The mortals followed Mork down a series of tunnels they had never been down. They passed caves that looked like store-rooms for food and supplies. Then their Goblin-folk guide stopped and pointed ahead. “Mork cannot go further,” he said. “Must go back to Goblin-folk. Goblin-folk not look for you here. Must find way out on your own.” With that he turned and hurried off. The mortals followed his advice, not knowing what else to do. They didn’t notice that there was someone missing from the group.

Ando stood alone in one of the store-rooms they had passed. He had lost some weight in the Goblin-folk tunnels, but his belly still protruded more than any of the others. He had gotten so little food of late that he felt famished. When he saw the store-room with food sitting around unguarded, he couldn’t help slipping silently away from the others to help himself. As he looked around greedily at all the food, he told himself that he wouldn’t stay here for long. He could slip away after eating his fill and catch up to the rest of his people. He could even carry some extra with him and hide it somewhere in the dark tunnels. He would have to be careful that the others didn’t see it, though, or he would have to share it with them. Not that keeping it secret would be a problem, since he had become an expert at stealing and hiding things from them. Delicious food was the greatest thing in the world, he thought. It was a pity that so much of it was wasted by those around him having to eat it. But they were all naive, and had no idea that he was actually the thief that had plagued them for so long.

He had filled an empty sack with food and was about to make his escape when he heard a sound and suddenly noticed one of the Goblin-folk watching him. The creature looked furious to see him stealing their food, and advanced on him with a weapon. Ando had none, and it didn’t look like he could get past him through the narrow cave.

As he had always done, Ando put his own survival and well-being first and thought of a way out of this situation. He dropped the sack and held up his hands pleadingly. “My people have escaped, but I can show you where they are hiding! If you let me live, I will lead you to them!”

His captor realized that if he found the mortals and recaptured them, he would surely be praised and rewarded. He agreed, and Ando, thief and now traitor, led him off in the direction they had gone.

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