168 PRINCE RICARDO.
Prince Charles, as briefly as possible, explained the unusual nature of the circumstances.
" A king must hear both sides," said King James. "What reply have you, sir, to make to his Royal Highness's statements?"
" The carpet would not work, sir," said Dick. " It never happened before. Had I used my own sword," and he explained its properties, "the Prince of Wales would not be alive to tell his story. I can say no more, beyond offering my apology for a disappointment which I could not have foreseen. A gentleman can only say that he is sorry. But wait!" he added ; " I can at least prove that my confidence in some of my resources is not misplaced. Bid me bring you something—anything—from the ends of the earth, and it shall be in your hands. I can't say fairer."
King James reflected, while Prince Ricardo was pulling on the Seven-league Boots, which he had kicked off to fight more freely, and while the Duke of York bandaged Dick's hand with a kerchief.
" Bring me," said his Majesty, " Lord Lovat's snuff-mull."
" Where does he live ? " said Dick.
" At Gortuleg, in Scotland," answered King James.
Dick was out of sight before the words were fairly spoken, and in ten minutes was back, bearing a large ram's-horn snuff-box, with a