• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 The witch of the Juniper Walk
 The fire fairies
 Ingabor and the frog
 The isles of the sun
 Bruin's repentance
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine






Group Title: The witch of the Juniper Walk : and other fairy tales
Title: The witch of the Juniper Walk
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082954/00001
 Material Information
Title: The witch of the Juniper Walk and other fairy tales
Physical Description: 107, 4 p., 4 leaves of plates : ill. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Creator: May, Frank
Gay and Bird ( Publisher )
T. and A. Constable ( Printer )
Edinburgh University Press ( Printer )
Publisher: Gay and Bird
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: T. and A. Constable ; Edinburgh University Press
Publication Date: 1895
 Subjects
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Witches -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1895   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Fantasy literature -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: Children's stories
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
Fantasy literature   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Mrs. Frank May ; with illustrations by the author.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Title page printed in red and black.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082954
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002234072
notis - ALH4489
oclc - 227210056

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Frontispiece
        Frontispiece
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Dedication
        Dedication 1
        Dedication 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    The witch of the Juniper Walk
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 12a
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    The fire fairies
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
    Ingabor and the frog
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 48a
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    The isles of the sun
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Bruin's repentance
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    Advertising
        Advertising 1
        Advertising 2
        Advertising 3
        Advertising 4
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
    Spine
        Spine
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The Witch of

The Juniper Walk
and other Fairy Tales, by
Mrs. Frank May
with Illustrations by
the Author
















Gay and Bird
5 Chandos Street, Strand
LONDON
1895


[All rights reserved]




























TO MY CHILDREN

IRENE AND PH(EBE


November 1894





















CONTENTS

PAGE
THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK, I

THE FIRE FAIRIES, 31

INGABOR AND THE FROG, 45

THE ISLES OF THE SUN, 79

BRUIN'S REPENTANCE, 93



























THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK




















A
















THE WITCH OF THE


JUNIPER WALK

THREE times in one night Vola had the same
dream, and each time she awoke sobbing in
great distress, for she thought her brother
Floki was calling upon her to help him, and
his voice sounded half smothered as if coming
from the depths of a dungeon, and when she
tried to answer him, her tongue stiffened so
that she could not speak. When the morning
came-Vola went to her father, and telling him
her thrice-repeated dream, said that she felt
sure that Floki was in some great danger and
needed.her help; but her father only laughed,
and told her she was a foolish child to trouble
herself about a dream.
However, Vola was not at all comforted by
her father's words, and spent the day thinking
about her strange dream, and wishing she









4 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
could have some news of her brother. It was
now two months since he had left home to
accompany the Prince on his travels as a page,
and it was quite possible that some misfortune
had befallen him. In her anxiety Vola's
thoughts turned to the one person who could
certainly help her, and that was the old witch
who lived in the Juniper Walk; but Vola was
far too frightened to ask her assistance, as she
had always been forbidden to go near the
Juniper Walk, lest old Iduna should bewitch
her.
The night came without bringing to Vola
any news of her brother, and she went sorrow-
fully to bed. Again she dreamt of Floki
calling to her for help, and his voice was so
sad and piteous, that she sprang up and
determined, night though it was, to go at once
and find the witch. So, hastily dressing and
placing an amulet round her neck, she crept
softly out of the house, and ran swiftly across
the fields to the little gate which led to the
Juniper Walk. This path was really the
shortest way to the village, but no one liked
to use it after sunset, and even in broad day-







THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK 5
light few cared to pass that way, for some ill
luck was sure to befall them. Vola remembered
how one day the milkmaid who went through
the Juniper Walk
to the village
found when she
returned that all
the milk in the
dairy had turned
sour; and who
could forget those
lovers who, passing
that way, had such
a dreadful quarrel
before they
reached the end, l'
that they parted ''
and never would ..
speak to each other
again! Strange --
stories were told
of what happened there after sunset. Some
said that those who entered the Juniper Walk
at that time were never seen again. Many
said that they had heard fearful whispers







6 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
and mutterings coming from it; and in one of
the juniper bushes, though none knew where
to find it, lived the witch Iduna.
It was no wonder, then, that Vola's hand
trembled as she opened the little gate leading
to it, and that she felt she needed all her
courage to enter the dreaded path. The moon
was shining very brightly, so it was a good
night for finding the witch.
At first every slight noise startled her, and
once she gave a scream as a little rabbit ran
unexpectedly across her path; but she thought
of poor Floki, and went bravely on. Presently
she began to ascend the hill, and around her
there were only the juniper bushes, looking
grim in their darkness against the moonlit
grass. Vola looked carefully from side to side,
peering in amongst the bushes, hoping and yet
fearing to catch sight of Iduna. She had just
begun to think she would fail in her search,
when she saw, seated beneath the shadow of a
large juniper-tree, a dark form, and on coming
nearer she found that it was that of an old
woman wrapped in some garment that fell in
long folds from her head to her feet.







THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


'Who comes here ?' said a harsh voice.
It is I-Vola,' replied the young girl timidly.
The witch slowly arose and stepped forward.
' Where is your pass?' she demanded sternly.
Poor Vola trembled, wondering what she meant;
then, seeing that Iduna expected a reply, she
said boldly, I have come to ask you to help
me, if you please.'
'Ah, you are in want of a spell, no doubt,'
said the witch; 'but I cannot help you unless
you have a pass from old Loki.'
'Who is old Loki?' asked Vola.
The witch paused and looked keenly at her
before answering. 'Old Loki is my master,
and he gives a pass to any one who may want
help from me, so that they may return home
safely; but those who dare to come here at
night without his permission, may never leave
the Juniper Walk again.' Then Vola felt her
heart sink, and the witch, waving her thin arm,
added, 'See! there they stand all around you,
ready for you to join them.'
Vola looked about her, thinking to see some
sign of the unfortunate beings whose mysterious
disappearance had from time to time surprised







8 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

the villagers; but she saw nothing but the dark
juniper bushes, some tall, some broad, some
short, dotted unequally about the grass. She
could not understand what the witch meant,
but she felt sure it was something very
dreadful, so she cried, 'Oh! please do not hurt
me! but let me tell you why I came here. I
am sure you will help me when you have
heard,' she added, gaining courage to step
closer to the hag, and finding, to her relief, that
she did not present a very terrible appearance,
but just that of an old woman with a pair of
large brown eyes, and only one tooth in each
jaw.
'Tell me quickly,' said Iduna, 'for in two
more minutes you will find you cannot either
move or speak, because you will have become
one of them!'
Then Vola guessed that she was about to
be changed into a juniper bush, and in one
moment she understood why there were so
many bushes dotted about. Feeling there was
no time to be lost, she hastily told Iduna her
dream about her brother, and begged her to
rescue him even if she herself were doomed








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


to perish. Seeing a softer look come into the
old witch's eyes, Vola exclaimed, 'Ah! you
will have pity on me,' and in her earnestness
she stepped nearer and touched the shrivelled
hand. Then, afraid of what she had done, she
stood sobbing and trembling, with downcast
eyes, expecting every second to feel her limbs
grow stiff, and to find herself speechless and
separated for ever from all she loved.
To her astonishment Iduna said quite kindly,
'Do not fear, my child, I will help you; your
brother shall be saved. You are the first
creature who has ever asked me to do a kind
action, and by so doing you have broken the
spell by which wicked old Loki has made me
serve him so long. Come, I will help you.'
Then taking her gently by the hand she led
her to the place where Vola had first seen her,
and stooping down she dragged from beneath
the juniper bush her hat and broomstick. At
the sight of these weird things, Vola felt a
return of her former fright, but the old woman
continued to speak so gently that she thought
she might be mistaken in supposing that all
witches were wicked. So when Iduna placed








IO THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

Vola before her on her broomstick, bidding
her fear nothing, the child felt almost happy
again, and as they slowly mounted up into the
cool moonlit air, she began to think she would
have a great deal of pleasure in her strange
ride. And indeed she had, for what could be
more delightful than floating quietly along in
the stillness of night, looking down through
the silver mist, upon the sleeping world! All
seemed so dreamlike, so far away, and soon
even the tall trees were lost to sight, their
place being only known by the long dark
shadows they cast on the dewy ground.
As they rode along Iduna told Vola a
great deal of her own history, and this is what
she said:-

THE WITCH'S STORY.
MANY years ago I was a farmer's daughter
living in your village, and nearly every one told
me that I was the most beautiful maiden on
earth. I heard this so often that I grew very
vain, and became too proud to be civil to any
one of my own rank in life. I had many
lovers, but I was so full of love for myself,







THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


that I had none to spare for my admirers, so I
spent my time in teasing them and laughing at
them. Some were offended and left me, but
I did not care, for I knew there were always
plenty of others ready to take their place. In
time, the whole country seemed to have heard
of my beauty, and people came leagues to have
the pleasure of even looking at me. One day
the Prince passed through our village on his
way back from visiting his betrothed at the
castle, and like the rest of the villagers I went
out to see him pass.
Directly he saw me, he fell in love with me
and could talk of nobody else all the way home.
This, coming to the ears of his lady-love,
annoyed her so much that she determined to
be revenged upon me, sb accusing me of witch-
craft she caused me to be seized and shut up
in a dungeon. She succeeded in persuading
the Prince that I had bewitched him, and she
found plenty of people glad to speak evil of
me, as they were angry with me for captivating
their sons or lovers. So when the day of my
trial came, there were many enemies ready to
witness against me as a witch, and I soon








12 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

found that nearly everything I had said or
done was turned to my disadvantage, and all
kinds of malicious stories were invented about
me.
Some of my lovers were brave enough to
appear and speak in my favour, but the two
judges (one of whom was the lady's father) de-
clared that they were bewitched and thus that
they only further proved my sorcery. So, to
my horror and indignation, I was pronounced
guilty and condemned to be burned alive. It
was in vain that I cried for mercy; they only
laughed at my ravings of despair, and as soon
as it could be prepared, I was taken to the
dreadful stake which had been placed in the
middle of the village. I was almost beside
myself with horror by the time I had been tied
to the stake, and when the signal had been
given (by the two cruel judges who sat calmly
watching the proceedings) to set fire to the
fagots I began to faint; just then old Loki
whispered in my ear, that if I would consent
to serve him, he would save me from this
horrible death. Although they had called me
a witch I had never had any dealings with








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


Loki, and, foolish vain girl though I was, I
would have shuddered at the idea, but now I
was so frightened that I consented to do any-
thing he wished if he would only save me. So
just as the wood caught fire and the thick
smoke curled around me, I found myself, in
the form of an old woman, standing amongst
the crowd and looking at the blazing pile.
'I can't see her, the smoke is so thick,' said
a disappointed voice behind me.
I turned and saw the face of one of the
village lads who used to work on the farm and
who had often given me a present of flowers.
I felt so angry with him for being so callous,
that I wished he might squint for the rest of
his life, and no sooner was the wish formed than
his eyes went quite askew. Finding I pos-
sessed such strange power I turned to the two
judges, resolved to revenge myself upon them
for condemning me to be burnt. I could not
think for a moment how to punish them; but
being suddenly struck by the resemblance of
one of them to a crane, I turned them both into
two giant cranes and willed them to wander
about for a hundred years without resting. So







14 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
when the people had finished looking at the
fire, they found the judges were nowhere to be
seen, but two huge grey cranes were flying slowly
away over the roofs of the houses. I then
made myself invisible and followed them, for-
bidding them ever to enter the village again.
By this time I began to think that being a
witch was rather pleasant, and that notwith-
standing his evil reputation old Loki was not
so bad as people thought. However, I was
soon undeceived, for once in his power, I
found that I had no more liberty. From that
time to this, he has compelled me to live in the
Juniper Walk, and to help any one whom he
may send to me to do any spiteful and evil
thing they wish. All who came there without
his permission I had to change into juniper
bushes, and he said this slavery was to con-
tinue until some one should come and of their
own free will ask me to help them in a good
deed. And now you have come, my pretty
one, and at last I am free and so will gladly
help you in rescuing your poor brother.

By the time Iduna had finished her story the








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


broomstick had borne them far away from any
part of the country known to Vola, who now
amused herself by looking down at the sleeping
villages, wondering if any one caught sight of
Iduna and herself; but before long she felt so
weary that sleep overpowered her, and she
would have fallen if the witch's thin arm had
not crept gently around her and held her
firmly.
When Vola awoke she thought she must be
dreaming, for
she found her- -,
self alone,
seated within a
golden coach
and wearing the
most beautiful
clothes imagin-
able. She
looked around
but her late
companion was
nowhere to be
seen. She found that she was passing rapidly
through a strange town and all the inhabi-








16 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
tants ran out of their houses to see her.
Vola wondered for whom they took her, and
longed to inquire, for she thought she must
have become somebody else. When at length
she reached the outskirts of the town, Vola
stood up to see where she was being taken, and
then she discovered that the coach was being
drawn by a number of beautiful ostriches, of
which there were so many couples that those in
front were almost out of sight. After some
time they began ascending a very steep hill,
and the* birds, whose long legs had hitherto
taken them along very swiftly, began to slacken
their pace. It was then that Vola first noticed
two great grey cranes that were running beside
the coach. She thought that they were probably
an escort, so, when one of them came close to
the window and stared at her with his great
bright eyes, she, though startled for a moment,
gave him a very polite bow and a kind smile.
Thereat the crane tapped at the glass with his
long beak; the young girl smiled and bowed
again, thinking how well she was acting the
part of a grand lady. But the bird continuing
to tap at the window, Vola thought he must








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


surely have something of importance to say
to her, and was about to open it, when she
heard him utter an angry cry and beheld him fly
up into the air followed by his companion.
The next moment she caught sight of the witch
driving them away with her broomstick. En-
tering the coach Iduna seated herself beside
Vola and told her that she had been in great
danger, for had she opened the window to speak
to the crane, he would certainly have tried to
peck out her eyes. The two cranes were
actually the two cruel judges of whom she had
told her, and they were always trying to annoy
the witch, and now out of sheer spitefulness
were endeavouring to injure Vola because she
was under her protection. Poor Vola felt very
frightened, but the witch promised that no harm
should befall her. 'We shall soon reach the
Magic Lake,' she said, 'and when once you are
on the water the cranes will have no more power
to hurt you.'
'But where am I going?' asked the young
girl.
'You are going to visit King Nidud in whose
castle your brother is lying imprisoned,'
B







IS THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

'Imprisoned!' cried Vola. 'Oh! poor Floki,
how true then was my dream! But when shall
I see him ?-he may die first:' and the poor
child burst into tears.
'Do not weep, my pretty one,' said the witch,
'your brother is alive and we shall be in time
to save him. See, yonder is the Magic Lake













of the Serpents,' and as she spoke there came
in sight some gleaming golden water, in the
centre of which arose a long, dark purple island.
Beyond the lake were dimly seen some pale
blue hills, amongst which, Iduna said, King
Nidud's castle stood. As Vola was looking"at
the lake, which they were rapidly approaching,








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


she noticed the purple island seemed to become
longer and longer until at last it broke asunder
and became two monstrous writhing serpents,
which, after playing about for some minutes on
the surface of the water, suddenly plunged be-
neath and disappeared.
'Those are the Magic Serpents,' said the
witch. 'To most people they appear only as
a beautiful island, upon which they little know
that many a luckless one has ventured, only to
find himself within a few moments sinking
through the water on the back of a hideous
monster.'
The swift ostriches soon brought the travellers
to the lake-side, and there Vola found a luxuri-
ous barge awaiting her, and many knights
assembled to conduct her on board. Iduna
had again disappeared, how or when Vola knew
not; the last time she saw her she was beside
her in the coach, but now on turning to speak
to her Vola found the seat empty. It was all
so strange and dreamlike that she felt quite
bewildered.
There were minstrels on board, and as Vola
seated herself on the couch prepared for her,







20 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

they began playing some soft sweet music.
The knights bowed before her and pages stood
ready to wait on her. 'This is so pleasant,' she
said to herself, 'that if it were not for dear
Floki's trouble, I should like it to last for ever.'
The barge went so near the Magic Island that
she could see the very flowers growing upon it
and hear the rippling water lap against the
grey rocks, and she could scarcely believe that
she had so lately seen it change into those
horrid serpents. It looked so firm, so bright
and smiling. On, on they went, and the min-
strels played so sweetly that Vola began to
doze and soon was dreaming of Floki, who was
still calling her, but louder than before; and now
in her dream she was standing at the foot of an
old tower and his voice seemed to come through
a chink in the thick wall. She said, 'Dear
Floki! I have come to save you,' and then she
awoke and found herself no longer on the
Magic Lake, but in the act of entering the hall
of a large castle, in which a vast number of
handsomely dressed people were assembled
who bowed respectfully as she advanced. Out
of the crowd stepped a fierce-looking little man








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


with a large head and dark mustachios, who
took her hand and raising it to his lips bade her
welcome in a loud gruff voice. He led her to
the end of the great hall, where two large chairs
of state were standing, and, requesting her to be
seated on one, placed himself upon the other, in
which his little form seemed to be swallowed
up. Then bending forward, and seizing hold of
the arm of the chair to keep himself steady, he
fixed his great dark eyes upon his fair guest
and made a long speech expressing his pleasure
at seeing her. From what he said, she gathered
that he took her for some great lady whom he
specially desired to honour. He professed to
place himself and all in his castle entirely at
her command during her visit, and Vola could
only reply with a smile and a few courteous
words. Then the little man struggled out of
his big chair, and bidding the ladies conduct his
guest to the rooms prepared for her, left her
with many bows and grimaces.
As Vola arose she observed a small monkey
seated at her feet stroking her gown with one
of its little hands. She shrank back, and was
about to pull away her skirts, when the little







