178 PRINCE RICARDO.
I don't know how Dick was able to observe it from any distance. I see your hand in that, my dear, and I am glad you can make such kind and wise use of the lessons of the good Fairy Paribanou. Jaqueline," he added solemnly, laying his hand on her head, " you have saved the honour of Pantouflia, which is dearer to me than life. Without your help, I tremble to think what might have occurred."
The princess blushed very much, and felt very happy.
" Now run away to the queen, my dear," said his Majesty, " I want to think things over."
He did think them over, and the more he thought the more he felt the inconvenience attending the possession of fairy things.
" An eclipse one day, as nearly as possible a revolution soon after !" he said to himself. " But for Jaqueline, Ricardo's conduct would have been blazed abroad, England would have been irritated. It is true she cannot get at Pantouflia very easily; we have no sea-coast, and we are surrounded by friendly countries. But it would have been a ticklish and discreditable position. I must really speak to Dick," which he did next morning after breakfast.
" You have broken my rules, Ricardo," he said. " True, there is no great harm done, and you have confessed frankly; but how am I to trust you any longer?"
* * I '11 give you my sacred word of honour,