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Main > English folktales > Fairy tale "Mr. Fox"

Mr. Fox

"But it is not so, of course, and it was not so."

And Mr. Fox said nothing; he sate frozen.

"Then I dreamed that I opened the door and went down a dark narrow passage," said Lady Mary, still smiling, though her voice was ice. "And at the end of the passage there was a door, and the door had a chink in it. And through the chink I saw a wide saloon lit with many candles, and all round it were the bones and bodies of poor dead maidens, their clothes all stained with blood; but of course it is not so, and it was not so."

By this time all the neighbours were looking Mr. Fox-ways with all their eyes, while he sate silent.

But Lady Mary went on, and her smiling lips were set:

"Then I dreamed that I ran downstairs and had just time to hide myself when you, Mr. Fox, came in dragging a young lady by the hair. And the sunlight glittered on her diamond ring as she clutched the stair-rail, and you out with your sword and cut off the poor lady's hand."

Then Mr. Fox rose in his seat stonily and glared about him as if to escape, and his eye-teeth showed like a fox beset by the dogs, and he grew pale.

And he said, trying to smile, though his whispering voice could scarcely be heard:

"But it is not so, dear heart, and it was not so, and God forbid it should be so!"

Then Lady Mary rose in her seat also, and the smile left her face, and her voice rang as she cried:

"But it is so, and it was so;

Here's hand and ring I have to show."

And with that she pulled out the poor dead hand with the glittering ring from her bosom and pointed it straight at Mr. Fox.

At this all the company rose, and drawing their swords cut Mr. Fox to pieces.

And served him very well right.

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