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21
THE DAUGHTERS OF THE TWO COUNSELLORS.

and he was at last shown into the kitchen as being a place "quite good enough for such as she."

During the dead of the night the king heard a noise as of some persons coming into the house, so he peeped out and observed two of his officers engaged in tender conversation with the two maidens, who had come down stairs on tiptoe to open the door for them. The king saw the officers take off their swords and belts and lay them in a corner of an adjoining chamber; so when they had left the room, the king went in unperceived, took possession of the swords and belts, and glided out of the house with them.

The king went next to the house of the maiden whose father never spoke of her. When he knocked at the door and begged for alms and shelter for the evening, the beautiful maiden came herself and served the poor stranger to a good supper with her own hands; and bade her come and sleep in a room next to hers, which was warm and comfortable.

The king kept very quiet in his room, to hear what passed. Though the night was far advanced, he heard the maiden still moving in her room; so he went and looked through a chink of the door, and was quite charmed to see her kneeling in prayer at her little oratory. She rose from prayer, and taking up a tiny silver casket that was on the table, containing some scented powder, she smelt the perfume and then got into bed. When the king saw that she