22 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

creature looked up at her with such gentle
brown eyes, that she at once felt quite kindly
towards it and allowed it to keep near her when
she followed the ladies. They led her to
another part of the castle where the rooms
overlooked the lake, and there, bewildered and
fatigued by all she had undergone, she re-
quested to be left alone to rest.
When the ladies had all withdrawn, she
threw herself on the nearest couch and began
to reflect upon all that had passed. She was
suddenly startled by feeling a touch on her
shoulder, and looking round perceived the little
monkey. Its brown eyes were so human in
their expression that she was scarcely surprised
when it said in a gentle voice, 'Do you not
know me, Vola ?'
'Are you Iduna? how you surprised me !'
'Hush! do not speak aloud in case we are
overheard. Remember for the present I am
your pet monkey from whom you are never
parted, and only in this form can I be of any
service to you and in safety myself. You are
now in the house of King Nidud who is a great
magician, and in his dominions I have no power








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


as a witch; so all that I can do is to appear
in this shape and endeavour to help you when
we are alone with my advice.'
'But tell me, when and how shall I find my
poor brother?'
'He will soon be found. He is not far from
you. You must know that he came here in the
train of the Prince who only left yesterday.
When the time for leaving arrived Floki was
missing, and though they searched everywhere
it was quite useless. Floki had amused himself
two days ago by climbing about the White
Tower (up which the king will probably take
you to see the fine view), and there slipping
through a hole, he fell inside, where he has
been lying ever since unable to find his way out
through the thick walls. You must know also
that the king, who had resolved to find the
most beautiful woman in the world in order to
make her his queen, heard to-day that you, a
great and beautiful lady, were about to visit his
dominions, and therefore he sent his barge to
convey you across the Magic Lake, which it
would have been impossible for you otherwise
to have crossed, as all people who attempt to







24 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
pass over it without his permission are certain
to be wrecked upon the Serpent Island. On
seeing you, King Nidud was so charmed by
your appearance that he at once resolved to
marry you, so he means to keep you here with
or without your consent.'
This information alarmed Vola very much,
but Iduna hastened to assure her that she would
do her utmost to rescue her from such a fate.
'At present,' she continued, 'the king will
refuse you nothing, so make the most of your
opportunities, and whatever you do insist upon
having me always with you, and should you
ever lose sight of me at any time, refuse to
leave that spot till I am restored to you.'
As Iduna had foreseen, the king soon offered
to show Vola the beauties of his castle, and
especially the fine view from the top of the
White Tower.
Instead of steps, a circular path, between the
outer and inner walls, led up to the tower, and
as walking up was very fatiguing he caused
Vola and himself to be carried up in two litters.
As they ascended Vola anxiously listened, try-
ing to discover any sound from Floki, but








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


nothing was to be heard but the footsteps of
the men bearing the litters and the hollow
echo. The little monkey had perched itself
on Vola's feet, and from time to time jumped
off and ran
about, some- i __ .t
times climbing
a little way up
the wall and
looking about
inquisitively, as
monkeys do,
into every nook
and corner.
Vola carefully
watched its .
antics and pre-
sently saw it dis- '
appear through
a 'small hole, in
the wall, uttering a piercing cry as it did so.
Thereupon its mistress also gave a little scream
and called upon the bearers to stop and rescue
her pet, Her distress seemed so great that
King Nidud was much concerned and went








26 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK

himself to examine the hole through which
the monkey had fallen. In vain he assured
her that it would no doubt find its way out,
as monkeys were such wonderful climbers.
Nothing would satisfy Vola, and she refused
to stir from the spot till her pet was rescued.
After trying his best to overcome her resolu-
tion, the king actually consented to allow the
wall to be broken through at the bottom of
the tower, and soon some strong men came
with their tools and set hastily to work. From
time to time a faint moan came from the
imprisoned creature. When, at last, after
much labour a large enough hole had been
made by the men, Vola was the first to pass
through it, and advancing carefully through
the dust and rubbish, beheld poor Floki
lying upon the ground insensibje from pain
and hunger.
See, here is the Prince's missing page,
cried the men as they lifted him up and bore
him outside.
'And here is my dear little pet, quite
unhurt,' said Vola, taking up the monkey
and giving it a kiss for rescuing her brother.








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


She wished she might tend the unconscious
Floki, but she had to content herself by hearing
from others how he fared. The poor boy,
however, soon recovered the effects of his close
prison and was able in a few days to prepare
to return home.
All this time his sister was longing to em-
brace him; but Iduna said she must on no
account betray herself to him, for if the king
were to discover the trick played upon him,
he would probably kill him, as he was of a very
vindictive temper. So the day of Floki's de-
parture came without his sister having spoken
to him or discovering any means of escaping
herself from the castle, Nidud having given
strict orders that his visitor was not to be
allowed to pass through the gates. She shed
many tears when she saw Floki depart without
her, and in her despair she blamed Iduna for
placing her in such an unhappy position.
The poor little monkey's face looked very
sad and there were actually tears in its gentle
brown eyes. Suddenly it ran quickly away,
and after a short space of time returned looking
happy and excited.







28 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
'See, here is the king's magic ring, take it
quickly and keep it till we meet again. With-
out it he is powerless as a magician, and
possessed of it you have but to wish yourself
anywhere or anything you like and your wish
will be gratified. So now you can join your
brother as soon as you like.'
'How can I thank you enough!' cried Vola,
gratefully, quite ashamed of having been so cross.
Make haste, for your brother must have
nearly reached the lake. I had difficulty
enough to get the ring for you, for the king
seldom puts it off his finger, but I slipped into
his room while he was dressing and snatched
it up when he was not looking. "There is
that tiresome creature in here," said his valet.
" Drive it away replied the king, how dare
it come here!" and then he added to himself
that as soon as you were his wife he should
have the ugly ape killed.'
Just then a strange hubbub was heard;
Nidud had missed his ring and every one was
set to look for it; some one suggesting that
the monkey might have stolen it, they came
running to find it in Vola's room. There was








THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK


no time to be lost in taking her elsewhere; so
Vola at once wished herself by the lake-side in
her own form, and in one second found herself
there just as Floki was stepping into the boat
to convey him (by the king's orders) across the
magic water. His surprise was so great on
seeing his little sister suddenly appear, that he
was speechless, and the boatmen pushed off
from land before they could be stopped. Vola,
however, bade them wait for her, and was
soon seated beside her dear Floki.
'I have come to take you home,' she said,
and she promised to answer all his questions
when they landed. So they went over the
golden water and past the Serpent Island
without any harm happening to them, leaving
King Nidud raging in his' castle, furious on
finding both his ring and his lady-love gone.
And he never saw either again, for Vola's
delight at seeing her brother was so great,
that she forgot about holding fast the magic
ring and it suddenly fell into the water, where
the lake was deepest, and was swallowed by a
greedy pike (about which you shall some day
hear).








30 THE WITCH OF THE JUNIPER WALK
Once more on land Vola and Floki were
safe and found their way home quite easily in
a farmer's cart which happened to be going
through their village.
It was a long drive, but Vola spent the time
in telling all her wonderful adventures to her
brother, whose astonishment knew no bounds.
Once, when speaking of Iduna's kindness as a
monkey, the farmer who drove the cart ap-
peared to smile, and a familiar look in his face
made Vola wonder where she had seen him
before. It was not until they were both safely
at home again that Vola exclaimed, 'Floki,
that must have been the witch who drove us
home!'






















THE FIRE FAIRIES
















THE FIRE FAIRIES


ALL the day the soft snow had been falling, at
first in great flakes, like the white feathers of
the old fairy story, and then in smaller morsels,
until every green
field was covered
with a spotless (":
mantle, and the -
strong trees bent :- _"
beneath their
strange white burden. '"
'Old Mother Goose has )
had a busy day of it,' said Nancy, as
she threw down her needle-work with a
feeling of relief that the fast fading light
would not allow her to continue it. Then
she yawned once, twice, and remarked, 'How
dark it is and yet it's not yet four o'clock;
wouldd be a shame to have candles so early,'
C








THE FIRE FAIRIES


she continued after a moment's pause, 'so I '11
just sit and think a bit;' and glad of an excuse
for a nap, Nancy placed her feet on the fender
and folded her stout arms as she leant back in
her chair.
'Nancy,' said a soft voice from the window,
'do tell me a story.'
'I don't know one, Master Jaspar,' replied
Nancy, her words half smothered by a yawn.
Nancy, you do,' said Jaspar, as he left
the window where he had been standing
watching the falling snow, and came and knelt
down beside her.
'Well! I 'l1 tell you about Mother Goose.'
Oh! that is a baby story, I don't want that;
tell me one of your lovely ones about fairies or
hobgoblins; do, Nan;' and he stroked her fat
rosy cheek coaxingly with his little white hand.
'Nurse says that I am not to tell you any
more of those stories; she says they excite you,
and if I do it again she '11 tell my lady and get
me into trouble.'
Jaspar's face fell, and he sighed.
Nancy, when is nurse coming back ?'
Well! she will stay of course till after the








THE FIRE FAIRIES


wedding, and then she will want a few days
to look about her. I should say that she won't
be home for at least a fortnight.'
Jaspar's face brightened. 'Auntie will come
home first then?' he said.
'Yes, she will be here to-morrow, and this
time she brings no company with her, more's
the wonder.'
I am so glad, then she will be able to let
me sit with her sometimes. 0 Nancy, you
don't know what lovely talks we have together,
and sometimes she tells me stories, and I like
them even better than yours, Nan, though
yours are lovely too. I do wish auntie always
lived here, instead of going away for so long to
that horrid old London.'
'Now, dearie, be a good loy and leave off
chattering. The snow or something has made
me so sleepy. I really must have a dose
before tea.' And Nancy closing her eyes
settled herself once more for a comfortable
sleep.
Jaspar seated himself on the hearthrug and
sat with his chin resting on his hand while
gazing dreamily into the fire.








