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Better death.

But, thought I, I do not wish to be killed. I will put her off for a time, and see if I can devise some means of escape from this horrible predicament.

Turning to her I said "What you have told me is really wonderful. Has the roof of the cave never opened since the white female came through? Did it not open the last time it shook?"

"Yes," she replied. "The last time some of them saw a strong tight for a little white shining through the roof, but it soon closed and was dark as before."

"Then there is no way out of this cave?" I asked.

"None," she answered.

My last hope was gone. I should have to pass the remainder of my life as the husband of this hideous creature.

I thought of the wife I had lost, and shuddered at the anticipation of having to submit to this monstrosity's embraces.

It was too horrible.

As in a nightmare I saw no way of escaping, except by death.

Yet, poor thing, I pitied her sincerely.

Turning to me she said, "You cannot give any light, so I will tell two of my creatures to stay with you always."