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The Sea Fairies

22. Trot Lives To Tell The Tale
Aquareine was thoughtful for a time. Then she drew from her finger a ring, a plain gold
band set with a pearl of great value, and gave it to the little girl.
"If at any period of your life the mermaids can be of service to you, my dear," she said,
"you have but to come to the edge of the ocean and call 'Aquareine.' If you are wearing
the ring at the time, I shall instantly hear you and come to your assistance."
"Thank you!" cried the child, slipping the ring over her own chubby finger, which it fitted
perfectly. "I shall never forget that I have good and loyal friends in the ocean, you may be
sure."
Away and away they swam, swiftly and in a straight line, keeping in the middle water
where they were not liable to meet many sea people. They passed a few schools of fishes,
where the teachers were explaining to the young ones how to swim properly, and to
conduct themselves in a dignified manner, but Trot did not care to stop and watch the
exercises.
Although the queen had lost her fairy wand in Zog's domed chamber, she had still enough
magic power to carry them all across the ocean in wonderfully quick time, and before
Trot and Cap'n Bill were aware of the distance they had come, the mermaids paused
while Princess Clia said:
"Now we must go a little deeper, for here is the Giant's Cave and the entrance to it is near
the bottom of the sea."
"What, already?" cried the girl joyfully, and then through the dark water they swam,
passing through the rocky entrance, and began to ascend slowly into the azure-blue water
of the cave.
"You've been awfully good to us, and I don't know jus' how to thank you," said Trot
earnestly.
"We have enjoyed your visit to us," said beautiful Queen Aquareine, smiling upon her
little friend, "and you may easily repay any pleasure we have given you by speaking well
of the mermaids when you hear ignorant earth people condemning us."
"I'll do that, of course," exclaimed the child.
"How about changin' us back to our reg'lar shapes?" inquired Cap'n Bill anxiously.
"That will be very easy," replied Princess Clia with her merry laugh. "See! Here we are at
the surface of the water."
 
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