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Fairy Adventures from Chronicles of Pantouflia By Andrew Lang

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114
PRINCE RICARDO.
made the Ice-beast and the Fire-beast fight and kill each other," said the queen.
" Yes, my dear; but it wanted some wit, if I •may say so, to do that, and Dick just goes at it hammer and tongs : anybody could do it. It's intellect I miss in Ricardo. How am I to know whether he could make a good fight for it with­out all these fairy things ? I wonder what the young rogue is about to-day ? He'll be late for dinner, as usual, I daresay. I can't stand want of punctuality at meals," remarked his Majesty, •which is a sign that he was growing old after all; lor where is the fun of being expected always to •come home in time for dinner when, perhaps, you are fishing, and the trout are rising splendidly ?
" Young people will be young people," said the queen. " If you are anxious about him, why don't you look for him in the magic crystal ? "
Now the magic crystal was a fairy present, a great ball of glass in which, if you looked, you saw the person you wanted to see, and what he was doing, however far away he might be, if he was on the earth at all.*
" I'll just take a look at it," said the king; " it only wants three-quarters of an hour to dinner-time."
His Majesty rose, and walked to the crystal
* You can buy these glasses now from the Psychical Society, at half-a-cro\vn and upwards.
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