PRINCESS MIN0N-M1NETTE 281
little attention to her, for he was rather cross and very tired. Indeed, he felt that he really could not carry the bundle any further, and was about to lay it down when up came a young maiden more beautiful than the day, and covered with precious stones. She ran to them, exclaiming to the old woman,
' Oh, you poor thing ! I was just coming after you to see if I could help you.'
' Here is a young man,' replied the old woman, ' who will be quite ready to give you up the bundle. You see he does not look as if he enjoyed carrying it.'
' Will you let me take it, sir? ' she asked.
But the king felt ashamed of himself, and held on to it tightly, while the presence of the princess put him in a better temper.
So they all travelled together till they arrived at a very ordinary-looking house, which Aveline pointed out as the castle of the AVhite Demon, and told the king that he might put down his bundle in the courtyard. The young man was terribly afraid of being recognised by someone in this strange position, and would have turned on his heel and gone away had it not been for the thought of Minon-Minette. Still, he felt very awkward and lonely, for both the princess and the old woman had entered the castle without taking the slightest notice of the young man, who remained where he was for some time, not quite knowing what he had better do. At length a servant arrived and led him up into a beautiful room filled with people, who were either playing on musical instruments or talking in a lively manner, which astonished the king, who stood silently listening, and not at all pleased at the want of attention paid him.
Matters went on this way for some time. Every day the king fell more and more in love with Minon-Minette, and every day the princess seemed more and more taken up with other people. At last, in despair, the prince sought out the old woman, to try to get some advice