The Mad King

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 9

to wear the green bonnet. The beard is bad
enough, but the bonnet--ugh!"

Emma von der Tann was now quite assured that the poor fellow was
indeed quite demented, but she had seen no indications of violence
as yet, though when that too might develop there was no telling.
However, he was to her Leopold of Lutha, and her father's house had
been loyal to him or his ancestors for three hundred years.

If she must sacrifice her life in the attempt, nevertheless still
must she do all within her power to save her king from recapture and
to lead him in safety to the castle upon the Tann.

"Come," she said; "we waste time here. Let us make haste, for the
way is long. At best we cannot reach Tann by dark."

"I will do anything you wish," replied Barney, "but I shall never
forgive myself for having caused you the long and tedious journey
that lies before us. It would be perfectly safe to go to the nearest
town and secure a rig."

Emma von der Tann had heard that it was always well to humor maniacs
and she thought of it now. She would put the scheme to the test.

"The reason that I fear to have you go to the village," she said,
"is that I am quite sure they would catch you and shave off your
beard."

Barney started to laugh, but when he saw the deep seriousness of the
girl's eyes he changed his mind. Then he recalled her rather
peculiar insistence that he was a king, and it suddenly occurred to
him that he had been foolish not to have guessed the truth before.

"That is so," he agreed; "I guess we had better do as you say," for
he had determined that the best way to handle her would be to humor
her--he had always heard that that was the proper method for
handling the mentally defective. "Where is the--er--ah--sanatorium?"
he blurted out at last.

"The what?" she asked. "There is no sanatorium near here, your
majesty, unless you refer to the Castle of Blentz."

"Is there no asylum for the insane near by?"

"None that I know of, your majesty."

For a while they moved on in silence, each wondering what the other
might do next.

Barney had evolved a plan. He would try and ascertain the location
of the institution from which the girl had escaped and then as
gently as possible lead her back to it. It was not safe for as
beautiful a woman as she to be roaming through the forest in any
such

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