The Subterranean Waters 305
have a chance of doing something for you some time."
" Your majesty has already allowed me to serve you," said Curdie.
" But, Curdie," said his mother, "why shouldn't you go with the king? We can get on very well without you."
" But I can't get on very well without you," said Curdie. " The king is very kind, but I could not be half the use to him that I am to you. Please your majesty, if you wouldn't mind giving my mother a red petticoat! I should have got her one long ago, but for the goblins."
"As soon as we get home," said the king, " Irene and I will search out the warmest one to be found, and send it by one of the gentlemen."
"Yes, that we will, Curdie!" said the princess. "And next summer we'll come back and see you wear it, Curdie's mother," she added. "Sha'n't we, king-papa?"
"Yes, my love; I hope so," said the king.
Then turning to the miners, he saidó
" Will you do the best you can for my servants to-night. I hope they will be able to return to the house to-morrow."