Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

´╗┐Title: The Enchanted Island
Author: Apjohn, Fannie Louise
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Enchanted Island" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Frontispiece: "With these on you will see everything as it really is,
no matter how it may look to other people."]



THE ENCHANTED ISLAND


BY

FANNIE LOUISE APJOHN



NEW YORK

E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY

681 FIFTH AVENUE



Copyright 1919

By E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY

All rights reserved



ILLUSTRATIONS


"With these on you will see everything as it
  really is, no matter how it may look to other
  people" . . . _Frontispiece_

The toucan . . . seized the basket by the handle
  and flew away

Up sprang the lid, and there behold! were the
  wonderful big pellets

He was trying to induce her to make an effort to
  pass the dead tigers



THE ENCHANTED ISLAND


CHAPTER I

Once upon a time many years ago there lay five islands in the South
Pacific ocean where the weather was always fine.

Four of them were set in a kind of square, but the fifth, which was
much smaller than any of the others, stood in the center of the group
so that it was nearer to each island than they were to each other, for
they were all so many miles apart that they could not see each other's
shores.

The little island in the middle was not inhabited, but was surrounded
by very dangerous reefs.  It was called the Island of Despair, though
nobody seemed to know how it got its name, and was supposed to be
haunted.

It had not always been there, and that was another reason why it was
looked upon as an uncanny place, for all the grandmothers and
grandfathers could remember when there had been nothing but the great
sea between the four islands, and then suddenly one morning a ship had
come upon the small island and nearly wrecked itself on the great rocks
about it.  After that of course it was put on all the charts, but even
so, many a ship had since gone on the rocks in a storm and been lost.

Each of the four big islands was a separate kingdom, and had nothing to
do with the others.  The largest of all was called the Island of Sunne
because it was the nicest and had the finest weather.  It never rained
there in the day time, but only at night, which you must admit was very
convenient.

However, every place has disadvantages, and instead of mothers telling
their children that it was not fine enough to go for a picnic they
often said it was too fine, which meant that the very bright sunshine
and blue sky would be apt to dazzle them, and then they would have to
sit in a dark room every day for a week before they would be able to
see anything again.

The King of Sunne was a good, kind man, who never made war with any of
the other kingdoms, and was quite satisfied with all that he had.  The
Queen was very nice too, and gave a great deal of money to the poor, so
it was not to be wondered at that the country was very prosperous, and
the people thought their rulers the best in the world.

The King and Queen had only one son, who was called Daimur.  When
Prince Daimur was sixteen years of age his father gave him the most
beautiful horse he could find in the kingdom, and the Prince was so
delighted with his present that he used to ride all day long in the
forests, sometimes with his servants, and sometimes alone.

One day, as he was returning from a long ride, he passed a small hut
deep in a wood, which he did not remember ever having seen there
before.  He dismounted, and going up to the door asked for a drink of
water.

An old man opened the door and asked him to come in.  He did so, and
the old man got him a pitcher of water from the well, but did not offer
him anything to eat.  The Prince wondered at this, as it was nearly
noontime, and the people of the forest were extremely hospitable.

"You are wondering, my dear young Prince," said he, "why I have no
dinner cooking.  It is because I am so poor that I have nothing to eat
in the house, and I do not know what is to become of me."

Thereupon the Prince pulled out of his knapsack a package of meat, some
bread and butter, cakes, and a big piece of fine cheese.

"Poor old man," he cried, "take this food, which I will not need, and I
will send you some more to-morrow."

The old man thanked him with tears in his eyes, and the Prince rode
away.

Next day, when Daimur was again setting out to ride he called some of
his servants and bade them fill up several baskets with food and
provisions of various kinds, which he intended to give to the old man
at the cottage.

When all was ready they set out, and soon reached the wood, but what
was Daimur's surprise to find the cottage door broken down and the poor
old man lying upon the floor.

Daimur ran forward and attempted to raise him.

"Tell me what has happened, my poor old friend," he cried, "who has
done this?"

"Alas, my enemy has found me," whispered the old man, "and I am dying."

Then he motioned to Daimur to send the servants away from the room, as
he had something he wished to tell him.  As soon as Daimur had shut the
door the old man said:

"Prince Daimur, I am not merely the old man you see lying here; I am
also a fairy, and am called the Good Old Man of Sunne.  By my powers I
have been able to keep away all evil and unhappiness from this island,
and at one time from all the other islands in this Land of Brightness.
But I have had for the last two hundred years a very powerful enemy who
is known as the Evil Man of Despair.  He makes his home now upon the
Island of Despair, and wicked men consult him when they have deeds of
treachery to do.

"He has a great many chemical secrets which he learned in foreign
lands, and as I am older than he and not so clever he has outwitted me
many times upon the other islands, and evil times have followed, with
wars and bloodshed.  I have always lived upon this island, and of late
took refuge in your father's wood, as I had a warning that he was going
to seek me out and kill me.

"Last night when it was very dark a tremendous wind sprang up and the
fury of it burst my door open.  I knew it was he, although he did not
speak, but in a moment the cottage was filled with a sweet smell of
spices which soon became overpowering and I lay like one stupefied, too
weak to move.  I heard him moving around searching for my treasures.
He did not find them, however, and I am going to give them to you, as
in a few moments I will be dead, and then I do not know what will
become of this Land of Sunne.  Alas!  Alas!"

Prince Daimur was greatly moved, and tried to tell him that he might
get better if he sent back and fetched the Court doctor, who was very
wise, but the old man shook his head feebly.

"No, it is of no use," he said, "I am very old, and the poison has
killed me.  My brain is already growing numb, and I must act quickly,
Look on that nail behind the door and you will find the door key.
Bring it to me."

Daimur did so, and the old man pinched it.  It split in two and there
could be seen a smaller key resting in a groove in the middle.

"Now," said the old man, "put this in the lock which you will find in
the under side of the window sill and turn it.  Bring me what you see."

Daimur did as he was told, and after fitting the little key into the
lock and turning it, he found that a piece of the window sill rose up
and disclosed a small black morocco case like a pocketbook lying in the
cavity.  This he carried to the old man, who grasped it eagerly in his
feeble hands.

"This," he said, "contains my greatest treasures.  In this case is a
small black velvet cap.  It is a poor, worn-looking one, but whoever
wears it knows all things, and will be able to act wisely.  Inside the
cap you will find a pair of silver-rimmed spectacles.  With these on
you will see everything as it really is, no matter how it may look to
other people.  You must, however, be careful, as the Evil Magician has
always coveted these treasures and if he finds out that you have them
he will do his best to get them from you.  Let no one know that you
possess them, and always keep them concealed about you.  As the
Magician will no doubt came back to search the cottage I advise you to
burn it up as soon as I am gone.  See, you had better take the magic
key too, as it will open any lock, however large or small.  Beware of
evil times, my poor Prince, as my good influence will no longer be felt
in this kingdom."

With these words the old man began to shrink thinner and thinner,
narrower and narrower, until Daimur could see through him, and finally
he was just a streak of pale sunlight upon the floor, which wavered and
faded, and at last went out completely.

Daimur was so surprised that he sat quite still for a time.  Then
rising to his feet and putting the key into the black case with the
spectacles, he hid it in his bosom, and went out to call his servants.
He told them that the old man was dead and would not need the food, and
sent them on with it to the home of a poor farmer who had a sick wife,
telling them to ride around by the high road and meet him, as he was
going to ride that way.

As soon as they were out of sight he built a little pile of chips and
dry leaves under the edge of the house, and set fire to it.  What was
his astonishment to see the flames leap up at once over the whole
cottage, which burnt like paper.  In a moment there was nothing left
but a little pile of ashes, which the light wind took up into the air,
where it formed a white cloud that sailed off into the sky, leaving a
perfectly green space where the cottage had been, with no marks of fire
at all.

Prince Daimur rode slowly out of the forest, thinking of all the good
old man had said, and wondering very much, as he had never heard before
of the Evil Magician of Despair, although he had heard his father say
that a good fairy had always presided over the fortunes of his kingdom,
but Daimur had thought it only a saying.

He longed to put on the magic cap and spectacles, but was afraid the
Evil Magician might be hovering around, so he made up his mind that he
would wait until some need arose before he took them from their case
again.



CHAPTER II

It was not long before, as the Good Old Man had foretold, evil days
came upon the kingdom of Sunne.

The King's brother, who until this time had apparently been very well
satisfied to live peacefully in his castle and mind his own affairs,
which, were quite important enough to suit almost anyone, now began to
stir up trouble in the kingdom.

He made speeches, traveling from place to place, and told the nobles
how foolish they were to be satisfied to stay in the Island of Sunne
and work so hard collecting rents when they might go to war and win
some of the other islands and take possession of all the silver and
gold, fine castles and estates there.

After a while he made some of them very dissatisfied with their lot,
and the King had to threaten to put him in prison if he did not stop
it.  I do not know how it would have ended if a dreadful accident had
not occurred which threw the whole kingdom into the deepest gloom.

The King and Queen with some of the Court were one day out for a sail
on the bay, when a sudden squall arose which upset the boat, and all
were drowned.

The people of Sunne were greatly grieved and very much alarmed as well,
for the Prince was still quite young, and could not be expected to know
much about ruling a country.  They, however, did not have very much to
say in the matter, as the dissatisfied uncle at once proposed to reign
as King Regent until Daimur was eighteen years of age.

As most of the best statesmen and all the King's close advisers had
been drowned, there was nobody in particular to disagree with him, and
he immediately took possession of the palace and began ordering
everyone around.

Soon people hated him, and he made the taxes so high that it took
nearly all the money they could earn to pay them.  This was to keep up
an immense army which he had formed with the intention of making war
against the other islands as soon as he had built a large fleet.

When Daimur was eighteen all the people of the kingdom demanded that he
should be crowned king.

Daimur wanted to be crowned at once too, so that he could put back all
the good laws his father had made, and save his country from going to
war, but his uncle begged him to wait for a couple of months.

One night shortly after his birthday, Daimur had gone to his apartment
and was sitting at his window thinking sadly of his troubled kingdom,
when suddenly his door was opened and before he could say a word a gag
was thrust into his mouth, his hands and feet were tied, and he was
carried quickly downstairs, out of doors and down the garden path to
the sea, where he was dumped into a boat that was anchored at the
little wharf there.  The night was very dark, and Daimur could not see
because they had thrown a cloak over him and fastened it over his head,
but he could tell that it was a small boat by the way it rocked when
they moved about.  The men ran up a couple of sails and pushed off to
sea.  The boat raced swiftly through the waves, but Daimur thought the
journey would never end as he lay bound in the bow of the boat, and
half smothered by the cloak.  They sailed all night.  The sun came up
and it was a very warm day, but still they kept on, and it was not
until the middle of the afternoon that they came at last to land and
ran onto a sandy beach.  Here the men pulled the poor Prince out of the
boat more dead than alive, set him free, and putting off a large jug of
fresh water and a big bag of biscuits, sailed away again and left him.

In vain Daimur cried after them to return, not to leave him there
alone.  They paid not the slightest attention.

After watching them for some time he saw in the distance a large
sailing barge running towards the small boat, which he recognized as
his uncle's, so how he felt certain that his uncle had caused him to be
left upon the Island of Despair in order to take possession of the
Kingdom of Sunne.



CHAPTER III

After a while poor Daimur gave up staring blankly at the sea, and
taking up his jug of water and his bag of biscuits walked slowly up the
shore to a shady place and sat down to eat and drink a portion, for he
was nearly dead of hunger and thirst.

He had been sitting there only a few minutes when he heard a strange
noise overhead, and looking up he saw a large hawk pursuing a beautiful
brown dove.  The dove flew this way and that, squeaking piteously, and
at last fluttered to the ground at Daimur's feet, while the hawk
swooped down to seize it; but Daimur jumped to his feet, and waving his
arms beat it off and it flew away in fright.

When it was gone Daimur turned to look at the brown dove, which was
lying quite still on the grass with its eyes closed.

"Poor thing," thought he, "I wonder if water would revive it," and he
poured out a little in his hand and dropped some of it into the bird's
beak.

In a few seconds the dove opened its eyes, and to Daimur's surprise
spoke.

"Thank you, brave young man," it said.  "You have saved my life, and I
cannot tell you how grateful I am.  The reason I am so weak is that I
am nearly dead of hunger and thirst."

"Unfortunate creature," exclaimed Daimur, as he gave it a few drops
more of the water, "I have some biscuits which you shall share," and so
saying he proceeded to crumble one of the biscuits, which the dove
seemed to hesitate to take.

"Unhappy young man," it said in a sorrowful voice, "I cannot take your
last morsel, for this is the last pure food and fresh water you will
ever get while you stay on this island."

"That may be quite true," replied Daimur, "but I cannot eat any of it
while I feel that another creature is more in need of it than I," and
after some pressing the dove hungrily ate up the biscuit.

When he had finished he was apparently much stronger, and hopped upon
Daimur's knee.

"Look at me," he said, "and tell me what I am."

"You are a very beautiful brown dove with a golden crest," said Daimur.

"I am more than that," said the dove with a sigh; "I am Cyril, King of
the Island of Shells, one of those which surround this Island of
Despair, and you, I am sure, are a Prince or a King also, who has been
put here to be out of the way."

"Yes," answered Daimur, "I am Prince Daimur of the Island of Sunne, and
my wicked uncle has sent me here to starve, so that he may be made King
in my stead."

"I thought it was something like that," said the dove.

"But that is not the worst of it," he went on.  "You are wondering how
I came to take the form of a dove.  As you can see for yourself, I am
enchanted.  I was brought here with my wife the Queen and one little
daughter, the Princess Maya, who is now seventeen years old.  We too
were given a bag of food and some water, but naturally I began to
search for other food to eat when that was gone.

"I found that all the trees upon this island were fruit trees of
different kinds and bore the most tempting and luscious fruits.  There
was also a well of clear water in the middle of the island, all neatly
stoned around, which was fed by a small shallow stream flowing from the
hill at the north side.  You can imagine my relief.  I had no fears of
starvation anyway.

"We immediately began eating the fruit, and found it so delicious and
satisfying that we threw the biscuits into the sea.  What was my alarm
in two days' time to find that I was growing stupid.  I could not get
enough sleep.  The Queen was the same, and as for the Princess, when
she was not eating fruit she was sleeping.  We thought it must be the
sea air, but on the third day we could hardly open our eyes at all, and
as soon as we had eaten some fruit for breakfast we fell sound asleep,
and when I woke I looked around in vain for my wife and little daughter.

"They were nowhere to be seen.  Only beside me were a grey dove and a
white one sitting on a branch sound asleep.  Then on looking down I saw
that I too was sitting on the branch, and that I was a brown dove, and
I knew immediately that this was the work of the Evil Magician of
Despair, and that it was through eating the charmed fruit that we had
become changed into birds.

"It was not long before we found that there were many others here, who
like ourselves had been sent out of their country.  And to make it more
horrible I discovered that the longer they stayed and the more fruit
they ate the more stupid they became.  Some of the older ones could not
remember anything at all, and did nothing all day long but eat, drink
and sleep.

"I do not eat more than will keep me alive, and I try to keep the Queen
and our daughter from eating much too, knowing that we also are in
danger of losing our minds.  I have gone about imploring the others on
the island to be careful, in hope of our being at some future time able
to escape, but to very little purpose.  Of course they must eat the
fruit or starve, and most of them prefer losing their minds to going
hungry."

Prince Daimur listened to the tale with a shiver, for he did not in the
least want to be enchanted and lose his mind.

"Have you ever seen the Magician?" he asked after a pause.  "I have
been told he knows many secrets of chemistry."

"No," answered the dove.  "We have never seen him.  We feel that he is
coming sometimes by the great wind that goes sweeping by, but as it is
always coming and going in the path to the shore I think he must go
back and forth a great deal from this island to some of the others.  We
know that he has a house on the hill on the north side somewhere, but
have never been able to get close enough to see it, as the wind is
always so strong around the hill that we cannot fly against it."

Now all this talk of wind made Daimur think of the day he had found the
Good Old Man of Sunne in his cottage with the door blown in, and when
he put his hand in his bosom, there safe and sound was his little case
with his cap, spectacles and key, which in his distress he had entirely
forgotten.

He opened the case and putting on the spectacles looked at the dove.

What he saw before him was not a dove, but a tall, splendid looking
man, very thin, with a sad, pale face.  He was clad in a rich suit of
brown velvet, and wore a gold crown on his head, and he looked at
Daimur in some surprise as the Prince next drew on the cap.

Now he knew all things.  He knew that the Magician had been called away
suddenly by his uncle, and that his uncle intended to have the Magician
construct some tale whereby he could make the people believe that
Daimur had died a natural death.

He turned to the dove, or King Cyril, as he really was, and said:

"You may think it strange for me to put on these articles at this
particular time, but by them I am enabled to see and to know all
things, and I must ask you to swear that you will tell no one I have
them, for the Evil Magician is looking for these very treasures, and
their possession would make him a hundredfold stronger than he is.

"I am able through this cap to know that he is now at Sunne with my
wicked uncle, and will not be back until to-morrow night, so come, let
us walk about, and I will look for something to eat besides this
enchanted fruit."

King Cyril promised solemnly that he would tell no one about Daimur's
treasures, not even the Queen, for fear he should be overheard, and
then they set forth on their way.  King Cyril flying slowly in front
and giving Daimur time to look about.



CHAPTER IV

They had gone but a short distance and had come to an opening in the
trees, when Daimur said.

"I see a field of potatoes on that slope about two miles away."

"Potatoes!" exclaimed Cyril.  "How can you see so far?"

"Oh, it is quite easy with these spectacles on," said Daimur.  "Let us
go and see them."

They set out, and after a long and tiresome walk through tangled
underbrush Daimur found himself on the edge of the potato field.  King
Cyril resting on a branch beside him.

"Now, if I only had a spade," said Daimur, as he fell to looking about
for a sharp stick or anything which would dig up the earth.  After
quite a search he found, half buried in sand and dead leaves, an old
spade with part of the handle gone.

"What good luck!" he exclaimed, as he seized it and commenced digging
up a hill of potatoes, and he soon had a large mound of them on the
ground.

Then the question was where to put them, as it would never do to let
the Evil Magician suspect that Daimur was not going to eat the charmed
fruit, but was taking his potatoes instead.

After searching about for half an hour they suddenly broke through the
trees and found themselves on a shore, the like of which they had never
seen before.  It was wild and rocky and barren, and some of the rocks
were of very curious shapes.  A few were high and conical, like caves,
and had smooth flat floors.

They began to look for a cave in the rocks near the shore, and at last
found one at the foot of a great tree which overshadowed it.  This cave
had an opening in front looking out to the sea.

King Cyril flew into the air as high as he could and looked for the
hill where they knew the Magician lived.  He was quite breathless when
he came down, but he said that the hill was away at the other end of
the island, and that they were facing the south.

"Then we must be looking towards the Island of Laurel," said Daimur,
"and these must be some of the rocks on which ships are often wrecked."

"Do you think," he continued as he looked about him, "that if we were
to make a fire in the cave the Magician could see the smoke?"

"I do not know," answered King Cyril, "it might be very risky to try;
but anyway let us see if there is not another entrance to the cave."

