The Goblins 75
stairs?" said the other. "That was the only silly thing I ever knew his majesty guilty of. Why should he marry an outlandish woman like that—one of our natural enemies too?"
" I suppose he fell in love with her."
" Pooh ! pooh ! He's just as happy now with one of his own people."
"Did she die very soon? They didn't tease her to death, did they?"
"Oh dear no! The king worshipped her very footmarks."
"What made her die, then? Didn't the air agree with her?"
"She died when the young prince was born."
"How silly of her! We never do that. It must have been because she wore shoes."
"I don't know that."
"Why do they wear shoes up there?"
"Ah! now that's a sensible question, and I will answer it. But in order to do so, I must first tell you a secret. I once saw the queen s feet."
"Without her shoes?"
" Yes—without her shoes."