Long Live the King HTML version
And Sees The World
The Crown Prince was just a trifle dazzled by the brilliance of his success. He paused for
one breathless moment under the porte-cochere of the opera house; then he took a long
breath and turned to the left. For he knew that at the right, just around the corner; were
the royal carriages, with his own drawn up before the door, and Beppo and Hans erect on
the box, their haughty noses red in the wind, for the early spring air was biting.
So he turned to the left, and was at once swallowed up in the street crowd. It seemed very
strange to him. Not that he was unaccustomed to crowds. Had he not, that very
Christmas, gone shopping in the city, accompanied only by one of his tutors and Miss
Braithwaite, and bought for his grandfather, the King, a burnt-wood box, which might
hold either neckties or gloves, and for his cousins silver photograph frames?
But this was different, and for a rather peculiar reason. Prince Ferdinand William Otto
had never seen the back of a crowd! The public was always lined up, facing him, smiling
and bowing and God-blessing him. Small wonder he thought of most of his future
subjects as being much like the ship in the opera, meant only to be viewed from the front.
Also, it was surprising to see how stiff and straight their backs were. Prince Ferdinand
William Otto had never known that backs could be so rigid. Those with which he was
familiar had a way of drooping forward from the middle of the spine up. It was most
The next hour was full of remarkable things. For one, he dodged behind a street-car and
was almost run over by a taxicab. The policeman on the corner came out, and taking
Ferdinand William Otto by the shoulder, gave him a talking-to and a shaking. Ferdinand
William Otto was furious, but policy kept him silent; which proves conclusively that the
Crown Prince had not only initiative - witness his flight - but self-control and diplomacy.
Lucky country, to have in prospect such a king!
But even royalty has its weaknesses. At the next corner Ferdinand William Otto stopped
and invested part of his allowance in the forbidden fig lady, with arms and legs of dates,
and eyes of cloves. He had wanted one of these ever since he could remember, but Miss
Braithwaite had sternly refused to authorize the purchase. In fact, she had had one of the
dates placed under a microscope, and had shown His Royal Highness a number of
interesting and highly active creatures who made their homes therein.
His Royal Highness recalled all this with great distinctness, and, immediately dismissing
it from his mind, ate the legs and arms of the fig woman with enjoyment. Which - not the
eating of the legs and arms, of course, but to be able to dismiss what is unpleasant - is
another highly desirable royal trait.
So far his movements had been swift and entirely objective. But success rather went to
his head. He had never been out alone before. Even at the summer palace there were
always tutors, or Miss Braithwaite, or an aide-de-camp, or something. He hesitated, took