THE FIRE FAIRIES


About ten minutes passed, and then he
glanced first at Nancy, who had fallen fast
asleep, and then at Nettle, an old fox terrier,
who lay with her paws on
the fnder and her eyes fixed
upon the glowing embers.
Now's the time,' said
laspar, under his breath.
S" Do you see them, Nettle ?'
She asked, bending down to
whisper to the dog,. who
only n~!ticed his question by
d i in one lazy thud of her
-' shTort hard tail upon the
floor.
'Can you see the
fairies, Nettle ?'
continued Jaspar;
'I wish I could,
and how I do wish
you could speak.'
Nettle shut her
eyes as if she had had quite enough of both the
fire and his questions, and then, feeling rather
scorched, got up, and, after turning round two








THE FIRE FAIRIES


or three times, lay down farther from the fire
on a cooler part of the hearthrug. But Jaspar
still sat gazing at the fire which was glowing
with red heat as a fire only in frosty weather
can glow. Now Jaspar had a belief in fire
fairies as well as in wacer fairies, and he either
fancied, or some one had told him, that in order
to see them there must be perfect stillness and
a perfectly clear fire. 'Directly any smoke
arose they would become invisible, because
they are so clean and pure,' thought the little
boy, and do not like dirt.'
As he was peering into the red fire, the tall
clock on the landing without struck the hour of
four, its clear bell-like tones disturbing Nancy's
peaceful slumber, for she awoke with a snore
and came to life again in the workaday world
with a succession of yawns.
'Four o'clock, I declare,' she said as if quite
surprised. It will soon be tea-time, so I '11
just tidy up the room and then go down for a
chat.' Thereupon she got up, and the next
moment frightened away any fire-fairies who
might have been coming by throwing a large
shovelful of coal upon the clear fire, which








THE FIRE FAIRIES


immediately burst into a mass of flames as it
fed greedily upon her gift.
'Oh!' groaned Jaspar.
'What's the matter?' asked Nancy.
'Oh! nothing much; I was only watching
the fire and you spoilt it.'
'Watching the fire, bless the child! you are
getting as bad as Nettle who has made her-
self half blind by her staring at it.'
'There! I '11 light the candles and you will
be able to read some stories while I am at tea.'
'Oh! please don't light the candles yet,'
cried Jaspar. I don't want to read, and there
is plenty of light from the fire for thinking.'
'Well! you are a strange child,' said Nancy,
who never thought of refusing to gratify any of
the boy's wishes, except in things in which she
might incur nurse's wrath. So she turned and
went to the window, closed the shutters, thus
hiding from view the bright stars which were
beginning to shine through the frosty air, and
giving the fire a parting stir she went down-
stairs, followed by Nettle, whose nose scented
from afar the hot toast in the servants' hall.
'Now, if only the flames would die down I








THE FIRE FAIRIES


might see them,' said Jaspar, seating himself
once more on the hearthrug, and there he
stayed patiently waiting till they all dwindled
down and the black lumps of coal become one
mass of glowing red.
'Now is the time,' said Jaspar softly, and he
bent forward to look at the brightness: well
within it there seemed to be a rocky road
leading to a castle which stood boldly out
against a lambent sea. A tiny speck of fire
came down the rocky road, another, and then
another followed. Bright atoms of purest fire,
they came ; the long-sought fairies 'We
are here, Jaspar,' they cried; but Jaspar did
not dare to reply for fear he should frighten
them away.
Come with us and see bur home,' they said.
'I cannot, I should be burnt,' answered the
boy.
Never fear; we will take care of you, we
only hurt people who interfere with us and our
possessions without our permission. Just shut
your eyes and hold your breath till we tell you.'
When allowed to look again, Jaspar found
himself walking along the fiery road at the foot







THE FIRE FAIRIES


of the castle he had previously noticed, and all
around him were beautiful, glowing, transparent
fairies. He himself felt lighter and brighter,
and many things became clear to him which he
had never before understood. He felt as if he
could never be cross or naughty again.
I feel so funny, like some one else,' he said,
for he was no longer afraid to speak.
'Yes,' said the fairies, 'that is because all
your faults have been burnt up. You do not
know yourself.'
I must have been very wicked,' said Jaspar.
The fire fairies looked at each other and smiled.
'If you had been very wicked you would never
have seen us. Would you like to see how
some of us spend our time, before you go to
our home ?'
'Indeed I should,' replied the boy.
'Then shut your eyes.' Again he obeyed.
'Now look.' Jaspar opened his eyes, but found
himself quite in the dark and was about to
complain when he heard the following con-
versation :-
'Here come the coals, granny! I knew they
would soon come, for our mission lady never for-







THE FIRE FAIRIES


gets to send what she promises. Now we shall
soon have a good blaze, and then I 'I1 warm up
the soup that she left, and you will feel quite well
again.' There was a sound of coal being moved
and a rustle of paper and then a glint of light
as the little box in which Jaspar was lying was
opened and one of the matches was struck.
The fairy which sprang from it ran busily hither
and thither, and before very long the wood
crackled, the coals blazed, the pot boiled, and
the hot soup was poured into the old yellow
basin, and taken gratefully by the poor half-
frozen old granny as she sat warming by turns
her shrivelled hands over the fire. When the
warmth and the soup and the cheery voice of
her little granddaughter had succeeded in bring-
ing a smile to the old woman's worn face, the
fairies thought they had finished their work
and might go elsewhere. Puff! puff! puff!
and the engine shrieked shrilly as it sped along
to the north, and the people in the train said,
' How quickly we are going!' but only Jaspar
saw how busy and merry the fairies were in the
great fire as they danced and worked quite un-
dismayed by the grimy stoker when he solemnly








THE FIRE FAIRIES


shovelled in fresh supplies of coal. Whilst
there, they told strange stories of the wonderful
things they could do: of how they travelled
through the air, and could leap from the clouds
to the earth; how some of them always lived
beneath the ground, and others startled timid
folks by suddenly leaping up. At last Jaspar
reminded them that he wanted to see their
home. 'You are not the first of the mortals
who has wished to do so,' said one of the fairies :
'there was once an old man who thought he
might come to see us without an invitation,
but our guards refused to admit him, and in the
struggle he lost his slippers and he has been
hunting for them ever since.'
'Why do you not allow any one to come and
see you, who may wish to do so ?' asked Jaspar.
'It would be of no use if they did come, for
they would be blinded and so would see no-
thing.'
By this time the fairies had left the engine
and had taken the boy into a large cavern which
was illuminated by the light from the fire-fairies
alone. The cavern became narrower as they
advanced, and after many turnings, he found








THE FIRE FAIRIES


they were approaching the end of it from which
a bright light streamed through a large crack
in the ground. There stood two fairies whose
outstretched arms made Jaspar and his com-
panions pause. Let him pass,' said the fairies,
'he is a friend.' So they went down the glow-
ing chasm, and it would be impossible to de-
scribe the beautiful scene below which presented
itself. There were large halls of pure gold
adorned with diamonds which sparkled in the
rainbow-tinted light. From afar came the
sound of sweet music. From room to room,
each more beautiful than the last, Jaspar was
led, and then out into the fire-garden where
the fire-flowers grew and golden birds and fire-
flies flew to and fro. Oh it was too wonderful,
and Jaspar shut his eyes for a moment, for they
quite ached with the brightness.
When he re-opened them the fire-garden and
bright halls had disappeared and he could at
first see nothing in the dull light around him.
His eyes felt dim and it was with difficulty that
he made out that he was again in his nursery
with some one sitting beside him. He heard
his aunt's gentle voice say, 'Well! my darling,








THE FIRE FAIRIES


you are better now,' he could only smile
and shut his eyes again, for even the shaded
light made them ache. By-and-bye he opened
them once more, and putting out his little hand
slipped it into his aunt's, saying, I have been
to Fairyland, auntie; it was so lovely! but it
was so bright it hurt my eyes.'
Yes, dearie, Nancy found you asleep on the
hearthrug close to the fire, and it made you ill,
but you are better now and will soon be quite
well.'
But Jaspar still believes that he really went
to Fairyland and he often tells Nettle all about
it. And he is so happy, for he has Nancy now
for his nurse, and his aunt who is more often
at home spends many an hour in telling him
her pretty stories.





















