Irene's Clue 201
thread began to rise. It rose as high as her head, and higher still. What should she do if she lost her hold? She was pulling it down! She might break it! She could see it far up, glowing as red as her fire-opal in the light of the embers.
But presently she came to a huge heap of stones, piled in a slope against the wall of the cavern. On these she climbed, and soon recovered the level of the thread—only however to find, the next moment, that it vanished through the heap of stones, and left her standing on it, with her face to the solid rock. For one terrible moment, she felt as if her grandmother had forsaken her. The thread which the spiders had spun far over the seas, which her grandmother had sat in the moonlight and spun again for her, which she had tempered in the rose-fire, and tied to her opal ring, had left her—had gone where she could no longer follow it—had brought her into a horrible cavern, and there left her! She was forsaken indeed!
" When shall I wake?" she said to herself in an agony, but the same moment knew that it was no dream. She threw herself upon the