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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Caporushes"

Caporushes

And he held her hand so fast that she had a job to get away, and lo and behold! his ring came off his finger, and as she ran up to her bed there it was in her hand! She had just time to put on her cap and robe of rushes, when her fellow-servants came trooping in and found her awake.

"It was the noise you made coming upstairs," she made excuse; but they said, "Not we! It is the whole place that is in an uproar searching for the beautiful stranger. Young master he tried to detain her; but she slipped from him like an eel. But he declares he will find her; for if he doesn't he will die of love for her."

Then Caporushes laughed. "Young men don't die of love," says she. "He will find some one else."

But he didn't. He spent his whole time looking for his beautiful dancer, but go where he might, and ask whom he would, he never heard anything about her. And day by day he grew thinner and thinner, and paler and paler, until at last he took to his bed.

And the housekeeper came to the cook and said, "Cook the nicest dinner you can cook, for young master eats nothing."

Then the cook prepared soups, and jellies, and creams, and roast chicken, and bread sauce; but the young man would none of them.

And Caporushes cleaned the pots and scraped the saucepans and said nothing.

Then the housekeeper came crying and said to the cook, "Prepare some gruel for young master. Mayhap he'd take that. If not he will die for love of the beautiful dancer. If she could see him now she would have pity on him."

So the cook began to make the gruel, and Caporushes left scraping saucepans and watched her.

"Let me stir it," she said, "while you fetch a cup from the pantry-room."

So Caporushes stirred the gruel, and what did she do but slips young master's ring into it before the cook came back!

Then the butler took the cup upstairs on a silver salver. But when the young master saw it he waved it away, till the butler with tears begged him just to taste it.

So the young master took a silver spoon and stirred the gruel; and he felt something hard at the bottom of the cup.

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