PRINCE RICARDO. 211
"All lost!" said Dick. "Poor Jaqueline! she was the best girl, and the prettiest, and the kindest. And the Earthquaker 's got her, and the Giant's got the other things," Dick ended, crying bitterly.
" Calm yourself, Ricardo," said his Majesty, very pale, but calm and determined. " Here, take a glass of port, and explain how all this happened."
Dick drank the wine, and then he told his miserable story.
" You may well sob! Why didn't you use the Cap of Darkness ? Mere conceit ! But there is no use in crying over spilt milk. The thing is, to rescue Jaqueline. And what are we to say to your mother ? "
"That's the worst of it all," said Dick. " Mother will break her heart."
" I must see her at once," said the king, " and break it to her."
This was a terrible task ; but the queen had such just confidence in her Prigio that she soon dried her tears, remarking that Heaven would not desert Jaqueline, and that the king would find a way out of the trouble.
His Majesty retired to his study, put his head in his hands, and thought and thought.
"The thing is, of course," he said, "to •destroy the Earthquaker before he wakens; but how ? What can kill such a monster ? Prodding him with the sword would only stir