The Subterranean Waters 301
u Now, Curdie," said the king, "what does it mean? Is this what you expected?"
"It is, your majesty," said Curdie; and proceeded to tell him about the second scheme ot the goblins, who, fancying the miners of more importance to the upper world than they were, had resolved, if they should fail in carrying off the king's daughter, to flood the mine and drown the miners. Then he explained what the miners had done to prevent it. The goblins had, in pursuance of their design, let loose all the underground reservoirs and streams, expecting the water to run down into the mine, which was lower than their part of the mountain, for they had, as they supposed, not knowing of the solid wall close behind, broken a passage through into it. But the readiest outlet the water could find had turned out to be the tunnel they had made to the king's house, the possibility of which catastrophe had not occurred to the young miner until he had laid his ear to the floor of
What was then to be done? The house ap- r peared in danger of falling, and every moment the torrent was increasing.