208 The Princess and the Goblin
wanted done, and what the thread wanted done, were one and the same thing. For she not only saw that by following the turns of the thread she had been clearing the face of the slab, but that, a little more than halfway down, the thread went through the chink between the slab and the wall into the place where Curdie was confined, so that she could not follow it any farther until the slab was out of her way. As soon as she found this, she said in a right joyous whisper—
" Now, Curdie! I think if you were to give a great push, the slab would tumble over."
" Stand quite clear of it then," said Curdie, i'and let me know when you are ready."
Irene got off the heap, and stood on one side of it.
" Now, Curdie!" she cried.
Curdie gave a great rush with his shoulder against it. Out tumbled the slab on the heap, and out crept Curdie over the top of it.
' You've saved my life, Irene!" he whispered.
" Oh, Curdie! I'm so glad! Let's get out of this horrid place as fast as we can."
" That's easier said than done," returned he.
" Oh, no! it's quite easy," said Irene. "We