GIRL WHO PRETENDED TO BE A BOY 331
At break of day, the old woman ran to see her son, and found, as she knew she would, a bunch of dead flowers in his hand. She next passed on to the bedside of the princess, who still lay asleep grasping the withered flowers. But she did not believe any the more that her guest was a man, and so she told her son. So they put their heads together and laid another trap for her.
After breakfast the genius gave his arm to his guest, and asked her to come with him into the garden. For some time they walked about looking at the flowers, the genius all the while pressing her to pick any she fancied. But the princess, suspecting a trap, inquired roughly why they were wasting the precious hours in the garden, when, as men, they should be in the stables looking after their horses. Then the genius told his mother that she was quite wrong, and his deliverer was certainly a man. But the old woman was not convinced for all that.
She would try once more she said, and her son must lead his visitor into the armourv, where hung every kind of weapon used all over the world — some plain and bare, others ornamented with precious stones — and beg her to make choice of one of them. The princess looked at them closely, and felt the edges and points of their blades, then she hung at her belt an old sword with a curved blade, that would have done credit to an ancient warrior. After this she informed the genius that she would start early next day and take Sunlight with her.
And there was nothing for the mother to do but to submit, though she still stuck to her own opinion.
The princess mounted Sunlight, and touched him with her spur, when the old horse, who was galloping at her side, suddenly said :
' Up to this time, mistress, you have obeyed my counsels and all has gone well. Listen to me once more, and do what I tell you. I am old, and — now that there is someone to take my place, I will confess it — I am afraid