Kaliban stood on Hawthorne's shoulders, swords out. He was able to duck under low-hanging moss without disrupting his balance. Hawthorne, on the other hand, waded waste-deep into the damp black plant-matter, and struggled to get through. Finally, he was able to hoist Kaliban up into the north-west tunnel, and to climb up himself. By the time he pulled himself up, his trousers were so saturated with slimy moss-goo, that he could only waddle in discomfort.