He flew around it carefully, pulling away the bushes which grew close
to it with his beak, and at last called Daimur to come and see the nice
back door he had discovered, for the cave ran for some distance into
the earth, and at the end of it, behind some shrubs, was another
opening about five feet high.

"Now," said Daimur, "we can come and go from this end and there will be
no danger of the Magician seeing us."

With grateful hearts they went back to get their potatoes.



CHAPTER V

After Daimur had carried all the potatoes into the cave and piled them
up in a heap he took King Cyril on his shoulder and went back for the
biscuits and water, as he was feeling very hungry and thirsty.

"Can you not call the Queen and the Princess," asked Daimur, "so that
they may share some of this food?"

"You are very kind," said King Cyril, "but I am afraid they are both
asleep yet.  They were so hungry this morning that they ate more fruit
than usual, but I will go and see," and off he flew, leaving Daimur to
wonder how long it would be before he could get away from this strange
and dreadful island.

In a short time King Cyril flew back, followed by a beautiful grey
dove, the Queen, whom Daimur perceived through his wonderful spectacles
to be a handsome woman dressed in a grey satin gown, and wearing a
small crown of gold set with diamonds and sapphires.

Beside her flew a little white dove, the Princess Maya, and Daimur
could see that she was a golden-haired young girl, all dressed in white
frilly lace.

He asked them to be seated and have some biscuits and water, which
though poor fare was at least wholesome and nourishing.

The Queen wept at the sight of a human being again after such a long
time, and the Princess stared at him as much as good manners would let
her, and thought him extremely handsome (as indeed he was), for she had
seen nothing but doves for the last four years.

King Cyril then told them how Daimur was going to do them a good deal
of good, and had already found a hill of potatoes and a cave where they
could live so that they might have no fear of animals or birds of prey.

Queen Emily was very much overjoyed, and extremely grateful to Daimur
for saving her husband from the hawk, about which he had just told her,
and as soon as they had had sufficient to eat she asked to see the
cave.  Daimur picked up the balance of the biscuits and the jug of
water, and they all went to look at it.

The Queen and Princess thought it a lovely place, and volunteered to
stay and gather bits of moss and leaves for Daimur to sleep on at
night, while he and King Cyril continued their search for food.

Accordingly they set out again, Daimur still wearing his cap and
spectacles, the King on his shoulder.

After walking for some time Daimur, who was carrying the old spade, set
it down suddenly.

"There are yams here," he said, "lots and lots of them," as he looked
about at a mass of slender vines which twined about the trees and
climbed towards the light.  He set to work with his spade, and in a few
minutes had about a dozen nice big ones lying on the ground.

"We will leave them here for the present," he said to King Cyril,
"while we see whether we can discover anything else."

A short distance farther on Daimur stopped again to examine some more
vines.

"Why these are peanut plants," he said to King Cyril (though he had
never seen peanuts growing in his life before), "we must have some of
these," and he dug up enough to fill all his pockets.

Again they continued their walk, and Daimur now began examining the
trees.  Certainly they were very fine ones, some of them reaching away
up into the sky, and taller than the tallest buildings in the Island of
Sunne.

They were all hanging full of the most luscious fruits.  Monstrous
oranges, beautiful peaches, cherries as big as plums, and plums bigger
than anything you ever saw, bananas, cocoanuts, dates, figs,
breadfruits, and grape vines bearing heavy clusters of black, red, and
white grapes, grew in abundance, and although Daimur felt very much
tempted to pick some of the lovely things he saw, he did not, as his
spectacles showed plainly that they were all poisoned.

"It seems to me," said Daimur, "that everything which grows above the
ground is poison, but that everything that grows in the ground is good
to eat.

"So you see," he continued, addressing King Cyril, who was fluttering
about him in a great state of excitement, "we need not starve after
all.  Now let us go back to the cave, as it is beginning to grow dusk,
and besides I am very thirsty.  And good gracious!  That reminds me
that we have not found any pure water yet, and we have very little
left."

They hastened back to where they had left the yams, and taking off his
coat Daimur threw them into it and they started off towards the cave.

When they drew near it the Queen and Princess came flying to meet them,
and crying that they had found a great treasure.

"What have you found?" asked Daimur in surprise, hoping it was not
another of the Evil Magician's wicked devices.

"Water," replied the Queen.  "It is just outside the cave and bubbles
up from between two rocks.  It must be a natural spring as it tastes
quite pure and fresh."

Daimur went with the Princess to look at it, and found it was indeed as
they had said.  Between the cave wall and a rock which jutted from the
bank a little spring bubbled up and trickled into a small rocky basin,
which it overflowed and so ran into the sea sand.

Daimur knew by his cap that it was pure, and they were all much
relieved to think they had been so lucky as to find both pure food and
pure water in such a short time.

"Thank goodness," said Daimur, "we are safe for the present at least."

"We found something else, which I am sure will be nice," said the
little Princess.

"What is it?" asked Daimur.

"Come and I will show you," she said.  "Mother and I discovered them
while looking for leaves for your bed, but we could not carry them."

A little distance up the sand the Princess led him to where there was a
large nest of turtles' eggs, which Daimur joyfully dug out of the sand
and carried to the cave.

"Now we will have a splendid feast," they said.

They waited until it was quite dark and then dug a hole inside the
opening at the back of the cave, and made a fire.  Luckily Daimur had a
little silver box of matches with him.  They roasted the potatoes and
yams in the coals, toasted the peanuts, and baked the turtle eggs on a
hot stone, and thoroughly enjoyed their supper.

Then, as they were all very tired, Daimur jammed some branches across
one corner of the cave for the doves to sleep on, and gratefully threw
himself down on the nice soft bed which the Queen and the Princess had
prepared for him, and they all slept soundly until morning.



CHAPTER VI

Next morning they ate some of the food which they had put aside for
breakfast, took a drink of water from their little spring, and then
Daimur put on his cap and spectacles, shouldered his spade and filled
his pockets with potatoes and peanuts and some of the biscuits.

"Now," he said to the three doves, "I want King Cyril to come with me
and see if we cannot locate something like a boat near the Magician's
hill so that we may get away from this place."

Queen Emily and the Princess begged to go too, so they all set out
together.

It was a long way across the island, but finally they came to the
poisoned spring which flowed near the Magician's hill, and there they
saw many doves of all colors drinking and splashing around in the
shallow well, while others sat stupidly on the branches of the trees
devouring fruit.

The poor King and Queen shuddered at the sight and kept close to
Daimur, who was so busy thinking that he hardly noticed them.

"By my cap," he said to himself, "I know there is a stair to the
Magician's house from the shore on the other side of this hill, and the
house is a strong stone one built into the hill.  I wonder," he
thought, "if we can find the stair."

They walked, or rather Daimur walked and the doves flew slowly towards
the hill, but soon came to a great wall of rock that jutted out for
half a mile, and over which they could see by the tree tops a terrific
wind was blowing.

Daimur announced his intention of trying to scale the wall, but even as
he spoke a sudden gust of wind swept down upon them, causing the trees
to scatter fruit in all directions, and almost upsetting the three
doves.

"What did I tell you?" said King Cyril.  "We do not get much of it
here, but look how the treetops are bending above us.  It is of no use
to try to climb up."

Feeling rather disconsolate Daimur turned around and started following
the great wall of rock which ran away around the hill, winding in and
out until it ran right into the sea.

"This wall is the same on the other side of the island," said the King,
"it runs into the sea on that side also, so that the Magician's
dwelling is completely shut off from the rest of the island."

They went on, keeping close beside the wall, until they came to the
place where it crossed the sand of the seashore, and Daimur stood lost
in thought, gazing at the rough stones which towered above his head.
Then with a sudden exclamation he took his spade from his shoulder and
commenced digging in the sand at the foot of the wall.

He soon found that it was only buried about three feet in the sand, and
in a few minutes he had succeeded in making a hole under it wide enough
to crawl through on his hands and knees, the doves immediately
following him.

Once inside, the shore looked very much the same as it did elsewhere,
and the only wind was the natural breeze, fresh and briny, which blew
in from the sea.

They crept along, keeping close to the ground, under the shade of the
trees, and after a while came up close to the hill, which at this side
seemed to be of solid rock, and ran very close to the water.

Built against the hill was a long, low house of white stone, with a
flight of marble steps leading up to the door, while directly in front
of it running out a short distance was a wide landing, seemingly
composed of one immense slab of white stone.

They crept close to the house, but Daimur was afraid to mount the stair
for fear of being seen from one of the windows which faced the sea on
each side of the door.  He was very anxious to know who was in the
house, but to his surprise his cap could not tell him anything about it.

The Princess eagerly volunteered to go.

"I am white like the gulls that are flying about," she said, "and will
not likely be noticed."

Up she flew and alighted on the window sill, which was open, and after
looking carefully in, she disappeared inside.

The King and Queen and Daimur waited in the greatest suspense for more
than half an hour.  At the end of that time she reappeared, looking
very frightened.

"There is a witch in there," she whispered.  "Let us go back at once."

They said nothing further, but all hurried away as fast as they could,
crawled under the stone wall, and Daimur threw back the sand against
it, and smoothed it down.  They did not stop until they had reached the
cave.  Then they all sat down, very tired, and the Princess told them
what she had seen.

"I went in at the window," she began, "and was in a great kitchen.  At
the far end of it I saw a room with a window in the end of it, so as
there seemed to be no one about I cautiously slipped into the other
room, which from the bottles and pots on the shelves I thought must be
a sort of chemist's work-room.

"I hopped up on the window sill and looked out, and saw a beautiful
large ship with three masts tied up in a small bay at the end of the
house.  I was then coming away, when I heard a noise and looking
around, saw coming through the kitchen a very ugly old crone hobbling
towards me, muttering to herself.

"I crept into a large box that stood empty in a corner, and saw her go
up to a big wicker basket near the window out of which I had just been
looking.  She opened the basket and out came a long green snake, which
fastened itself around her neck.  I quite quivered with terror.

"'How are you to-day, my daughter?' asked the old crone.

"'Oh, much better, thank you,' said the reptile, in a horrible rattling
voice.  'Did you find the magic tablets yet, mother?'

"'Alas, my dear,' replied the witch, 'I found hundreds of them.  They
are on a shelf behind the cupboard, in a dark corner, but are locked up
in a glass box.  I am afraid the Magician carries the key with him, and
I dare not break the lock.'

"'Oh, dear, how much longer must I wait to get out of this horrid
shape?  I wish I had not touched his old bottles and made him angry,'
said the snake, and it began to shed streams of tears which ran down
and made little green lizards that crawled about on the floor.

"'Not much longer, dear,' replied the witch.  'The Magician is coming
back to-night, and nothing can be done now, but he is going away again
on a special journey in five days' time, to hunt for some treasures
which he says he must have, so I will go out across the fields as soon
as he is gone and consult my old cat as to what is best to be done.'

"The Witch then put the snake back in the basket, fastened down the
lid, and went away, so after a while, not seeing anything more of her,
I crept out of my hiding place, determined to get some of the tablets
which will give us back our human shapes."

"Did you see them?" asked the Queen quite breathlessly.

"I did," replied the Princess, "I got in behind the cupboard, which has
a piece gone out of the back, hopped up on the shelf, and found them
quite easily.  They are locked up in a strong glass box, and are as big
as corn kernels."

"Well, well," said Daimur, after a pause.  "Why, I have a key here that
will unlock anything.  We shall go back when the Magician goes away
next time, and see if we cannot get some of the magic tablets."

Feeling very cheerful indeed they then went with Daimur while he dug a
great many more potatoes, nuts and yams, and helped him to make a fire
afterwards to cook them for supper.  While the fire was getting hot
Daimur went out along the shore to see what he could find.  The tide
was out, and he went looking about for clams.  He was not disappointed,
for he soon found a great many nice big ones, and you may be sure they
tasted very delicious when baked in their shells.

Long after they had had their supper, when it was quite dark, they
heard a great wind blowing, and Daimur, putting on his cap knew that it
was the Magician coming home.



CHAPTER VII

All the next day the King and Queen and little Princess Maya went about
quietly among the doves in the woods and told them about Daimur, and
about the tablets they hoped to get to release them from their
enchantment, and begged them if they valued their lives to leave the
fruit they were eating and come and live in the cave with them.

They soon had nearly all the brightest doves fluttering excitedly to
the cave, so anxious were they to seize any chance that might set them
free.

The very stupid ones were harder to rouse, but by dint of coaxing and
driving they managed to get them all into the cave, where pure food and
fresh water soon began to clear their poisoned brains, and in a few
days' time they were nearly all as bright and wide awake as when they
came to the island.

The cave at night now was full of chattering and whispering, and Daimur
had put up a great many more branches for them to sleep on.

He had plenty to do, for there was now a large number of doves to
provide for, and they ate a surprising quantity of food, and for fear
the Magician should see him he had to go for potatoes and other
provisions at night.

It was thought best for the birds to fly through the island
occasionally in the day time, so that the Magician might not be
suspicious.

The first night, after they were all inside and had finished supper,
Daimur told them of the ship which was anchored at the Magician's door,
and they immediately cried out, "It is the one he stole from Prince
Redmond," and Prince Redmond, a big black dove with a huge red ruff and
red crest, nodded, and said he knew it must be his.

Then they talked about the magic tablets, and Daimur told them he felt
sure his little key would open the glass box.

Now Daimur was naturally very much interested to know who these doves
were and from which of the islands they came, so they decided that each
should tell his own story.

King Cyril was the first one called upon, and after Daimur had stirred
up the fire he began:

"I am, as most of you know, Cyril, King of the Island of Shells.

"My father was a kind, gentle man, who was more interested in study
than in governing his kingdom.  He had only two sons, my brother
Arnolde and myself, and we grew up together and were the greatest
friends until I married.

"As my father was getting very old, and I was the elder son, I soon had
to devote a good deal of my time to the management of the kingdom, and
my brother, who was three years younger than I, and who took absolutely
no interest in matters of state, was now left very much to himself.

"One day he announced to my father that he was about to marry a
charming young lady who was living with her aunt, a duchess, in another
part of the kingdom.  My father was naturally displeased that he should
have chosen for his wife some one who was not very high in rank, but
upon making inquiries he found to his horror that the young lady was
the daughter of a magician who had never liked our family.

"My father did everything in his power to try and persuade my brother
to give up the idea of marrying the lady, saying that she would no
doubt have some of her father's secrets and might be dangerous, but my
brother would not listen, and was married almost immediately, taking
his bride to a castle of his own which was near the royal palace.

"In a short time the new Princess began to show what she was.  Not that
she was ever disagreeable, but she was too nice.  My wife and I began
to suspect her of magic at once, and were quite sure of it when we saw
her effect on my brother.  He became so unfriendly that he actually
would not speak to me at all, and gradually many of the ministers were
the same.  My father was so broken-hearted over the affair that he died
inside of a year, and I ascended the throne.

"Hardly had the Queen and I been crowned when there began to be strange
murmurings among the nobles.  They said that my brother was such a
clever fellow, and I so stupid, that he should be reigning in my stead.
As he had always been noted throughout the kingdom as a very athletic
young man, who found learning a great trouble, I was convinced that my
sister-in-law was at the bottom of this opinion.

"By accident I found out how she accomplished her evil purpose.  She
had a little gold snuff box full of a magic powder, which when thrown
into people's eyes made them see everything just as she wished they
should.

"One day the Queen was seated in the garden reading, and I was walking
towards her, when I saw my sister-in-law creep noiselessly across the
lawn behind the Queen's chair, open a little gold box, and take out a
pinch of something, which she was just in the act of throwing into the
Queen's eyes when I screamed at her.  In her fright she dropped the
snuff box and ran away, and upon opening it we found that it contained
a rose-colored powder.  We guessed what it was for, and walking to the
river bank we threw box and all into the stream, but the incident you
may be sure made us very uneasy.

"After that my sister-in-law did not try to hide her hatred for us, and
it was only a few weeks later, when we were one day out driving, that
we were set upon by a large band of men in disguise, among whom I
recognized my own brother and many of the gentlemen of my court.

"We were seized, bound, tied up in sacking, and hidden away in a cellar
until night, when we were brought out here and left on the shore, more
dead than alive.  Here we have been for four years, living in a state
of enchantment, until now Prince Daimur has come to bring us the hope
of freedom."

Everybody sympathized with King Cyril and the Queen and Princess, and
Daimur assured him that as soon as he had taken his own kingdom from
his wicked uncle he would go with him and help him to win back his
country from his brother and witch of a sister-in-law.

Then as it was quite dark Daimur took his shovel and went off to get as
many potatoes as he could before going to bed.



CHAPTER VIII

The next night after everyone was inside and supper was over, it was
decided to be Prince Redmond's turn to tell his story.  He accordingly
began, everyone listening attentively:

"I am the youngest of three brothers.  My father was King of Laurels
and loved us very dearly.  I cannot remember my mother, as she died
when I was quite young.

"My eldest brother Tasmir was a fearless fellow, who did a great deal
of riding, and was always on the lookout for adventure.  I was very
fond of him and often went with him, as I liked riding and adventure
too, while my second brother Sadna, who detested any kind of outdoor
exercise, stayed at home holding receptions and going to balls.  He was
a vain fellow, fond of fine clothes and flattery, and we used to laugh
at him.

"Sometimes he would say 'Oh, never mind, my good brothers, I shall get
ahead of you both one of these days,' which answer we always took
good-naturedly.

"It so happened when my father was quite advanced in years that he
slipped one day and fell, and was so badly injured that he became an
invalid and could only sit in a chair and be wheeled about.

"He was very fond of flowers, and we had an immense conservatory where
he spent most of his time.  It was his wish to possess a flowering
plant from every part of the world.  Each ship which came in brought
some new specimen, until there remained but a single little spot on
earth which had not contributed a plant.  As this place was surrounded
by a desert which no one would venture across, it did not seem as if my
father would get the 'Wonder Plant' as it was called.  He was very
anxious to possess it and offered a large sum of money to anyone who
would find it and bring it back, but in vain.

"Then Tasmir asked permission to go and seek it, and promised that he
would return within a year.  After much consideration the King
consented to let him go, and Tasmir was overjoyed.  I was very much
cast down at the thought of being alone but Sadna seemed to be secretly
glad.

"Before departing my brother gave me a locket of silver which he said I
was to wear about my neck constantly until he returned.  If it remained
bright I would know he was alive and well, but should it turn black I
would know that he was dead, and it would be of no use searching for
him.

"I wore the silver locket, and at the end of the year it was still
bright, although Tasmir had not come home.  Up to this time my father
had been patiently waiting for Tasmir's return, but now he became very
anxious and wanted my brother Sadna to set out in search of him.

"This Sadna refused to do, saying that he knew quite well Tasmir was
dead, and it served him right for going on such a foolish errand in a
wild country, which so upset my father that he at once summoned all the
magicians and wise men in the kingdom to see if they could tell him
what had become of Tasmir.  None of them could tell him anything,
excepting the Evil Magician, who had come with the others, and he said
Tasmir was dead.

"Then my poor father believed it, although I tried to make both him and
my brother understand that it was not true, as my locket was still
bright.  They would not listen to me.

"Sadna immediately seized the King and locked him up in a large unused
wing of the castle, giving out the news to our subjects that his father
was out of his mind and unfit to reign, and that he, Sadna, wished to
be crowned at once.

