Chapter 3: The End
There was a din of trumpets. A woman arrayed in purple robes and dripping with gold jewelry burst through the doors. “Oh!—what’s his name again, dear Odyssey?—I knew you’d see reason at last!” Her blue eyes gazed adoringly out of a rather wrinkled, but sweet face. “It was all Odyssey’s idea you know,” she continued, clutching her fiancée’s arm, “She said that since you hated crows and cockroaches and sleep and that by sending them you’d be sure to come round eventually. She is so clever! Do you know she was the one who came up with the idea of me marrying you in the first place? Well of course I never thought of marrying again after my very dear Harold died. I’m really very comfortably circumstanced you know. I have all my little baubles and spells from my mother, but dear Odyssey said…”
Odyssey, hanging on the arm of the Prime Minister’s son (and vise versa), interrupted. “Remember our bargain,” she murmured to the Queen.
“Oh, yes!” The Queen beamed and turned back to her bridegroom. “Well you know dear when we’re married that makes me Queen of here too so I declare that the Prime Minister’s son shall marry dear Odyssey.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Oh yes, that was our original bargain, you know,” explained the Queen, “Odyssey’s just a maid-of-all-work herself you see.” Odyssey sighed in exasperation as the Queen went on: “She worked in the castle a long time ago but she came to me and said she and the Prime Minister’s son had fallen in love. Dear Odyssey told me that the King would make and excellent match and she had it all worked out how I was to marry him and she would tell me if only I’d help her marry the Prime Minister’s son because only the King and Queen themselves could approve such a match. Now isn’t that romantic?”
“Do you not indeed feel relieved, my lord?” inquired Odyssey, sarcastically.
“I feel,” said the King, wearily, “like getting married. Let us all go across to the chapel—you too, Odyssey—kneel before the priest, and forget all about this for the rest of our lives.”
If thou, who art in thy ways cemented,
Shouldst be surrounded by new notions lamented,
Be forewarned that thou art a dying breed,
‘Tis the young set that now dost lead!