Beauty could not help seeing that this seemed very probable;still, when she thought of her dear Prince who was so handsome,she did not feel at all inclined to marry the Beast. At any rate,for two months she need not decide, but could enjoy herselfwith her sisters. But though they were rich now, and lived in atown again, and had plenty of acquaintances, Beauty found thatnothing amused her very much; and she often thought of the
palace, where she was so happy, especially as at home she neveronce dreamed of her dear Prince, and she felt quite sad withouthim.
Then her sisters seemed to have got quite used to being withouther, and even found her rather in the way, so she would not havebeen sorry when the two months were over but for her fatherand brothers, who begged her to stay, and seemed so grieved atthe thought of her departure that she had not the courage to saygood-bye to them. Every day when she got up she meant to sayit at night, and when night came she put it off again, until at lastshe had a dismal dream which helped her to make up her mind.She thought she was wandering in a lonely path in the palacegardens, when she heard groans which seemed to come fromsome bushes hiding the entrance of a cave, and running quicklyto see what could be the matter, she found the Beast stretchedout upon his side, apparently dying. He reproached her faintlywith being the cause of his distress, and at the same moment astately lady appeared, and said very gravely: huge strapon shop