SELECTED SHADOWS 35

Drewin fell back, turning away, closing his eyes, and covering his ears with his hands. But he could not keep out the sound of a multitude of hammers crashing in chaotic rhythms. He turned once more to the door and, keeping his eyes half closed, cautiously he edged forward. The noise got louder and the light became brighter as he left his dark prison and entered a vast cavern.

He could make out hundreds of people scattered around as far as the eye could see. They were all working with hammers and chisels on pieces of stone: some of them worked alone while others were in groups of two or three. At first none took any notice of Drewin, so intent were they on their tasks, but as he advanced further into the cavern a few of the stonemasons stopped their work and looked curiously at him. Gradually more of them put down their tools and a group started to gather. There were all sorts: male and female, tall and short, fat and thin. Drewin looked at them and they looked at him. Nobody said a word.

Beneath the mountains

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