"I was horribly disappointed with my brother, and taking all the money
I had in the world, I bought a good ship, which I manned with fifty of
the best sailors in the kingdom, and started out to look for Tasmir.

"We had gone only a short distance out to sea when a terrific storm
arose.  It lasted all night, and in the morning we found ourselves
stranded high on the flat reefs to the south of this island, and were
obliged to take refuge on shore, as we feared the ship might go to
pieces in the storm.

"We came inland, brought some food with us, and when in the evening we
went back to the shore we found the sea calm enough, but the ship had
completely disappeared, as had also our small boats.  Not a timber or a
splinter remained.  We knew that the ship could not have sunk, as it
lay in shallow water and it would be impossible to break up and not
leave some wreckage on the shore.

"I did not know what to think, but finally agreed with some of the
sailors that pirates had stolen the ship and also our small boats
during the day.  As we had no possible means of escape we were obliged
for the meantime to seek food and shelter in the interior of the
island, believing that perhaps before long we would be able to hail
some passing boat.

"We soon found our way to the fruit trees, you may be sure, with the
result that in three days we had all been transformed into birds, which
shape we had no hope of changing for our own again until you, Prince
Daimur, came to rescue us."

"And your brother Tasmir," asked Daimur, "do you still believe him to
be alive?"

"Indeed," replied Prince Redmond sadly, "I do not know.  My locket,
being a charmed one, could not be transformed with me, and is still
around my neck, but it seems to be turning darker every day.  Wherever
Tasmir is I fear he is dying."

"Well," said Daimur, "do not give up hope.  Just as soon as you are
delivered from this place you will be able to go and seek him, and I
will give you every assistance in my power.  In the meantime I will try
and find out something about him."

So they retired to rest with hopeful hearts, each to dream of freedom.



CHAPTER IX

The next evening, after supper was over, some of the doves brought
forward a very plain-looking old dove, who wore suspended around her
neck on a thin chain a little gold key.

They all begged her to tell Daimur her story, and after some hesitation
she began:

"I am not a Queen," she said, "I am only the Duchess of Rose Petals,
but through my misfortune I am causing a great deal of misery to my
dear, dear niece, Queen Amy of the Island of Roses."  Here she shed a
few tears, then shaking her feathers, she continued her story.

"When my cousin, the late King Richard, died he left no heir.  In his
will, however, he named his successor.  He said that whichever of his
nieces (his two brothers each had one daughter) should grow up more
beautiful and more clever than the other should be crowned Queen on her
eighteenth birthday, and that until then the Prime Minister should
manage the affairs of the country.

"As the girls were both in their sixteenth year at the time there were
two years to wait.

"We all thought it a silly plan, and that it would have been much
better to name one of the girls as Queen and be done with it, but of
course the King's wishes had to be observed, and the people settled
down to wait.

"The two Princesses after that were very seldom seen, each being kept
busy by her respective parents learning all manner of things which she
would need to know if she became Queen, and at the same time building
up her beauty.

"Princess Amy was always my favorite niece.  She was a dear
good-hearted little thing with pretty golden hair, a fine
pink-and-white complexion, and the kindest blue eyes in the world.

"Princess Bethel was neither good-looking nor sweet-tempered, and no
one thought she had any chance of being chosen Queen, especially as she
was known to be rather stupid.  I really felt sorry for her, as I knew
she could not manage to change her looks altogether in two years, but
she had a surprise in store for us.

"Her father was a studious man, fond of making scientific experiments,
and I used to hear that she spent a great deal of her time in the
laboratory watching the making of strange mixtures, but I did not pay
much attention to this, as it was nothing new.

"Nobody ever saw her excepting heavily veiled, and her mother said that
they were trying a new treatment for her complexion and that the sun
must not touch her skin.

"The two years passed away, and at last a day was named in May when the
choice of Queen should be made.

"For days the roads were full of people traveling towards the Palace
gates, and when the great day dawned bright and clear the square in
front of the Palace looked as though a large army had encamped there.
Flags were flying everywhere, and inside, the Palace all preparations
had been made to crown the chosen Queen and have a great feast.

"The first thing the two Princesses had to do was to appear at nine
o'clock in the morning before seven of the greatest college professors
in the kingdom and write examinations on seven different subjects, the
result of which would be announced before the assembled multitude.

"At seven o'clock it was given out that Princess Amy had made very high
marks in all subjects and had come away ahead of Princess Bethel.  At
this loud cheers were heard for Princess Amy, and it was murmured about
that she would be Queen.

"At midday all the Court were assembled, and the two Princesses, each
with her parents, walked slowly into the great ballroom.

"A murmur of admiration arose, for indeed they both looked exceedingly
beautiful in their white satin dresses, richly trimmed with lace.

"I noted with pride that Princess Amy's golden hair and blue eyes were
brighter than ever, her complexion more delicately pink and white, but
what was my surprise on turning my eyes towards Princess Bethel to see
that her complexion was a great deal finer, and her hair most wonderful.

"In place of the straggly brown locks she used to possess she now had
the most beautiful masses of shining hair, falling to the floor in
waves and ringlets.  It was of a very pale yellow, but the charm of it
lay in the way it seemed to change color, sparkling with every
beautiful shade around it as she walked.  It was most fascinating.

"We were all amazed, and after the first glance nobody saw Princess Amy
at all.  The two girls walked down the hall, and every eye was fixed on
Princess Bethel and her wonderful glistening hair.

"It was only a few moments before it was announced from the Palace to
the people assembled outside that the beautiful Princess Bethel had
been chosen Queen,--everybody had forgotten about the examination for
cleverness,--and the crowning immediately took place, after which the
new Queen and Princess Amy appeared on the balcony and bowed to the
people, who were waiting to see them, and who professed themselves
completely satisfied with the choice of Princess Bethel as Queen.

"The news quickly spread throughout the kingdom, and many people
traveled from the other side of the island just to get a look at the
new Queen and her wonderful hair.

"I was sorry for Princess Amy; not that she seemed to mind not being
chosen--she was too sweet-tempered to be jealous--but she certainly had
not been treated fairly.  I felt too that there was something peculiar
about the Queen's hair, and after considerable thought and a number of
quiet inquiries I determined to see for myself if she really had such
hair, and such a fine complexion.

"Queen Bethel's mother spent a great deal of her time at the Palace
with her daughter, and I became very friendly with her and used to
visit her there a great deal.  I had to wait my chance, but at last it
came.

"One afternoon I drove to the Palace alone, and was told that the Queen
was taking a nap and must not be disturbed, and that her mother was
taking an airing, but would be back in an hour.

"I said I would wait in the Queen's private drawing room until her
mother came in, and was shown upstairs, but the moment I was alone I
hurried swiftly and softly to the Queen's apartments.  Just as I
thought, the door was locked.  I went to a linen closet a short
distance down the hall where I knew I could get a small step-ladder,
and mounting this I got into the room through the transom.

"I let myself down by stepping on the door handle, and found I was in
the Queen's boudoir.  I could hear someone snoring in the next room
quite loudly, so after making sure that nobody was about I tiptoed
gently to the door.

"On the bed, looking very pale and homely, lay the Queen, and there
upon the dresser was her beautiful hair.  Beside the hair was a queer
looking pot marked

  PERFECT COMPLEXION DYE
  One Application warranted to stand
  two washings.


"I could have laughed for joy, but I had no time to waste, and quickly
putting both the complexion dye and the hair into my large pocket I
crept back to the boudoir.

"Here of course I had no difficulty in unlocking the door and getting
out into the hall, and after pushing the key under the door, closing
the transom and carefully putting the stepladder back into the linen
closet, I left the Palace, saying that I could not wait any longer.

"I flew home and sent for Princess Amy's mother and father.  I showed
them the wig and the dye.  They were speechless with indignation and
surprise at the way their daughter had been imposed upon.  At my
request they agreed to take possession of the articles until we could
have arrangements made for settling the matter.

"We then called upon the Prime Minister and told him the whole story,
and he called a special meeting for twelve o'clock next day, at which
all members of Government were ordered to attend, and it was added that
they might bring their wives with them.  Somehow or other the news went
around that the meeting was to be over the new Queen, and at twelve
o'clock next day the long table which ran the whole length of the great
assembly room was crowded, and most of the ladies had to sit in groups
about the room.

"'Call the Queen,' said the Prime Minister.

"The Queen's mother hurried in in a terrible flutter, and said that the
Queen had a frightful headache and begged to be excused.

"The Prime Minister replied that he was sorry, but if she was not able
to come down we would have to go upstairs to her and hold the meeting.

"That settled it.  In a few moments the Queen appeared, very pale
indeed, and with her head tied up in a lace scarf.  She looked anything
but beautiful without her fine hair and lovely complexion, and her
small green eyes flew around the room as if looking for a means of
escape.  I could see that everybody was shocked at sight of her.

"The Prime Minister came immediately to the point.  He told the Queen
that reports were circulating to the effect that her beautiful hair was
not real.  At this she flew into a perfect rage and stamped her foot at
him, crying that it was real.

"'Well, well, then,' said the Prime Minister, 'kindly remove your lace
scarf and let us see for ourselves.'

"This of course she refused to do, whereupon the Prime Minister held
out his hand for a bag which Princess Amy's father was carrying, and
drew out first the complexion dye and then the wig, which he passed
around for inspection.  When he laid the Queen's beautiful hair on the
table everybody jumped up with an exclamation of amazement and looked
at Bethel, who gave a scream and tried to snatch it, but her mother
drew her back.

"'What is it made of?' was the question they all asked.  I knew, I had
guessed it for quite a long time, but had not felt certain until I had
it in my hands.

"'It is made of spun looking-glass, colored a delicate yellow,' I said,
'and was made by Princess Bethel's father, who, as you all know, is
very clever.  See, here is a doll's wig that he made for Princess Amy
several years ago.  You will note that it is not colored, that it is
made of clear glass, and is coarser, but the idea is the same.  If you
need any further proof I have three witnesses whose testimony I think
you will be willing to accept.'

"'Wonderful, wonderful,' they all exclaimed, as they still examined the
wig.

"'Who told you anything about it?' screamed the Queen.  'What do you
mean prying into my affairs?  I'll pay you well for this, Aunt Sophie.'

"But nobody paid any attention to her.  The Prime Minister was asking
what should be done with her, and various things were suggested.  One
old Baroness would keep calling out, 'Have her beheaded, have her
beheaded,' and several members of Parliament felt that she ought to be
imprisoned for life, and also her father and mother.

"No doubt they would have been imprisoned for at least a number of
years had not Amy's father risen and said that his daughter asked that
for her sake they would not punish either Bethel or her parents, but
let them go home, as she thought the shame of all this exposure would
certainly be punishment enough.  Most of the ladies thought so too, and
finally it was agreed to do as Amy had asked.

"So Princess Bethel was ordered to leave the palace at once, and it was
said that her father and mother had a dreadful time trying to live with
her for many a long day afterwards, but we all agreed that it served
them right.

"That very day Princess Amy was crowned Queen, and nobody was more
happy than I, for I knew that she would rule wisely and well.

"I was not mistaken, for she soon began to make new laws and change the
old ones for the good of her subjects.

"I was one day with her in the cellars under the Palace looking through
some old chests of books, when we came upon one very large chest made
of solid steel, which stood in a small room alone.  The key, a tiny
golden one, was in the lock and we opened it.  The chest was lined with
gold, but had nothing in it but one gold coin in the bottom.

"'Why, what a splendid bank this would make,' said Queen Amy, 'I
believe I shall start one.'

"That very day she began saving gold in the big chest, and continued
putting by as much as she could spare to use it in a time when the
crops might be poor, or war threatened.

"There were very few banks in the kingdom, and it was not long before
poor people were bringing their savings to the Palace to be put in the
chest.  She had a great number of little glass boxes made, which fitted
into trays, and each box bore the name of the depositor.  The key of
the chest she carried on a fine strong chain about her neck night and
day.

"One evening word came that the Princess Bethel's mother was very ill
and wished to see her niece.  The Queen instantly called for her
carriage, and ordered a company of guards to accompany her, then as she
had to drive through a wood and was a little afraid of highwaymen she
took the gold key from her neck and fastened the chain around mine,
telling me not to remove it until she returned.

"I watched her drive away, and then went for a walk over the lawn
towards the water.  I reached the little pier and stood for a few
moments looking at a small row boat which was tied there, wondering
whether I should go out for a few minutes on the bay, but as the night
was rather chilly I turned to go back for a wrap.

"I had not taken six steps before I was seized in a kind of whirlwind
which sprang up from the water and almost choked me.  In my hurry to
get away I turned in the wrong direction and stepped off the pier into
the boat, striking my head.

"I can remember clutching the key as I fell, and after that I knew
nothing until I awoke and found myself lying on the sands of this
island.  Here I have been for two years, and in that time who knows
what may have happened to my poor Amy, for without this key she cannot
open the treasure chest."

Here the dove stopped and heaved a great sigh.  "Fear not," said
Daimur, "you shall go back in a very short time to your beloved niece
if all goes as well as we hope."

Then as it was very late they all settled themselves for the night and
were soon fast asleep.



CHAPTER X

Early in the morning Daimur was up and astir, and after breakfast he
went for a walk alone.  As he went along he thought of the stories he
had heard, but most of all he thought of Prince Tasmir and wondered if
he were still alive.

He had come to a clear space in the depths of the wood, and being
rather tired, he leaned against a large tree, and looking up at the sky
through the branches said aloud to himself:

"I wonder where Tasmir is?"

"I am here," said a faint voice immediately back of him.

Quite startled, Daimur turned sharply around and looked behind him.
There was no one in sight.  He looked into the branches of the tree
against which he was leaning, thinking it might have been the voice of
a dove, but there was nothing to be seen.  But he noticed that the
leaves of the tree were dropping, and what was still more strange on
that island, it was a laurel tree, and not a fruit tree.

"Tasmir," he murmured in a low tone, "where are you?"

"I am here," came the voice again, "in this tree, and more dead than
alive."

Immediately Daimur put on his spectacles, and standing back looked at
the tree.  He could see imprisoned in the center of the trunk a young
man with a pale, thin face.  His eyes were wild and his hair long, and
he looked back at Daimur with such a sad expression.

"Poor, poor fellow," said Daimur, "your plight is worse than your
brother's.  This is more of the Evil Magician's work."

"Yes, he has enchanted me, and I am slowly dying," answered Tasmir in a
weak voice.  "You can see that the leaves of my tree are dropping."

"What can I do to save you?" cried Daimur.

"You must make a hole in the side of the tree and let the sap run out.
When it has all run away the tree will dry up in a day, and I will be
able to break through the wood, as it will be brittle like dried-up egg
shell.  You will have to do it at once, however, as I cannot last much
longer than another day.  I am nearly drowned now with sap."

Daimur hastily drew out his knife, and finding a place where some
bushes grew close against the tree he pulled them back and began
cutting a hole in the bark.  He worked for more than an hour before he
had penetrated through to the pith.  Then the sap burst forth and ran
out in a stream, sinking into the earth at the root.

"It will not be dry until night," said the poor prisoner, "and then
perhaps I will be able to break my way out."

Daimur, who had been consulting his cap, now found that the Magician
was moving around the island, so he left the sap to drain away and
hurried back to the cave where he lay hidden for the rest of the day.

After supper Daimur called Prince Redmond to one side.

"Redmond," said he, "I have news of your brother Tasmir; he is still
living."

At this Redmond was so overjoyed that he almost fainted, but after a
moment recovered himself and asked Daimur to tell where his brother was
and what he knew of him.

Then Daimur told him about his walk in the forest that morning, and how
he had heard Tasmir's voice come out of the tree.  When he had finished
Redmond was in a great flutter of excitement and happiness, and wanted
to go at once and see if the sap had all drained away.

Daimur put on his cap again, and having ascertained that the Magician
was safe in his house, he led the way to the great laurel tree, where
they could see by the light of the moon that the sap had ceased to run.
The tree was drying up.

"Is it dry enough yet?" he called softly to Tasmir.

"No, not yet," came the faint answer from the tree, "but it is drying
fast."

Daimur sat down on the ground to wait, and Prince Redmond perched in a
neighboring tree, so excited at the prospect of seeing his dearly loved
brother alive that he could hardly keep his hold on the branch.

After a while they heard a faint cracking noise like the breaking of
glass, and Daimur immediately jumped to his feet.

"Can I not help you?" he called softly.

"Yes," answered Tasmir, "you must cut the bark.  I am so weak I will
not be able to break that.  Cut a slit in it right up the tree."

This Daimur did, slitting it for above five feet up from the root.  No
sooner had he stepped back than there was a great rending sound, the
bark flew open, and out staggered the poor thin young prince, so weak
and faint from his efforts that he could not stand, but had to lie for
a while on the grass.  His brother Redmond at once fluttered to his
side and cried out how glad he was to see him, and that he had never
expected to behold him again alive.

"Is it you, dear Redmond?" asked Tasmir.  "I never expected to be able
to speak to you again.  I knew you, although you did not know me, and
often watched you flying past.  I tried to call you, but you never
heard me.  I would have been dead in a few hours' time had it not been
for this good young man," he said, and he turned gratefully towards
Daimur, who was pushing together the bark on the tree so that the slit
would not be noticed.

They waited until Prince Tasmir had taken some of the biscuits and
water, and a few of the nuts that they had brought with them, and felt
strong enough to walk, and then they made their way slowly back to the
cave, where much excitement prevailed at the appearance of Tasmir and
the story of his rescue.

He was made to lie down and rest, and more food was pressed upon him,
and the food and the fresh sea breeze which blew into the cave soon
revived him.

They told him all about themselves and their plans, and it was agreed
that he would be of great assistance to Daimur in helping to make their
escape.

After a while when Tasmir had become quite rested, he turned to Redmond
and said:

"My dear brother, I know that you are anxious to hear how I came into
the Evil Magician's hands, and I now feel well enough to tell you my
story."

All chatter immediately ceased, and everyone sat listening attentively
for Tasmir to begin.



CHAPTER XI

"You will remember," he said, "that I took passage on a ship called the
'Seafoam,' which was bound for Aeda Land, where the great desert lay
which I would have to cross to get the Wonderful Plant.

"This ship was recommended as being safe and fast, and Sadna said the
Captain was a fine honest man who would do his best to make me
comfortable.

"It was a long, low boat, built apparently for speed, as it did not
seem to have much room for cargo, and what cargo was being loaded
aboard I noticed consisted mostly of oil and gunpowder.  However, I was
well pleased enough with the accommodation offered me, and in due time
the ship set sail.

"After we had been out a few days I began to notice the crew.  They
were the most murderous looking crowd of ruffians I had ever seen, and
seemed to be continually quarreling among themselves.

"The Captain too I thought anything but honest looking.

"One evening while it was yet very early I told the Captain I would go
to my cabin, for the weather being rough I was feeling rather seasick;
but after reaching my stateroom I decided that fresh air would do me
more good than sleep, so went up on deck and stood at the side of the
cabin looking out at the sea, and trying to make out by the stars which
direction we were following.

"It was quite dark, for the time of year was late fall and the evenings
closed in quickly.  As I stood there in the shadow of the cabin two
people came towards me, talking in low tones.

"'When?' asked one voice, which I recognized as that of the first mate.

