THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 23: RESTORATION OF THE FOUNTAIN
"Part of it is."
"Not all, then, not all! What part is true?"
"That that spirit with the Russian name has put his spell
upon the well."
"God's wownds, then are we ruined!"
"But not certainly? Ye mean, not certainly?"
"That is it."
"Wherefore, ye also mean that when he saith none can break the spell--"
"Yes, when he says that, he says what isn't necessarily true.
There are conditions under which an effort to break it may have
some chance--that is, some small, some trifling chance--of success."
"Oh, they are nothing difficult. Only these: I want the well
and the surroundings for the space of half a mile, entirely to
myself from sunset to-day until I remove the ban--and nobody
allowed to cross the ground but by my authority."
"Are these all?"
"And you have no fear to try?"
"Oh, none. One may fail, of course; and one may also succeed.
One can try, and I am ready to chance it. I have my conditions?"
"These and all others ye may name. I will issue commandment
to that effect."
"Wait," said Merlin, with an evil smile. "Ye wit that he that
would break this spell must know that spirit's name?"
"Yes, I know his name."