Curdie and his Mother 245
" And I fancy," said Curdie, " if they once got her, they would tell the king they would kill her except he consented to the marriage."
"They might say so," said his father, " but they wouldn't kill her; they would keep her alive for the sake of the hold it gave them over our king. Whatever he did to them, they would threaten to do the same to the princess."
" And they are bad enough to torment her just for their own amusement—I know that," said his mother.
"Anyhow, I will keep a watch on them, and see what they are up to," said Curdie. "It's too horrible to think of. I daren't let myself do it. But they sha'n't have her—at least if I can help it. So, mother dear—my clue is all right—will you get me a bit of paper and a pencil and a lump of pease pudding, and I will set out at once. I saw a place where I can climb over the wall of the garden quite easily."
"You must mind and keep out of the way of the men on the watch," said his mother.
"That I will. I don't want them to know