Peru felt foolish for his actions and bade many pardons from the mistress the very next morning, lest overnight she find herself so insulted she order the whole lot of he and his men thrown out onto the street. She was quick to dismiss the whole incident and drew him into the sitting area to discuss the wedding. Meeting his men that night Peru excitedly told them all that was to come. Rejoicing their journey would have a happy ending only Lothar sat in silence, seemingly sore troubled.
“My friend, what is the matter?” Peru threw an arm around his shoulder. “Do you not see everything has worked out? I will be married within the week and soon we will be on our way home.”
“Something is not right,” he said to Peru.
“How could you say that? Everything is right.” The prince assured. Still Lothar felt ill at ease and watched from afar as the wedding preparations buzzed around him.
Days later Lothar wandered into the kitchen in search of food to find the same servant girl the prince had mistaken for Florette preparing various dishes for the evening meal. Struck by her beauty he found it charming she wore a bell in her ear. Inviting him to sit at the table she served bread and cheese, discussing in small talk the recent events of the men’s arrival and engagement.
“The wedding is nearing and the prince couldn’t be happier.” Lothar sighed. “Why do I feel troubled?”
“Has the prince traveled far to find Florette?” The servant asked, busily kneading dough.
He nodded. “Possibly halfway across the world, but I wouldn’t know. I did not meet him until after he was captured by the cyclops.”
“Cyclops?” The girl paused in her work. Lothar told all things to the young woman, from beginning to end. “He won my gratitude by saving my life, but won my devotion by displaying the purest heart. He was foolish in his quest, but perhaps that is his charm.” The captain shrugged. “I thought I would be happy having finally reached our goal, but…”
The girl thought deeply before speaking. “The mistress has a daughter, this is true,” she said in a hushed voice. “But the drawing the prince fell in love with is not of her.”