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Main > Portuguese folktales > Fairy tale "The Daughter of the King of Naples"

The Daughter of the King of Naples

He did not give her up, however, until it was almost daylight. Then he sorrowfully returned to his waiting ship.

"I have at least found out that the king of Naples has a daughter and that she is the most beautiful princess in the whole world," he said. "If she prefers not to have a run-away marriage it will doubtless be better for me to sail home and tell my father to make arrangements with the king of Naples for our wedding. There are some advantages in this more dignified method."

Thus it happened that the prince sailed away for his own country, never dreaming that the princess had kept her promise to steal down the stairway in the night and that she was then in the hands of the wicked robber.

The daughter of the king of Naples sobbed and cried so loud when she found that it was not her own prince with whom she was sailing that the robber became quite disgusted with her.

"I thought you were a pretty little maid," he said, "when I first saw you, but now I've changed my mind about you."

Indeed no person with good eyesight would have called the princess pretty at that moment, with her face all red and swollen with much weeping.

The robber decided that he did not want to bother with her any longer, so he landed in the country of the Junqueiras and left her there. The princess wandered about the place until night came without seeing a single soul,—nothing but the sea, sky and rocks.

She was really, however, not far from the hut in which there lived the wife and daughter of a poor fisherman. In the stillness of the night they heard a cry.

"Some one is in trouble outside, mother," said the daughter.

"Perhaps the pirates have come and by this cry are trying to lure us out," answered her mother cautiously. There were often pirate ships which stopped there. The daughter listened carefully.

"No, mother," she insisted. "I'm sure this is a girl's cry."

The two women opened their door and crept out in the darkness. The sobs of the princess soon led them to the place upon the rocks where she lay crying as if her heart would break.

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