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By George MacDonald

Princess Irene lives in a fortress in a wild and lonely mountainous quarter. in the future she discovers a steep and winding stairway resulting in a bewildering labyrinth of unused passages with closed doorways - and another stairway. What lies on the most sensible? Can the hoop the princess is given safeguard her opposed to the lurking threat of the boglins from below the mountain?

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He rode a white horse and was once taller than any of the lads with him. He wore a slim circle of gold set with jewels round his helmet, and as he got here nonetheless closer Irene may possibly figure the flashing of the stones within the sunlight. It was once many years when you consider that he were to work out her, and her little center beat swifter and speedier because the shining troop approached, for she enjoyed her king-papa very dearly and used to be nowhere so satisfied as in his palms. after they reached a undeniable aspect, and then she may perhaps see them not more from the backyard, she ran to the gate, and there stood until eventually up they got here clanging and stamping with another shiny bugle-blast which stated: ‘Irene, i'm come. ’ via this time the folk of the home have been all amassed on the gate, yet Irene stood on my own in entrance of them. whilst the horsemen pulled up she ran to the part of the white horse and held up her palms. The king stooped and took her arms. right away she was once at the saddle and clasped in his nice powerful fingers. I want i'll describe the king in an effort to see him on your brain. He had mild, blue eyes, yet a nostril that made him seem like an eagle. a protracted darkish beard, streaked with silvery strains, flowed from his mouth nearly to his waist, and as Irene sat at the saddle and concealed her pleased face upon his bosom it mingled with the golden hair which her mom had given her, and the 2 jointly have been like a cloud with streaks of the sunlight woven via it. After he had held her to his middle for a minute he spoke to his white horse, and the nice attractive creature, which have been prancing so proudly a short while prior to, walked as lightly as a woman – for he knew he had a bit girl on his again – throughout the gate and as much as the door of the home. Then the king set her at the floor and, dismounting, took her hand and walked along with her into the good corridor, which was once infrequently entered other than while he got here to determine his little princess. There he sat down, with of his counsellors who had followed him, to have a few refreshment, and Irene sat on his correct hand and drank her milk out of a wood bowl interestingly carved. After the king had eaten and inebriated he grew to become to the princess and acknowledged, stroking her hair: ‘Now, my baby, what lets do subsequent? ’ This was once the query he regularly positioned to her first after their meal jointly; and Irene have been awaiting it with a few impatience, for now, she notion, she can be capable of settle a query which continuously confused her. ‘I may still such as you to take me to determine my nice outdated grandmother. ’ The king appeared grave and stated: ‘What does my little daughter suggest? ’ ‘I suggest the Queen Irene that lives up within the tower – the very previous woman, you recognize, with the lengthy hair of silver. ’ The king purely gazed at his little princess with a glance which she couldn't comprehend. ‘She’s bought her crown in her bedroom,’ she went on; ‘but I’ve no longer been in there but. you recognize she’s there, don’t you? ’ ‘No,’ acknowledged the king, very quietly. ‘Then it needs to all be a dream,’ stated Irene. ‘I part suggestion it was once; yet I couldn’t confirm.

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