But Terribus also encountered the enchanted mirror, and the prince waited in vain for his return.

Then Wul-Takim volunteered to go in search of the others, and drew his big, sharp sword before entering the hall. But an hour passed by and he did not return.

The Red Rogue was overjoyed at the success of his stratagem, and could scarce refrain from laughing outright at the prince's anxiety.

Marvel was really perplexed. He knew some treachery was afoot, but could not imagine what it was. And when the pretty High Ki declared their intention of entering the castle, he used every endeavor to dissuade them. But the twin girls would not be denied, so great was their curiosity. So the prince said:

"Well, we will all go together, so that the Ki and I may be able to protect you."

The Red Rogue gladly granted them admittance, and they passed him and entered the great hall.

The place appeared to them to be completely empty, so they walked along and came opposite the mirror. Here all stopped at once, and the twin High Ki uttered exclamations of surprise, and the twin Ki shouted, "Great Kika-koo!"

For there in the glass were the reflections of the three girls and Nerle and King Terribus and Wul-Takim. And there were also the reflections of the twin High Ki and the twin Ki. Only Prince Marvel's reflection was missing, and this was because of his fairy origin. For the glass could reflect and hold only the forms of mortals.

But the prince saw the reflections of all the others, and then made the discovery that the forms of the Ki and the High Ki had become invisible. No one except himself appeared to be standing in the great hall of the Red Rogue's castle! Yet grouped within the glass were the likenesses of all his friends, as well as those of Lady Seseley and her companions; and all were staring back at him earnestly, as if imploring him to save them.

The mystery was now explained, and Prince Marvel rushed from the hall to find the treacherous Red Rogue. But that clever trickster had hidden himself in an upper room, and for the present was safely concealed.

For a time Prince Marvel could not think what to do. Such magic was all unknown to him, and how to free the imprisoned forms of his friends was a real problem. He walked around the castle, but no one was in sight, the Rogue having given orders to all his people to keep away. Only the tethered horses did he see, and these raised their heads and whinnied as if in sympathy with his perplexity.

Then he went back into the hall and searched all the rooms of the castle without finding a single person. On his return he stopped in front of the mirror and sorrowfully regarded the faces of his friends, who again seemed to plead for relief.

And while he looked a sudden fit of anger came over him at being outwitted by this Red Rogue of Dawna. Scarcely knowing what he did, he seized his sword by the blade and struck the mirror a powerful blow with the heavy hilt. It shattered into a thousand fragments, which fell clattering upon the stone floor in every direction. And at once the charm was broken; each of his friends now became visible. They appeared running toward him from all parts of the castle, where they had been wandering in their invisible forms.

They called out joyful greetings to one another, and then all of them surrounded the prince and thanked him earnestly for releasing them.

The little Lady Seseley and her friends, Berna and Helda, were a bit shy in the presence of so many strangers; but they alone knew the prince's secret, and that he was a fairy transformed for a year; so they regarded him as an old and intimate acquaintance, and after being introduced by him to the others of his party they became more at ease.

The sweet little High Ki maids at once attracted Seseley, and she loved them almost at first sight. But it was Nerle who became the little lady's staunchest friend; for there was something rather mystical and unnatural to him about the High Ki, who seemed almost like fairies, while in Seseley he recognized a hearty, substantial girl of his own rank in life.

The Enchanted Island of Yew Page 49

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