"'To-morrow night,' said the Captain's rough bass.  'We'll run up the
merry old skull and crossbones as soon as it gets dark, change our
name, and get out the guns.  We ought to meet the Hesperus before
morning, and she carries a full cargo of Spanish gold.'

"'But what will we do with the Prince,' asked the first mate.  'Kill
him and throw him overboard?'

"'Oh, make him walk the plank at midnight, after we are all ready.
We'll tell him the ship's been captured.  He'll never know he's aboard
the "Maneater."  He has a tidy sum of gold with him, and that we'll
divide, you and I.'

"They passed out of hearing and left me rooted to the spot with horror.

"I was aboard a pirate ship, and the 'Maneater' at that, for years the
terror of all travelers on the high seas!

"How could I escape?  That was the one thought which filled my mind.
You may be sure I did not sleep at all that night, and early next day
had laid my plans.

"I went first and inspected the small boats.  The Captain's gig was the
smallest and lightest, and hung near the bow ready to launch.  I
watched my chance and when the cook was busy elsewhere stole a big
package of ship's biscuits and a pail of fresh water.  These I stowed
away in the gig under the tarpaulin that covered it.  Then I cut the
ropes nearly through so that with much added weight it would drop into
the water some twelve feet below.

"I waited impatiently for nightfall, and when supper time came told the
Captain that as I still felt rather seasick I thought I had better
retire to my stateroom.

"I waited until I knew that the crew were all at supper, and then stole
out to the stern of the ship, raised one of the hatches carefully, and
spreading some oakum on the top of a tar barrel set it afire and laid
the hatch on again, after which I hurried back to my stateroom to await
the result.

"An hour passed.  I began to fear that the fire had smothered for want
of air, and wished I had left the hatch open a little.  Eight o'clock
came, and I heard the crew beginning to run about, and the Captain's
voice shouting orders.  I could tell by the creaking of the ropes in
the pulleys that the flag of Sunne was being hauled down and the black
flag hoisted.

"Then there was a rumbling of heavy guns being pulled about the decks,
and after that the sound of hammering, and I knew they were changing
the name plate.

"Fearing they would lock me in my stateroom I packed as much gold into
my purse as it would hold, distributed the rest throughout my clothing,
and stole out of the cabin to the little passageway, where I lay
crouched behind the stair leading to the deck.

"All at once I heard a cry of 'Fire, fire,' and then a rush of feet
towards the stern.

"Now was my chance.  With a bound I rushed on deck, pulled the
tarpaulin cover off the gig and sprang in.  It dropped with a splash
into the water.  Fortunately the sea was comparatively calm, and the
boat did not upset.  I seized the oars and rowed away.  I could see the
flames shooting to a height of perhaps twenty feet, and judged from the
space over which they spread that my fire must have crept through part
of the hold.  The powder was all loaded in the bow, and was in no great
danger.

"Sharply outlined against the flames the men ran to and fro hauling
water in buckets from the sea.  I rowed on and on, thinking only of
getting away from the pirates before they got the fire under control
and missed me, but as I watched I saw that the fire was getting beyond
them and soon I saw that nearly the whole ship was in flames.  Suddenly
there was a distant booming sound, and the flames shot into the sky in
all directions, and when the black smoke had cleared away there were
little dots of flame all over the sea, where pieces of the burning
vessel were floating about.

"I was now about two miles away, and could not tell whether any of the
crew had escaped or not.  Indeed I do not care, as they had all
murdered scores of innocent men and women in the years they had been
scouring the seas.  It seemed to me a fitting thing that they should
have lost their lives by the very powder with which they intended to
kill others.

"By and by all the flaming specks disappeared, and I was alone on the
dark sea, for all I knew, miles away from land."



CHAPTER XII

"I kept on rowing until daylight, when ahead of me I saw a streak of
land.  It was a great way off, so I rested and ate before recommencing
my rowing.  I was afraid to stop for fear a storm should spring up and
wreck my small craft.

"It was early evening when I finally reached land, which was a rocky
shore backed by high cliffs and mountains.

"I landed on the barren shore very stiff and weary, with my hands
blistered and bleeding, and stumbled a short distance up the steep
mountain path.

"I had not gone far before I met two shepherds who were eating their
evening meal at the door of a little hut at one side of the path.  I
must have looked rather ill, for they both got up and took me into the
hut and were very kind to me.  They gave me a big bowl of warm broth,
some oaten cakes, and made me stay the night with them.  I tried to
tell them of my adventure, but as they spoke a strange tongue they
could not understand me.  I made up my mind that I had better stay with
them until I could find out where I was.

"The chief business of that mountainous country is sheep raising and
weaving baskets from a very pliable kind of shrub that grows on the
slopes of the mountains.  I hired as a shepherd to a sheep rancher, and
also began to learn to weave baskets to while away the time as I
watched the sheep.  Before long I learned the language, which is a very
simple one, and found that I was in Aeda Land, but that the desert I
sought lay far to the south, through the mountain passes.  It was
already winter high up in the mountains, and the passes were full of
snow, so I would be obliged to wait until spring before going on.

"I settled down to wait and soon became so skilful at weaving that I
could make more baskets in a couple of days than many of the older
weavers could make in a week.

"Early in the spring the merchant ships arrived for their annual cargo
of wool and baskets, and after I had sold my baskets I found that I had
added quite a nice little sum in silver to my store of gold.

"The snow had now all melted in the mountain passes, so I said good-bye
to my kind friends the shepherds, giving each of them a tiny basket as
a keepsake, in which I had hidden some gold pieces, packed a knapsack,
and set off on foot for the desert country.

"It was a long walk up the steep mountain path, but after two days'
journey I reached the top and could look down into the valley.  Miles
away stretched the yellow sands of the desert, perfectly bare,
excepting for a sort of island of trees in the middle.  All around the
desert lay the mountains excepting to the west, where the sandy valley
extended to the sea.  Villages and peach orchards lay just at the foot
of the mountains, and extended part way up to slopes, but the largest
village appeared to be on the seacoast, and to that one I directed my
steps.

"As I descended the steep winding path the air became warmer, and when
I reached the valley I found that it was already midsummer there, and
the fruit was ripening on the trees.

"I came at last to the town on the edge of the sea, where I put up at
an inn, and after a much-needed rest I sought out the inn-keeper and
asked for information about the Wonderful Plant.

"Nobody, he told me, had ever crossed the desert, though hundreds had
tried to do so, for everyone knew that it was in the very center of the
oasis that the Wonderful Plant grew.  He had never been able to find
out why it was a Wonderful Plant; some said it had a flower that never
died, the perfume of which would keep off trouble, others said that its
leaves, crushed and eaten, would cure all ills, and yet others thought
that if planted in an orchard it would ensure a wonderful fruit crop
forever afterwards.

"However, nobody really knew, because there were great creatures that
guarded the oasis and chased travelers.  Giants they were, with
dreadful twisted features, and sometimes they rode horrible twisted
horses, and sometimes awful camels.  Nobody had ever been killed by
them, for all had been wise enough to return as quickly as possible
when the giants approached.

"Sometimes indeed travelers had been attacked and chased by a huge
toucan which lived on the oasis, and which knocked them down and
battered them with its wings, but they had managed to escape with their
lives.  Nobody, he added, had tried to cross for a long time now; it
was altogether too impossible.

"I was very much interested, especially in the toucan, and asked what
manner of bird it was.

"'It is a terrible creature,' answered the inn-keeper, 'and the terror
of the countryside.  It is at least ten feet in length and has an
enormous beak.  It delights to steal our peaches, and in spite of all
we can do ruins a good many crops every year.  Scarecrows, be they ever
so large, do not frighten it, and it will eat all the fruit from a
dozen trees in an hour.  It merely stands on the ground, shakes the
tree with its beak until the fruit falls, and then gobbles it up.'

"I asked him what it lived on when there were no peaches to eat, but he
did not know.  It did not matter, he added gloomily, it did damage
enough, and had just the day before cleaned off two of his very best
trees.

"For the next few days I wandered about, going to the edge of the
desert and wondering how I was going to get across the yellow sands
over which no traveler had ever journeyed far.

"One day as I sat under a tree on a favorite stone meditating I noticed
a large dark object coming through the air towards me.  It was the
toucan.  I kept still and watched him.  He stopped over a peach tree
which grew at the bottom of an orchard not far off, and alighting on
the ground walked over and deliberately shook the tree.  Down fell the
delicious fruit in a shower.  Harder and harder he shook until not a
peach that was at all ripe remained.  Then he walked around and
leisurely swallowed the peaches as a chicken swallows corn kernels.

"He had not finished before the farmer came running out with his wife
and sons, all beating tin pans and shouting.  The toucan let them
approach quite close, and then made a sudden dive at them with his
wings down, rose in the air right over their heads and flew away with a
loud chuckling kind of noise that sounded like a laugh.  The farmer and
his family fell over each other in their fright, and when they had
recovered their feet the bird was far away.

"It was all so funny that I had to laugh, and then I thought of a
scheme for getting across the desert."



CHAPTER XIII

That afternoon I went up the mountain sides for a short distance and
found some good reeds that would make a basket.  It took me several
days to weave what I wanted.  I made a basket five feet long by two and
a half feet wide, and put a false bottom in it, leaving a compartment
underneath deep enough for me to crawl into.  I put a hinge on the side
of this bottom compartment so that I could let the side up and down,
and lock it from the inside.  When the basket was finished I wove a
strong openwork cover for the top, leaving spaces just a little smaller
than a peach, and fastened it securely to the basket.

"I took my basket to the edge of the desert, hid it in a tree, and went
to purchase peaches enough from the nearest farmer to fill it.  I
carried several pails before it was full, taking care to put the most
luscious ones on top, and after fastening the cover with the clamps I
had put on it, crawled into the bottom compartment, fastened up my side
opening and lay still to await results.

"It must have been two hours, and I was beginning to feel very much
cramped when I heard a whirring of great wings, and then the toucan
alighted on the ground beside me.  He had evidently spied the basket
and was curious to know what it was.  He came over and then I could
feel him pecking at the peaches through the woven covering.

"It was only a moment before somebody saw him, for every farmer had a
boy watching, and the cry rang out, 'The toucan, the toucan!'  I could
see people running hurriedly towards us waving shovels, scythes, hoes,
and various other implements.  The toucan did just what I had hoped he
would.  He seized the basket by the handle and flew away over the
desert with it, and I lay in the bottom looking down at the desert
sands below, and thinking of what a dreadful death I should have if he
dropped me.

[Illustration: The toucan . . . seized the basket by the handle and
flew away.]

"On we sailed, leaving the village far behind.  I turned my head and
looked towards the center of the desert.  We were nearing the oasis,
and I could see great trees with something silvery shining between them
which I supposed must be a lake.  Nearer and nearer we drew, and now I
could see quite plainly the tree tops waving in the wind, but no water.
The top of the wall appeared under me suddenly.  Then we were quite a
distance past the wall and settling down among trees upon a green
space.  The toucan alighted on the grass, put the basket down and again
began pecking at the peaches through the cover.  I opened my side
fastening, crawled out and jumped to my feet sword in hand, supposing
the toucan would attack me, but I evidently startled him, as he gave a
loud clack, seized the basket again and flew with it over a tall hedge
a short distance away.

"I looked about me then, and found myself on a beautiful lawn under
magnificent trees, with here and there a wide avenue leading among
gardens of gorgeous flowers and fountains of splashing water bordered
by flower beds.  There were many comfortable seats under the trees, and
hammocks hung here and there in a most inviting manner.  I walked along
the nearest avenue which led under the trees, and came out upon a broad
stretch of lawn in the center of which stood the most beautiful
building I had ever seen.  It was long and low, and all of carved white
marble, decorated here and there with black marble facings.  Many
windows and glass doors stood open, and lacy white curtains swayed in
the breeze.  There was no one in sight, and I walked on towards the
hedge over which I had seen the toucan disappear.

"Suddenly I heard a woman's voice say, 'Bowser, Bowser, what have you
there?  Oh, you wicked bird, you've stolen somebody's washing.'  A
pause and then the voice went on:

"'Why, it's a peach basket!  What a strange contrivance!  Go away,
Bowser.  Oh, Richard, come and see what Bowser has brought home.'

"Another pause, and then a man's voice.

"'My dear, that's been made for something else besides peaches.  Look
at the opening at the bottom.  Why a man could hide in there quite
easily, and good gracious!  Here's a man's handkerchief, with T on the
corner.'  (I felt myself turning pale.)  'Do you suppose there is
somebody in our stronghold, Mary?  Good Bowser, where is the tramp?
That's it.  Bowser get him, old boy!  Bring him here.'

"I shrunk away from the hedge, and was just turning to look for a place
where I could hide, for I had no mind to be dragged forth in this
unceremonious way, when a dark form appeared over me, seized me around
the middle, and the next moment I was lifted through the air and laid
in a heap on the other side of the hedge.

"I jumped to my feet, not knowing who or what I should see, drawing my
sword as I did so, but when I caught a glimpse of a nice motherly
looking woman and a mild-looking old gentleman standing before me
apparently very much alarmed, I hastily stepped forward and made a low
bow, begging their pardon for having intruded in this unseemly fashion.
I explained my errand, told them who I was, and how I had contrived to
get there, and when I had finished they both looked much relieved.

"'That is quite all right, Prince Tasmir,' said the old gentleman, 'and
now if you will come into the house and partake of some refreshment I
will tell you about the Wonderful Plant which you have come so far to
seek.'

"'First, may I ask,' I said, 'does Bowser bite?'

"'No,' said the old gentleman, 'he is quite good natured, and besides
he has no teeth.'

"'Well,' I said, 'I am rather grateful to him for carrying me safely
here, and I should like to give him those peaches, but did not wish him
to bite me in two while I was doing it.'

"So saying I went to the peach basket, where Bowser was vainly
endeavoring to get the peaches out, and opened the fastenings, while he
hopped around me on his huge legs and uttered his strange chuckling
laugh.  I picked out a few dozen of the ripest for the old lady, and
let Bowser have the rest, which we left him swallowing greedily.

"They took me around to a spacious veranda, where a dark-skinned maid
served us with delicious iced drinks, fruit and small cakes, and then
the old gentleman told me about the Wonderful Plant."



CHAPTER XIV

"'You are no doubt wondering,' he said with a smile, 'who we are and
what manner of oasis this is, and I am going to tell you about
ourselves first.

"'To begin with, we are not fairies, but quite ordinary mortals, and we
live here alone.  We have no children, and no pets but Bowser, but we
are never lonesome.  Now Bowser is just a common toucan, and I found
him on the ground under a big tree one morning, where a bad storm the
night before had tossed him out of the nest.  We brought him in and my
wife cared for him, and the only reason he is so big is that he has
such a voracious appetite and eats ten meals a day.  In fact he is
eating practically all the time, and I believe is still growing.  I
suppose his brothers and sisters might be as large as he if they could
get enough to satisfy their appetites the way Bowser does.  He would
eat most families out of house and home, but as our store-room never
gives out it does not matter.  But although we do our best to feed him
enough to satisfy his appetite we cannot cure him of stealing peaches.
We are very sorry for the poor farmers whose orchards he raids, but in
one sense it is rather a good thing, as it serves to keep people afraid
of him, and he is our only watchdog.

"This desert around us was not always here.  The whole valley was once
much higher than now, and was a happy little kingdom where we all dwelt
in peace and prosperity until the unlucky day when the Evil Magician
came this way and swept the whole kingdom out to sea, drowning
everyone, including the king and queen and their little son and
daughter, and leaving nothing here but bare sand.

"'We were absent from home when it happened.  I was a merchant, and had
gone to buy a new supply of goods, and my wife accompanied me,
otherwise we would have met the same fate as our friends and neighbors.

"'You can imagine the sight which met our eyes when on our return we
came out at the head of the pass on yonder mountain and looked over the
valley.  At first we thought we must surely have lost our way and come
upon some strange barren place, but on looking about we saw certain
familiar landmarks which made it clear to us that a hurricane must have
swept our kingdom away, and of course all our possessions.

"'We rode on, trying to find some trace of our house, but nothing could
be seen on the bare sands but a clump of bushes and a few small trees
which had somehow escaped the force of wind and water.

"'On reaching this spot we thought it better to stay and camp for the
night, as the day was fast fading and we would have to wait until
daylight to go back through the mountains.

"'Fortunately we had plenty of food left, and after tying our horses
and giving them their supper I went to gather some dead twigs to make a
fire while my wife unpacked our camp outfit.

"'While we were thus engaged I thought I heard a sound of crying.  We
both listened, and it came again.  Leaving our tasks we followed the
sound and behind a scrubby willow tree came upon a most beautiful young
woman crouched on the ground weeping and moaning, and at the same time
digging into the earth with a small wand as if in search of something.
She did not appear to heed our approach.

"'"What have you lost, my dear?  Is it money?" asked my wife, thinking
that she like ourselves was homeless on account of the storm.  She
jumped and looked at us in a startled manner, then rising to her feet
answered sadly:

"'"No, it is not money, but something much more precious.  It is a
little black seed, and I am afraid I shall not find it again."

"'"Oh, if that is all, perhaps you can get another," I said, thinking
that misfortune had probably affected their reason.

"'"Come," I continued, "we will have to remain here to-night, but in
the morning we will help you to find it if it can be found," and I left
my wife to comfort her while I went back to see to my fire.  We soon
had our kettle boiling and supper laid out, and the strange young lady
seemed very grateful for our hospitality.  After supper she sat and
looked into the flames for a long time in silence while we discussed
our plans for the future.

"'By and by we too became quiet, and then she spoke.

"'"I am not a mortal like yourselves," she said, "I am the fairy who is
called 'Peaceful,' and my home is in the island of Laurels, far from
here.  Your good Queen was my very dear friend, and I was on my way to
pay her a visit and show her a precious seed which I had just brought
with me from a distant land when I came upon this scene of desolation.

"'"The seed I carried was a present from an owl who is over a thousand
years old, and wiser than any fairy I know.  It was the seed of the
Wonderful Plant.  Wherever it grows there it will remain for all time.
It cannot be dislodged, and the owner of it will be rich and
influential forever.  Its flowers are of the purest gold, and can be
taken off and sold to the goldsmith.  I was going to take the seed to
my home and plant it in my garden, so that I would have at least one
spot on earth where the Evil Magician could not endanger my good
influence.  He is the terror of my life, and I see that he has been
even here, for it was he that swept your kingdom out to sea, and this
little clump of earth and bushes is only a fragment that broke off one
corner.

"'"I heard about it from the eagle that dwells on that high mountain
top.  When I reached this spot to-day my distress was so great that I
dropped my precious seed, and now I must leave it here for I know I
will not find it."

"'I tried to comfort her by saying we would help her to look for it as
soon as it was light, but she shook her head.

"'"No," she said, "it is of no use to look further.  The seed sprouts
immediately if the ground is damp, as this is.  It will be sprouted by
morning, and I must protect it here."

"'She said no more, and as our own troubles filled our minds we fell to
talking again and making plans and did not notice that she disappeared.

