was glad of some help, readily agreed; and Maria, while preparing a large chad which had come in with the rest of the fish, found her lost ring in the fish's belly.
The day arrived when the three servants were to produce their rings; and Maria Silva, with a happy face and beaming with joy, presented hers to the prince, which so astonished both the wicked prince and the two servants that they all nearly fainted away.
When the prince had sufficiently recovered from his surprise, he asked Maria how she had got her ring back which had fallen into the sea; but her only answer was—
Left alone in the wood,
By a prince I was found;
A kind goat gave me food,
And the goatherd was good,
And here I am safe and sound.
The prince found that instead of shaking off the spell under which he was laid he was more than ever in love with Maria Silva, and resolved no longer to resist his fate. Filled with remorse, he made a full confession to Maria of all he had done to her, asked to be forgiven, and said he would give up the princess and make her his wife instead, promising to atone for his crimes towards her by making her happy ever after.