But the king was not ill-pleased: "for," thought he, "of course my three sons must go after the brute, the eldest first; and, as usual, it will kill the first two, and be beaten by the youngest. It is a little hard on Enrico, poor boy; but anything to get rid of that Prigio!"
Then the king went to Prigio, and said that his country was in danger, and that he was determined to leave the crown to whichever of them would bring him the horns (for it has horns) and tail of the Firedrake.
"It is an awkward brute to tackle," the king said, "but you are the oldest, my lad; go where glory waits you! Put on your armour, and be off with you!"
[Illustration: Page 17]
This the king said, hoping that either the Firedrake would roast Prince Prigio alive (whi