A pixie detached himself, and kneeling, begged his Majesty to give him the Golden Key.
" What for ?" asked Cedric, surprised.
" To wind up the proceedings, " came the reply of the fairies, who had eagerly drawn near.
" Can't," said Cedric.
" Do ! " said the prettiest of the fairies in chorus.
Hardly knowing what he was about, so much did he want to see the entrancing dance all over again, he held out the key to the applicant; but, noticing a peculiar gleam dart from the pixie's eyes, he quickly snatched it back again and replaced it in his pocket, and coming to himself found that the peacocks were once more between him and the fairy ring; that twopence was in his hand, and there was no one at all about. Then he realised how narrow his escape had been. *' Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown." Cedric knew that Shakespeare had written that; but he had never expected to learn the truth of it from experience.
He lay on the grass, and pondered what he had better do in the trying political situation. " What's the use of being King of Fairyland if I have to be plotted against every hour of the day ?" muttered Cedric disconsolately.
"No use at all."
They were the soft tones of the little Queen of