This evidently pleased the Beast. After looking at her he said, in a tone that might have struck terror into the boldest heart, though he did not seem to be angry:
"Good-evening, old man. Good-evening, Beauty."
The merchant was too terrified to reply, but Beauty answered sweetly:
"Have you come willingly?" asked the Beast. "Will you be content to stay here when your father goes away?"
Beauty answered bravely that she was quite prepared to stay.
"I am pleased with you," said the Beast. "As you have come of your own accord, you may stay. As for you, old man," he added, turning to the merchant, "at sunrise to-morrow you will take your departure.