While the peasants worked on erecting wooden buildings atop the ancient stone foundations, Sigefrith and the other nobles stayed at the abbey on the mountain. Early one morning, too full of plans to fall back to sleep, Sigefrith went out, intending to go for a gallop before breakfast. But crossing the garden he surprised a girl as she stepped out of the trees. He was as startled as she, for this was the most beautiful girl he had ever seen. She was tall and slender, her eyes dark and dreamy and her face exquisite. Before he could say a word, though, she had run away.

Later he asked the abbot who the girl might be. The old man knew it must be his niece, Maud, who had been living at the abbey since her parents had died. Accustomed by now to being a king, Sigefrith asked her uncle quite plainly whether he could marry her. The old abbot could tell Sigefrith would do or give anything to have his niece, and while seeming to refuse, he slyly let it be understood that if Sigefrith could send, say, twenty percent of his rents as tithes to the abbey, well…

Sigefrith immediately swore that he would faithfully send twenty percent of his revenue to the church, and when the day came for Sigefrith to ride into Lothere for his coronation in the new castle, the abbot married his niece to the new king. 

But Sigefrith never dreamed how violently opposed to the marriage the girl had been, nor how helpless to prevent it. He believed her white face and hard mouth were signs of her fear of the curse. As they rode down, Sigefrith merely tried to assure her that the curse was long since lifted – the workers had been living there for months and he had spent many hours there himself, all with no ill effect.

Maud spoke not a word.

King Lothere and Queen Maud

The coronation proceeded as he had planned, before his little court of two noble families and the peasant guests. Still Maud would not speak. There was wine and singing and dancing, but Maud would not dance with her new husband, nor drink from the cup he passed her. The Duchess and Countess tried to cheer her up, but at last all she would say was this: “He wanted me, and did not know me. He bought me, and did not know me. He married me, and did not know me. Now he has me. And he will never know me.”