This was the first of many suitors for the princess whose inability to cure her cost them their lives.
Needless to say that one of the first things his mother told him was the sad condition of the princess, his foster-sister.
(but this time the soldier placed himself in the boat with the eldest princess); and on the opposite shore they took leave of each other, the princesses promising to come again the next night.
Then the king made it known to all the land, that if any person could discover the secret, and find out where it was that the princesses danced in the night, he should have the one he liked best for his wife, and should be king after his death; but whoever tried and did not succeed, after three days and nights, should be put to death.
The Princess, on finding herself in an eagle's talons, uttered the most heart-breaking shrieks and cries; but her captor, though touched by her distress, would not abandon his lovely prey, and continued to fly through the air too fast to allow of his saying anything to comfort her.
For some time the Princess remained speechless; but recovering herself a little, she burst into a flood of tears.
The Emperor had them brought into a large hall, where the Princess was playing at "Visiting," with the ladies of the court; and when she saw the caskets with the presents, she clapped her hands for joy.
But the Princess touched it, and was almost ready to cry.
Sergey Ivanovitch asked for all the details the princess knew about the young man, and going into the first-class waiting-room, wrote a note to the person on whom the granting of leave of absence depended, and handed it to the princess.
"You know Count Vronsky, the notorious one...is going by this train?" said the princess with a smile full of triumph and meaning, when he found her again and gave her the letter.
"The road is not swept for the princess my daughter, but for a minister!
Before dinner, Princess Mary and Mademoiselle Bourienne, who knew that the prince was in a bad humor, stood awaiting him; Mademoiselle Bourienne with a radiant face that said: "I know nothing, I am the same as usual," and Princess Mary pale, frightened, and with downcast eyes.