18 PRINCE PRIGIO.
lous animal which does not exist. But even granting, for the sake of argument, that there is a Firedrake, your majesty is well aware that there is no kind of use in sending me. It is always the eldest son who goes out first, and comes to grief on these occasions, and it is always the third son that succeeds. Send Alphonso" (this was the youngest brother), " and he will do the trick at once. At least, if he fails, it will be most unusual, and Enrico can try his luck."
Then he went back to his arithmetic and his slate, and the king had to send for Prince Alphonso and Prince Enrico. They both came in very warm; for they had been whipping tops, and the day was unusually hot.
"Look here," said the king, "just you two younger ones look at Prigio ! You see how hot it is, and how coolly he takes it, and the country suffering; and all on account of a Firedrake, you know, which has apparently built his nest not far off. Well, I have asked that lout of a brother of vours to kill it, and he says------
" That he does not believe in Firedrakes," interrupted Prigio. "The weather's warm enough without going out hunting! "
" Not believe in Firedrakes !" cried Alphonso u I wonder what you do believe in ! Just let me get at the creature! " for he was as brave as ? lion. " Hi! Page, my chain-armour, helmet