THE SPRIG OF ROSEMARY 235
and in the twinkling of an eye he was back again, beaming with delight.
' From what one person and another have let fall,' he exclaimed, ' I have contrived to learn that he is in the palace of the king, who keeps him hidden lest anyone should see him; and that to-morrow he is to marry the princess, who, ugly creature that she is, has not been able to find any man to wed her.'
Who can tell the despair which seized the poor maiden when she heard this news! As soon as she could speak she implored the Wind to do all he could to get the wedding put off for two or three days, for it would take her all that time to reach the palace of the king.
The Wind gladly promised to do what he could, and as he travelled much faster than the maiden he soon arrived at the palace, where he found five tailors working night and day at the wedding clothes of the princess.
Down came the Wind right in the middle of their lace and satin and trimmings of pearl! Away they all went whiz ! through the open windows, right up into the tops of the trees across the river, among the dancing ears of corn ! After them ran the tailors, catching, jumping, climbing, but all to no purpose ! The lace was torn, the satin stained, the pearls knocked off! There was nothing for it but to go to the shops to buy fresh, and to begin all over again! It was plainly quite impossible that the wedding clothes could be ready next day.
However, the king was much too anxious to see his daughter married to listen to any excuses, and he declared that a dress must be put together somehow for the bride to wear. But when he went to look at the princess, she wns such a figure that he agreed that it would be unfitting for her position to be seen in such a gown, and he ordered the ceremony and the banquet to be postponed for a few hours, so that the tailors might take the dress to pieces and make it fit.
But by this time the maiden had arrived footsore and