"His Majesty would like you to start work this very morning," said the official gentleman.
"Will she be paid?"
The palace representative remained expressionless. "No sir, I’m afraid she will not be paid. However, should His Majesty discover that your daughter is unable to do as you claim, death will befall her."
Ingrid gasped in horror as her father turned even greener. "Dad! Tell him the truth. Tell him it was all a lie!"
Her father stood nailed to the floor, as emotionless as a dead tree. His mouth opened but no
words came out. "Dad! TELL HIM THE TRUTH!"
"I’m afraid we have to leave for the palace now. His Majesty is awaiting your arrival," said the servant. When Ingrid refused to move, he grabbed her arm firmly and guided her out to the coach waiting outside. It wasn’t easy trying to force a struggling girl into a coach, especially when she was flinging her limbs wildly and howling, "Get your filthy paws off me!", but somehow, the man managed.
Ingrid’s father never came out of the cottage as the coach pulled away with a tearful and very furious Ingrid inside. She couldn’t believe the trouble her father’s incessant lying and warped desire for approval had gotten her into. It was because of him that she was being led like a cattle to its death and he couldn’t even muster the strength to see her off. Her father had actually passed out from shock and an over-consumption of alcohol at breakfast but Ingrid wasn’t aware of this and continued to curse her father all the way to the palace ...