304 The Princess and the Goblin
turned with a great rich fur, and the news that dead goblins were tossing about in the current through the house. They had been caught in their own snare; instead of the mine they had flooded their own country, whence they were now swept up drowned. Irene shuddered, but the king held her close to his bosom. Then he turned to Sir Walter, and said—
" Bring Curdie's father and mother here."
"I wish," said the king, when they stood before him, " to take your son with me. He shall enter my bodyguard at once, and wait further promotion."
Peter and his wife, overcome, only murmured almost inaudible thanks. But Curdie spoke aloud.
" Please your majesty," he said, " I cannot leave my father and mother."
" That's right, Curdie!" cried the princess. "/ wouldn't if I was you."
The king looked at the princess and then at Curdie with a glow of satisfaction on his countenance.
"I too think you are right, Curdie," he said, "and I will not ask you again. But I shall