144 The Princess and the Goblin
" Come in, Irene.'*
From the sound, she understood at once that she was not in the room beside her. Perhaps she was in her bedroom. She turned across the passage, feeling her way to the other door When her hand fell on the lock, again the old lady spokeó
''Shut the other door behind you, Irene. I always close the door of my workroom when 1 go to my chamber."
Irene wondered to hear her voice so plainly through the door: having shut the other, she opened it and went in. Oh, what a lovely haven to reach from the darkness and fear through which she had come! The soft light made her feel as if she were going into the heart of the milkiest pearl; while the blue walls and their silver stars for a moment perplexed her with the fancy that they were in reality the sky which she had left outside a minute ago covered with rain-clouds.
" I've lighted a fire for you, Irene: you're cold and wet," said her grandmother.
Then Irene looked again, and saw that what she had taken for a huge bouquet of red roses