78 The Princess and the Goblin
miners will find themselves in—somewhere before this day ten years."
" Why, what do you mean?"
"Oh yes, you do mean something. You always do mean something."
" It's more than you do, then, wife.'
"That may be; but it's not more than I find out, you know."
"Ha! ha! You're a sharp one. What a mother you've got, Heifer!"
"Well, I suppose I must tell you. They're all at the palace consulting about it to-night; and as soon as we've got away from this thin place, I'm going there to hear what night they fix upon. I should like to see that young ruffian there on the other side, struggling in the agonies of-----"
He dropped his voice so low that Curdie could hear only a growl. The growl went on in the low bass for a good while, as inarticulate as if the goblin's tongue had been a sausage; and it was not until his wife spoke again that it rose to its former pitch.