In the morning, Cirroc was a little late getting up. Since there was no business of any great import scheduled today, Jere let him sleep in.When he did awaken, he dressed himself in a riding outfit.In the Princess’s chamber, she awoke and her pearls were still on the nightstand. So she put them on again.The chaperone noticed.The maid had already been in bed when they got back, so she’d forgotten to put them away. “She will be punished for this,” the chaperone said. After all she was senior to the maid and had the right to punish her.
The chaperone went off is search of the maid. While she was gone, the Princess arose. Seeing the pearls still on the nightstand she put them back on. Again they glowed when they came into contact with her skin.
In the Prince’s chamber, he told Jere, “I want to take my destrier outside the city walls today. He can have a good run there.” “Yes,” said Jere, “It will do you and him both some good.I’ll go to the stable and make the arrangements.” “Good,” said the Prince, “go do that.”
Jere got down to the yard just before the Princess did. “Prepare the Prince’s horse,” Jere said.“He’s going to ride out beyond the city walls.”“Oh that sounds like a wonderful idea,” the Princess said.“Prepare my horse as well.I wish to accompany him.”Jere was not at all certain that this was a good idea.But, as a servant of the house he did not have the right to go against the wishes of a guest of the house.So instead of saying anything to her, he said to the stable man, “And get a couple of horses ready for me and the Princess’s chaperone.” That lady came huffing along in a few minutes. She had found the maid, slapped her a couple of times; and, when they got back to the Princesses chamber, found both the Princess and the Pearls of Annwn missing.
“We must find the Princess immediately,” she called out. The maid ran about all of the chambers and finally looked out the long narrow window and saw her down in the exercise year.“She is down stairs,” the maid called to the chaperone.“She is about to exercise her horse.”
The chaperone flew down the stairs to the exorcise yard as fast as she could. The Princess was standing, just receiving her horse when the chaperone got to her.“Child,” the chaperone tried to argue with the Princess, “you should leave those here in the citadel.The Prince has secure places to keep them.”“No,” said the Princess, “I want to wear them.”
The stableman had the Prince’s horse ready in a moment. It was a trained charger and there were not many horses in the stable that were the quality of that one.The Princesses horse was a notable exception.The Prince’s horse was black, and the Princesses horse was a roan.But in all other ways they were a match for each other.The Prince arrived in the yard.“It looks like you are going to have company for your ride today,” the stableman said as he handed the reins to the Prince.
“I am going with you,” the Princess said, as she mounted her horse. The Prince mounted his destrier as two palfreys were brought for Jere and the chaperone. It was the best that could be managed in Rodas at this time. Jere mounted his horse easily, but it took two good stout grooms to get the chaperone into her seat on her horse.
“You should not be doing this,” Prince Cirroc spoke softly to her. When he came near to her the Pearls of Anwn glowed brightly. It was Prince Cirroc that she had fallen in love with. “Relax,” she said.“I can sit my horse as well as you can sit yours.” That was not what Prince
Cirroc meant. For he had fallen in love with her. When everyone was ready they began at a sedate pace out of the citadel and through the town. They went to the gate which came into the city form the north.At that pace, Jere and the chaperone had no trouble keeping up.They went through the gate and over the
drawbridge that went over the moat that surrounded the town. Then they were outside the city on a road which gave entrance to all the city gates.
Cirroc paused for a moment to give everyone a chance to catch up. Aine waited only a second and then spurred her horse on to a run.She dashed straight toward the river that was on the north side of town.Cirroc had no choice but the spur his horse to go after her.The horses ran very fast for a few minutes, and only stopped for the traffic that was coming out of the gate towards the docks.That was when Cirroc got to her horse and got his hands on the bridle.As he did that, Princess Aine yelled out, “Tell me, do you love me?” Prince Cirroc, caught by surprise, said without thinking, said “Yes.” Then he turned to see where Jere and the
chaperone were. The lady was so taken aback by the Princesses action that she had lost her seat and was sitting on the ground well out of earshot.Jere was helping her to get to her feet and attempt to remount her horse.
They watched Jere and the chaperone for a few minutes. Finally, some of the men went and helped too.“Tell me again,” the princess spoke more softly from beside Cirroc, “do you love me?” Finally, Prince Cirroc looked her right in the face again, in those beautiful dark eyes of hers, “Yes,” he said.“I do. How can I not. I am a man and you are a beautiful woman. That alone makes it nearly impossible for me not to love you. But…” She stopped him there.“You need not continue,” she said.“I think I know what but means. I am promised to the king, your brother.”
They waited a few minutes until Jere and the chaperone caught up to them. Then they rode in through the north gate into the city. When they got to the bazaar, the Princess stopped. “I want to shop,” she said. “I want to see if there is anything for a wedding present for my new husband. Something I can surprise him with.”