The Ring 161
mountain, and came back again. But she said nothing of her grandmother or her lamp.
"And there we've been searching for you all over the house for more than an hour and a half!" exclaimed the nurse. " But that's no matter, now we've got you! Only, princess, I must say," she added, her mood changing, "what you ought to have done was to call for your own Lootie to come and help you, instead of running out of the house, and up the mountain, in that wild—I must say, foolish fashion."
"Well, Lootie," said Irene quietly, "perhaps if you had a big cat, all legs, running at you, you mightn't exactly know which was the wisest thing to do at the moment."
" I wouldn't run up the mountain, anyhow," returned Lootie.
" Not if you had time to think about it. But when those creatures came at you that night on the mountain, you were so frightened yourself that you lost your way home."
This put a stop to Lootie's reproaches. She had been on the point of saying that the long-legged cat must have been a twilight fancy of the princess's, but the memory of the horrors of