INGABOR AND THE FROG














INGABOR AND THE FROG


By the side of a silver lake there once sat a
beautiful maiden with her white hands clasped
around her knees and her sad eyes fixed upon
the shining waters. She sighed from time to
time, for though possessing youth, beauty, and
riches, she was not truly happy. The pretty
birds sang above, the grasshoppers chirruped
at her feet, the little gnats danced around her
and asked her to share their joy. But all in
vain. Once she too had sung and danced as
merrily as the little gnats; but that was many
months ago, when the count, her kind old
grandfather, was living, who loved her and
granted her every wish.
Now that he was gone, there had come to
live at the castle, as her guardian, a distant
cousin, named Fingal, a tall dark man with
a long pale face. Ingabor disliked his melan-
choly black eyes and deep voice, and wondered







INGABOR AND THE FROG


how she could bear with him for three months
longer, when he would cease to be her guar-
dian. Fingal so sternly commanded her im-
plicit obedience in all things, that Ingabor
felt that the liberty that she had hitherto
enjoyed under the old count was gone. As
she sat thus pensively by the lake she heard
a deep guttural croak, and looking down beheld
at her feet a large frog with his beautiful eyes
fixed upon her. A slight movement of her
foot frightening the creature, he leapt hastily
into the lake, and, with a few vigorous strokes
of his long legs, soon reached the bottom
of the water.
Now there was a legend in her family of
the frogs having once promised to befriend
her race, in return for some kindness shown to
them, and the sight of that great frog in some
way brought the story to Ingabor's mind, and
as she thought of it, she laughed softly at the
idea of the frogs being able to befriend any one.
'How could an ugly little creature like that
frog that just jumped into the lake ever help
me or any one else ?' said Ingabor, bending over
the water as she spoke. A deep croak came







INGABOR AND THE FROG


from below as if in answer, and she caught
sight of a brown flat head just peeping out of
the mud, and two bright eyes looking up at
her.
'Ha! ha! Mr. Frog! when I want your help
I will ask for it,' said the maiden, laughing as
she turned away to walk along the mossy
bank.
'Croak, croak,' replied the frog, but Ingabor
did not hear him, for as she passed through
the bending ferns beneath the silver birch-trees
she was thinking of the young Count Frode with
whom she used to play, and of how he used to
call her his 'little sweetheart.'. And now he
was the bravest and handsomest man in the
kingdom, but since Fingal came she had not
once seen him, for she was no longer allowed
to leave the castle grounds. Fingal had lately
told her that Count Frode was going to marry
the king's daughter, which made Ingabor very
sad at heart and increased her dislike to her
guardian.
After a time she grew tired of wandering
about, so turning away from the lake she
sauntered up the grassy slope which led to the
D







INGABOR AND THE FROG


castle. She had scarcely entered the building
when she was met by Fingal, who said he had
been seeking her, and requested her to follow
him at once to the oak chamber as he had
matters of importance to disclose to her. There
she found an old lawyer awaiting them, with
a face like a yellow parchment and a very long
pointed nose. He was holding a very large
bag, such a very large bag that she almost
fancied that he must have come out of it him-
self.
Her cousin began by saying that as he would
only be her guardian for three months longer,
it was necessary that she should now become
acquainted with the contents of her grand-
father's will : he therefore had requested the
lawyer to read it to her and he begged she would
listen attentively to him. The old man then
drew a great parchment out of the big bag and
began to read in a wheezy voice. 'Listen,'
said her guardian in his stern voice. Ingabor
was quite prepared to listen attentively, but
because he spoke thus, she pretended to feel
more interest in watching a great spider that
was spinning a web across one of the high








INGABOR AND THE FROG


windows ; but suddenly she stopped looking at
the spider and turned her eyes upon the old
lawyer, for she heard words that made her turn
quite cold, and her heart seemed to stop and
then to begin beating aloud. What did the old
count mean by saying in his will, that at the age
of seven-
teen she
musteither
marry Fin-
gal or go / .
into a con-
vent with "
a small'
dowry and'
give up all .
her pro-
perty to
her cousin!
I will do neither,' cried Ingabor angrily.
You have no other choice,' said her guardian,
in his deep stern voice.
'You have no other choice,' echoed the old
man in his wheezy voice.
Ingabor's heart beat faster, for something








INGABOR AND THE FROG


told her that she was completely in their power,
but she cried still more angrily, 'I will do
neither.'
'You have no other choice,' repeated her
guardian and the lawyer.
Then the poor girl sprang up and cried, 'I
will not marry you, Fingal, I hate you! I hate
you and I will not go to a convent. 'I am free,
you cannot make me do what I dislike.'
The two men looked at each other and
smiled, and then the stern voice and the wheezy
voice said both together, 'You are not free.'
'Listen, Ingabor,' said her guardian; I love
you and am determined to marry you; you
hear that your grandfather wished you to marry
me, so why do you refuse? Here is a paper
ready, you have but to sign it after me and
we are betrothed. I will give you ten minutes
in which to decide; if at the end of that time
you still refuse to marry me some trusty
servants of mine who are close at hand will at
once remove you to a distant convent where
they are willing to receive you with a small
dowry; the rest of your property at once pass-
ing into my hands.'








INGABOR AND THE FROG


Ingabor looked around as if seeking for help,
and then sank down into one of the old chairs.
She knew not what to do. She felt sure that
Fingal did not love her and that he only cared
for her money, and she did not believe him
when he said her kind grandfather had made
that cruel will. But all the same she was in
his power. If she could only escape from the
castle she could surely find her way to some
friendly house; but, alas! her cousin stood
between her and the door and could stop her
in a minute if she attempted to leave the room.
The windows were too high, and behind the
other door were standing Fingal's men ready
to rush forward at any moment.
Then it occurred to her to spring up as if
half beside herself and so to pace the room,
to and fro, from the window to the place where
the old lawyer was seated. She thought that
chance might favour her and that she might be
able to slip past Fingal at some unguarded
moment. As she approached the window she
observed that the big spider was winking and
blinking and making extraordinary signs as if
to attract her notice, but she could not under-







INGABOR AND THE FROG


stand what he meant. The next thing he did
was to let himself down to the floor, and then
running swiftly up her dress he mounted upon
her shoulder and whispered something in her
ear. Thereupon she changed the direction of
her steps, and walked to and fro from the
window to the door clasping her hands to her
head as if in great despair.
At first Fingal started forward as if ready
to intercept her, but finding she did not attempt
to escape, he merely thought she was too
agitated to sit, and so folding his arms, he
stood watching her with a half-hidden smile.
In the meantime the big spider had left
Ingabor and had quietly run up Fingal's back,
where he remained motionless till the girl
approached the door for the seventh time,
when he ran quickly over her guardian's eyes,
quite blinding him for a moment, while the
poor prisoner darted to the door, and, swift
as lightning, passed through it to the top of
the grand staircase.
Fingal dashed the spider angrily from his
face, and seeing that his victim had escaped,
called his men to assist him, and all three








INGABOR AND THE FROG


pursued her, followed by the old lawyer at
the best speed his shaky legs would bear him.
Of course the three men soon gained upon
her, and before she had descended many steps
she felt how hopeless escape was, for her
guardian's hand was almost touching her; but
happily at that moment he missed his foot-
ing, and, coming heavily down on the stairs,
stopped his men in their chase. The spider
laughed and amused himself by spinning some
threads across the nose of the prostrate man
just where they would tickle him the most.
This accident gave Ingabor time to reach
the castle door in safety, and thence she ran
swiftly down the grassy slope towards the lake.
She was only followed .at some distance by
the two servants, Fingal having hurt himself
too much to do more than limp along holding
the old lawyer's arm. The men had stopped
to help their master till angrily bidden by him
to overtake her, so she had nearly reached
the lake-side before they were again at all
near to her. But now, what could she do?
If she paused she was lost, and if she went
on she would fall into the water. She hoped








