare feet? She is powerful already, because she is a dear little innocent child. If she cannot by herself conquer the Snow-queen and take away the glass splinters from little Kay, we cannot help her! The Snow-queen's garden begins two miles from here. You can carry the little maiden so far; put her down by the large bush with red berries growing in the snow. Then you must come back here as fast as you can.'
Then the Finland woman lifted little Gerda on the reindeer and away he sped.
' Oh, I have left my gloves and boots behind! ' cried Gerda. She missed them in the piercing cold, but the reindeer did not dare to stop. On he ran till he came to the bush with red berries. Then he sat Gerda down and kissed her mouth, and great big tears ran down his cheeks, and then he ran back. There stood poor Gerda without shoes or gloves in the middle of the bitter cold of Finland.
She ran on as fast as she could. A regiment of gigantic snowflakes came against her, but they melted when they touched her, and she went on with fresh courage.
And now we must see what Kay was doing. He was not thinking of Gerda, and never dreamt that she was standing outside the palace.
The walls of the palace were built of driven snow, and the doors and windows of piercing winds.
There were more than a hundred halls in it all of frozen snow. The largest was several miles long; the