deal! ' cried Odu. ' But I should not like scratches in the dark ! The giants say the cat-woman has claw-feet all over her house !'
'1 am taking the princess to her,' I said.
' Why ?'
' Because she is her friend.'
' How can she be good then ? '
' Little Tumbledown is a friend of the princess,' I answered; 'so is Luva : I saw them both, more than once, trying to feed her with grapes! '
' Little Tumbledown is good ! Luva is very good ! '
' That is why they are her friends.'
'Will the cat-woman—I mean the woman that isn't the cat-woman, and has no claws to her toes—give her grapes ?'
' She is more likely to give her scratches !'
' Why ?—You say she is her friend! '
' That is just why.—A friend is one who gives us what we need, and the princess is sorely in need of a terrible scratching.'
They were silent again.
' If any of you are afraid,' I said, ' you may go home; I shall not prevent you. But I cannot take one with me who believes the giants rather than me, or one who will call a good lady the cat-woman!'
' Please, king,' said one, ' I'm so afraid of being afraid! '
' My boy,' I answered, ' there is no harm in being afraid. The only harm is in doing what Fear tells you. Fear is not your master ! Laagh in his face and he will run away.'
' There she is—in the door waiting for us !' cried one, and put his hands over his eyes.