"Why not leave the country as it is?" asked King Terribus of Spor. "The High Ki is welcome to come to my castle to live, and then she need no longer bother about the Land of Twi, which seems to me a poor place, after all."

"And your sister may come with me to my cave, and be the queen of the reformed thieves, which is a much more important office than being High Ki of Twi," added big Wul-Takim, who had placed the maiden in green upon a cushion at his feet, and was striving to comfort her by gently stroking her silken hair with his rough hand.

"But I love my country, and do not wish to leave it," answered the yellow High Ki. "And I love my twin sister, and regret that our minds have become separated," she continued, sadly.

"I have it!" exclaimed Nerle. "Let the prince reunite you, making you regular twins of Twi again, and then you can continue to rule the country as the double High Ki, and everything will be as it was before."

The yellow High Ki clapped her pink hands with delight and looked eagerly at the prince.

"Will you?" she asked. "Will you please reunite us? And then all our troubles will be ended!"

This really seemed to Marvel the best thing to be done. So he led the maid in green to the other throne, where she had once sat, and after replacing the golden crown upon her brow he whispered a fairy spell of much mystical power.

Then the prince stepped back and regarded the maidens earnestly, and after a moment both the High Ki smiled upon him in unison and said--speaking the same words in the same voices and with the same accents:

"Thank you very much!"

20. Kwytoffle, the Tyrant

Having restored the High Ki to their former condition, to the great joy of the ancient Ki, Prince Marvel led his friends back to the palaces where his men were waiting.

They were just in time to prevent serious trouble, for the fifty-eight reformed thieves had been boasting of their prowess to the huge giants and tiny dwarfs of King Terribus, and this had resulted in a quarrel as to which were the best fighters. Had not their masters arrived at the right moment there would certainly have been a fierce battle and much bloodshed,--and all over something of no importance.

Terribus and Wul-Takim soon restored order, and then they accompanied the Ki and the Ki-Ki to the public square, where the people were informed that their Supreme Highnesses, the High Ki, had been reunited and would thereafter rule them with twin minds as well as twin bodies. There was great rejoicing at this news, for every twin in Twi was glad to have his troubles ended so easily and satisfactorily.

That night the ryls and knooks and other invisible friends of Prince Marvel came and removed the dividing wall between the twin palaces of the High Ki, repairing speedily all the damage that had been done. And when our friends called upon the High Ki the next morning they found the two maids again dressed exactly alike in yellow robes, with strings of sparkling emeralds for ornament. And not even Prince Marvel could now tell one of the High Ki from the other.

As for the maids themselves, it seemed difficult to imagine they had ever existed apart for a single moment.

They were very pleasant and agreeable to their new friends, and when they heard that Prince Marvel was about to leave them to seek new adventures they said:

"Please take us with you! It seems to us that we ought to know something of the big outside world from whence you came. If we see other kingdoms and people we shall be better able to rule our own wisely."

"That seems reasonable," answered Marvel, "and I shall be very glad to have you accompany me. But who will rule the Land of Twi in your absence?"

"The Ki-Ki shall be the rulers," answered the High Ki, "and we will take the Ki with us."

"Then I will delay my departure until to-morrow morning," said the prince, "in order that your Highnesses may have time to prepare for the journey."

And then he went back to the palaces of the other rulers, where the Ki expressed themselves greatly pleased at the idea of traveling, and the new Ki-Ki were proud to learn they should rule for some time the Land of Twi.

The Enchanted Island of Yew Page 41

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