TYLTYL and Mytyl woke up next morning, feeling very gay; with childish carelessness, they had forgotten their disappointment. Tyltyl was very proud of the compliments which Light had paid him: she seemed as happy as though he had brought the Blue Bird with him:
She said, with a smile, as she stroked the lad's dark curls:
"I am quite satisfied. You are such a good, brave boy that you will soon find what you are looking for."
Tyltyl did not understand the deep meaning of her words; but, for all that, he was very glad to hear them. And, besides, Light had promised him that to-day he would have nothing to fear in their new expedition. On the contrary, he would meet millions and millions of little children who would show him the most wonderful toys of which no one on earth had the least idea. She also told him that he and his little sister would travel alone with her this time and that all the others would take a rest while they were gone.
That is why, at the moment when our chapter opens, they had all met in the underground vaults of the temple. Light thought it as well to lock up the Elements and Things. She knew that, if they were left to do as they pleased, they might escape and get into mischief. It was not so very cruel of her, because the vaults of her temple are even lighter and lovelier than the upper floors of human houses; but you cannot get out without her leave. She alone has the power of widening, with a stroke of her wand, a little cleft in an emerald wall at the end of the passage, through which you go down a few crystal steps till you come to a sort of cave, all green and transparent like a forest when the sunlight sweeps through its branches.
Usually, this great hall was quite empty; but now it had sofas in it and a gold table laid with fruits and cakes and creams and delicious wines, which Light's servants had just finished setting out. Light's servants were very odd! They always made the Children laugh: with their long white satin dresses and their little black caps with a flame at the top, they looked like lighted candles. Their mistress sent them away and then told the Animals and Things to be very good and asked them if they would like some books and games to play with; they answered, with a laugh, that nothing amused them more than eating and sleeping and that they were very glad to stay where they were.
A wonderful garden lay before him, a dream-garden filled with flowers that shone like stars
Tyl?, of course, did not share this view. His heart spoke louder than his greed or his laziness; and his great dark eyes turned in entreaty on Tyltyl, who would have been only too pleased to take his faithful companion with him, if Light had not absolutely forbidden it:
"I can't help it," said the boy, giving him a kiss. "It seems that dogs are not admitted where we are going."
Suddenly, Tyl? sprang up with delight: a great idea had struck him. He had not left his real, doggy life long enough to forget any part of it, especially his troubles. Which was the greatest of these? Was it not the chain? What melancholy hours Tyl? had spent fastened to an iron ring! And what humiliation he endured when the woodcutter used to take him to the village and, with unspeakable silliness, keep him on the lead in front of everybody, thus depriving him of the pleasure of greeting his friends and sniffing the smells provided for his benefit at every street-corner and in every gutter: