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The Yellow Dwarf

I am the Fairy of the Desert; without the Yellow Dwarf and his orange tree my great lions would soon have eaten you up, I can tell you, and in Fairyland we do not suffer ourselves to be insulted like this. Make up your minds at once what you will do, for I vow that you shall marry the Yellow Dwarf. If you don't, may I burn my crutch!"

"Ah! Princess," said the Queen, weeping, "what is this that I hear? What have you promised?"

"Ah! my mother," replied Bellissima sadly, "what did YOU promise, yourself?"

The King of the Gold Mines, indignant at being kept from his happiness by this wicked old woman, went up to her, and threatening her with his sword, said:

"Get away out of my country at once, and for ever, miserable creature, lest I take your life, and so rid myself of your malice."

He had hardly spoken these words when the lid of the box fell back on the floor with a terrible noise, and to their horror out sprang the Yellow Dwarf, mounted upon a great Spanish cat. "Rash youth!" he cried, rushing between the Fairy of the Desert and the King. "Dare to lay a finger upon this illustrious Fairy! Your quarrel is with me only. I am your enemy and your rival. That faithless Princess who would have married you is promised to me. See if she has not upon her finger a ring made of one of my hairs. Just try to take it off, and you will soon find out that I am more powerful than you are!"

"Wretched little monster!" said the King; "do you dare to call yourself the Princess's lover, and to lay claim to such a treasure? Do you know that you are a dwarf-- that you are so ugly that one cannot bear to look at you --and that I should have killed you myself long before this if you had been worthy of such a glorious death?"

The Yellow Dwarf, deeply enraged at these words, set spurs to his cat, which yelled horribly, and leaped hither and thither--terrifying everybody except the brave King, who pursued the Dwarf closely, till he, drawing a great knife with which he was armed, challenged the King to meet him in single combat, and rushed down into the courtyard of the palace with a terrible clatter.

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