The Goblins 79
" But what shall we do when you are at the palace?" she asked.
" I will see you safe in the new house I've been digging for you for the last two months. Podge, you mind the table and chairs. I commit them to your care. The table has seven legs—each chair three. I shall require them all at your hands."
After this arose a confused conversation about the various household goods and their transport; and Curdie heard nothing more that was of any importance.
He now knew at least one of the reasons for the constant sound of the goblin hammers and pickaxes at night. They were making new houses for themselves, to which they might retreat when the miners should threaten to break into their dwellings. But he had learned two things of far greater importance. The first was, that some grievous calamity was preparing, and almost ready to fall upon the heads of the miners; the second was—the one weak point of a goblin's body: he had not known that their feet were so tender as he had now reason to suspect. He had heard it said that they had