INGABOR AND THE FROG


to have had time to turn aside and hide
herself in the wood, but alas! it was not
possible. She must choose between being
drowned or seized by Fingal's men.
At that moment Ingabor heard a deep
guttural croak come from the water, and re-
membering the existence of the friendly frogs
and despairing of all other aid, she wildly
sprang into the lake, crying out, 0 frogs,
help me!' and so disappeared from the sight
of the two men just as they were about to
seize her.
A cry of horror came from Fingal, and
he shouted to them to save her. The men
looked at each other as if in doubt, and then
the braver of the two rather slowly prepared
to follow her: but he required a second
command from his master before he plunged
heavily into the deep water. By this time
the latter had limped to the lake-side, and his
long face was quite white as he cried in great
distress, 'Ingabor, Ingabor, come back, come
back'! but all in vain-no answer came.
Now when Ingabor felt the cold water close
over her head she was almost dead with fright,








INGABOR AND THE FROG


for she did not at all like the idea of being
drowned, and she quite forgot in her alarm
that she had asked the frogs to save her till
she heard a hoarse, deep voice say, 'I will
save you, lovely Ingabor,' and then opening
her eyes she saw close to her a large frog,
and found that he was the same that she had
frightened away when sitting on the bank that
morning. He showed her some long reeds,
and bade her hide herself beneath them, say-
ing, 'You will be quite safe there, for no one
can see you from the bank.' So she crept
under them, and as she did so she felt herself
becoming smaller and smaller till she was no
larger than the frog beside her. Was this
being drowned? she wondered. It could not
be, for she could breathe quite freely, and
drowning people did not shrink in size. But
something must have happened to her, for
instead of her pretty white hands she beheld
two little brown webbed feet with four toes
on each. Surely she had been turned into
a frog! and she screamed with horror, but
the cry was not like Ingabor's, but like that
of a poor little frog in distress. Then said








INGABOR AND THE FROG


the big frog to her, 'Do not distress yourself,
you are quite safe from those wicked men,
for it would be impossible for them to find
you now.
'But I am turned into a frog,' she cried;
a nasty ugly frog, she was about to say, when
politeness stopped her.
Yes,' replied her deliverer calmly, 'you
would not have lived five minutes under the
water as you were, so I changed you into a
frog, and now you can swim about or even
jump on shore and you will not be recognized.'
'Thank you,' said Ingabor quite humbly, for
she did not wish to appear ungrateful.
By this time the man had plunged into the
water, and was seeking everywhere for the
lost maiden. Ingabor watched him as she
crouched down amongst the reeds, and laughed
to think how fruitless his search would be.
Presently she saw him scramble out of the
lake almost exhausted by his diving and swim-
ming about. She heard Fingal offering him
large sums of gold if he succeeded in rescuing
her, but the man only answered sullenly that
it was useless for him to dive in again, as the








INGABOR AND THE FROG


young countess must be drowned by that time.
Nevertheless his master made him try again
with the other servant to help him, and he
threatened to kill them if they did not instantly
obey him. Ingabor, frightened and nervous,
shrank farther into the reeds, and the frog
seeing her uneasiness proposed that she should
accompany him to another piece of water
within the wood where nobody was likely to
disturb her.
'But I should be seen by them when I left
the lake,' said Ingabor.
'Changed as you are, they cannot recognize
you,' answered the frog.
But are you sure that I shall remain a frog
when I leave the water ?' she asked anxiously.
'Quite sure,' replied her companion, 'for I
am the King of the frogs and can do whatever
I wish.'
'Indeed,' said Ingabor, endeavouring to
make a pretty courtesy, but completely failing
on account of the unaccustomed length of her
legs. So the king swam to the shore followed
by Ingabor, who jumped after him on to the
bank; and Fingal and the old lawyer did not








INGABOR AND THE FROG


even notice the fat frog followed by a thinner
one hopping past them into the wood.
, After some time they came to a small pond
half hidden by the tangled branches of the
surrounding thicket. Here,' said the king,
'you may remain in perfect safety.'
'And how long must I remain hidden, do
you think?' inquired Ingabor.
'There is no need to hide yourself; you
may swim and leap about as much as you
like, I shall be here to protect you,' he added
proudly.
But I mean, how long do you think I need
remain a frog ?' asked Ingabor.
'How long need you remain a frog ?' repeated
the king in a tone of surprise. 'Always, I
hope,' he added in a way that seemed to settle
the question.
'Always!' cried poor Ingabor, 'you cruel
frog, what do you mean ? You would not keep
me a frog for ever?'
SWhy not?'
'You said you would save me, but I never
thought you meant by that making an ugly
frog of me,' sobbed Ingabor.








INGABOR AND THE FROG


The king looked kindly at her and then said
gently, I assure you I have not made an ugly
frog of you ; on the contrary, you are extremely
graceful and so beautiful that, if you will con-
sent, I will only too gladly make you my
queen. You do not know, lovely Ingabor,' he
continued, coming closer to her and fixing his
beautiful eyes upon her, 'you do not know how
long I have loved you. Often have I gazed
upon you for hours together as you sat upon
the bank of yonder lake, and sometimes when
you have sighed and looked unhappy I have
almost wept to think how powerless I was to
comfort you. Imagine then my delight when
you called to the frogs to help you, and how
proud I was to be able to assist you. 0
Ingabor, be kind to me, and do not refuse to
be my queen.'
The surprise of the young countess was
great at this sudden declaration of love from
a fat frog, and she felt rather frightened at
finding herself in his power, and at the same
time rather indignant at his daring to speak
thus to her; then, seeing that he was awaiting
her answer and remembering that he meant







INGABOR AND THE FROG


to compliment her, she replied, 'I am sure I
am much obliged to you, sir, but I would
rather not be your queen.' That is decided
enough,' she said to herself, 'he will not trouble
me any more;' but she did not know her new
friend. He was so accustomed to have his
own way that he could not understand her
refusal.
'You do not know what you are refusing,'
he said; 'any other frog would be only too
proud of becoming my queen : besides, I should
be the most miserable of frogs without you.
Well! I will not take an answer now, but will
return this evening. Your heart is too kind,
I know, not to have pity for me.' Then he
gasped, feeling rather breathless after such an
unusually long speech.
'You do not appear to understand,' replied
Ingabor rather angrily, for she was annoyed by
his persistence and presumption, 'that I have
no desire to be your queen. Indeed I should
be extremely sorry to continue being a frog; I
must therefore beg you to restore me at once to
my original form, instead of indulging yourself
in such ridiculous dreams as those of marrying







INGABOR AND THE FROG


me.' She said this with great dignity, ex-
pecting to overawe the poor frog, but before
she had finished her remarks he was out of
sight, his long legs having taken him across
the pond in a very short time.
'What a silly old frog, to fancy that I would
become his queen! He thinks to bribe me
thus to consent to remain a frog all my life.
It is really too bad of him to get me in his
power and then to keep me a prisoner ; but he
will soon see I am determined not to give in,
and then he will set me free. I wish, though,
he had not gone away quite so quickly, for I
might have persuaded him to give me my
liberty this evening, and from this thicket I
could so easily find my way to some friendly
house where I should be safe from that cruel
Fingal.'
However, the king did not return till late in
the evening, when it was rapidly growing dark
beneath the thick leaves that overhung the
water. Ingabor, anxious not to pass the night
in the wood, lost no time in begging him to set
her free immediately, but she found all her
prayers were in vain. He told her that she







INGABOR AND THE FROG


would always have to remain a frog, and that
he was absolutely determined to marry her, for
she was the most beautiful frog that had ever
existed, and far more fascinating now than she
had been as a maiden. Then Ingabor, being
still a woman at heart, thought she would try
what coaxing would do, so she said very gently,
'If you really loved me you would only wish to
do what pleased me, and you would not keep
me a prisoner against my will.' And then she
spoke of his kind heart, and said many pretty,
flattering things, but without any success. At
last she cried angrily, You are a wicked, selfish
monster! and care for nobody but your ugly
self,' and then ran away and hid herself in the
wood, where she remained till the morning.
For some days she crawled about feeling
very miserable. At one time she thought of
going up to the castle on the chance of finding
her friend the big spider, who might be able to
help her in some way. But she dared not
venture so near Fingal's dogs, as she remem-
bered having often seen some helpless frog or
toad caught by them and cruelly tortured.
At length, tired of being alone, she thought








INGABOR AND THE FROG


she would return to the pond and make the
acquaintance of some of the frogs who were
generally to be seen jumping about the grassy
bank or crawling in and out of the mud. She
found them very friendly and quite willing to
talk. She made some inquiries about their
king, for she did not yet despair of softening
his heart, and was most anxious to have another
opportunity of meeting him. The frogs were
unanimous in praising their king. According
to them he was the handsomest and cleverest
creature; and they were all very polite to her,
as if aware that their king held her in great
esteem. Very soon Ingabor was surrounded
by a crowd of his subjects, both male and
female, who all talked together, and their
croaking voices began to tire her. She was
about to leap away when the party was joined
by a rather small frog who surpassed all the
others in elegance and agility. She looked
shyly at Ingabor, and appeared more disposed
to listen than to speak. Something in her
appearance excited our heroine's interest, per-
haps the melancholy look of the large golden-
rimmed eyes, so she lingered a few minutes
E








