The Toad Again
Saying these words, she seized Violette's foot with her cold and shining paws and tried to draw her down into the water. Violette uttered the most piercing shrieks; she struggled and caught hold of the plants and shrubs growing on the borders of the stream. The first, alas, gave way, and Violette in despair seized hold of others.
"Ourson! oh, Ourson! help! help! dear Ourson, save me, save your poor Violette! I am perishing! save me! help! help!"
The fairy Furious, in the form of a toad, was about to carry her off. The last shrub had given way and Violette's last cry was hushed.
The poor Violette disappeared under the water just as another cry, more despairing, more terrible, answered to her own. But, alas! her hair alone appeared above the water when Ourson reached the spot, breathless and panting with terror. He had heard Violette's cries and had turned back with the rapidity of lightning.
Without a moment's hesitation he sprang into the water and seized Violette by her long hair but he felt instantly that he was sinking with her. The fairy Furious was drawing them to the bottom of the stream. He knew he was sinking but he did not lose his self-possession. Instead of releasing Violette, he seized her both arms and invoked the fairy Drolette. When they reached the bottom, he gave one vigorous stroke with his heel which brought him again to the surface. Holding Violette securely with one arm, he swam sturdily with the other and through some supernatural force he reached the shore where he deposited the unconscious Violette.
Her eyes were closed, her teeth tightly clenched and the pallor of death was on her face. Ourson threw himself on his knees by her side weeping bitterly. Brave Ourson, whom no dangers could intimidate, no privation, no suffering could master, now wept like a child. His sweet sister, so well beloved! his only friend, his consolation, his happiness was lying there motionless, lifeless! Ourson's strength and courage had deserted him and he sank down without consciousness by the side of his beloved Violette.