The Prisoner of Zembla (Henry)

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The Prisoner of Zembla
Summary of the Short Story
Microsummary: A king held a tournament for his daughter's hand in marriage, but the winning knight only wanted the king's endorsement for a monkey wrench patent, leaving the princess behind.

A king was furious with his daughter, Princess Ostla, for disobeying him. In his anger, he decided to hold a grand tournament, promising the winner the hand of the princess in marriage. A herald was sent out to announce the event, and many knights gathered to compete for the princess's hand.

The King — ruler of the kingdom; furious, demanding, and easily fooled.
Princess Ostla — king's daughter; beautiful, pale, and sad; in love with a poor student.

On the day of the tournament, the king and Princess Ostla sat in the grandstand, watching as the knights prepared to fight. Among the competitors, the princess spotted a poor student she had once been in love with. As the knights rode past the grandstand, the king questioned the student about his shabby armor, to which the student replied with a witty remark, impressing the king.

Sir Knight, prithee tell me of what that marvellous shacky and rusty-looking armor of thine is made?

The Poor Student — Princess Ostla's lover; knight with poor armor; witty and focused on his monkey wrench patent.

As the tournament began, many knights were intimidated by the princess's beauty and withdrew from the competition. Eventually, only two knights remained, one of them being the princess's former lover. The two fought for hours, and ultimately, the princess's lover emerged victorious.

The king granted the victorious knight any boon he desired. Instead of asking for the princess's hand in marriage, the knight requested the king's endorsement for a monkey wrench patent he had purchased. The king agreed, but informed the knight that there were no monkeys in his kingdom.

Enraged, the knight rode away without claiming the princess. The king suddenly realized the knight had left without taking the princess and died from the shock.

My God! he cried. He has forgotten to take the princess with him!

Meanwhile, a young woman named Miss Potter received a live count as a gift from her father, along with a new six-shooter from her uncle. She looked forward to having fun with her new gifts and giving her dogs some much-needed exercise.