INGABOR AND THE FROG


thinking she might join in the conversation,
but finding she remained silent Ingabor went
away.
She crawled over some soft moss and pushed
her way through some long grass into the sur-
rounding thicket, and then paused to consider
which way would lead to the lake, which
she had a strange longing to revisit. As she
stood still she heard a rustling behind her and
turning saw the little melancholy frog looking
at her sadly. Ingabor asked her if she could
direct her to the lake. A gentle voice answered,
'I will show you the way there myself,' and
added eagerly, 'Are you going back there to
stay ?'
'I do not know,' replied Ingabor. Whereat
the little frog looked disappointed but only
said, 'This is the nearest way to the lake,'
and hopped on quietly before her. Presently
the little creature stopped and said, 'Tell me,
why did you leave the beautiful lake to come
to our little miserable pond ?'
'That is too long a story to tell you,' replied
Ingabor, for she feared that if the frogs knew
that she was the young countess they might








INGABOR AND THE FROG


tell her secret to the birds, and the birds
might repeat it to that chattering old jackdaw
at the Castle, and so Fingal would perhaps
hear how she had escaped him, and would
come and take revenge upon her. So she
was rather dismayed when the sad little frog
remarked, 'I think I know why you came
here.'
'Pray, how do you know ?' inquired Ingabor
anxiously.
'Because I make use of my eyes,' replied
her companion, with a frog's natural pride in
her quick eyesight.
'Were you in the lake then ? Tell me, have
you told any one else the reason why I came to
your pond ?'
'There was no need for me to tell it,' said
the frog; 'the other frogs know all about it
and do nothing but talk of you all day long.'
I am sure I am much obliged to them, but
it is a pity they do not mind their own business
and leave mine alone. Do you think the birds
have heard what your friends have been saying
about me?'
'The birds ? Of course they have, but they








INGABOR AND THE FROG


never listen much to us, they are always so
noisy, chirping and singing, and they cannot
keep still for more than two minutes together,
silly things!'
'But do you think they know my secret?'
asked Ingabor.
Oh your secret is safe enough; they would
not be troubled to think of your affairs. Even
if I told them how you are dying for love of our
king, they would forget it the next minute.'
'What do you mean by speaking thus to
me? Your king may be foolish enough to
fancy himself in love with me, but surely you
do not suppose that I, the Countess Ingabor,
could be charmed by a frog ? What a ridiculous
idea!'
I do not understand you,' answered the
little frog, all agape with bewilderment. 'I
thought you were in love with our king, as you
forsook your home in the beautiful lake in
order to come with him to our pond; and we
all talked about it, for we saw how much
enamoured he was of you; and then old Gobble
overheard him say he intended to make you
his queen: and you yourself have just con-








INGABOR AND THE FROG


fessed that I have discovered your secret and
now you deny loving him. What you mean
by calling yourself a "countess" I can't think,
I never heard of a "countess" amongst the
frogs before.
'Do you not really know who I am ?' asked
Ingabor, beginning to see that there had been
some mistake.
'Yes, I know. You are the fine lady frog
from the lake, who has turned our kind king's
head and so made him forget me, his ever
faithful friend,' cried the little frog, half-choked
by the tears that filled her mouth (for frogs'
tears do not run down their cheeks, as do
women's, but into their wide mouths, which
must certainly feel rather uncomfortable).
Then Ingabor, seeing clearly that the poor
little creature was ignorant of her real history
and was weeping from jealousy, said gently, I
am very sorry if I have offended you by coming
here, but I assure you I did not come out of
love to your king. He may be a very fine
fellow in your eyes, but to me he is a most
uninteresting frog.' Then thinking that this.
was an ungrateful speech, she added, 'Except








INGABOR AND THE FROG


that he was certainly very kind to me in saving
my life; but I will most willingly promise you
never to marry him, and should you wish it, I
will do all I can to make him care more for
you, his ever faithful friend, than for myself.'
The little frog gave three joyful jumps, and
cried, 'Now, we are friends indeed and
then hopped merrily on towards the lake. It
took them some time to pass through the wood,
and on the way Ingabor confided her true story
to her companion, after making her promise
secrecy, thinking she might be possessed of
the same power over human beings as the
king. The little frog's astonishment was great,
but she could give her no comfort, as she said
the king's power was a special gift from the
fairies and was not possessed by any other
of his race. She described him as of a very
determined character, unaccustomed to con-
tradiction. Before parting from Ingabor, she
confessed that she was deeply in love with
the king herself.
When left alone by the lake-side, the poor
imprisoned countess crawled listlessly about
the bank, on which she had so often sat when








INGABOR AND THE FROG


a lovely maiden full of day-dreams, the memory
of which only made her very sad. The little
grasshoppers were still jumping and chirruping;
the little gnats were still dancing merrily, and
the little birds singing above in the green
trees; but she felt too sad to listen
to them. Creeping under the
shelter of a great yellow fun-
gus, she sat down to reflect
upon her unfortunate position. ,.,
and to consider what she had

gain her freedom. From --
time to time a fat
slug crawled slowly!vil ..
past her and little
insects ran up,
and down the
blades of grass, ...
and in and out
the moss, dainty morsels which any other frog
would have caught with one swift dart of the
tongue; but they were in no danger from poor
Ingabor, who passed whole hours without
noticing anything.







INGABOR AND THE FROG


The sun was sinking behind the tall dark
pines and turning the silver lake into gold, and
whole armies of gnats had come out to enjoy
the misty warmth of the summer evening. A
large dragon-fly with great starting eyes flew
past, and repassed looking greedily for some
prey, its gauzy wings almost brushing the tall
ferns above her. When Ingabor caught sight
of its blue wings flashing by, she looked around
her, and for the first time noticed that night
was approaching. Except the humming of
the gnats and an occasional twitter from some
bird settling itself down for the night, there was
little to break the stillness of the evening but
the whirr of the dragon-fly's wings in his rapid
flight to and fro by the fast darkening water.
But presently she heard a sound of footsteps
approaching and beheld the young Count
Frode, who was walking as if in a dream with
dazed eyes and a white face. He paused be-
side her, and throwing himself upon the grass
began wildly calling upon her by name. For
one moment Ingabor fancied that he meant to
address her, but she soon discovered that he
was thinking of her as the poor drowned coun-








INGABOR AND THE FROG


tess, and had no idea that she was existing in
the form of the little brown frog beside him.
Poor little frog! How she longed to speak:
but she had to content herself with hearing
him pour forth his love to her; and from his
broken words she gathered that her guardian
had deceived her in saying that Count Frode
was going to marry the king's daughter; and
also she learnt that Frode had been told that
she had accidentally fallen into the lake and
been drowned. Her poor heart was ready to
break, for she felt that she might as well be
dead as separated in this cruel way from her
faithful lover. In vain she gave some pitiful
little croaks and told him in frog language how
she was alive and how much she loved him in
return. When at last Frode rousing himself
from his despair arose and walked away, she
made one last effort to attract his notice, but it
only resulted in a dismal little sound unheeded
by him.
The next morning Ingabor determined to
find the king of the frogs and not to leave him
till he had consented to release her. After
some trouble, having in vain sought for him in







INGABOR AND THE FROG


the pond in the wood, she found him at the
farther end of the lake. Certainly he was not
a lovable object as he stood before her with his
great broad flat head and wide gaping mouth
with rounded muzzle; but she was too de-
lighted to find him to think about his ugliness.
Her pleasure soon vanished, however, when
she found that nothing she said made the least
impression upon him. Moreover he informed
her that if she did not consent to marry him
within a week, she should be turned into a
stone.
Six days passed, and every evening Ingabor's
sadness was increased by seeing her faithful
Frode pace up and down the green sward near
the spot in the lake where he supposed her to
be lying drowned. The king of the frogs
seldom came near her, but when he did, he
fixed his great eyes upon her in such a way
that she felt quite uncomfortable.
The evening of the seventh day was ap-
proaching, and Ingabor had crawled out to the
lake-side, to have a farewell look at her lover,
when she met a large spider running quickly
over the ground, and with joy she recognized








INGABOR AND THE FROG


her old friend from the castle. She lost no
time in telling him her sad story, and though he
was powerless to help her himself this time, he
proposed her making a confidant of the old
jackdaw at the castle, who was renowned for
his cleverness. He told her that Fingal had


-a^. f^.
**? ;* ..A f
"r^^ty ^*^
'.J A -** : .


gone away on a pilgrimage, so she might safely
venture near the castle. So Ingabor hastened
to the terrace where she soon met the jackdaw
strutting along. He could for some moments
scarcely believe that his beautiful mistress stood
before him thus transformed. However, when







