1At least he will take you off my hands ! ' 'Give me my daughter,' she suddenly screamed, grinding her teeth.
I Never ! Your doom is upon you at last! 'Loose my hands for pity's sake !' she groaned. ' I
am in torture. The cords are sunk in my flesh.'
'I dare not. Lie down ! ' I said.
She threw herself on the ground like a log.
The rest of the night passed in peace, and in the morning she again seemed dead.
Before evening we came in sight of the House of Bitterness, and the next moment one of the elephants came alongside of my horse.
' Please, king, you are not going to that place ?' whispered the Little One who rode on his neck.
Indeed I am! We are going to stay the night there,' I answered.
' Oh, please, don't! That must be where the cat-woman lives!'
' If you had ever seen her, you would not call her by that name !'
' Nobody ever sees her: she has lost her face ! Her head is back and side all round.'
' She hides her face from dull, discontented people ! —Who taught you to call her the cat-woman ? '
' I heard the bad giants call her so.'
' What did they say about her ? '
' That she had claws to her toes.'
' It is not true. I know the lady. I spent a night at her house.'
' But she may have claws to her toes ! You might see her feet, and her claws be folded up inside their cushions!'