IC4 THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
" Oh, hang your losses !" answered his companion \ u you'll soon pick up twice as much about the house, if you but keep your eyes open,"
Perceiving there would be risk in attempting to pass
through, and reflecting that the porters in the great hall
would probably be awake also, Curdie went back to the
cellar, took Irene's handkerchief with the loaf in it, tied it
round Lina's neck, and told her to take it to the princess.
Using every shadow and every shelter, Lina slid
through the servants like a shapeless terror through a guilty mind, and so, by corridor and great hall, up the stair to the king's chamber.
Irene trembled a little when she saw her glide soundless in across the silent dusk of the morning, that filtered through the heavy drapery of the windows, but she recovered herself at once when she saw the bundle about her neck, for it both assured her of Curdie's safety, and gave her hope of her father's. She untied it with joy, and Lina stole away, silent as she had come. Her joy was the greater that the king had woke up a little while before, and expressed a desire for food—not that he felt , exactly hungry, he said, and yet he wanted something. If only he might have a piece of nice fresh bread ! Irene had no knife, but with eager hands she broke a great piece from the loaŁ and poured out a full glass of wine.