The Sea Fairies
17. The Queen's Golden Sword
"Goodness me!" exclaimed Trot, raising herself by a flirt of her pink-scaled tail and a
wave of her fins, "isn't it dreadful hot here?"
The mermaids had risen at the same time, and Cap'n Bill came swimming in from the
Peony Room in time to hear the little girl's speech.
"Hot!" echoed the sailor. "Why, I feel like the inside of a steam engine!"
The perspiration was rolling down his round, red face, and he took out his handkerchief
and carefully wiped it away, waving his fish tail gently at the same time.
"What we need most in this room," said he, "is a fan."
"What's the trouble, do you s'pose?" inquired Trot.
"It is another trick of the monster Zog," answered the Queen calmly. "He has made the
water in our rooms boiling hot, and if it could touch us, we would be well cooked by this
time. Even as it is, we are all made uncomfortable by breathing the heated air."
"What shall we do, ma'am?" the sailor man asked with a groan. "I expected to get into hot
water afore we've done with this foolishness, but I don't like the feel o' bein' parboiled,
jes' the same."
The queen was waving her fairy wand and paid no attention to Cap'n Bill's moans.
Already the water felt cooler, and they began to breathe more easily. In a few moments
more, the heat had passed from the surrounding water altogether, and all danger from this
source was over.
"This is better," said Trot gratefully.
"Do you care to sleep again?" asked the Queen.
"No, I'm wide awake now," answered the child.
"I'm afraid if I goes to sleep ag'in, I'll wake up a pot roast," said Cap'n Bill.
"Let us consider ways to escape," suggested Clia. "It seems useless for us to remain here
quietly until Zog discovers a way to destroy us."
"But we must not blunder," added Aquareine cautiously. "To fail in our attempt would be
to acknowledge Zog's superior power, so we must think well upon our plan before we
begin to carry it out. What do you advise, sir?" she asked, turning to Cap'n Bill.