Violette was about to reply, when a kind of roaring was heard in the air, and they saw descend a chariot made of crocodile's skin, drawn by fifty enormous toads. All the toads were hissing and blowing, and would have cast their infectious venom in every direction, if they had not been restrained by the power of the fairy Drolette.
When the chariot reached the ground, the fairy Furious, a huge and heavy creature, issued from it. Her big eyes seemed bursting from their sockets, her large flat nose covered her wrinkled, withered cheeks, her monstrous mouth extended from ear to ear and when it was open a long pointed black tongue was seen licking her horrid teeth.
She was not more than three feet in height and was very corpulent; her grizzly skin was gluey and cold, like a snail's and her thin red hair fell in locks of unequal length around her throat, which was disfigured by a goitre. Her large, flat hands looked like the fins of a shark, her dress was made of snail's skins and her mantle of the skins of toads.
She advanced towards Ourson (who shall hereafter be known by his true name of Prince Marvellous) with a slow step. She paused in front of him and casting a furious glance upon the fairy Drolette and an eye of mocking triumph upon Violette, she folded her great cold arms and said in a sharp yet hoarse voice:—
"My sister has triumphed over me, Prince Marvellous. I have, however, one consolation: you will not be happy, because you have obtained your original beauty at the expense of that little fool, who is now frightful and repugnant and whom you will now never wish to approach. Yes! yes! weep, my handsome Ourson! You will weep a long time, Violette, and you will regret bitterly, if you do not already regret, that you have given your beautiful skin to the prince Marvellous."
"Never, madam, never! My only regret is that I did not know sooner what I could do to testify my gratitude."
The fairy Drolette, whose countenance had assumed an unaccustomed expression of severity and irritation, now waved her wand and said:—