The corridor is darker now and a sharp bend signals the beginning of a gradual descent. The breeze is a whisper of its former self as you venture deeper underground and the air hangs thickly in your lungs.
After some minutes you realise that the sound of water has grown fainter and you stop to listen.
Suddenly you yelp in pain, managing to stifle your startled cry a second too late. Something sore just happened in your pocket. You look down to see an impertinent pincer protruding from it, wavering in what you take to be alarm.
Taking the crab from his new home you hold him in your palm. He seems in no hurry to leave so you discount the possibility that the pinch was malicious. His beady gaze holds yours for some moments before he turns and springs to the floor.
You watch as he picks his way back up the corridor and across to a narrow fissure in the rock. Without warning he disappears inside.
As you approach the crevice to investigate you hear the muffled sound of agitated voices echoed from further along the corridor. You see the foreign glare of torchlight dancing briefly on the wall at the bend in the passage.
You look into the fissure but the crab seems to be gone. The sound of running water is louder here and the fissure is deep and wide enough to conceal you with some effort but inside all is dark. The sound of hurried footsteps spurs you into action...