2$o THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
colonel a duke, and the page a knight, and Peter he appointed general of all his mines. But to Curdie he said,—
" You are my own boy, Curdie. My child cannot choose but love you, and when you are both grown up— if you both will—you shall marry each other, and be king and queen when I am gone. Till then be the king's Curdie."
Irene held out her arms to Curdie. He raised her in his, and she kissed him.
" And my Curdie too !" she said.
Thereafter the people called him Prince Conrad ; but the king always called him either just Curdie^ or My tnitiir-boy.
They sat down to supper, and Derba and the knight and the housemaid waited, and Barbara sat on the king's left hand. The housemaid poured out the wine ; and as she poured out for Curdie red wine that foamed in the cup, as if glad to see the light whence it had been banished so long, she looked him in the eyes. And Curdie started, and sprang from his seat, and dropped on his knees, and burst into tears. And the maid said with a smile, such as none but one could smile,—
" Did I not tell you, Curdie, that it might be you would not know me when next you saw me ? "
Then she went from the room, and in a moment