When the King who was still at table heard this refrain, and the poultry woman came to tell him what had been going on in the yard, lie was terribly annoyed.
He ordered them to throw this tail of a drake into the well, to make an end of him.
And it was done as he commanded. Drakestail was in despair of getting himself out of such a deep hole, when he remembered his lady friend, the Ladder.
' Ladder, Ladder, come out of thy hold, Or Drakestail's days will soon be told.'
My friend Ladder, who was only waiting for these words, hastens out, leans her two arms on the edge of the well, then Drakestail climbs nimbly on her back, and hop ! he is in the yard, where he begins to sing louder than ever.
When the King, who was still at table and laughing at the good trick he had played his creditor, heard him again reclaiming his money, he became livid with rage.
He commanded that the furnace should be heated, and this tail of a drake thrown into it, because he must be a sorcerer.
The furnace was soon hot, but this time Drakestail was not so afraid; he counted on his sweetheart, my friend River.
' Eiver, River, outward flow, Or to death Drakestail must go.'
My friend River hastens out, and errouf! throws herself into the furnace, which she floods, with all the people who had lighted it; after which she flowed growling into the hall of the palace to the height of more than four feet.
And Drakestail, quite content, begins to swim, singing deafen-ingly, ' Quack, quack, quack, when shall I get my money back ? '
The King was still at table, and thought himself quite sure of his game ; but when he heard Drakestail singing again, and when they told him all that had passed, he became furious and got.up from table brandishing his fists.
' Bring him here, and I'll cut his throat! bring him here quick ! ' cried he.
And quickly two footmen ran to fetch Drakestail.
' At last,' said the poor chap, going up the great stairs, ' they have decided to receive me.'
Imagine his terror when on entering he sees the King as red as