" It's me," answered the prince. It was the first time he had forgotten his grammar, but he was terribly excited.
" What do you want ? " grunted the beast. " I wish I could see you"; and, horrible to relate, he rose on a pair of wide, flaming wings,, and came right at the prince, guided by the sound of his voice.
Now, the prince had never heard that Fire-drakes could fly ; indeed, he had never believed in them at all, till the night before. For a moment he was numb with terror; then he flew down like a stone to the very bottom of the hill and shouted:
"Well," grunted the Firedrake, "what's the matter ? WThy can't you give a civil answer to a civil question ? "
" Will you go back to your hole and swear, on your honour as a Firedrake, to listen quietly?"
" On my sacred word of honour," said the beast, casually scorching an eagle that flew by into ashes. The cinders fell, jingling and crackling, round the prince in a little shower.
Then the Firedrake dived back, with an awful splash of flame, and the mountain roared round him.
The prince now flew high above him, and cried:
"A message from tne Remora. He says you are afraid to fight him."