138 PRINCE RICARDO.
Then he called for a servant, to order luncheon for the shopkeepers, and paper for them to write their orders on. But no one was within bearing, and in that very old part of the palare there were no bells.
"Just pardon me for an instant, while I run downstairs," said his Majesty; "and, it seems a strange thing to ask, but may I advise you not to sit down on that carpet ? I have a reason for it."
In fact, he was afraid that someone might sit down on it, and wish he was somewhere else, and be carried away, as was the nature of the carpet.
King Prigio was not absent a minute, for he met William on the stairs; but when he came back, there was not one single person in the turret-room !
" Where on earth are they ? " cried the king, rushing through all the rooms in that part of the castle. He shouted for them, and looked everywhere ; but there was not a trace of tailor, hatter, optician, swordmaker, upholsterer.
The king hastened to a window over the gate, and saw the sentinels on duty.
" Hi!" he called.
And the sentinels turned round, looked up, and saluted.
" Have you seen anyone go out ?" he cried-
" No one, sire," answered the soldiers.