"'We must have fallen asleep shortly afterwards, as we were both
awakened by a sound of swishing and neighing.  We jumped to our feet.
The blackness of the night surrounded us.  Our fire had died down to
ashes.  Suddenly the noise came again, and our two horses dashed past
us at a gallop as if being chased.  "Horse thieves," we whispered, and
turned to follow, but after running for several minutes over the sand
we found ourselves entering what seemed to be a dense wood, as we came
into rather sharp contact with large trunks and heavy branches of trees.

"'How we had got there, we did not know, and visions of mountain
robbers filled our minds.  We threaded our way between the trees as
well as we could and ran on over smooth turf until we came to an
avenue, down which a light shone brokenly through the trees.  Here we
could run much faster, and turning a corner, saw our horses trotting
quietly some distance ahead.  The light showed brighter, and then as we
emerged from the trees we found that it came from the windows of a long
low building.  As we stood, dazzled by the brightness, and
wonderstruck, a voice beside us made us turn in alarm.  It was the
fairy, who we now remembered, had not been with us since early in the
evening.

"'"Do not be afraid," said she, "I could not rest until I had safely
protected my Wonderful Plant, so I have built this house around it and
enclosed the grounds with a high brick wall.  There is a good stable at
the back and I have just shut your horses in for the rest of the night.
Come now and I will show you the house."

"'She took us in at the front door and showed us through the house.  It
was magnificently finished and beautifully furnished, as you shall see
for yourself presently, and my wife and I declared that we had never
seen anything to equal it.  When she had finished she said:

"'"I have a proposition to make.  I cannot remain in this country.  I
must go home at once, as I am needed.  You have lost your home and all
you possessed.  Will you not stay in this beautiful house and tend my
Wonderful Plant?  It must be watered and carefully pruned each day in
order to keep it at its best, and someone must remain here to gather
the seeds as they ripen and hide them, lest at any time the Evil
Magician or his emissaries come and steal one.  The plant they cannot
touch, and only myself can pluck the blossoms, but the seeds, which are
so precious, may be taken by anyone.

"'"This oasis is now a pleasant place surrounded by fine lawns and
planted with beautiful trees, and I will give you plenty of servants, a
cellar full of provisions which will never run out, a library full of
books, and all sorts of amusements.  You will have everything but human
companionship.  No stranger must ever enter these gates, for I must
guard against any possibility of having a seed stolen.  What do you
say, will you accept my offer?"

"'We considered a few moments.  Our friends and possessions were gone,
and we stood indeed alone in the world and quite destitute.  The
thought of seeing no human being did not affect us, as we had each
other, so we very gratefully accepted the good fairy's offer, and when
she had given us a few more instructions and told us that she would
visit us twice a year she departed.  Here then we have lived ever since
in peace and comfort.'

"'But the Wonderful Plant, where is it?  May I see it?' I asked, 'or am
I to meet with some misfortune for having dared to enter upon this
oasis?'

"The old gentleman laughed.

"'You are not to meet with anything here but good fortune, my dear
Prince,' said he, 'for the last time the fairy paid us a visit she told
us you were looking for a seed of the Wonderful Plant for your father,
and that if you succeeded in reaching this spot alone I was to give you
one.  To tell you the truth we did not think much more about it, as we
did not believe anyone would ever reach here.  Now you shall see the
plant itself.'

"He and the little old lady led the way into the great front hall and
through a long passage.  Stopping at a heavily carved door he took a
small key from his pocket and unlocked it.  The door swung open and we
stepped out."



CHAPTER XV

"We stood in a spacious court, the blue sky overhead, velvety grass
underfoot and the windows of the house all around us.  Most of these
were open and in some of them were caged birds singing gloriously, and
against all the sills were window-boxes full of flowers.  Flowering ivy
and climbing roses trailed here and there up the sides of the building,
and there were so many rose bushes about in the gardens that the scent
of them was quite heavy in the air.  A small fountain stood at either
end of the enclosure, in which curious small silver fish jumped and
splashed about in the late afternoon sun.

"In the exact center of the court stood a large shrub about eight feet
tall.  It was beautifully trimmed and perfectly conical in form.  The
thick foliage was a dark, bright green, and the whole bush was covered
with pure yellow flowers.  They looked very much like velvety yellow
pansies.  I walked over and touched one.  It was stiff and hard and
shone with a metallic luster.  It had evidently been on the bush for
some time, as the buds and new blossoms were as soft as any flower.

"'If my father could but see it,' I murmured.  'If he had even a tiny
plant I am sure it would prolong his life.'

"'You shall have a seed, dear Prince,' said the old gentleman, 'and it
will grow very quickly, you shall see.  Perhaps I did not tell you that
only one seed is formed every seven years and that from the blossoms
which comes out first on the seventh day of the seventh month, the day
when the plant begins its yearly period of bloom.  The seed which I
have saved for you ripened only a few days ago, so you are very
fortunate.'

"He went back into the house and returned with a small golden box from
which he took a gold ring set with a valuable black diamond.  He
pressed a spring and the stone lifted, disclosing a small seed lying in
the cavity.  He shut the spring down again.

"'Put this on your finger,' he said, 'and do not open it until you are
safely at home and in your father's conservatory.  Plant it in an
unpretentious pot at night, and do not tell anyone what it is, but
watch it every day yourself.  The fairy too will watch it and pick the
blossoms for you, as no mortal can do that.  She will pick the seed
flower as soon as it blooms, so that the Evil Magician may not secure
the seed.'

"I thanked him with tears in my eyes and hoped that I might see the
good fairy when I reached home.

"The old gentleman then took me over the house, which was indeed as
magnificent as he had said, and after that we went to see the grounds
and the immense wall.

"'We will have to ride,' said he, and led the way to the stables where
stood his two horses, fine sleek animals.  A colored boy, who of course
like the other servants, was a fairy, harnessed them, and after riding
through the park and past the lovely gardens we came to a great gateway
in the high wall.

"The old gentleman reached down and touched a button at the side and
the gates swung slowly open, closing again as soon as we had passed out.

"Out there were more trees set well apart and at some distance from the
wall, and beyond that the yellow desert sands stretched away in the
distance.  We rode along beside the wall, which on this side faced the
west.  I was surprised to see that the whole wall was set with mirrors
of magnifying glass, now reflecting the gorgeous colors of the sunset
as it glowed in between the trees.  It would have been beautiful had it
not been for the frightful reflections of ourselves and the horses.
They loomed large and distorted before us, and the old gentleman
explained to me that he never had blinders on the horses excepting when
they were riding beside the wall.  He had tried riding without the
blinders one day, but his horse had bolted in fright, and he had great
difficulty in getting him inside again.

"'Now I can understand,' I said, 'why I thought I saw a lake when I was
traveling towards this oasis.  And now too I know what kind of giants
chase all those who attempt to cross the desert.'

"'Yes,' answered the old gentleman smiling, 'it is a wise precaution of
the fairy's, and very harmless, but I should like to hear what the
travelers tell.'

"The mirrors stretched right across the oasis, which was of a very
irregular shape, and by the time we arrived again at the main gate and
entered the grounds it was nearly dark.

"Dinner was ready, and after it was over the old gentleman told me I
had better leave about midnight so as to be back in the village before
it was light enough for anyone to see me.

"'But how am I to get back so quickly?' I asked.

"'The way you came,' replied the old gentleman.

"'But what if Bowser will not carry the basket?' I cried.  'He has
eaten all the peaches now, and I have no more.'

"'Yes,' he replied, 'but this time you will be on Bowser's back, and I
can promise you he will take you over in very quick time, for he has
been shut up in his cage without any supper and by midnight will be so
hungry that he will not lose any time in reaching the nearest peach
orchard.  I am sorry to think that some poor farmer will suffer, but it
is the only way you can get safely back.'

"I thanked him for this further evidence of his kindness and the
evening passed very quickly in conversation.  I had to do most of the
talking, as the two old people had heard no news of the world since the
fairy's last visit, and listened intently to all I could tell them."



CHAPTER XVI

"It was nearly midnight when I finally arose and prepared to depart.
The old gentleman led the way to Bowser's cage.  It was a room at the
end of the kitchen, and Bowser was evidently expecting his supper, as
he uttered odd noises and came towards us with his neck stretched out.
I marveled that he was not asleep on his perch in the corner.

"'He never goes to sleep until he has eaten a great deal of supper,'
said the old gentleman, 'and as he is growing very impatient you had
better mount him at once while I open the door.'

"'But how am I to ride him?' I cried.

"'Get up on that stepladder,' said the old gentleman, indicating one
that stood against the wall, 'and when he comes near enough let
yourself down on his back and throw your arms around his neck.  I will
open the door the instant you are seated and he will dart out.'

"It seemed rather a risky way to ride, but after all, I reflected, much
safer than the way I had come, for he could not drop me unless I let go
my hold, so I obediently got upon the stepladder.

"Bowser came towards me, thinking I might have something for him, and
as he turned his head at the creaking of the door I threw myself on his
back and grasped him firmly around the neck.  The big door swung open,
Bowser ran forward, and as soon as he was outside rose into the air.
We soared away, straight towards the village which lay nearest the sea.

"Bowser's flight proved how hungry he was, for the village lights drew
nearer very rapidly, and we were going so fast over the sands that I
did not dare look down for fear of getting dizzy.

"In what seemed but a few minutes Bowser began to descend and glancing
down I saw that we were directly over a peach orchard.  He alighted,
and at the same moment I slid off his back and ran as fast as I could
for some distance.  When I reached the fence which enclosed the place I
looked back, and could see him gobbling all around a tree, so he had
already shaken the peaches off one at least.  He had not bothered about
me at all, as I was afraid he would.

"I walked to the inn and went to bed in a very thankful state of mind,
determined to start for home next day.

"But the next day I found it was not as easy as I thought.  The only
boat leaving port was a peach boat, bound for a port only a few miles
away.  However, I went by that, and on reaching the port had to wait
two days to get a passage on a boat loaded with iron which was bound
for the Island of Laurels.

"The weather was fine when we set out, and the wind good, so in spite
of the heavy cargo we were making fair progress.  On the fourth night
we ran into a dense fog.  After running carefully for some hours the
Captain thought it advisable to lie to until morning, as we were within
a few miles of the Island of Despair and some very dangerous reefs.

"I went to my cabin and lay down to read.  I fell asleep and slept for
some time, when I was awakened by a tremendous blow under the ship
which jerked me out on the floor.  Running to the deck I found the
whole crew assembled getting ready to drop the life-boats.  In place of
the dead calm which had prevailed earlier in the evening a terrible
storm now raged, and the gale had driven the ship on the dreaded reefs.

"To add to the danger the iron loaded in the hold had become loose and
we could hear it pounding around in the hold as the ship lurched about
on the rocks.  It was only a matter of a few moments before the ship
would go to pieces.

"I stood ready to help the Captain and some of his men to lower his
gig, and we waited to see the others off.  There were six boats, and
five of them were launched successfully.  The other swamped in the
heavy sea.  I do not know whether any of them reached the shore or not,
as I never saw them again.

"We launched our boat successfully, and pulled in the direction in
which the Captain indicated the Island lay.  When we had got within
fifty feet of the land our boat seemed to strike a whirlpool.  It went
around very rapidly five or six times, and finally dived bow first,
throwing all the occupants but myself into the water.  I had taken a
long breath, expecting the dive, and was crouched on my seat holding
tightly with both hands, so that when the boat shot to the surface
again I had just strength enough to clamber over the side as it turned
bottom up.  I lay there half drowned while the boat floated in to
shore.  I do not know how long it was before I heard voices close at
hand.  One was a man's and one an old woman's.  The woman's voice said:

"'Are you sure he had it on his finger when he left port?'

"'Of course,' answered the man gruffly.  'Don't I tell you I flew over
the ship yesterday and saw it on his hand?'

"'Well, he must be here somewhere,' said the old woman, 'and we'll soon
have it.'

"Although I was half dazed I knew it must be my ring with the precious
seed that they were talking about.  I tried to rise, but had not
sufficient strength, so with an effort I pulled it from my finger and
dropped it into the water beside the boat, rather than let them take it.

"The voices came nearer.

"'Ah,' said the man, 'here he is; now let us see if I am not right.'

"I must have fainted then, as I do not remember anything until I awoke
to find myself imprisoned in the laurel tree.

"Late in the morning when the sun was high the Evil Magician, for of
course it was he, and an old crone came past me on their way to the
shore, but they did not find the ring, for the Evil Magician came back
after a long time in a terrible rage and threatened me with instant
death if I did not tell him where I had hidden it.

"I declared I had not hidden it.  After promising me my freedom if I
would tell him where it was, and trying every argument in his power to
either coax or threaten me into letting him have it, he became furious,
declared I should remain enchanted forever until I slowly drowned, and
went off.  I did not see him again.

"You may imagine my despair, and my boundless gratitude to Prince
Daimur for releasing me from my enchantment."

"Rather," said Prince Daimur, "let us be thankful to the kind old fairy
who gave me this wonderful cap and spectacles, for without them I
should doubtless have been as helpless as yourself."

"But what do you suppose became of the ring?" asked Prince Redmond.
"Do you think he could have found it after all?"

"I do not know, I am sure," answered his brother.  "I do not see how it
could have been hidden, for the water was shallow where I dropped it
and it must have shown clearly in the sunlight.  I heard them say they
had searched under every stone for it."

Here the little white dove, Princess Maya, left her mother's side and
came over to where Prince Tasmir sat.

"Prince Tasmir," she said, "I believe I have your ring.  Early one
morning my mother and I were flying from tree to tree and feeling
rather brighter than usual, as we had not eaten any fruit since the day
before.

"After a while we found ourselves very near the shore, and alighted on
a low branch directly overhanging the water.  A life-boat lay bottom up
on the sands of the small beach, and while we were deploring the fact
that some ship must have been wrecked on the reefs very lately I
noticed just beside the boat's side, on a flat stone hardly covered
with water, a fine gold ring.  I let myself down on the stone and
picked the ring up and we carried it off to show my father.  He said it
was very valuable, and that the Evil Magician must not have it, so we
hid it, and we have kept it ever since.  We have never left it long in
one place, and if somebody will come with me I will get it now."

Prince Redmond and half a dozen other doves eagerly followed the
Princess, while exclamations of wonder and surprise filled the cave.

In five minutes the Princess was back carrying a ring in her mouth.
Prince Tasmir gave a cry of joy as he opened it and found his precious
seed safe inside.

"I was afraid that perhaps the water had leaked in and sprouted it," he
said, as they all crowded around to see, "but thank goodness it is
perfectly sound," and he slipped it on his finger.

After congratulating the little Princess on finding the ring and
keeping it out of the Evil Magician's possession, and hoping they might
have the best of luck on the morrow they all went to sleep, very
confident indeed that all would yet come right.



CHAPTER XVII

The next day was spent in flying thoroughly over the island to see that
no dove had been overlooked, as they did not want to leave anyone
behind.

Only one old grey one was found sleeping in a tree, which Prince
Redmond identified as an old sailor who had been one of his crew.  He
seemed willing to go to the cave at once, and towards night he began to
revive.

Immediately after dark they heard a great wind sighing about the
island, which Daimur, who had on his cap and spectacles said was the
Magician leaving his castle for the Island of Sunne, where he was going
to search for the very treasures that Daimur then wore.

Soon Daimur announced that he could see the witch going out to find her
cat, and when he knew she was well away they all fluttered out of the
cave and led by Daimur, Prince Redmond and King Cyril, made their way
to where the Magician's wall crossed the sea sand.  Here Daimur again
dug a hole under the wall and all passed through safely, Tasmir
remaining behind for a moment to fill up the gap again with sand.

They went forward very quietly until they came to the steps of the
Magician's castle.

"Wait here," said Daimur, "while the Princess and I go inside and find
the tablets."

The door was not locked, and Daimur pushed it open softly, and led by
Princess Maya walked through the kitchen to the room where the glass
box was kept.

This he picked up carefully and carried outside, taking care to shut
the door behind him.

By the dim light of the moon half hidden behind clouds he drew forth
his little key and tried it in the lock.  The doves were grouped in
front of him, and every eye was fixed on the key as he turned it
carefully.  Would it really fit?  Around it went.  Up sprang the lid,
and there behold!  were the wonderful big pellets which might break the
enchantment.

[Illustration: Up sprang the lid, and there behold! were the wonderful
big pellets.]

Daimur passed the box, first to the Queen, Princess Maya, and the
Duchess, and the other royal personages, and then around to everybody.

In a moment a strange assemblage of people stood where but a few
seconds before had been only a flock of doves.

What a murmur of delight arose!  King Cyril embraced his wife and
daughter, the Duchess clung to Daimur in a spasm of joy, Prince Redmond
and his brother wept in each other's arms, while Prince Redmond's fifty
sailors all crowded around them, swearing they would follow their
prince through fire and water.

Prince Daimur fearing that they might alarm the witch, ascended the
steps, and holding up his hand begged them to remember that their safe
deliverance lay in making no noise, but getting away as quickly as they
could.

Then he instructed them to follow the Princess Maya, who led them all
around to the end of the Magician's house, where in the little bay lay
Prince Redmond's ship, safely moored.

Immediately, at a word from Prince Redmond, the sailors jumped to their
places, hoisted the sails and made ready to leave the dock, while
Daimur and Prince Tasmir helped the ladies aboard.

There was a good breeze, and in five minutes the sails had filled and
they were drawing away from the island, when they heard a loud hissing
sound.  Looking towards the castle they saw coiled on the dock they had
just left a monstrous rattlesnake.

"It is the witch's daughter," cried Princess Maya, "we have awakened
her and she has come out through the window."

At that moment the snake shook its rattles.  They made an extremely
loud, shrill sound, and in a flash, from nowhere apparently, the old
witch appeared on the dock with her cat on her shoulder.

When she saw them she screamed and ran into the house.

"For mercy's sake, have you any guns?" cried Daimur to Prince Redmond.
"We shall surely need them now, for she is going to call back the
Magician."

"Yes," said Redmond, "unless they have been taken away, or have
rusted," and hastily giving a few orders to some of the sailors he
commanded the others to follow him and ran to the cabin.  On looking
into the armory he found that the guns were all there, as bright and
shining as when he saw them last, and calling upon everyone to help him
he began to distribute them about.

When they again reached the deck they found that Daimur had been right
about the witch, for she had climbed to the roof of the Magician's
house and was standing on the tallest chimneypot.

As they looked she waved her arms, and at once a blue flame sprang from
her, waving and dancing in the air, sometimes shooting to a great
height, and again breaking out in all directions over the sea.

The wind had in the meantime been steadily blowing them on, and by this
time the ship was some distance from the shore and heading for the
Island of Sunne.

"The Magician will be here in a moment," cried Daimur.  "Stand close
together here and obey me, for I can see him the moment he arrives."

Hardly had the men collected about him than a sudden squall struck the
ship.  It quivered with the shock, and the sails were nearly torn away
as the ship heeled over on its side, while great waves dashed right
over the deck.

"Do not be afraid," cried Daimur.  "I see him, we shall yet be saved if
you will obey me."

In front of them rose a wave higher than all the rest.  It seemed as
tall as a mountain, and it would certainly swamp the ship the moment it
struck it.  On the top of the wave was a great white crest, in which
Daimur knew was the Magician.



"Now," he shouted above the roar of the wind, "aim at the highest crest
of the wave."  They all did so.

"Fire."

Off went the guns.

