260 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
she went to the well to draw water, and as she was coming back she heard a loud scream in her house. Then her heart leaped, and fast she ran and flew to the cradle; and there she saw an awful sight—not her own bairn, but a withered imp, with hands like a mole's, and a face like a frog's, and a mouth from ear to ear, and two great staring eyes."
"What was it?" asked Jeanie, in a trembling voice.
"A fairy's bairn that had not thriven," said nurse; "and when their bairns do not thrive, they just steal honest folks' children and carry them away to their own country."
" And where 's that ? " said Randal,
" It's under the ground," said nurse, " and there they have gold and silver and diamonds; and there's the Queen of them all, that's as beautiful as the day. She has yellow hair down to her feet, and she has blue eyes, like the sky on a fine day, and her voice like all the mavises singing in the spring. And she is aye dressed in green, and all her court in green ; and she rides a white horse with golden bells on the bridle."
" I would like to go there and see her," said Randal.
" Oh, never say that, my bairn ; you never know who may hear you ! And if you go there, how will you come back again ? and what will your mother do, and Jean here, and me that's