“It is perfectly true,” said he, “that Queen Crucha, whose name I bear, had the mark of a little monkey’s head upon her body.”
During the evening Agaric had a decisive interview with three of the prince’s oldest councillors. It was decided to ask for funds from Crucho’s father-in-law, as he was anxious to have a king for son-in-law, from several Jewish ladies, who were impatient to become ennobled, and, finally, from the Prince Regent of the Porpoises, who had promised his aid to the Draconides, thinking that by Crucho’s restoration he would weaken the Penguins, the hereditary enemies of his people. The three old councillors divided among themselves the three chief offices of the Court, those of Chamberlain, Seneschal, and High Steward, and authorised the monk to distribute the other places to the prince’s best advantage.
“Devotion has to be rewarded,” said the three old councillors.
“And treachery also,” said Agaric.
“It is but too true,” replied one of them, the Marquis of Sevenwounds, who had experience of revolutions.
There was dancing, and after the ball Princess Gudrune tore up her green robe to make cockades. With her own hands she sewed a piece of it on the monk’s breast, upon which he shed tears of sensibility and gratitude.
M. de Plume, the prince’s equerry, set out the same evening to look for a green horse.
III. THE CABAL
After his return to the capital of Penguinia, the Reverend Father Agaric disclosed his projects to Prince Adelestan des Boscenos, of whose Draconian sentiments he was well aware.
The prince belonged to the highest nobility. The Torticol des Boscenos went back to Brian the Good, and under the Draconides had held the highest offices in the kingdom. In 1179, Philip Torticol, High Admiral of Penguinia, a brave, faithful, and generous, but vindictive man, delivered over the port of La Crique and the Penguin fleet to the enemies of the kingdom, because he suspected that Queen Crucha, whose lover he was, had been unfaithful to him and loved a stable-boy. It was that great queen who gave to the Boscenos the silver warming-pan which they bear in their arms. As for their motto, it only goes back to the sixteenth century. The story of its origin is as follows: One gala night, as he mingled with the crowd of courtiers who were watching the fire-works in the king’s garden, Duke John des Boscenos approached the Duchess of Skull and put his hand under the petticoat of that lady, who made no complaint at the gesture. The king, happening to pass, surprised them and contented himself with saying, “And thus I find you.” These four words became the motto of the Boscenos.