stumble

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Bushwhacker

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The use of stumble in the following short paragraph is quite odd:

Somehow, she managed to stumble the short way down to her palace without being seen...

Is it saying she did the short way with some difficulty?


Any help very appreciated.
 
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euncu

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***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

What I've understood from the sentence;

She doesn't know how it happened that easy(=somehow), but she'd found a short way by chance (=managed to stumble) and made it to the castle without being seen.
 

Bushwhacker

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***neither a teacher nor a native-speaker***

What I've understood from the sentence;

She doesn't know how it happened that easy(=somehow), but she'd found a short way by chance (=managed to stumble) and made it to the castle without being seen.

My problem is in the use of stumble here. She knows perfectly the way because she is at her city, but she just has come out from a hard and exhausting experience and wants to get home as quickly as possible without anyone seeing her. She is carrying some papers from a recent late foe and her look is torn and bloody. I suppose stumble here can be referring to her unease with the situation (papers, look, fatigue), but I'd like to be sure of that, because the normal use of stumble doesn't seem to fit here.
 
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BobK

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I think BW is right; maybe it was dark, or she was injured. I think you (euncu) are thinking of the phrasal verb 'stumble on' [='discover by chance'], but there's no 'on' here. What the 'somehow' does is express how difficult it was: it was very hard, but somehow she managed.

b
 
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