There were so many of them that they made a deafening roar, and
immediately the ship stood still.  As soon as the smoke cleared away
they saw why.

The big wave had burst, and the sea was completely calm again, and
there floating towards them was the Evil Magician himself, quite dead.

As they looked at him they could see that he seemed to be surrounded by
a myriad of queer greenish lights.  These grew and spread over the
surface of the water, until as he floated closer they could see that he
was melting like a piece of soap and washing away in green bubbles.
They watched him, quite fascinated, until the last bubble had floated
away and he had completely disappeared.

"Oh," said the Queen, with a shudder, while the Duchess wept with
fright, "how horrible!  I do wish the wind would come up again and blow
us away from this dreadful place, We are safe now from the Magician,
but perhaps the witch will pursue us."

"No fear of that; she is afraid of us," said Daimur, who had been
watching the castle through his spectacles.  He had seen the witch
dance with rage when they killed the Magician, and a few moments
afterwards he could see that she was closing the shutters and darkening
the house.

The breeze came gradually up again, and in half an hour's time they
were sailing quickly toward the Island of Sunne.

"If this wind continues," said Daimur, "we will reach land early in the
morning, and I think we had better leave the ship armed in case we meet
with any resistance.  I am, however, not much afraid of my uncle, for
he is quite powerless without the Evil Magician."



CHAPTER XVIII

Just after the sun had risen the ship touched the wharf at Daimur's
native city, and Daimur, who was the first ashore, stood by to assist
the ladies to land and to welcome them to his kingdom.

There was not a soul in sight as they formed a double line, with Prince
Redmond's sailors as guards, and marched towards the palace, which was
only a few blocks distant.

As they neared the gates they saw that nobody was astir but a few of
the Royal bodyguard, who as soon as they caught sight of Prince Daimur
at the head of this strange procession rushed towards him and threw
themselves at his feet with exclamations of astonishment and joy that
he was still alive.

They told Daimur that his wicked uncle had already been crowned king,
having proved by the aid of false witnesses that Daimur had fallen from
a precipice while out riding and been instantly killed, and that his
body was washed away in the swift-flowing river at the bottom.

At the conclusion of the tale Daimur called out all the guards and
ordered them to arrest his uncle and his followers immediately, and
convey them to a strong prison in the interior of the kingdom.

Before they could move to obey him, however, Daimur's uncle himself
appeared with a few of his friends.  They had been aroused from their
sleep by the sound of voices and had dressed hastily.

"What is the meaning of this commotion?" roared the false King,
addressing the guards.  "Back to your posts immediately."

He turned as he spoke and his eye fell on Daimur and his little
company, whose guns were all pointed directly at him, as, strange to
say, were those of the Palace guard.  He glanced in every direction,
but everywhere he saw hard unsympathetic faces, and the round muzzles
of guns.

He grew pale and his knees knocked together as he looked about in vain
for a means of escape.  Then suddenly his face cleared, and he drew a
whistle from a cord at his neck and blew three loud blasts upon it.

Daimur, who still wore his cap and spectacles, turned to his company.

"That is to summon the Magician," he explained.  They all laughed, and
Daimur announced to his uncle that it was of no use calling or help
from the Evil Magician, as he was dead and gone.

This of course his uncle declared quite impossible, and it was not
until King Cyril, the Princess, and indeed the whole party had assured
him it was the truth, added to the fact that the Magician did not seem
to be coming to his aid, that he believed it.

After that he was very humble.  He cringed before Daimur and hoped he
would spare his old uncle's life.  This Daimur said he was willing to
do, but that he would have to go with his fine friends to the state
prison farm as a laborer for the rest of his days.  His uncle seemed so
relieved that he was not to lose his head that he went away with the
guards quietly enough.

Now that he was rid of his uncle Daimur proceeded into the Palace,
where he was welcomed with the greatest enthusiasm and loyalty by the
servants, and his guests were soon enjoying a splendid breakfast.

Prince Daimur begged them to remain with him until he had been crowned
king and had made arrangements to accompany them to their respective
homes.

This they consented to do, and soon great preparations were under way
for the coronation.

Daimur told his story throughout the kingdom, and his people flocked
about him wherever he went, declaring their allegiance, and rejoicing
greatly that he had delivered them all from the Evil Magician's
influence.

At last the day of the coronation came, and all who were rich enough to
travel were present.

Never before had so many distinguished guests graced a coronation
ceremony in the Kingdom of Sunne.  Daimur's subjects felt highly
honored as they gazed upon the noble King Cyril, Queen Emily, and the
young Princess of Shells, the distinguished Duchess of Rose Petals, and
the two splendid Princes of Laurels.  All the other kingdoms were here
represented.

They made a very magnificent appearance, for Daimur had insisted upon
the Court dressmakers and tailors making each of them a proper
wardrobe, as, of course, they had no clothes with them for the occasion.

After the coronation ceremony there was a great feast and when all the
company were assembled Daimur told them of his plans for accompanying
his guests to their respective kingdoms.  His subjects were willing
that he should go and promised to defend the kingdom against any
possible enemies while he was away, and they agreed upon a very old and
wise friend of Daimur's to act as Regent until his return.

In a few days the preparations for his going were complete, and King
Daimur's largest warship lay at anchor in the harbor in readiness to
sail.

The bands played and a great crowd stood on the wharf as Daimur and his
royal guests drove down and boarded the ship, and they sailed out of
the harbor amid many cheers and wishes for a safe and speedy voyage.



CHAPTER XIX

Their course was set for the Island of Shells, where King Cyril's
brother was ruling in his stead.

The wind was good, and they expected to reach port sometime the next
day.  Morning dawned bright and sunny, and after some hours of fast
sailing Daimur was surprised to have a message brought to him that the
Captain had sighted something from the bridge that he wished King
Daimur to see.

Daimur went up at once, accompanied by King Cyril, to whom he had been
talking.

On reaching the Captain's side they saw at once what the trouble was.

In front of them, about six miles distant, lay the Island of Shells,
and between them and it the only entrance to the harbor, a narrow
winding passage between very dangerous reefs, which in places stood
high out of the water.

It was, however, not the reefs that drew their attention.

Directly in front of them, and completely surrounding the passage
through the reefs, lay a dark streak upon the water.  It seemed to be
at least half a mile in width and stretched away on either side as far
as one could see.

Although the water all around it was quite rough and choppy this streak
lay perfectly calm, glistening in the sun with peculiar purple and gold
colors.

The Captain had ordered some of the sails reefed, but even so the ship
was going at a good rate of speed and in a few seconds they had run
into it.

It was as though they had struck a bank of soft mud, and so indeed they
thought it at first, though they could not understand how it could have
got there, as the sea was known to be very deep outside the reefs.

The sails, well filled, tried to carry the ship forward, but only
succeeded in getting them a little further into the dark mass.

"What can it be?" cried King Cyril, as everybody rushed to the ship's
sides to see what had stopped their progress.

"It looks and smells like tar," said the Captain, "and now how in the
world are we to get out of it?  I've never seen anything like it in my
life, and I've been sailing for forty-seven years."

By this time Daimur had adjusted his magic cap and spectacles and was
surveying the dark sticky streak.  He gave way to an exclamation of
dismay.

"What is it?" gasped King Cyril, thoroughly alarmed at seeing Daimur so
affected.

"This stuff is tar," said Daimur, "mixed with various gums and a
terrible acid that is eating into the hull of our ship and will destroy
it within two hours if we cannot succeed in getting it out.

"This is the work of your sister-in-law," he continued, addressing King
Cyril, "assisted by the witch of Despair.  They do not intend to let us
in if they can help it.  Now let us think what we must do."

Not a word was spoken as Daimur stood consulting his magic cap and
gazing out over the sea.

In a few moments he turned to the Captain.

"Have you any coal-oil?" he asked.

"A little, your majesty, about nine barrels, I think," answered the
Captain, as he sent a sailor to see how many there were.  The man came
back to say that there were ten.

"Good," said Daimur.  "Now have all the barrels brought up to the deck,
for we must pour the oil over the bow; it is the only thing that will
cut this vile mixture."

The barrels were brought up as quickly as possible, and Daimur himself
stood in the bow and directed the sailors.  Four men held a barrel of
oil on each side of the bow, and at the instant they commenced to pour
it down the Captain ordered the remaining sails let out to the wind.

As the oil struck the tar mixture it first spread over the surface, and
then foamed up like soda water, and as the foam subsided the water
could be seen underneath.

With every sail filled the ship slowly made its way through the sticky
foaming mass, and when at the end of half an hour they were clear of
it, and the ship began to cut ahead through the water again, a big
cheer of relief went up.

All was not over, however, as they were now within the narrow passage,
and the Captain was very nervous.  He had never been through it before
without a pilot, and although he had the wheel himself he was not sure
that he knew the course.

King Cyril now stepped forward and offered to take the wheel, as he had
often steered his own yacht through the channel, and knew it perfectly,
so in case some other trap had been laid for them Daimur gave him his
magic cap and glasses to wear until they should be safely in the harbor.

In and out among the black reefs they wound, and shortly after two
o'clock in the afternoon cast anchor in the harbor, and were soon
ashore.

As the usurping Prince and his witch of a wife had felt very safe
behind their ring of magic tar they had set no guards about, and
consequently Daimur and his friends, with his marines as guards, were
marching up the city street towards the palace before you could say
"Jack Robinson," with nobody to stop them.

There were a good many people out in the streets, as it was market day,
and in a few moments a crowd had gathered to see the procession.  Of
course they at once recognized their rightful King and Queen, and with
shouts of "Long live our noble King Cyril, he has been restored to us,"
"Long live Queen Emily," "Long live Princess Maya," they joined in the
procession which was winding along to the palace.

For you must know that the wicked Princess could not possibly throw
rose-colored powder into the eyes of all King Cyril's subjects, and did
not care at all about them as long as she could reach everyone in
authority; so that all the common people of his kingdom still loved
their rightful king as much as ever, and hated his brother Arnolde and
his wife, who they knew quite well cared nothing for them excepting
when they wanted more taxes.

The visitors looked about them curiously as they advanced.  None of
them had ever visited the Island of Shells before and they greatly
admired the beautiful houses which were built entirely of pink, white
or blue shells, with pale pink or amber-colored shells for windows, and
the shell fences to match which enclosed the grounds.

The streets were paved with huge clam shells, and the sidewalks were of
periwinkle shells cemented together.

It was a beautiful city, they all agreed.

Soon as they turned a corner the high shell turrets of the Palace and
Parliament buildings came in sight, glittering pink and silver in the
sunshine.

Now Arnolde was just then holding Parliament, and hearing the shouting
he rose to his feet and looked out of the window.  When he saw the
procession headed by his brother Cyril he started violently and his
eyes almost popped out of his head.

Turning to the nobles assembled about he cried, "To arms.  An enemy
advances upon us."

In a moment every man's sword was drawn, and following Arnolde they all
dashed out of the building into the street to oppose the progress of
King Cyril.

On they rushed towards Daimur's army, but were soon stopped and
overpowered by the marines, who were in command of Prince Redmond.

Daimur, who in this perilous land was again wearing his cap and
spectacles, approached the prisoners and examined the eyes of several
of them.

Through his glasses he could see that the rose-colored powder had
spread out and made a thin covering over each eye, and his magic cap
told him that nothing could remove it but the tears of the victims
themselves.

He told this to King Cyril.

"Can't you think of anything that would induce them to weep?" asked
Daimur.

"Indeed I cannot," answered King Cyril, as he looked at their scowling,
unfriendly faces.

Just then Prince Tasmir came forward.

"Why not make each man peel a peck of good strong onions?" he said with
a smile.

At this they all laughed, but the idea seemed a good one, and quickly
explaining what they wanted to his crowds of subjects King Cyril soon
had people running from all directions with onions in pails, pans, bags
and baskets, until the street looked like an onion market.

The prisoners in the meanwhile eyed the proceedings impatiently,
talking among themselves, and were utterly disgusted and horrified when
a knife and a great heap of onions were placed on the ground beside
each of them.

Prince Redmond, at a sign from Daimur, stepped forward and ordered them
to peel the onions.  This of course they flatly refused to do, and it
was only after threatening them with instant death that they sat down
on the ground and unwillingly commenced.

Such a sniffing then began!  Such tears poured forth!  Not one of them
was allowed to stop until he had finished his share, and by that time
the tears were running in streams down their faces.

It was a very odd sight, and the people crowded around laughing quietly
to themselves, and wondering what it was for.

"Rise," commanded Prince Redmond, "and wipe your eyes."

They all obeyed.

"Now," said Daimur stepping forward.  "Three cheers for your rightful
ruler, King Cyril, who has, with the Queen and your Princess, been
restored to you."

For a moment there was a dead silence while Prince Arnolde and his
followers gazed at King Cyril with eyes that were clear for the first
time in four years.  Then, raising their swords, they cheered lustily,
while Prince Arnolde rushed forward and fell on his brother's neck,
begging forgiveness, and declaring that he must have been crazy to act
so wickedly.

Together the whole procession wended its way to the palace gates, which
King Cyril once more entered as the rightful ruler of his kingdom.

The false Queen was sitting on the lawn under the trees doing crochet
work in a new shell pattern that she had just invented and talking with
some of the Court ladies, and she did not notice the procession
approaching until the tramp of many feet made her turn her head.

She arose and came forward in some alarm, but at the sight of King
Cyril, Queen Emily and Princess Maya, with her husband walking beside
them talking in the most unfriendly manner, she flew into a terrible
rage.

She danced up and down and round and round, faster and faster, growing
smaller every second, until at last she was nothing but her real self,
an ugly shriveled witch running round and round on a broomstick.  With
a loud shrill scream she mounted into the air and was away out of sight
in an instant, leaving everybody staring open mouthed at the sky.

"She has gone to the Island of Despair to join the old witch and her
daughter," said Daimur who had a creepy feeling down his back.

The people all shuddered and looked at one another in awe, and poor
Prince Arnolde was trembling in every limb.

They were all very glad when King Cyril ordered refreshments served at
once in the great dining hall.

Daimur remained for a week in the Island of Shells to see that all went
well.  He was afraid of the witches returning, as of course now they
had so many of the Evil Magician's secrets that they might cause a
great deal of trouble.

Prince Tasmir was very glad to be a few days more in the company of
Princess Maya, with whom he had fallen desperately in love, and took
this opportunity of asking King Cyril's consent to their marriage as
soon as he had regained his kingdom, which King Cyril readily gave.

The witches did not return, and as the King, assisted by his now
devoted brother, was rapidly getting everything into good order, Daimur
announced his intention of leaving, and he, the Duchess of Rose Petals,
and the two Princes departed from the Island of Shells after a great
ceremony, at which Daimur was presented with a gold sword in token of
the gratitude of King Cyril's subjects for the restoration of their
King.



CHAPTER XX

Daimur directed the Captain to steer to the Island of Laurels, which
lay nearest to them, and after two uneventful days of good weather the
island came into view.  Late in the afternoon, when they were within a
couple of miles of the harbor they passed a very large warship, very
new and shining, which was flying the flag of Laurels.

"That must be a new ship that Sadna has built," said Prince Redmond.
"He was always talking about a better navy."

The large vessel paid no attention to them, but as they did not know
whether it was coming back or not they drew off and did not enter the
harbor until after dark.  They cast anchor and decided not to leave the
ship until morning.

They breakfasted at sunrise and went up on deck to view the city while
the boats were being lowered.

It appeared to be a busy place.  On the long wharves a great number of
men were working loading and unloading vessels.  Three big warships,
all new, the prince declared, rode at anchor in the bay, but nobody
seemed to pay any attention to the sudden appearance of a strange
warship in their harbor.

To the princes this seemed very queer, and thinking there might be some
plan to attack them unexpectedly they took every man that could be
spared from the ship, only leaving behind enough to man the guns and to
guard the Duchess of Rose Petals, who preferred staying on board.

Forming in fours they marched up the street under great laurel trees,
of such a size as Daimur had never seen anywhere before.  Although the
sun was already very hot every street was cool and shady.  On they
went, but nobody even turned around to look at them.  No crowd
collected, no faces appeared in the windows or doors, and what people
they met looked stupid and sleepy.

"Why, this is most uncanny," exclaimed Daimur, who was marching beside
Prince Tasmir at the head of the marines.  "What's the matter with
everybody?"

"I cannot imagine," answered Prince Redmond.  "It is a shocking
surprise to me; why they act as if they were all half asleep and do not
seem to recognize us at all."

They passed through a beautiful park, and on the other side the palace,
surrounded by laurel hedges and backed by a very high wooded hill,
appeared to their view.

Two guards were stationed at the palace gates.  They drew their swords
in a dazed kind of way and refused to let anyone pass.

"I am your Crown Prince," said Tasmir, "and here is my brother Redmond.
You must let us pass instantly."

The guards looked at them stupidly and shook their heads.

"We have no princes," said one, "our King is not married."

"Where is he?" asked Redmond.

"Don't know," answered the guard sleepily, as his head nodded forward a
couple of times.  "Went away on the new ship."

"But when will he return?" asked Tasmir, shaking the man to wake him
up, for he was certainly going to sleep.

"Don' know, don' know," returned the guard, shaking his head slowly.
He kept on shaking it, and although they asked him several other
questions he did not seem to hear them at all.

The other guard was even worse, for all he could say was, "Who goes
there?" whenever they addressed him.

"Don't bother with them," said Prince Redmond impatiently, "let us go
into the palace and see if father is still alive."

Daimur ordered the marines to advance, and as the two guards did
nothing but blink at them, and no other defenders appeared it only took
them a few seconds to reach the palace door.

Prince Tasmir bounded up the steps, turned the big handle and dashed
into the hall with Prince Redmond and Daimur close at his heels.  They
met with no opposition from the servants, who appeared to be as sleepy
as the guards, and immediately began a search for the poor old King.
Upstairs and down they went and even into the dungeons, but could find
no trace of him.

Prince Redmond at length stopped and began to weep, for they all felt
that he was dead, and had perhaps been murdered.

Daimur tried to comfort the princes by telling them that they must
search the kingdom through before thinking the worst and suggested that
they go out into the city again and see if his cap would not tell him
something about it.

They left the palace and walked over the lawn and past the Royal
gardens, and finally crossed a rustic bridge over a pretty stream which
wound in and out through the grounds.

"Where does that river flow?" asked Daimur, stopping suddenly.  He had
on his cap.

"Oh, that," said Tasmir, "is the Laurel River.  It flows right through
the kingdom, down to the sea on the other side of the island."

"Does anybody drink its waters?" asked Daimur, taking out his
spectacles and putting them on.

"Why of course," said Prince Redmond proudly.  "It is the source of
water supply for nearly the whole of the kingdom.  There isn't purer
water anywhere in the world."

"Purer," said Daimur, who was stooping to examine the waters through
his spectacles, "why, it's poisoned!"

"Poisoned!" exclaimed both the princes, looking at each other
incredulously.  "Impossible!"

"I tell you it is," said Daimur, "the poison is an oily substance which
covers the surface of the water.  It may not be deadly; I cannot tell."

"Then that's what ails our subjects," cried Tasmir.  "They must be
drinking this poison every day."

"Where is the source of this river?" asked Daimur.

Prince Redmond turned and pointed to the highest hill behind them.  "In
Mirror Lake, on that hilltop," he said.

