The peals of trumpets announced the victor’s entrance into the city. Princess Anna heard them from her room and hurried to her balcony. She could see the gold and white banner of Galandrin, known everywhere in the land as the White Knight.
“He has defeated Mowran,” she whispered, her gaze fixed upon the banner as it made its slow approach to the castle. The triumphant cry of the people rose into the air like another fanfare. Anna gripped the balustrade. Her heart beat rapidly; she was suddenly breathless. “He will wed me.”
She called for her maid. “Fetch Golina and bring her here,” she commanded.“My Lady does not look well. You are very pale.”
“Fetch Golina. She will know how to help. Waste no time. Go!”
Weak, Anna waited on the couch. She could not wed Galandrin. Her heart belonged to another, and that other was now dead. Soon, Golina came, buxom and beautiful, and asked Anna what she required.
“Mowran is dead!” Anna cried. “You helped me see him when all were against him. Help me now that he is dead.”
“What is it you want me to do?”
“I cannot marry Galandrin. I hate him. Use one of your spells and rid the world of him.”
“It will cost.”
“I will pay any price. Just save me from the man who killed my lover.”
Golina nodded. “Very well.” She began to chant. The muttered words sounded of sickness and death.
Suddenly, cries of horror filled the air. Princess Anna hurried to the balcony, Golina at her heels. The trumpets had ceased. A great turmoil of men filled the streets. “What has happened?”
“Perhaps the Knight has fallen from his horse and cracked his head,” Golina said, looking intently at Anna. “Perhaps he will never rise again.”
Anna understood. “I will get you your gold. How much do you require?”
“No,” Golina said, and she sized Anna up. “I will come for my fee later.” Her long, bejeweled fingers ran across Anna’s abdomen. “Let’s say I come in eight or nine months. Mowran’s child has a claim to the throne.” Golina smiled. “That will be my price. If that is all…? You know where to find me if you need anything.” And, with a wink, she left.