The young King remarked, however, that the faithful John always passed by one door, so he asked, "Why do you not open that one?" "There is something in it," he replied, "which will frighten you."
But the King said, "I have seen all the rest of the castle, and I will know what is in there," and he went and tried to open the door by force. The faithful John pulled him back, and said, "I promised your father before he died that you should not see the contents of that room; it would bring great misfortunes both upon you and me."
"Oh, no," replied the young King, "if I do not go in it will be my certain ruin; I should have no peace night nor day until I had seen it with my own eyes. Now I will not stir from the place till you unlock the door."
Then the faithful John saw that it was of no use talking; so, with a heavy heart and many sighs, he picked the key out of the great bunch. When he had opened the door, he went in first, and thought he would cover up the picture, that the King should not see it; but it was of no use, for the King stepped upon tiptoes and looked over his shoulder; and as soon as he saw the portrait of the maiden, which was so beautiful and glittered with precious stones, he fell down on the ground insensible. The faithful John lifted him up and carried him to his bed, and thought with great concern, "Mercy on us! the misfortune has happened; what will come of it?" and he gave the young King wine until he came to himself. The first words he spoke were, "Who does that beautiful picture represent?" "That is the daughter of the King of the Golden Palace," was the reply.
"Then," said the King, "my love for her is so great that if all the leaves on the trees had tongues, they should not gainsay it; my life is set upon the search for her. You are my faithful John, you must accompany me."
The trusty servant deliberated for a long while how to set about this business, for it was very difficult to get into the presence of the King's daughter.