' Please, lady Mara, may we have some of your very dry bread before we go ?' said Luva.
Mara smiled, and brought them four loaves and a great jug of water.
' We will eat as we go,' they said. But they drank the water with delight.
I think,' remarked one of them, ' it must be elephant-juice ! It makes me so strong ! '
We set out, the Lady of Sorrow walking with us, more beautiful than the sun, and the white leopardess following her. I thought she meant but to put us in the path across the channels, but I soon found she was going with us all the way. Then I would have dismounted that she might ride, but she would not let me.
' I have no burden to carry,' she said. ' The children and I will walk together.'
It was the loveliest of mornings; the sun shone his brightest, and the wind blew his sweetest, but they did not comfort the desert, for it had no water.
We crossed the channels without difficulty, the children gamboling about Mara all the way, but did not roach the top of the ridge over the bad burrow until the sun was already in the act of disappearing. Then I made the Little Ones mount their elephants, for the moon might be late, and I could not help some anxiety about them.
The Lady of Sorrow now led the way by my side; the elephants followed—the two that bore the princess in the centre ; the leopardess brought up the rear ; and just as we reached the frightful margin, the moon looked up and showed the shallow basin lying before us untroubled. Mara stepped into it; not a movement answered her tread or the feet of my horse. But the