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The Sea Fairies

18. A Dash For Liberty
Trot dreamed that she was at home in her own bed, but the night seemed chilly and she
wanted to draw the coverlet up to her chin. She was not wide awake, but realized that she
was cold and unable to move her arms to cover herself up. She tried, but could not stir.
Then she roused herself a little more and tried again. Yes, it was cold, very cold! Really,
she MUST do something to get warm, she thought. She opened her eyes and stared at a
great wall of ice in front of her.
She was awake now, and frightened, too. But she could not move because the ice was all
around her. She was frozen inside of it, and the air space around her was not big enough
to allow her to turn over.
At once the little girl realized what had happened. Their wicked enemy Zog had by his
magic art frozen all the water in their room while they slept, and now they were all
imprisoned and helpless. Trot and Cap'n Bill were sure to freeze to death in a short time,
for only a tiny air space remained between their bodies and the ice, and this air was like
that of a winter day when the thermometer is below zero.
Across the room Trot could see the mermaid queen lying on her couch, for the solid ice
was clear as crystal. Aquareine was imprisoned just as Trot was, and although she held
her fairy wand in one hand and the golden sword in the other, she seemed unable to move
either of them, and the girl remembered that the queen always waved her magic wand to
accomplish anything. Princess Clia's couch was behind that of Trot, so the child could not
see her, and Cap'n Bill was in his own room, probably frozen fast in the ice as the others
were.
The terrible Zog has surely been very clever in this last attempt to destroy them. Trot
thought it all over, and she decided that inasmuch as the queen was unable to wave her
fairy wand, she could do nothing to release herself or her friends.
But in this the girl was mistaken. The fairy mermaid was even now at work trying to save
them, and in a few minutes Trot was astonished and delighted to see the queen rise from
her couch. She could not go far from it at first, but the ice was melting rapidly all around
her so that gradually Aquareine approached the place where the child lay. Trot could hear
the mermaid's voice sounding through the ice as if from afar off, but it grew more distinct
until she could make out that the queen was saying, "Courage, friends! Do not despair,
for soon you will be free."
Before very long the ice between Trot and the queen had melted away entirely, and with
a cry of joy the little girl flopped her pink tail and swam to the side of her deliverer.
"Are you very cold?" asked Aquareine.
"N-not v-v-very!" replied Trot, but her teeth chattered and she was still shivering.
 
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