The Escape 209
have cnly to follow my thread. I am sure that it's going to take us out now."
She had already begun to follow it over the fallen slab into the hole, while Curdie was searching the floor of the cavern for his pickaxe.
"Here it is!" he cried. " No, it is not!" he added, in a disappointed tone. "What can it be then?—I declare it's a torch. That is jolly! It's better almost than my pickaxe. Much better if it weren't for those stone shoes!" he went on, as he lighted the torch by blowing the last embers of the expiring fire.
When he looked up, with the lighted torch casting a glare into the great darkness of the huge cavern, he caught sight of Irene disappearing in the hole out of which he had himself just come.
"Where are you going there?" he cried. "That's not the way out. That's where I couldn't get out."
" I know that," whispered Irene. " But this is the way my thread goes, and I must follow it."
" WThat nonsense the child talks!" said Curdie to himself. " I must follow her, though, and see that she comes to no harm. She will soon find