PRINCE RICARDO. 177
" I don't trust that younger one," said Dick, moodily ; " I don't care for that young man. Anyway, my father must be told ; and, if you won't, I must."
" Well, I '11 tell him," said Jaqueline. "And now lie down till evening."
After dinner, in the conservatory, Jaqueline told King Prigio all about it.
His Majesty was very much moved.
" What extraordinary bad luck that family has!" he thought. " If I had not changed the rug, the merest accident, Prince Charles would have dined at St. James's to-night, and King George in Hanover. It was the very nearest thing!"
" This meddling with practical affairs will never do," he said aloud.
" Dick has had a lesson, sire," said the princess. " He says he'll never mix himself up with politics again, whatever happens. And he says he means to study all about them, for he feels frightfully ignorant, and, above all, he means to practise his fencing."
These remarks were not part of the conversation between Ricardo and Jaqueline, but she considered that Dick meant all this, and, really, he did.
" That is well, as far as it goes," said the king. " But, Jaqueline, about that mosquito ?" for she had told him this part of the adventure. " That was a very convenient mosquito, though