186 The Princess and the Goblin
to their mole-eyes, so thoroughlv had they become disused to any light beyond that of their own fires and torches.
Curdie listened, and soon found that they were talking of himself.
" How long will it take?" asked Harelip.
''Not many days, I should think," answered the king. "They are poor feeble creatures, those sun-people, and want to be always eating. We can go a week at a time without food, and be all the better for it; but I've been told they eat two or three times every day! Can you believe it?—They must be quite hollow inside —not at all like us, nine-tenths of whose bulk is solid flesh and bone. Yes—I judge a week of starvation will do for him."
" If / may be allowed a word," interposed the queen, "—and I think I ought to have some voice in the matter------"
"The wretch is entirely at your disposal, my spouse," interrupted the king. " He is your property. You caught him yourself. We should never have done it."
The queen laughed. She seemed in far better humour than the night before.