"Let us go there at once then," said Daimur, and leaving his marines on
guard duty around the palace he followed the two princes, who had taken
a path that led along the stream.  This grew rough and stony as they
came to higher ground, and they soon were clinging to rocks and bushes
as they climbed up the steep hillside.

At length after a great deal of scrambling and some tearing of their
clothes on the thorns and brambles, they managed to reach the top, and
followed a narrow winding path which led to the lake.  After half an
hour of quick walking they came upon it very suddenly.  It was quite
small, and completely surrounded by trees.  The water was as blue as
the sky and reflected every little cloudlet perfectly.  Daimur,
however, at once noticed vast quantities of laurel leaves floating
about, coming apparently from a little cove at the far end of the lake.

"It is those leaves that are poisoning the water," he cried excitedly,
"I can see the poisonous oil oozing from them."

"But, Daimur," said Redmond, "how can that be, they are only ordinary
laurel leaves?"

But Daimur was already making his way along the shore towards the cove
from which the leaves seemed to come, and the princes followed him.

At the end of the cove and hidden among the other trees they came upon
a tall willowy laurel tree which, overhanging the water, continually
dropped leaves and shook and moaned as if in a great wind, although all
the other trees were still.

The princes looked at it in awe, which deepened when Daimur, after
surveying it intently for some moments, announced that it must be cut
down as it contained some enchanted creature, which, he said, as his
cap and spectacles could tell him no more, he hoped might not prove to
be another witch or an evil Magician.

They had no axe, but Prince Redmond volunteered to go back to a
woodman's hut which they had passed on their way, and borrow one.  He
soon returned with a large sharp axe, and set to work to cut down the
tree.  He struck with all his might, but the axe made no impression on
it, beyond a mere scratch on the bark.

Prince Tasmir then tried, but with no better success.

At last Daimur, who through his spectacles, had been examining the
trunk of the tree close to the ground, asked for the axe, and after
scraping the earth away he began to chop at the roots.

He managed with hard work to cut some of them through, and then gave
the axe to Redmond.  Thus they all three persevered until the last root
was severed, and the tree fell to the earth with a loud moaning sound.

Immediately a grey mist rose before their eyes, and when it had cleared
away a beautiful fairy clothed in white stood before them in place of
the tree.

"Do not be alarmed," she said, smiling at their startled faces.  "You
have nothing to fear.  I am the fairy Peaceful and was enchanted by the
Evil Magician because I had rescued your father from his hands, and was
working against him in other ways in this kingdom.

"The leaves you saw upon the waters were my sorrows, and as my
unhappiness increased I was compelled to drop more and more leaves.
These poisoned the water and kept Prince Sadna's people in a kind of
stupor.

"But," she continued, stepping towards the lake, "I can now restore the
water to its natural purity."

She waved her wand over it as she spoke, and Daimur could see that the
oily substance seemed to evaporate immediately.

"Oh, tell us, good fairy, is our father still alive?" cried Prince
Redmond.

"He is," answered the fairy, "though very feeble.  He will not live
much longer.  Thank goodness I had him safely hidden away before the
Evil Magician pounced upon me on this lonely hilltop.  If you will
follow me you may see him."

She led the way to what appeared to be a wall of solid rock a short
distance from the lake shore.  Reaching up she tapped the wall with her
wand, and instantly a passage appeared.  They followed her through it,
and on the other side found themselves in a long green valley,
completely surrounded on all sides by overhanging cliffs and tree tops.
In the center of the valley stood a long low white thatched cottage,
almost covered with honeysuckle and climbing roses, while about it were
gardens, and plenty of trees where birds sang sweetly.

"This is my own secret bower," the fairy explained with a smile.  "It
is hidden from mortal eyes, and on account of my Wonderful Plant the
Evil Magician could not disturb it."

They walked along a pretty path, and turning around a hedge came upon
the aged King, seated in an easy chair under a peach tree.  Directly in
front of him stood a Wonderful Plant, fully as large as that which
Tasmir had seen on the oasis, and quite full of golden flowers.

The King was in the act of sipping a glass of milk and eating some
fruit which a maid had just brought him, and looked very bright and
comfortable.

He turned his head at the sound of voices, and at the sight of his sons
arose with a cry of joy, and came slowly forward leaning on his cane.
Tasmir and Redmond wept with happiness as they kissed him, and turning
to the fairy asked what they might do to show their gratitude.

"Only allow me to live in your palace," she said, "coming and going as
I please, and I can help you to keep evil from your kingdom."

This they gladly agreed to.

Then, as the day was growing late, and they had had nothing to eat
since morning, Daimur said that they had better go back at once.

"How shall we carry the King down the hillside," asked Prince Tasmir of
Daimur.  But the words were no sooner spoken than the fairy reached out
and touched each of them with her wand.  In the twinkling of an eye
they were all in the King's private sitting-room in the palace, with
the King in his own armchair.  The fairy smiled at them at they thanked
her.

"I shall now remove the spell from your people," she said, and vanished.

Tasmir and Redmond immediately sent out messengers all over the
kingdom, and it was not long before people began to pour in at the
palace gates, not stupid now, but rejoicing at the restoration of their
good old King and their favorite princess.

None of the nobles seemed to know anything about Prince Sadna,
excepting that he had sailed away a few days before in his latest and
largest warship.

The following day began with a great public reception, and after a
formal luncheon to the nobles and members of Government, there were
several cabinet meetings, at which Daimur was asked as a matter of
courtesy to attend.  In the evening the princes were to address the
populace from the palace balcony.

Early in the evening the streets were adorned with colored lights and
huge torches, and people already crowded around the palace doors,
hoping to get a glimpse of the King.  Everywhere there was the wildest
excitement.

Daimur walked out into the gardens, through the lawns, and over the
little bridge which spanned the Laurel River, now clear as crystal and
quite pure again.  He stopped to watch it rippling in the moonlight.

Suddenly the fairy Peaceful stood beside him.

"King Daimur," said she, "I know you are good and kind.  I have known
you ever since you were born, although you did not know me.  The fairy
who gave you your magic cap and spectacles was my uncle.  I am deeply
indebted to you for killing the Evil Magician and also for breaking the
enchantment which made me a force for evil in the world instead of good.

"You are going to be exposed to grave danger while the Old Witch of
Despair is alive, as she knows you have the two great treasures which
the Evil Magician sought.  In order to help you to escape all harm I am
going to give you this little bugle."

She drew from her pocket as she spoke a tiny silver bugle which was
attached to a long chain, fine and strong.

"Wear this around your neck constantly," she said, "and if ever you are
in need of assistance blow three times upon it and three servants of
mine will come immediately to you.  Command them and they will obey."

Daimur thanked her warmly and clasped the chain about his neck, and the
good fairy disappeared.

Daimur went back to the palace and joined in the festivities, but as a
great storm was coming up he sent a carriage to fetch the Duchess of
Rose Petals, who was still on the warship, as he feared she would be
afraid if she stayed on board.

She was very glad indeed to be brought to the palace, and she and the
old King enjoyed each other's company very much, and found it very
consoling to relate their troubles together.

Very late that night, after all the people had gone home, the storm
broke and lasted for hours.  It was most terrific, and the fury of the
wind broke many trees on the hill behind the palace, and did
considerable damage throughout the city.



CHAPTER XXI

It was not until late the next day that the sea began to be calm again,
though the sun had been shining since morning.

Daimur lost no time in getting ready for his departure to the Island of
Roses, and after bidding good-bye to the Old King and Prince Tasmir,
who made him promise to come to his wedding with the Princess Maya,
which was to take place shortly, he embarked again with his marines,
accompanied by the Duchess of Rose Petals and the faithful Prince
Redmond, who declared that he would not leave Daimur until he had
finished his task.

They soon found that the storm of the night before had been much worse
on sea than on land, as the sea was covered with parts of wrecked
ships, pieces of wood, boxes, articles of furniture and great timbers.

Towards noon they sighted a large vessel half sunk on a dangerous reef,
but they could not get near enough to it to read the name.  Apparently
there was no one left aboard.  A mile further on they passed a half
broken life-boat nearly full of water, on the bow of which was painted
H. M. S. "Sadna."  There was nothing in it.

Then Prince Redmond felt certain that it was his brother's ship which
they had passed caught on the reef, and that he had perished in the
storm with all hands.

They proceeded on their course, and in a few hours more reached the
chief city of the Kingdom of Roses.

Nobody made any attempt to stop their landing, so they all marched up
the street, this time the Duchess leading the procession with Daimur.
She was overjoyed to be at home again, and people began at once to
recognize her and came running after them with shouts of welcome until
a crowd had collected.  It was noticeable that they were all very poor
and fagged looking.

The strangers exclaimed with wonder at the beauty of the roses which
bloomed everywhere.  They climbed over the houses, over fences and up
great stone buildings to the very roofs.  Rose trees stood in all the
parks.  Rose bushes made all the hedges.  Roses of all colors met the
eye at every turn, and the air was quite heavy with their perfume.  It
was truly a magnificent sight.

No doubt they would have been still more impressed had they known that
in prosperous times people had fresh rose petals to sleep on every
night instead of feather beds or Ostermoor mattresses; that the pigs
were fed on roses until their skins grew to be so fine and transparent
that they were as clear as wax and the pigs themselves were red, white
or yellow or pink, according to the color of the roses they ate; that
housewives made rose petals into pies, cakes and candy, and even bread,
and stewed them with sugar and lemons for jam.  Of course this was only
done with the surplus, as the real business of the kingdom was making
perfume from them.

On went our friends, the Duchess leading the way, until at last they
came in sight of the palace.  As they entered the grounds they were
surprised to see that all the blinds were down and nobody seemed to be
guarding the gates, or the door of the palace.  In fact, the gates hung
ajar, and one of them was off its hinges.  The grass on the lawn was
tall and rank.  The gardens, or as little of them as they could see,
were full of tall weeds, and everything was going to decay.

The poor Duchess stood and wept at the sight, but Daimur cried, "Cheer
up, cheer up, my dear Duchess, everything may be quite all right yet,"
and ordering the marines to keep everyone out he and Redmond led the
weeping Duchess up to the great entrance and loudly rang the door bell.

They could hear it echoing far inside, but no one came.  They looked
through the windows, but inside all was empty and dusty.

The Duchess was by this time in a perfect sea of tears and Daimur had
given up trying to comfort her.

"Well, we'll try the back," he said, and taking the Duchess again by
the arm he led the way around the wide drive towards the rear of the
palace.  As it was an immense building and very rambling it took them
some time to reach a high gate in a wall, which, the Duchess moaned
out, led to the kitchen.

Inside was a courtyard all paved with red bricks, very neat-looking, no
doubt, when kept in proper order, but now the weeds were growing up
through the crevices in the bricks and the placed looked very neglected.

They walked across the courtyard to the kitchen door, and after
knocking several times and getting no response Daimur tried it, and to
his surprise found that it was not locked.

He pushed it open and they entered the great kitchen.  There was not a
soul in sight.

They walked on through the rooms and found them almost bare.  Carpets
had been taken up, furniture removed, all of the best silver was
missing, and the Royal Rose china was completely gone,--so the Duchess
said.

What could it mean?  And where was Queen Amy, her court and her
servants?

It was the same throughout the whole palace.  Everything that had any
value had been removed, even the embroidered satin bedspreads.

They descended to the cellar and went towards the little room where the
Duchess declared had stood the steel treasure chest.  The door of the
little room stood open and to tell the truth they expected to find the
place empty, but what was their surprise to see the chest standing
there perfectly solid looking.

"Of course it is empty," said the Duchess with a sniff, as she stooped
and fitted the little key into the lock.

Daimur and Redmond lifted the lid, and behold!  IT WAS FULL OF GOLD TO
THE VERY BRIM!

It was all packed carefully in glass boxes bound with steel and each
box was labeled with the owner's name.

The largest box bore Queen Amy's name, and the royal coat of arms.

They were so astonished that they did not say a word but stood staring
at the gold as if fascinated.

Suddenly they were startled by a slight noise behind them, and both
Daimur and Prince Redmond involuntarily drew their swords as they
turned quickly around.

What they beheld was a frightened looking little creature who gazed at
them from behind a large empty packing case in a corner.

"Come here," said Daimur rather sternly.  "Who are you and what are you
doing here?  Are there any other people about?"

The little thing advanced trembling, and then they saw that she was a
fair-haired young girl of about eighteen or twenty, but so thin and
pale that at first glance she appeared to be a child.  She was
dreadfully dirty too, and clad in various garments that seemed to have
belonged to someone else much larger.

"Don't frighten her, Daimur," said Prince Redmond as he stepped over
beside the poor little thing.

"Tell us who you are, and what you are doing here," he said, addressing
her kindly.  "We will do you no harm."

"I am Princess Helda of Oaklands," she said in a very timid voice.

"And where may that be?" asked Daimur, thinking she was probably out of
her head, as so far as he knew no such place existed.

"Alas," said the Princess.  "Oaklands is now the Island of Despair,"
and she wrung her hands with a hopeless gesture.

At this answer Daimur was so amazed that he could not say a word, and
it was Prince Redmond who asked the Princess to tell them her story,
and whether she knew anything of Queen Amy.  The Duchess had dried her
eyes and stood waiting in silence for every word.

The Princess began in her quiet voice.

"When I was only fourteen years old, my parents, who were King and
Queen of Oaklands and very much beloved by their subjects, one day
quite by accident, offended the Evil Magician, who had been traveling
through the kingdom disguised as a juggler, and entertaining crowds in
the streets with his skilful tricks.

"In revenge the Evil Magician enchanted the whole kingdom, tearing our
island up from the eastern sea and setting it down in this western one.
He turned my father and mother and their subjects into stones and built
a house and wall of them, and changed our beautiful cities into a dense
forest.

"Me he could not change, as I wear upon my arm a bracelet placed there
by a good fairy at my birth, which guards me from enchantment and harm.

"I lived then in the Magician's house, and his old witch of a
housekeeper and her ugly daughter made me do all manner of rough work,
and many a time would have beaten me had it not been for my magic
bracelet.  At any rate they half starved me.  I lived in the cellar
when I was not working in the kitchen."

"My dear," said the Duchess, "how can you expect us to believe such a
story?  You say you were fourteen when all this happened.  You cannot
be more than twenty now, and yet the Island of Despair has been where
it is for over seventy years."

"Yes," said the Princess, "that is true, but the Evil Magician does not
measure years as you do.  On his kitchen wall hangs the year clock.  It
has only one hand, and the figures on its face run from one to fifteen.
Each figure represents one of your years, but the hand of the clock has
to go completely around the dial and reach the figure fifteen before
the Magician counts a year.  In therefore what has been five years to
us in the Magician's house has been seventy-five years to you.  That is
the reason why the Magician and the witch seem so old to you, who know
that they have been living for hundreds of years.  They are really not
very old after all."

"But how did you get here?" asked Prince Redmond, who was becoming very
much interested in the small Princess.

"One day," answered the Princess, "I overhead the Evil Magician telling
the old witch to prepare a bed in the cellar for a Queen."

"Good mercy," cried the Duchess.  "My dear niece in that dreadful
place.  Oh, what shall I do?"  And she began to weep afresh, but Daimur
was so interested in the story that he hardly heard her.

"What happened next?" he asked breathlessly.

"The next day the Queen arrived, so beautiful and so sad.  I loved her
at once, and was happy to be with her when I might.  She told me that
she had a chest full of gold in her palace, but that her aunt had the
key to it, and that she had mysteriously disappeared.  She was afraid
she had been murdered.  A foreign king, a kind of pirate, had been
threatening to invade her kingdom for more than a year, and she had
been able to keep him off for a time, but at last she had no more
soldiers to oppose against him and he would have taken the kingdom had
not the Evil Magician, in the form of a young and handsome knight,
offered to lend her as much gold as was in the treasure chest until
such time as she could get another key, for she had found that the
chest was a magic one and could neither be broken into nor moved from
where it stood.

"The pirate king took the money and went away, but in a few months the
Evil Magician came back and demanded payment for his gold or that the
Queen would marry him at once.

"The Queen refused to marry him and could not pay him, so he took her
prisoner to the Island of Despair, as you call it, where he said he
would keep her until she consented to marry him and would sign over to
him all right to her throne.  There she still is if she is alive.

"As for me, the Evil Magician soon found that I was Queen Amy's friend,
and fearing that I might help her to escape he had me brought here,
where I have been ever since.

"As soon as Queen Amy was captured her cousin Bethel took the throne,
and it was to her that I was sent as a servant.  How she treated me you
can see for yourselves.  I have had to do the meanest work, live in
this cellar, wear what clothes she threw to me, and eat what I could
get from the cook, who on days when she was very cross would give me
nothing at all."

"Poor child, poor child," said Prince Redmond.

"And where is Princess Bethel now?" asked Daimur.

"And what has happened to the furniture, and all the plate and china,
my dear?" asked the Duchess in a teary voice.

"I am just coming to that part, if you please, madam," answered the
Princess.

"At night, when the servants were talking in the kitchen I used to sit
behind the cellar door and then I heard all that was said.  One night
they whispered to each other that the pirate king had come back and
that he threatened instant invasion if he did not get more money.
Princess Bethel had sent him all she had in the palace and he went away.

"That kept him off for a time, but before long he came again and then
kept on coming more and more frequently until there was scarcely an
article of value in the palace that had not been sent to him, or sold
to get money to keep him quiet.  Princess Bethel was very miserable
indeed, and taxed her subjects until they were all reduced to beggary
in order to get the money to give him.

"I could not help feeling rather sorry for her, it was such a dreadful
existence.  The servants had to be dismissed one after another until
there was no one to wait upon her but me, and my!  How she did scold!

"At last the pirate came just a few nights ago and marching up to the
palace gates demanded the chest of gold, which he had evidently just
heard about.

"Bethel would gladly have given it to him if she could have moved it,
and told him so, at which he and a great many rough sailors tramped
into the palace and down these stairs and tried their best to pry it up
with crowbars, but with no success of course.  When he found he really
could not take it, he was so angry that he kidnapped Princess Bethel,
saying he would keep her in a dungeon until she found the key for him.

"I was in the darkest corner when the pirates came and kept hidden
until they went away.  Since then I have not dared to go any further
than to the kitchen for some bread and water."

"Dear me, that is very poor fare," said Prince Redmond, "it is no
wonder you are so thin.  We will have to try and make up for all this
bad treatment," and to anyone with two eyes it was quite evident that
he had fallen in love with her.

The Duchess too was very sympathetic, though greatly worried about her
niece, Queen Amy, and Daimur told the new Princess that the Evil
Magician was now dead and that they would try and deliver her parents
and Queen Amy from enchantment.

At this moment the roar of many voices from outside caused them all to
hurry upstairs as fast as they could and they ran out of the palace to
see what was going on.  They were just in time to see a great crowd
pouring down the street towards the water, all shouting and
gesticulating.

"What is the meaning of this commotion?" asked Daimur of those of his
men who were guarding the palace gates.

"They say," answered one, "that the pirates who have been raiding this
shore for so long are drowned and some of them have been washed ashore."

Hastily sending the Duchess and Princess Helda back to the palace,
Daimur followed Prince Redmond, who was already making his way through
the crowd towards the shore.

