Beauty could not help shuddering when she saw the horrible face of the frightful creature, but she made a brave effort to overcome her fear.
‘Beauty, did you come here willingly to die in place of your father?’ ‘Willingly,’ she answered.
The Princess ascended a narrow, winding staircase and reached a little door. A rusty key was sticking in the lock, and when she turned it the door flew open. In a little room sat an old woman with a spindle, spinning her flax busily.
The horse gave a jump in order to rise in the air and commenced his flight, but this time he was not alone; for when waving his tail it caught up good little Arthur, winding itself round his body.
The lassie set out on her way, and walked many, many days, till she came to a lofty rock. Under it sat an old hag, and played with a gold apple which she tossed about.
There was silence for several moments, then the Winter Manito laid aside his scepter of ice and said, ‘Thou art welcome.’
The good maid, wishing to save her fellow-damsel so long a suffering, tried with might and main to bear in mind the name of the potent herb. At length she dropped asleep, and when she opened her eyes, she knew nothing at all about the matter.
‘Madam,’ said the good King, ‘since you are a fairy, you know all that I wish. I have only one son, whom I love with all my heart, so that people generally name him Prince Darling. If you wish to do me a kindness, promise me to be a good friend to my boy.’
‘Your pearls and jewels, and your golden crown are not for me,’ answered the frog; ‘but if you would love me, and have me for your companion, then would I dive below the water and fetch you your golden ball again.’
The Frog, as soon as he had received the King’s daughter's promise, drew his head under the water and dived down, swam up again with the ball in his mouth, and threw it on the grass.
‘If you are thirsty,’ said the waiting-maid, ‘get off your horse yourself, and lie down and drink out of the water, I don't choose to be your servant.’
The Hind instantly fled, but as she was crossing a path, Prince Guerrier lodged an arrow in her leg, when her strength failed her, and she fell.
‘Perhaps I can help thee, if thou wilt promise to give me the first thing that rubs itself against thy leg when thou art at home again, and to bring it here in twelve years' time, thou shalt have as much money as thou wilt.’
The poor little girl had all the cooking, cleaning, and serving to do for all seven brothers and all their seven wives as well.
And a rumor went abroad in all that country of the beautiful sleeping Rosamond, for so was the Princess called; and from time to time many Kings' sons came and tried to force their way through the hedge.
The Princess had no sooner taken the spindle than it ran into her hand, and she fell down in a swoon.
For a moment the girl sat choked with fear, as these thoughts rushed through her; then she said: ‘Alonzo, will you promise me something?’
‘I am going to put your obedience to a new and final test,’ the King told his sons. ‘Go and travel for another year and whichever one of you brings back with him the most beautiful Princess shall marry her and be crowned King on his wedding day.’
The old woman had not gone far, when great was her alarm at perceiving, advancing at full pace, a headless horse, bearing a black and grim rider, with horns sprouting from under a little jockey-cap.