Now it seems that when Queen Cor fled from her island to Regos, she had wi_nough, although greatly frightened, to make a stop at the royal dairy, whic_as near to the bridge, and to drag poor Queen Garee from the butter-house an_cross to Regos with her. The warriors of King Gos had never before seen th_errible Queen Cor frightened, and therefore when she came running across th_ridge of boats, dragging the Queen of Pingaree after her by one arm, th_oman's great fright had the effect of terrifying the waiting warriors.
"Quick!" cried Cor. "Destroy the bridge, or we are lost."
While the men were tearing away the bridge of boats the Queen ran up to th_alace of Gos, where she met her husband.
"That boy is a wizard!" she gasped. "There is no standing against him."
"Oh, have you discovered his magic at last?" replied Gos, laughing in he_ace. "Who, now, is the coward?"
"Don't laugh!" cried Queen Cor. "It is no laughing matter. Both our island_re as good as conquered, this very minute. What shall we do, Gos?"
"Come in," he said, growing serious, "and let us talk it over."
So they went into a room of the palace and talked long and earnestly.
"The boy intends to liberate his father and mother, and all the people o_ingaree, and to take them back to their island," said Cor. "He may als_estroy our palaces and make us his slaves. I can see but one way, Gos, t_revent him from doing all this, and whatever else he pleases to do."
"What way is that?" asked King Gos.
"We must take the boy's parents away from here as quickly as possible. I hav_ith me the Queen of Pingaree, and you can run up to the mines and get th_ing. Then we will carry them away in a boat and hide them where the bo_annot find them, with all his magic. We will use the King and Queen o_ingaree as hostages, and send word to the boy wizard that if he does not g_way from our islands and allow us to rule them undisturbed, in our own way,
we will put his father and mother to death. Also we will say that as long a_e are let alone his parents will be safe, although still safely hidden. _elieve, Gos, that in this way we can compel Prince Ingato obey us, for h_eems very fond of his parents."
"It isn't a bad idea," said Gos, reflectively; "but where can we hide the Kin_nd Queen, so that the boy cannot find them?"
"In the country of the Nome King, on the mainland away at the south," sh_eplied. "The nomes are our friends, and they possess magic powers that wil_nable them to protect the prisoners from discovery. If we can manage to ge_he King and Queen of Pingaree to the Nome Kingdom before the boy knows wha_e are doing, I am sure our plot will succeed."
Gos gave the plan considerable thought in the next five minutes, and the mor_e thought about it the more clever and reasonable it seemed. So he agreed t_o as Queen Cor suggested and at once hurried away to the mines, where h_rrived before Prince Inga did. The next morning he carried King Kitticut bac_o Regos.
While Gos was gone, Queen Cor busied herself in preparing a large and swif_oat for the journey. She placed in it several bags of gold and jewels wit_hich to bribe the nomes, and selected forty of the strongest oarsmen in Rego_o row the boat. The instant King Gos returned with his royal prisoner all wa_eady for departure. They quickly entered the boat with their two importan_aptives and without a word of explanation to any of their people the_ommanded the oarsmen to start, and were soon out of sight upon the broa_xpanse of the Nonestic Ocean.
Inga arrived at the city some hours later and was much distressed when h_earned that his father and mother had been spirited away from the islands.
"I shall follow them, of course," said the boy to Rinkitink, "and if I canno_vertake them on the ocean I will search the world over until I find them. Bu_efore I leave here I must arrange to send our people back to Pingaree."