THE TALE OF THE LOST LAND
CHAPTER 16: MORGAN LE FAY
Now what a happy idea that was!--and so simple; yet it would never
have occurred to me. I was born modest; not all over, but in spots;
and this was one of the spots.
The effect upon madame was electrical. It cleared her countenance
and brought back her smiles and all her persuasive graces and
blandishments; but nevertheless she was not able to entirely cover up
with them the fact that she was in a ghastly fright. She said:
"La, but do list to thine handmaid! as if one gifted with powers
like to mine might say the thing which I have said unto one who
has vanquished Merlin, and not be jesting. By mine enchantments
I foresaw your coming, and by them I knew you when you entered
here. I did but play this little jest with hope to surprise you
into some display of your art, as not doubting you would blast
the guards with occult fires, consuming them to ashes on the spot,
a marvel much beyond mine own ability, yet one which I have long
been childishly curious to see."
The guards were less curious, and got out as soon as they got permission.