"Nay," Gunbjor answered, as soon as she could find her voice, "this is the Deacon's Maggie, as is going to the saeter with me to spend Sunday."
"She cannot proceed on her way," said the chieftain, decisively, "she is my prisoner."
Gunbjor, who had been frightened out of her wits by the small red- and blue-cloaked men, swarming among the stones, taking them to be trolds or fairies, now gradually recovered her senses. She recognized in Erling the Lop-Sided the well-known features of the parson's son; and as soon as she had made this discovery she had no great difficulty in identifying the rest. "Never you fear, pet," she said to the child in her lap, "these be bad boys as want to frighten us. I'll give them a switching if they don't look out."
"The Princess Kunigunde is my prisoner until it please her noble father to ransom her for ten pounds of silver," repeated Wolf-in-the-Temple, putting his arm about little Maggie's waist and trying to lift her from the saddle.
"You keep yer hands off the child, or I'll give you ten pounds of thrashing," cried Gunbjor, angrily.
"She shall be treated with the respect due to her rank," Wolf-in-the-Temple proceeded, loftily. "I give King Bjorn the Victorious three moons in which to bring me the ransom."
"And I'll give you three boxes on the ear, and a cut with my whip, into the bargain, if you don't let the horse alone, and take yer hands off the child."
"Vikings!" cried the chief, "lay hands on her! Tear her from the saddle! She has defied us! She deserves no mercy."