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THE NOBLEMAN AND THE GREEN BLINDS.

prowl about seeking for a meal?" The princess made no answsr, for she had already begun to fulfil the promise she had made to Our Lady. The prince continued to question her, but as she held her peace he concluded that she was dumb, and took her to his father's palace, where she was a mystery to everyone.

In the meantime the prince travelled through many countries, endeavouring to find out where she had come from, and to what royal family she belonged; but all his efforts were in vain, for nowhere could he discover the least trace of her family and history.

A year had thus been spent, and still the princess remained a mystery. But the prince, feeling more and more in love with her, determined to discard the rich, proud countess to whom he had been paying attentions, and to marry the dumb and friendless maiden. On the very day when the twelve months were completed since the princess was brought to the palace, the prince ordered that she should be attired in royal robes, with a tiara of diamonds and a necklace of pearls. When she came into court thus attired, the countess, cross with envy, began mocking and sneering at her and everything about her, saying, "Do look at that silly, dumb girl; what a figure she makes in her ugly robes and mock jewels!"

The princess, who at that very moment had completed her full year of silence, startled the whole court by saying, "Do look at the poor envious