Surveying the crowd HindaElla could see that what Mrs. Gottenmuter said was true. There were an awful lot of wannabe princes preening for her attention. There was an awful lot of ostentatious wealth on display. Just where was her true prince hiding?!
She finally spotted the rightful Prince half hidden by a potted palm tree. Oh, he was dressed in fine clothing all right, but no coat or pair of pants was going to add inches to someone who was not tall, nor subtract inches from someone who was just that slightest bit pudgy. But of more importance to HindaElla was the look in the Prince's eyes and the smile on the Prince's face: he looked as if every wish he had ever made was coming true, and he looked as if he was sure that somehow it was all going to be snatched away before he could ever get close enough to compete.
HindaElla snapped the fan shut and purposefully strode over to where the Prince was standing. She dropped a graceful curtsy, and extended her hand to the Prince. "Your Highness," HindaElla purred, "I have been searching for you for what seems like forever. Perhaps you would care to dance?" With that HindaElla gently tugged the Prince onto the dance floor.
Mrs. Gottenmuter had been right: HindaElla didn't have to be able to talk in the ballgown. The Prince seemed unable to speak at all, although HindaElla could hear him muttering under his breath "One, two, three, turn, one, two, three, turn."
The band played on and on. No one dared to disturb the Prince and HindaElla. Somewhere around the fourth waltz the Prince got the hang of the rhythm of the dance and was able to converse in a more sensible fashion. "Do you like frogs?" the Prince blurted out. "I think that frogs are just so cool. I've been reading all about them."
"Thank you Mrs. Gottenmuter," HindaElla thought to herself, plastering a fresh smile on her face. "Why yes," HindaElla told the Prince, "frogs are such an interesting color of green."
The Prince gazed down at HindaElla adoringly. "She loves frogs!" the Prince thought to himself joyously. "And did you see how Sir Aggravain used his lance in the last tournament? I mean, what power in just one move!"
"Umm hmm," HindaElla dutifully murmured.
"She likes tournaments!" the Prince thought exultantly. And he eagerly spoke to HindaElla of his horse, and of his last fishing trip and of his new halberd and of the roasted deer that he particularly liked for dinner.And so the evening progressed. And then the clock began to strike the hour of midnight.