ADVENTURES IN WIZABD-LAND
I have failed before. But this time I am going to succeed. With the girl my difficulty was not so great, but the boy has been hard to convince that other creatures have troubles greater than his. Others have returned to you through your craft, but this little couple you were forced to go and meet. You sought to entrap the boy as a Crab-it was I who restored the gem and saved him, as you may have guessed. And with that success the Bird-Fairy's hour now has come! You have failed to snare them as Bird, Beast, or Fish—your science can change mortals to nothing else. And now you shall fail to turn them to slaves."
Again the Wizard's discordant laughter was heard, and he said—
" You certainly got hold of that gem, my dear— and you evidently consider yourself in consequence an apt pupil of that old Fairy who befriended you —worse luck to her ! had she but passed a moment later there would have been no time to frustrate me. My science would have been powerful enough to change you into a mere Bird. My Collection would have been the more valuable, and she could not have made you into a Fairy besides; nor would you have known enchanting arts with power to torment me; nor would you have had any hope of future freedom."
The Wizard paused a moment, then rasped out—