THE PRINCESS MAYBLOSSOM
then, my dear subjects, what had I better do to recover my daughter, Fanfaronade, and the other things.'
This was the most eloquent speech the King had been known to make, and when everybody had done admiring it the Prime Minister made answer:
' Sire, we are all very sorry to see you so sorry. We would give everything we value in the world to take away the cause of your sorrow, but this seems to be another of the tricks of the Fairy Carabosse. The Princess's twenty unlucky years were not quite over, and really, if the truth must be told, I noticed that Fanfaronade and the Princess appeared to admire one another greatly. Perhaps this may give some clue to the mystery of their disappearance.'
Here the Queen interrupted him, saying, ' Take care what you say, sir. Believe me, the Princess Mayblossom was far too well brought up to think of falling in love with an Ambassador.'
At this the nurse came forward, and, falling on her knees, confessed how they had made the little needle-hole in the tower, and how the Princess had declared when she saw the Ambassador that she would marry him and nobody else. Then the Queen was very angry, and gave the nurse, and the cradle-rocker, and the nurserymaid such a scolding that they shook in their shoes. But the Admiral Cocked-Hat interrupted her, crying:
' Let us be off after this good-for-nothing Fanfaronade, for without a doubt he has run away with our Princess.'
Then there was a great clapping of hands, and everybody shouted, ' By all means let us be after him.'
So while some embarked upon the sea, the others ran from kingdom to kingdom beating drums and blowing trumpets, and wherever a crowd collected they cried :
' Whoever wants a beautiful doll, sweetmeats of all kinds, a little pair of scissors, a golden robe, and a satin cap has only to say where Fanfaronade has hidden the Princess Mayblossom.'
But the answer everywhere was, ' You must go farther,'we have not seen them.'
However, those who went by sea were more fortunate, for after sailing about for some time they noticed a light before them which burned at night like a great fire. At first they dared not go near it, not knowing what it might be, but by-and-by it remained stationary over Squirrel Island, for, as you have guessed already, the light was the glowing of the carbuncle. The Princess and Fanfaronade on landing upon the island had given the boatman