Curdie and his Mother 243
whether they are or not. I will take a light with me------
" Oh Curdie," cried his mother, " then they will see you."
" I'm no more afraid of them now than I was before," rejoined Curdie, "Śnow that I've got this precious shoe. They can't make another such in a hurry, and one bare foot will do for my purpose. Woman as she may be, I won't spare her next time. But I shall be careful with my light, for I don't want them to see me. I won't stick it in my hat."
"Go on, then, and tell us what you mean to do."
" I mean to take a bit of paper with me and a pencil, and go in at the mouth of the stream by which we came out. I shall mark on the paper as near as I can the angle of every turning I take until I find the cobs at work, and so get a good idea in what direction they are going. If it should prove to be nearly parallel with the stream, I shall know it is towards the king's house they are working."
"And what if you should? How much wiser will you be then?"
"Wait a minute, mother, dear. I told you that