138 The Princess and the Goblin
to think for fear, and ready to run anywhere to elude the awful creature with the stilt-legs. Not daring to look behind her, she rushed straight out of the gate, and up the mountain. It was foolish indeed—thus to run farther and farther from all who could help her, as if she had been seeking" a fit spot for the goblin-creature to eat her in at his leisure; but that is the way fear serves us: it always sides with the thing- we are afraid of.
The princess was soon out of breath with running uphill; but she ran on, for she fancied the horrible creature just behind her, forgetting that, had it been after her, such legs as those must have overtaken her long ago. At last she could run no longer, and fell, unable even to scream, by the roadside, where she lay for some time, half-dead with terror. But finding nothing lay hold of her, and her breath beginning to come back, she ventured at length to get half up, and peer anxiously about her. It was now so dark that she could see nothing-. Not a single star was out. She could not even tell in what direction the house lay, and between her and home she fancied the dreadful creature lying