as an iron bar. I could not tell whether it was a live thing or not.
From this vestibule two low passages led; I took one of them, and found it branch into many, all narrow and irregular. At a spot where was scarce room for two to pass, a page ran against me. He started back in terror, but having scanned me, gathered impudence, puffed himself out, and asked my business.
' To see the princess,' I answered.
'A likely thing ! ' he returned. ' I have not seen her highness this morning myself! '
I caught him by the back of the neck, shook him, and said,
' Take me to her at once, or I will drag you with me till I find her. She shall know how her servants receive her visitors.'
He gave a look at me, and began to pull like a blind man's dog, leading me thus to a large kitchen, where were many servants, feebly busy, and hardly awake. I expected them to fall upon me and drive me out, but they stared instead, with wide eyes—not at me, but at something behind me, and grew more ghastly as they stared. I turned my head, and saw the white leopardess, regarding them in a way that might have feared stouter hearts.
Presently, however, one of them, seeing, I suppose, that attack was not imminent, began to recover himself ; I turned to him, and let the boy go.
' Take me to the princess,' I said.
' She has not yet left her room, your lordship,' he replied.
' Let her know that I am here, waiting audience of her.'