The Journey and Arrival
You know the rest, my dear child. But you can never know all that we have suffered in witnessing your tears and your desolation."
Blondine embraced the Fairy ardently and addressed a thousand questions to her.
"What has become of the gazelles who waited upon us so gracefully?"
"You have already seen them, dear Blondine. They are the young girls who accompanied you. They also were changed when the evil genius gained his power over us."
"And the good white cow who brought me milk every day?"
"We obtained permission from the Queen of the Fairies to send you this light refreshment. The encouraging words of the Crow came also from us."
"You, then, madam, also sent me the Tortoise?"
"Yes, Blondine. The Queen of the Fairies, touched by your repentance and your grief, deprived the Evil Genius of the Forest of all power over us on condition of obtaining from you one last proof of submission, compelling you to take this long and fatiguing journey and inflicting the terrible punishment of making you believe that my son and I had died from your imprudence. I implored, entreated the Queen of the Fairies to spare you at least this last anguish but she was inflexible."
Blondine gazed at her lost friends, listened eagerly to every word and did not cease to embrace those she had feared were eternally separated from her by death. The remembrance of her dear father now presented itself. The prince Parfait understood her secret desire and made it known to his mother, the fairy Bienveillante.
"Prepare yourself, dear Blondine, to see your father. Informed by me, he now expects you."
At this moment, Blondine found herself in a chariot of gold and pearls, the fairy Bienveillante seated at her right hand, and the prince Parfait at her feet, regarding her kindly and tenderly. The chariot was drawn by four swans of dazzling whiteness. They flew with such rapidity, that five minutes brought them to the palace of King Benin. All the court was assembled about the king, all were expecting the princess Blondine.