14S THE PRINCESS AND CURDIE.
master of the horse, and he told the secretary, and the secretary told my father, that they had searched every mine in the kingdom and could hear nothing of you. My father gave a great sigh, and said he feared the goblins had got you after all, and your father and mother were dead of grief. And he has never mentioned you since, except when wandering. I cried very much. But one of my grandmother's pigeons with its white wing flashed a message to me through the window one day, and then I knew that my Curdie wasn't eaten by the goblins, for my grandmother wouldn't have taken care of him one time to let him be eaten the next. Where were you, Curdie, that they couldn't find you ? "
" We will talk about that another time, when we are not expecting the doctor," said Curdie.
As he spoke, his eyes fell upon something shining on the table under the lamp. His heart gave a great throb, and he went nearer.—Yes, there could be no doubt;—it was the same flagon that the butler had filled in the wine-cellar.
" It looks worse and worse!" he said to himself, and went back to Irene, where she stood half dreaming,
" When will the doctor be here ? • he asked once more—this time hurriedly.
The question was answered—not by the princess, but by something which that instant tumbled heavily into