"What do you mean by this? You shame us all by apearing before us naked. Take these girls way, guards!"
So spoke the King as he saw his daughter and her loyal friend burst, naked and sweating , into the council chamber.
"I am one in whose veins flows the blood of heroes! I would be a hero myself but for the cruel fate that made me a woman! I have a right to know how you propose to defend this land from the dangers which threaten it from every side. Speak, oh my beloved Father!" So spoke the regal Sara, her face white with rage.
There were murmurings of approval from among the phalanx of Generals seated at the far end of the Council table. They had, to a man, been eagerly waiting for the Princess to arrive.
The King reddened. He spoke after some effort, seeming to have difficulty breathing!
"King Adolf has been graciously pleased to make us a fine and generous offer, my beloved daughter! I do not doubt that you will heartily agree that it will, verily, be the salvation of our Kingdom and the harbinger of a time of peace and amity between our two countries!
" In a few minutes, my sweet and lovely daughter, you and Martha can go and return to your needlework, crochet and womanly gossip, leaving the serious business of government and diplomacy to those best qualified to practice these delicate arts. I and your fine husband have negotiated an honorable way out of the troubles that have caused such bad blood between out two countries!"
The scornful Princess glared ferociously and with the most ultimately corrosive hatred at her degenerate father and at her obese and drunken husband, for whose sake she had once been so pathetically anxious to undergo pain, humiliation and deprivation. How monumentally wrong can one be, she wryly thought!
"And just what wonderful deal has the disgusting Adolf, with his silly hair style and ridiculous moustache, offered you, my pathetic and ludicrous father?"
King Wilhelm went red with fury at this very unfilial remark.
"He will leave us in peace, my daughter!"
Princess Sara fixed her father with a look of the most
incandescent scorn and hatred.
"Just what humiliation must we endure, that we might be left in peace by this evil piece of human detritus?"
King Wilhelm looked even more embarrassed.
"Er...... Well, my poppet! He would just like to be in charge of the education of little Friedrich and have him brought up at his Court. I mean, darling you won't miss him. After all said and done, you hardly ever see him!"
"I have deprived him of a normal childhood and myself of the joys of motherhood, deeply though I love both my boys, for a reason, and that is that they are being brought up to be rulers and must, sadly, be denied a normal life. I would never consent to your wicked and cowardly suggestion that my darling elder child be given to King Adolf to be trained into a puppet and his own country's foe."
She was deathly pale by this time, the only colour being two spots of red on each cheek bone, and the scar she still carried as a result of her encounter with the three robbers was no whiter than the rest of her face. It was plain to her father, who had long known what a terrible and vicious temper his daughter often had, that Princess Sara was angry in a way that even she had never been before.
"You vile excuse for a man! You are no longer fit to rule in this Kingdom! If you ever were! There is one who will rule here instead and save our country from serfdom and shame. I am she! "
She rose to her naked feet dominating the assembly, despite her small height and slight, fragile build. Her voice rang out, putting fear into the hearts of her husband and father and hope into all others present.
"This creature is no longer your King! The blood of our valiant ancestors which runs hot and strong in my veins has turned to water in his! I am now your Queen and he is deposed! The time of drift and compromise is past. This country is now at war and the enemy will shortly receive a blow at my hands from which he will never recover!"
"GUARDS!!! Take away this man, who is hereby stripped of all rank, and also that pitiful excuse for a man, my husband over there! Throw them into the deepest dungeon and let them rot there till the end of their days - the traitors!"
As if it had been prearranged (Which, of course, it had - down to the last detail!) a detachment of guards sezed the two trembling men and hustled them roughly from the room, down to the underground prison, where they were to remain until the day of their death. The new Queen turned a deaf ear to their terrified pleading. She forgot their existence the moment they were taken from her sight and was never to give any thought to either of them again, burying all memory of them as irrevocably as she had ordered their living burial in the cells. Her mother, the Queen soon reconciled herself to ex King Wilhelm's departure. She had long tired of his preference for his own sex, including his son-in-law, and was glad to see her daughter in charge, being a woman of spirit herself.
Once the former King had been removed, Queen Sara, still naked save for the Fary ring, turned to the old General, with whom she had been in secret talks for weeks.
"When can the Army march, General Manfred, my friend?"
"As soon as you give the order, Your Majesty! I promise that this time tomorrow, I will bring you news of a great victory!"
"No need to bring me news, old friend! I shall be with you on the field. I will lead the the army into battle myself, being wherever the fighting is fiercest until the day is won! Let us be off and throw this vile King Adolf out of our country and destroy him and his army!"
She turned to Martha who had witnessed all this in amazement, knowing now why she would never again be allowed to address her friend as Sara!
"I leave you in sole charge of the Kingdom, my dear and trusted friend. If, as is all too likely, I do not return, please see that my two sons are brought up as I would wish and have me buried where I fall, if fall I do!"
"Yes, Sar.. I mean, Your Majesty. Please return
to us! I know you will! God will protect you and give you a