Princess Belle-Etoile. 6
Cheri, that she fell dangerously ill; and in the hopes of curing her, Petit-Soleil resolved to seek him.
But he too was swallowed up by the rock and fell into the great hall. The first person he saw was Cheri, but he could not speak to him; and Prince Heureux, following soon after, met with the same fate as the other two.
When Feintise was aware that the third Prince was gone, she was exceedingly delighted at the success of her plan; and when Belle-Etoile, inconsolable at finding not one of her brothers return, reproached herself for their loss, and resolved to follow them, she was quite overjoyed.
The Princess was disguised as a cavalier, but had no other armour than her helmet. She was dreadfully'cold as she drew near the rock, but seeing a turtle-dove lying on the snow, she took it up, warmed it, and restored it to life: and the dove reviving, gaily said, " I know you, in spite of your disguise; follow my advice: when you arrive at the rock, remain at the bottom and begin to sing the sweetest song you know; the green bird will listen to you; you must then pretend to go to sleep; when it sees me, it will come down to peck me, and at that moment you will be able to seize it."
All this fell out as the Dove foretold. The green bird begged for liberty. " First," said Belle-Etoile, " I wish that thou wouldst restore my three brothers to me."
" Under my left wing there is a red feather," said the bird: " pull it out, and touch the rock with it."
The Princess hastened to do as she was instructed; the rock split from the top to the bottom: she entered \vith a victorious air the hall in which stood the three Princes with many others; she ran towards Cheri, who did not know her in her helmet and male attire, and could neither speak nor move. The green bird then told the Princess she must rub the eyes and mouth of all those she wished to disenchant with the red feather, which good office she did to all.
The three Princes and Belle-Etoile hastened to present themselves to the King; and when Belle-Etoile showed her treasures, the little green bird told him that the Princes Petit-Soleil and Heureux and the Princess Belle-Etoile were his children, and that Prince Cheri was his nephew. Queen Blondine, who had mourned for them all these years, embraced them, and the wicked Queen-Mother and old Feintise were justly punished. And the King, who thought his nephew Cheri the handsomest man at Court, consented to his marriage with Belle-Etoile. And lastly, to make everyone happy, the King sent for the Corsair and his wife, who gladly came.