THE RAINBOW BOOK
High Chamberlain begged the King that he would use the Golden Key—which, being a master key, could of course take the place of any other.
Acting on the advice given him, and alive to the evident importance of retaining the key (which was also the key to his position), Cedric politely and graciously refused: at which there was considerable sensation. Arguments and persuasion were in vain, but at last he yielded to the entreaties of those needy fairies who badly wanted their institution. Himself he inserted the key, which was found to fit, as was to be expected. But when he wanted to withdraw it, it had stuck, and was immovable—the lock had been carefully arranged that it should be so. Triumph and amusement were on every face except his.
" I have been betrayed," muttered Cedric, and he wondered what on Fairyland he should do next. There was silence—a breathless interval—during which the boy never relaxed hold on his treasured possession.
"Cut away the lock!" he commanded. At this order the people murmured loudly, but soon fell into silence; for they were bound by their constitution to obey their monarch. In a few moments the Golden Key was again safe in Cedric's pocket, and mistrust was in his heart, as it has been in that of nearly every king who ever reigned.