They reached the beach, and there stretched lifeless on the sand beside
his overturned life-boat lay Prince Sadna, and beside him a young
officer, whom Redmond recognized as a distant cousin.

It may well be imagined how very sad Prince Redmond felt over his
brother's disgraceful life, and now at the sight of him lying there
dead, a dreaded pirate to the people crowding around, instead of a
friendly king as he should have been, the Prince burst into tears.

Daimur stood beside him feeling very sorry for his friend, and
remembering that after all Sadna had been a royal prince, he decided to
have him buried at sea with all honors befitting his rank, and
motioning to a few of his men who had come to the shore with him, he
had Prince Sadna's body removed to his ship.

Redmond was very grateful indeed to Daimur for his kindness, and after
the funeral was over they came back to the city and called together the
elders.  They explained why they had come and took them to see the
Duchess of Rose Petals at the palace, who by this time had had some tea
and was feeling much refreshed.

The elders were all delighted to see her, but when she told them that
she still had the key of the magic chest and that they could now have
their savings as they needed them, they wept for joy, and falling on
their knees vowed undying allegiance to her, and begged her to be their
queen, as they were sure Queen Amy was dead.

The Duchess refused this honor, as she told them her niece was still
alive, and Daimur then came forward and related what Princess Helda had
told them of Queen Amy's capture and that he was going to rescue her
and bring her back, and in the meantime that the Duchess would act as
Queen Regent.



CHAPTER XXII

Only waiting to see the Duchess settled in the palace with a few
servants and enough furniture to make her comfortable, Daimur prepared
for his voyage to the Island of Despair.  Prince Redmond insisted upon
accompanying him, and little Princess Helda begged to be allowed to go
too, as she was sure she could help them, and she wished so much to see
her parents even if they were stones.

The Duchess at last consented to her going, and sent an old friend,
Lady Clara Rosered, to look after her.  By this time the Princess
looked like a real Princess, for the Duchess had bought her the most
beautiful new clothes, and since she was getting enough to eat for the
first time in years she was beginning to look very pretty.

Prince Redmond was head over heels in love with her and would have
asked her to marry him at once if he had had a kingdom to offer her, or
any prospects at all.

Early one bright morning they set sail, and after sailing all day came
within a few miles of the Island of Despair, when Daimur donned his cap
and spectacles in order to steer the ship into the harbor in safety.
They lay in the lee of a high cliff until dark, and then when the wind
was strong enough ran the ship up into the small sheltered cove beside
the Magician's house, and made it fast to the wharf with as little
noise as possible.

There was nobody in sight as they cautiously crept up the path, and
Redmond remarked that the witch must be away on some errand of mischief.

After waiting for an hour and seeing no one, the three adventurers went
up the steps to the door of the house.  They tried the handle, but it
was locked.

Only then did Daimur remember that he had left his magic key in the box
of magic tablets on the window sill the night they made their escape.
So much had happened he had not once thought of it since, and it gave
him a great shock to realize how careless he had been, for now he
needed it again.

The Princess Helda, who of course knew nothing of the magic key, was
already fumbling at the lock with a hairpin, and after poking at it for
several minutes it flew back with a snap.

"It's a good thing I knew that lock's defects," she whispered, "or we
should never have got in this way," and she turned the handle and
walked into the kitchen.

With their hands on their swords Redmond and Daimur followed her.

It was quite dark in the kitchen, the only light coming from a solitary
candle on a high shelf, which threw long shadows everywhere.  The fire
in the fireplace was out and there was no sign of life.

Motioning to the others to follow Princess Helda led the way across the
kitchen to a door, which she opened and began to descend a flight of
stone stairs.

The stairs led down to a wide stone flagged hall with rooms opening
from it, and narrow passages running in all directions into the
distance.

Here and there high up near the roof a smoky lantern burned dimly.

Across the wide hall went Helda and down one of the long narrow
passages until she reached a door at the very end.

She knocked softly upon it three times.  There was no answer.  She
knocked again, and then opened the door.  There was no lock on it on
the inside, only a big bolt on the outside.  She glanced in.  The room
was completely bare.

"She is not here," she whispered to Daimur and Redmond, who followed
her into the room.  Lighting some matches they looked into all the
rooms adjoining, but found them deserted too.

They went back up the narrow passage.

"What shall we do?" asked Prince Redmond.  "Where shall we look now?"

"We must look in all of the rooms," said Helda.  "They have moved her,
but she is here somewhere.  If we separate we shall perhaps get along
better.  There is no danger of getting lost as all the passages open
into the wide hall."

So they separated, Prince Redmond following Princess Helda and Daimur
going alone in the opposite direction, as he thought perhaps his magic
cap and spectacles might help him in his quest.

Up and down the narrow passages they went, opening all the doors and
looking into all the rooms, until they grew a long way apart, for these
underground passages extended away into the hill and covered a much
longer area than the house above.

At last Daimur opened a little door in a dark corner.  It was so low
that he had to stoop to get in, but once inside the ceiling was high
enough.

"Oh," he said to himself, "she is not in here, I am sure."

But to his surprise his cap, which up to that time had not been able to
tell him anything, suddenly told him that she was in there.

He stepped forward into the room cautiously and tried to look about,
but it was so dark that he could only dimly see some articles of
furniture that were very close to him.

On the further side, however, on the floor he saw a streak of light,
and making his way over to it found that it came under a door.  This
door was not locked either, and he opened it far enough to see that the
light was shining down a long hallway from a door at the other end of
it.  Seeing and hearing nothing, he crept down the hall until he came
to the other door, which was even lower than the first.  The door was
open, but was hung with heavy curtains.  He peered in, but could not
see anyone.  The room was very comfortable looking, with easy chairs,
books and a piano, and on a small table lay some needlework in a basket.

While he stood considering whether he dare venture into the lighted
room he heard the sound of voices, and then advancing through the room
he beheld the Old Witch herself, accompanied by the witch who had been
Queen of Shells.

Instantly he turned and fled down the long hall and back into the
little dark room, where he felt his way into the furtherest corner and
lay still hardly daring to breathe.

In a minute or two he heard them coming down the hall.  They were
talking in a language he could not understand.

"What if they should have a light," thought Daimur.  "All would be
lost, for in this place they could easily make me a prisoner."

They entered the room.  As they did so the Old Witch hesitated, and
Daimur noticed her voice change, but all she did was to close the door
leading into the hall.  Then still talking the two made their way in
the dark across the room and out of the other door.

When their footsteps had ceased to echo down the corridor, for they
walked noisily, Daimur came out of his corner and tried the door
leading into the long passage.  It was locked.  Then he tried the door
which led to the main hall, but that too was locked.

He was trapped.

Just at that moment a faint spicy smell came to his nostrils.  He stood
still, wondering what it could be.  It grew stronger and stronger and
sweeter and sweeter, until he could feel himself growing sleepy.  Alas,
he knew now that the witches had seen him.

In vain he looked around for some means of escape.  There was none.
His cap could tell him nothing.  He beat upon the doors, but his
strength soon failed him, and he fell down in a stupor.

How long he lay there he did not know, but when he awoke at length a
faint light was shining into the room from a small iron grating close
up to the ceiling, and the spicy smell was gone.

The first thing he did was to feel for his cap and spectacles which he
had had on when he fell asleep.

THEY WERE GONE.

Poor Daimur.  For the first time since the beginning of his adventure
he felt completely helpless, and with a very dejected countenance
indeed he sat down to await the next happening.

He had not been sitting there for more than half an hour when a light
step sounded in the inner hall and stopped at the door.

A key was turned in the lock and a voice said: "Oh, bother this lock."
The key rattled again, the door opened rather suddenly, and there
entered--not a witch as Daimur expected--but the loveliest lady he had
ever seen.

She had big blue eyes, a lovely complexion, though it was a trifle pale
as if from being indoors a long time, and golden hair that hung over
her shoulders in long ringlets.  Her gown was of a deep blue silk that
almost matched her eyes.  At sight of Daimur she stood still in
astonishment, then came quickly towards him.

"Oh, poor young man," she cried.  "Surely you are not a prisoner too."

"I am afraid I am," answered Daimur sadly, as he gazed at the beautiful
lady, "but tell me, do you know whether Queen Amy is here?  I must find
her."

"I am that unhappy Queen," answered the lady.  "Can it be that my
faithful subjects have sent you to seek me, sir?"

"Rather I have come because I wished to undo in a small measure the
mischief that the Evil Magician did," and Daimur hurriedly told her
something of his adventure, and finished by wishing he had his cap and
spectacles back, as he was afraid without them they would have great
difficulty in escaping.

Daimur at first had hopes that Princess Helda and Redmond might find
them and perhaps be able to open the door, as it was only bolted on the
outside, but then he remembered that the day was now well advanced and
that they must either have been trapped themselves long before this or
had crept back to the ship while it was still dark.

"Is there no other way of escape but by this door?" he asked Queen Amy,
after some reflection.

"No," said she.  "No other way excepting through the door in my
sitting-room which leads into the witches' sitting-room, and that opens
into the main hall.  There is generally one witch stationed in their
sitting-room to keep watch over me.  They still hope to get my chest of
gold, you see, and that is why I am kept a prisoner here."

Daimur drew his sword and announced his intention of trying to get out
to the main hall if Queen Amy was willing to go with him, to which she
replied that she would indeed take any risk to get out of that dungeon
and back to her dear people.

She turned at once and led the way bade through her apartment to the
door which was to decide their fortunes.  It was a swinging door, and
Daimur pushed it open and looked in.  What he saw was a great bare room
with cupboards all around it, and a few plain old kitchen rockers here
and there.  A number of the cupboard doors were open and there could be
seen on the shelves dozens of bottles, boxes, tins and pots, while over
the fire in a large black pot some vile-smelling mixture was cooking.

Beside the fire on a mat, lay the old witch's black cat, apparently
asleep.  There was no one in the room.

"Now is your chance," whispered Daimur, and sword in hand he went
softly across the floor, closely followed by Queen Amy.

As they passed the cat he opened one of his green eyes and looked at
them, but they did not notice him.  As soon as they were out of the
room and into the hall he sat up on the mat and began to yowl in a most
blood-curdling manner.

"We are lost," said the Queen, wringing her hands.  "Listen to that
cat.  We must have awakened him.  He is calling the Old Witch I am
sure."

"Run," said Daimur, and seizing Queen Amy by the hand he almost dragged
her along the wide hall towards the staircase.  But they were too late.

Down the stairs came the Old Witch, followed by her daughter and the
other witch from Shells.

At the sight of Daimur with his sword drawn and the terrified Queen Amy
shrinking at his side the Old Witch gave a howl of rage and said
something quickly to the others.

Instantly three great tigers were bounding towards them, their teeth
showing in a dreadful manner, and their deep growls filling the whole
hall.

Thrusting Queen Amy behind him Daimur clutched his sword in despair and
set his teeth with a determination to kill them all if possible--when
suddenly he thought of the tiny silver bugle which he had had around
his neck all the time.

Raising it quickly to his lips he blew three times upon it.  The faint
sound it made was not heard amid the terrible roaring of the tigers,
but before he had finished the last blast there stood in front of him
three giants, so tall that their heads almost touched the high ceiling,
and that was more than ten feet.  They were dressed like Roman soldiers
and each carried a huge flat sword.

"The tigers.  Kill the tigers!" cried Daimur.

It all happened so suddenly that the tigers did not have time to stop
their rush, and in a second the giants were upon them and you may be
sure soon cut their heads off.  Then before Daimur could even say
"Thank you," they had disappeared again.

The three witches lay dead at their feet and they were free.

Daimur turned towards Queen Amy and found her leaning against the wall
in a half-fainting condition, and while he was trying to induce her to
make an effort to pass the dead tigers and get away upstairs there
suddenly rang out a loud cry of "Fire!  Fire!"

[Illustration: He was trying to induce her to make an effort to pass
the dead tigers.]

Daimur recognized Prince Redmond's voice.  Doors banged overhead and
footsteps scurried across the floor.  Daimur waited for no more.
Picking up the Queen in his arms he almost flew towards the staircase
and up the stairs.  As he reached the top a puff of smoke came from an
inner room and half blinded him.  He rushed across the kitchen and at
the door almost ran into Prince Redmond and Princess Helda, who were
coming in again shouting his name at the top of their voices.

"Here I am," said Daimur breathlessly.  "Help me to carry the Queen
out."

"To the ship instantly," shouted Prince Redmond, as he seized Queen Amy
from Daimur's arms and ran towards the shore.  Daimur snatched Helda's
hand and they hurried after him.

Shouting orders to the sailors Prince Redmond boarded the ship.  Up
went the sails, and as there was a good breeze the boat began to move
out.  It was not a moment too soon.

They were not more than a hundred feet away when a long flame burst
through the roof of the Evil Magician's castle and in a moment the
whole building was burning.

"What happened?" cried Daimur.

"We accidentally set the place on fire," said Prince Redmond.

"Last night," he continued, "after wandering about those long passages
without finding the Queen, and seeing no sign of you, we crawled
through a small window in the coal cellar and Came back to the ship.
Then as you did not come we grew very much alarmed, and at daybreak
went back the way we had come, intending to search for you.

"Anxious not to miss finding you we even mounted a stair which led up
to a long half-dark room, quite off by itself.  It was full of
mysterious-looking bottles and pots, many of them marked 'poison,' but
the queerest thing of all was a tiny well in one corner, on the cover
of which was printed in large black letters 'Enchanting Oil.'

"We lifted the cover and peered in.  It was so dark in there that we
could see nothing, so I lit a match and by the light of it we looked
down a terrible depth and could see the oil shining dimly at the bottom.

"Just then Princess Helda accidentally touched the handle of the little
brass bucket which was drawn up to the top, knocking the match out of
my fingers.  It fell into the bucket, which contained a few drops of
the oil.  Immediately a flame leaped into our very faces and shot up
nearly to the ceiling.  We turned and ran down the stairs again, and up
another flight near it which Helda knew would take us to one of the
living-rooms.  There we ran about like mad shouting 'Fire,' and
thinking that you and the Queen would surely perish.  We knew that some
of the fire must soon drop into the oil well, and when that happens I
am sure it will explode."

He had hardly said the words when a terrific roar shook the earth.  The
flaming house suddenly scattered into a million burning pieces which
dropped into the sea, and some of which fell on the ship and had to be
thrown overboard.

A column of black smoke rose into the air and hid the island entirely
from view.

They lay to all morning, waiting for the smoke to clear away, but it
was not until mid afternoon that it began to disappear.

They sailed slowly nearer to the island, wondering what damage had been
done besides the burning of the house.  As they came closer they seemed
to see houses by the waterside through the haze of smoke, which was
steadily growing thinner, and then what appeared to be streets.

Their wonder grew when they carefully steered back to the cove and
found that they were in a harbor that was lined with stone docks.  Some
ships lay at anchor, packages of goods were piled up on the wharves,
workmen went back and forth loading and unloading the vessels, piling
goods into long warehouses, and the scene was a busy one.

The first thought that sprang to Daimur's mind was that they had made a
mistake and in some manner got to one of the other islands again.

It was Princess Helda who first spoke as she stepped out on the quay.

"The enchantment is broken," she cried, holding out her hands.
"Welcome to Oaklands."

Nobody would have recognized in the beautiful kingdom of Oaklands the
Island of Despair of rank undergrowth and poisoned fruit trees.

The afternoon sun shone down upon wide streets, clean and well kept,
faced by rows of fine houses and lined with tall oak trees.  The smoke
had apparently drifted upwards until it was now only a small black
cloud in the western sky.  On the hill where had been the Magician's
house there now stood a tall and stately castle built of shining white
marble.  There could be no doubt it was the palace.

They walked towards it and were surprised to find that they were
expected, as a guard of honor stood waiting at the entrance to the
grounds to conduct them to the presence of the King and Queen.

They were taken to the drawing room, and at sight of her father and
mother Princess Helda burst into tears and rushed towards them.  It was
a touching scene.

Words could not express the gratitude of their majesties to King Daimur
and Prince Redmond for their deliverance, both of whom they remembered,
for having then been the stones that formed the window sill and the
door sill respectively they had heard every word that was said, and had
witnessed the escape from the island.

Helda's father was very anxious to have them stay and pay him a visit,
even if only for a few days, but Daimur, who wanted to restore Queen
Amy to her throne at once, declined, saying, however, that he had a
proposal to make before leaving.

He then asked the King of Oaklands to bestow on Prince Redmond the hand
of his daughter Helda, declaring that it was to Prince Redmond that
they owed the breaking of the enchantment, and not to himself.

This the King was very willing to do, and Prince Redmond's joy was
unbounded, for with no fortune and no throne to offer her he would
never have dared to ask the Princess to marry him, and they would both
have been very unhappy to the end of their lives.

It was arranged that the wedding should take place as soon as the
Princess could get her trousseau made, and as Prince Redmond had
decided to accept the King's invitation and stay for a few days' visit
Daimur and Queen Amy said good-bye and prepared to depart, but not
before they had been presented with two beautiful armchairs, each
carved from a single piece of oak, which the King of Oaklands prized
very much.  Even Lady Clara Rosered, who had accompanied Princess
Helda, was not forgotten, but received a handsome lace shawl.

Their voyage back to the Island of Roses was rather slow, owing to the
poor wind, but it was very quiet and restful, and they arrived to find
a large crowd gathered on the dock to meet them, all very anxious to
see whether Queen Amy was aboard.

In an open space surrounded by some of the Royal Guard, who stood on
either side making a long avenue right down to the edge of the quay,
sat the Duchess of Rose Petals in the state carriage.

When Queen Amy appeared on the deck, looking a little pale, but
otherwise as well as ever, loud shouts went up and flowers were flung
at her feet as she walked up the avenue made by the Guards, King Daimur
walking at her side.

"Long live our Queen.  Long live noble King Daimur," resounded on every
side, while rockets were sent into the air and all the bells in the
kingdom were rung.

A great procession of carriages followed the Queen to the palace, where
the Duchess had arranged a luncheon and a splendid reception, at which
Daimur received nearly as much attention as Queen Amy.

When it was all over Daimur felt that, as he had now fulfilled his
promises, he, should return at once to his own kingdom, but first he
went to Queen Amy and told her that he was going away.  She looked at
him with tears in her eyes and begged him to let her know what she
could first bestow on him as a small token of her undying gratitude.
"I want nothing less than your own heart and hand," declared Daimur,
and he told her that he had fallen in love with her the moment he had
first seen her, but could not, of course, say anything about it until
she was safely at home.

Queen Amy blushed, and acknowledged that she also loved him very
dearly, so then and there they decided to be married at the same time
as Prince Redmond and Princess Helda.

And so it happened.  Daimur went back to his kingdom, where his
faithful subjects were so proud of him that they built a magnificent
new palace and presented it to him as a wedding gift.

In due time the triple marriage was celebrated at Queen Amy's palace,
for Tasmir and Princess Maya, on hearing the news, insisted upon being
married at the same time.

In the midst of the ceremony the good fairy appeared and gave each of
them a small gold ring, which she said would bring them good luck as
long as they lived.

So ended all the enchantments and wicked plots of Evil Magician, and
ever after peace and happiness reigned over the Islands of Sunshine.



THE END





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Enchanted Island" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home