Cinderella did not notice how the time passed, and had quite forgot her godmother’s injunctions. While she therefore thought it was scarcely eleven o’clock, she was startled by the first stroke of midnight. She rose very hastily, and fled as lightly as a fawn. She ran so quickly that one of her glass slippers slipped from her foot. The prince ran after her, imploring her to return, but Cinderella in her great haste left him quickly behind.
When he reached the palace gates, the prince inquired of the guards as to which direction the princess had gone. They replied that they had seen no one go out but a shabby peasant girl.
Puzzled and crestfallen, the prince walked slowly back to the palace. Along the way he happened upon Cinderella’s lost slipper, which he picked up with the greatest care.
For the rest of the ball the prince ignored his guests and simply gazed upon the slipper, determined to somehow find its owner.