180 The Princess and the Goblin
The king was pleased to find him behave more politely than he had expected from what his people had told him concerning- the miners, for he attributed it to the power of his own presence; but he did not therefore feel friendly to the intruder.
"You will oblige me by walking- out of my dominions at once," he said, well knowing- what a mockery lay in the words.
"With pleasure, if your majesty will give me a guide," said Curdie.
"I will give you a thousand," said the king with a scoffing air of magnificent liberality.
"One will be quite sufficient," said Curdie.
But the king- uttered a strang-e shout, half-halloo, half-roar, and in rushed goblins till the cave was swarming-. He said something to the first of them which Curdie could not hear, and it was passed from one to another till in a moment the farthest in the crowd had evidently heard and understood it. They began to gather about him in a way he did not relish, and he retreated towards the wall. They pressed upon him.
"Stand back," said Curdie, grasping- his pickaxe tighter by his knee.