246 The Princess and the Goblin
anything about it. They would spoil it all. The cobs would only try some other plan — they are such obstinate creatures! I shall take good care, mother. They won't kill and eat me either, if they should come upon me. Sc you needn't mind them."
His mother got him what he had asked for, and Curdie set out. Close beside the door by which the princess left the garden for the mountain, stood a great rock, and by climbing it Curdie got over the wall. He tied his clue to a stone just inside the channel of the stream, and took his pickaxe with him. He had not gone far before he encountered a horrid creature coming towards the mouth. The spot was too narrow for two of almost any size or shape, and besides Curdie had no wish to let the creature pass. Not being able to use his pickaxe, however, he had a severe struggle with him, and it was only after receiving many bites, some of them bad, that he succeeded in killing him with his pocket-knife. Having dragged him out, he made haste to get in again before another should stop up the way.
I need not follow him farther in this night's