THE SACRIFICE. 231
and every morning Legserpent went out fishing, and both invalids and household had plenty to eat As to news, the page, in plain clothes, would now and then venture out into the market-place, and gather some.
One night he came back with the report that the army of the king of Borsagrass had crossed the border. Two days after, he brought the news that the enemy was now but twenty miles from Gwyntystorm.
The colonel of the guard rose, and began furbishing his armouróbut gave it over to the page, and staggered across to the barracks, which were in the next street. The sentry took him for a ghost or worse, ran into the guard-room, bolted the door, and stopped his ears. The poor colonel, who was yet hardly able to stand, crawled back despairing.
For Curdie, he had already, as soon as the first rumour reached him, resolved, if no other instructions came, and the king continued unable to give orders, to call Lina and the creatures, and march to meet the enemy. If he died, he died for the right, and there was a right end of it. He had no preparations to make, except a good sleep.
He asked the king to let the housemaid take his place by his majesty that night, and went and lay down on the floor of the corridor, no farther off than a whisper would reach from the door of the chamber. There, with an