228 The Princess and the Goblin
" What is that, grandmother?"
" To understand other people."
" Yes, grandmother. I must be fair—for if I'm not fair to other people, I'm not worth being understood myself. I see. So as Curdie can't help it, I will not be vexed with him, but just wait."
" There's my own dear child," said her grandmother, and pressed her close to her bosom.
" Why weren't you in your workroom, when we came up, grandmother?" asked Irene, after a few moments' silence.
" If I had been there, Curdie would have seen me well enough. But why should I be there rather than in this beautiful room?"
" I thought you would be spinning."
" I've nobody to spin for just at present. I never spin without knowing for whom I am spinning."
"That reminds me—there is one thing that puzzles me," said the princess: " how are you to get the thread out of the mountain again? Surely you won't have to make another for me? That would be such a trouble!"
The lady set her down, and rose, and went to