Legends of Atlantis: Sae (ch. 4) by Acton Bell

(Page 1 of 5)

Rate this Story (5 best)

 

The Emperor built a miniature palace for Prince Sae and Princess Tuala in the northern quadrant of the city.
The princess was quite young and often lonely. Prince Sae visited her often, bringing her many small gifts. These were some of the gifts he brought to his wife, the Princess Tuala of Hellene: one hundred dolls dressed in silks and velvets and adorned with precious jewels; a pony the size of a large dog; cages of exotic birds from Huitzi; a tea set made from gold and diamonds. These and many other baubles did Sae give to his wife to ease her loneliness.
One evening in the fifth month of his marriage, Sae said to the Princess Tuala, "There is a storm upon us, and I find myself too tired to go through it to return to the palace. I will remain here this evening."
(Seldom did Prince Sae stay in the miniature palace. The Princess Tuala was very shy and rarely spoke. Sae preferred the more congenial company of his companions in the Emperor's palace.)
The handmaiden of Princess Tuala came to Prince Sae and said, "Your Highness, this storm is fierce and terrible and the Princess Tuala is very timid. We fear she may become afraid and harm herself. Please stay with her, that she may take comfort in your strength."
Prince Sae said, "Will she not be afraid of my presence in her private chambers?" (Because of the Princess's age, Sae had never lain with Tuala.)
The handmaiden said, "One of us will stay with you and she will comforted by your presence."
Then Prince Sae and Princess Tuala retired to her chambers. The Prince and Princess lay in the bed, Princess Tuala's handmaiden sleeping between them. And the Princess was comforted by Prince Sae's presence.
In the late hours of the night the handmaiden's eyes opened. She removed a knife from where it was concealed beneath the pillow and raised it to strike at Sae.
The Prince's sleep was restless and he roused at the handmaiden's movement.
The knife plunged down. It plunged deep into the pillow. The handmaiden raised the knife again.
Sae and the handmaiden struggled for the knife. Sae's shout roused the guards. They rushed into the chambers.
Sae and the handmaiden rolled upon the bed. Princess Tuala was trapped beneath the covers. The knife came down again. The knife plunged into the Princess's chest.
The guards grabbed the handmaiden. She fell as one dead at their feet.
Prince Sae wept. His playmate and wife was dead. He wept and refused to be comforted.
When the Emperor heard all that had happened, he summoned the royal diviners. "The Princess Tuala has been murdered, slain by the hand of her handmaiden. Tell me how this thing has happened."
The diviners rolled the stones. They read the Book of Meanings. They performed the Sacrifice to Gain Knowledge.
Finally they returned unto the Emperor and said, "O, mighty Emperor, an enemy of Atlantis unleashed an evil spirit to slay Prince Sae. It slew the Princess Tuala by mistake. The spirit is departed from Atlantis now and can trouble the Prince no more."
"Who has done this?" said the Emperor.

Next Page