THE LOST SON.
He descended the ladder, and went to the king and informed him that he was a hunter from a foreign country, and wished to be taken into his service. The king replied that he would readily employ him, if he would tell him where the game could be found, for that he had hunted the whole country round for years, without once obtaining any.
The young huntsman immediately promised that he would very quickly bring him as much game as would cover the royal table. He went out after this, and called all the king's hunters together, and asked them to join him in the chase. As soon as they reached the entrance to the wood, he requested them to form a great circle, with an opening at one end. Then he placed himself in the centre, and wished. In a moment about two hundred head of game rushed into the circle, and these the hunters were not long in bagging. The dead game was then placed upon sixty farm waggons, and carried home to the king, who could now ornament his table with game, after being for many years without it
The king was much pleased at the result of the young hunter's promise, and gave orders that the next day there should be an assembly of the whole court to dine with him, and to hold a great festival.
As soon as they were assembled, the king said to the hunter: " You have been so skilful and clever in this affair, that you shall sit by me."
But he answered: " My lord king, your majesty is doing me too much honour ; I am only a plain hunter."
The king, however, stood up and said, " I desire you to sit by me till the feast is ended."
The youth obeyed, but as he sat there in the place of honour, he could not help thinking of his lady mother, and wished that even now one of the king's chief courtiers would get up and ask about the queen in the tower, and whether she was still living or not
No sooner had he wished, than the king's marshal rose and said : " Your majesty the king, while we are here, enjoying ourselves, may I ask what has become of our lady queen in the tower —is she still alive, or has she been starved to death ?"
But the king replied, haughtily : " She allowed the wild animals to tear my little son to pieces, therefore I will not hear a word about her."