INGABOR AND THE FROG


he had sufficiently recovered from his surprise,
he put his head on one side, and looking very
wise promised to see what he could do to help
her.
He sat very still for some time, looking very
grave, and muttering occasionally something
hoarsely to himself; and then flying down the
lake, walked about on the bank with a very
consequential air till Count Frode appeared
taking his usual walk. Then the jackdaw flew
up to a tree and sat there watching the discon-
solate lover, whom he startled at length by
calling out, 'Never despair.'
Ingabor by this time had returned to the
lake. Soon the king of the frogs appeared
ready to give her a last chance of consenting
to be his queen, before he carried out his awful
threat.
Thereupon down flew the jackdaw, and look-
ing upon the king in a dignified way, inquired
whether it was true that he refused to liberate
the countess.
What is that to you?' asked the king.
'It is a great deal to me, for she is
my mistress, and. I love her too much to








INGABOR AND THE FROG


bear seeing her so unhappy,' replied the
bird.
You do not love her as much as I do,' said
the king.
'A pretty sort of love indeed,' said the
indignant jackdaw. 'You allow her to pine
away in sorrow when by one word you could
restore her to happiness! And you can bear
to see the poor Count Frode daily haunt
yonder spot, with all joy crushed out of him,
because he thinks she is lost for ever to him,
when it is within your power to make them the
happiest couple in the land Ah you must be
utterly selfish and cruel. And I am told, you
now threaten to turn my mistress into a stone.
Beware, for if you do this I will at once tell the
fairies how wickedly you have misused their
gift, and they will surely punish you.'
The king trembled, and turning from the
jackdaw looked first at Frode and then at
Ingabor. After a long pause he made a great
effort and said with a strange gasp to the latter,
' Ingabor, you are free.'
At this moment Count Frode turned and
beheld by his side a lovely maiden, who blushed








78 INGABOR AND THE FROG
as she raised her loving eyes to him, and to his
startled cry of Ingabor! my Ingabor!' replied
smilingly, 'Yes, Frode, it is I.'
The jackdaw, quite satisfied with his day's
work, gave one croak of triumph and discreetly
flew away while the lovers whispered their
vows.





















THE ISLES OF THE SUN
















THE ISLES OF THE SUN


FAR away in the golden west there are some
beautiful islands of pink rocks standing in an
opal sea. Few people have seen them, for they
are encircled by cruel jagged rocks against
which many a fine ship has been broken and
dashed to pieces by the huge waves that roll
around.
Upon one of the most beautiful of these
islands stands a large house in the midst of a
lovely garden full of the most wonderful trees
and flowers. Tall palms spreading out their
graceful leaves stand like guardians over
masses of brilliant flowers of crimson, gold,
or blue. Delicate ferns of unusual size spring
from every side, and strange trees from many a
distant land grow side by side in right good
fellowship.
Here once lived two little children who
F








THE ISLES OF THE SUN


seemed blessed with everything they needed
to make them happy; but they were not both
content, for though Nettie smiled and sang,
finding everything delightful, Rupert often
I made himself miserable by finding fault
w \ith everything. O)ne day in the early
summer, Nettie w\as standing in the
,,irden iw ttchini some little ants whose
,"bus w \ays had for some time amused
her. Rup:,ert was listlessly
S; lying on the grass not far off
roll her.
S'Do come here, Rupert,'
cried Nettie, 'and see this big
fellow with the
leaf. I stuffed
up the large hole
Sand he and some
others have al-
ready cleared it
again, and now he is trying to move a bit of
leaf ten times as big as himself, and oh! he is
moving it. Oh! do come and look. Rupert,
make haste; do make haste,' but Rupert only
said, 'shan't;' and then adding something about








THE -ISLES OF THE SUN


'those stupid ants,' got up and walked down
to the part of the garden by the sea-shore,
where he amused himself by watching the
boatmen preparing their things for a sail.
'I can't think what is the matter with
Rupert,' said his sister to herself. 'He is so
grumpy. Whether I play with the ants or the
dog or anything else, he is always finding fault.
Something is always wrong. Nurse says it's
because he is a boy. Well! I wish he would
make haste and grow up then, and be like papa.
Papa likes ants and tells me a lot about them
and everything, and I don't believe he was ever
a grumpy boy. Oh dear! I hope Rupert is
not going to be like Uncle John, but nurse
says he is only cross because he is an old
Indian and has been fed on too hot curries.
Papa won't let us eat curry, I expect he is
afraid it will make us cross. Well! I will go
and see Piers feed the ostriches as Rupert has
gone off to the shore;' and so away ran Nettie
to where the two fine birds were anxiously
awaiting their meal, while their two little chicks
of a few weeks old looked shyly at their little
visitor,








THE ISLES OF THE SUN


In the meantime Rupert had been watching
the boatmen preparing to set sail, their boat
being full of baskets of shining fish; and when
all was ready, the elder boatman, who was
generally known as 'the Capt'n,' asked him
whether he would not like to come with them;
'Indeed I should,' said Rupert, 'but it will
take too long.'
'We are not going farther than St. Mary's,'
replied 'the Capt'n,' 'and shall not be more
than twenty minutes doing all our business.'
Rupert thought that their business would
probably take longer than that, as after unload-
ing their fish they had to get provisions from
the village, but as at the worst he should only
be late for tea he said he would go with them.
It was delightful to feel the cool breeze at
sea after it had been so warm on land. Rupert
grew quite happy as he sat dabbling his hand
in the clear green water. So clear was it that
as the boat drew near the landing-place he
could distinctly see the golden sand beneath
with the seaweed waving to and fro, and even
could watch a crab running along to the shelter
of the rocks, Whilst the two boatmen went








THE ISLES OF THE SUN


into the village, the little boy wandered along
the shore till he came to a spot out of sight of
any building, but from which he could be hailed
from the boat when the time came for return-
ing. Here he sat down and amused himself

F ^ ----,, ~~ .* *"", --








0i by look-
S ing into
one of the many deep
pools left among the rocks
Sby the receding tide and
:' watching the little fish as
they darted about. Nettie would probably
have called it fairyland, but then she was
always thinking about fairies. However, no
fairies could have chosen a more lovely home.
The silver sea rippled against the opal-tinted
rocks and lovely anemones of varied hue








THE ISLES OF THE SUN


lined every beautiful pool: some were of
the deepest purple, some of palest pink;
some red, others of snowy white, cream, or
olive green. There the hungry opelet was
waving its snakelike arms in search of prey,
and the bright beadlets set with turquoise
adorned every nook and corner. Everything
was so still, only the sea-birds from time to
time uttered a shrill note as they hovered about
some tempting shoal of fish. Imagine, there-
fore, Rupert's surprise on suddenly finding he
had two companions seated not far from him
on his left. They were both old men, but
differed very much in appearance. One sat
with bowed back and his head bent down
with a scowl upon his face. The other,
notwithstanding his wrinkled skin and grey
hair, had a bright youthful expression as he
glanced cheerfully around him. They were
apparently strangers to each other and for
some time neither spoke. At length the
younger one remarked in a cheery voice: 'A
fine spot this, sir, it is perfect in its summer
loveliness.'
'Very dull and bare, I think,' replied his








THE ISLES OF THE SUN


companion after a slight pause during which
he cast a suspicious look at the first speaker.
'There is not much vegetation certainly!'
was the rejoinder; 'but nature has been so
lavish in her colouring of the rocks, that
one feels it is a complete picture, and with
this beautiful sky and sea the harmony is
perfect.'
Hum!' was the reply, 'I call it a perfect
desert; not a creature to be seen nor a decent
house to be found.'
'Solitude has evidently no charms for you,
sir, but for myself a place like this seems a
paradise, and I could spend hours alone here,
it is so peaceful, so--'
'Well! if you want solitude,' said the other
old gentleman angrily, 'it is a pity you came
talking to me: but I am not going to take any
of your disagreeable hints. I have as much
right to be here as you have, and I am not
going away merely to please you.'
'Pardon me, sir, you misunderstand me.
I never meant to hint at anything so rude. I
fear, though, my conversation bores you, so
I will bid you good-day,' and with an amused







THE ISLES OF THE SUN


look and a good-natured smile the cheery old
man arose and walked briskly away.
SDisagreeable fellow!' growled the other to
himself, 'taking offence so easily and going
away like that. I am quite sick and tired of
being alone, and now that I have found one
sensible man of course he must take himself
off in a rage-just like my luck!' and grumbling
and growling to himself he got up and walked
off slowly with head bowed down in the
opposite direction.
Rupert looked after him and said to himself,
'What an old bear! he blames everything
but himself.'
'He is just like you, Rupert,' said a quick
little voice. Rupert looked around in astonish-
ment to find the speaker, but in vain. The
voice seemed to come from below, but on look-
ing down he could see nothing but the pool of
water and his own face reflected therein. He
was quite surprised to see how clearly his face
was reflected, and as he looked at it he noticed
it was changing and growing longer, thinner
and older. Then came curious lines about it
and deep wrinkles; and before many minutes




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