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The wandering minstrel Martin Pippin finds a lovelorn ploughman who begs him to visit the orchard where his beloved has been locked in the well-house with six sworn virgins to guard her. Martin Pippin goes to the rescue and wins the confidence of the young women by telling them love stories. Although ostensibly a children's book, the six love stories, which have much the form of Perrault's fairy tales such as Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella, have a depth which is adult in sentiment, and indeed they were written not for a child but for a young soldier, Victor Haslam. Among the stories, themes include the apparent loss of a loved one, betrayal, and the yearning of a woman for whom it appears that love will never come.