158 THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
below are sure to have the best of everything for themselves : I will go and see what I can find on their supper-table."
" The chancellor sleeps in the house, and he and the master of the king's horse always have their supper together in a room off the great hall, to the right as you go down the stair," said Irene. " I would go with you, but I dare not leave my father. Alas ! he scarcely ever takes more than a mouthful. I can't think how he lives ! And the very thing he would like, and often asks for— a bit of bread—I can hardly ever get for him : Dr. Kel-man has forbidden it, and says it is nothing less than poison to him."
" Bread at least he shall have," said Curdie; " and that, with the honest wine, will do as well as anything, I do believe. I will go at once and look for some. But I want you to see Lina first, and know her, lest, coming upon her by accident at any time, you should be frightened."
" I should like much to see her," said the princess.
Warning her not to be startled by her ugliness, he went to the door and called her.
She entered, creeping with downcast head, and dragging her tail over the floor behind her. Curdie watched the princess as the frightful creature came nearer and nearer. One shudder went from head to foot of her, and