52 The Princess and the Goblin
perhaps at the thought of having routed the goblins; and his bearing as he stood before them had nothing- clownish or rude about it.
"I saw them," he went on, "as I came up; and I'm very glad I did. I knew they were after somebody, but I couldn't see who it was. They won't touch you so long as I'm with you."
" Why, who are you?" asked the nurse, offended at the freedom with which he spoke to them.
"I'm Peter's son."
" Peter the miner."
M I don't know him."
" I'm his son, though."
"And why should the goblins mind you, pray?"
"Because I don't mind them. I'm used to them."
"What difference does that make?"
" If you're not afraid of them, they're afraid of you. I'm not afraid of them. That's all. But it's all that's wanted—up here, that is. It's a different thing down there. They won't always mind that song even, down there. And if any-