THE PRINCESS IN DISGUISE. 263
Poor Roughskin, 'as they called her, lived for a long time most miserably, and the beautiful king's daughter knew not when it would end or how. It happened, however, after a time that a festival was to take place in the castle, so she said to the cook: " May I go out for a little while to see the company arrive. I will stand outside the door,"
"Yes, you may go," he replied, "but in half an hour I shall want you to sweep up the ashes, and put the kitchen in order."
Then she took her little oil lamp, went into the stable, threw oft' the fur coat, washed the nut stains from her face and hands, so that her full beauty appeared before the day. After this, she opened the nut shell and took out the dress that was golden as the sun, and put it on. As soon as she was quite dressed, she went out and presented herself at the entrance of the castle as a visitor. No one recognised her as Roughskin; they thought she was a king's daughter, and sent and told the king of her arrival. He went to receive her, offered her his hand, and while they danced together, he thought in his heart, uMy eyes have never seen any maiden before so beautiful as this."
As soon as the dance was over she bowed to the king, and before he could look round, she had vanished, no one knew where. The sentinel at the castle gate was called and questioned, but he had not seen any one pass.
But she had run to her stable, quickly removed her dress, stained her face and hands, put on her fur coat, and was again "Roughskin." When she entered the kitchen and began to do her work and sweep up the ashes, the cook said: " Leave that alone till to-morrow, I want you to cook some soup for the king. I will also taste a little when it is ready, but do not let one of your hairs fall in, or you will get nothing to eat in future from me."
Then the cook went out, and Roughskin made the king's soup as nicely as she could, and cut biead for it, and when it was ready, she fetched from her little stable her gold ring, and laid it in the dish in which the soup was prepared.
After the king had left the ball-room, he called for the soup, and while eating it, thought he had never tasted better soup in his life. But when the dish was nearly empty, he saw to his surprise a gold ring lying at the bottom, and could not imagine how it came there. Then he ordered the cook to come to him, and he was in a terrible