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AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND BY GEORGE MAC DONALD Author of "Dealings with Fairies," "Ranald Bannerman," etc., etc. CHAPTER I THE HAY-LOFT I HAVE been asked to tell you about the back of the north wind. An old Greek wr iter mentions a people who lived there, and were so comfortable that they could not bear it any longer, and drowned themselves. My story is not the same as his. I do not think Herodotus had got the right account of the place. I am going to tell you how it fared with a boy who went there. He lived in a low room over a coach-house; and that was not by any means at the back of the north wind, as his mother very well knew. For one side of the room was built only of boards, and the boards were so old that you might run a penkni fe through into the north wind. And then let them settle between them which was the sharper! I know that when you pulled it out again the wind would be after it like a cat after a mouse, and you would know soon enough you were not at the ba ck of the north wind. Still, this room was not very cold, except when the north wind blew stronger than usual: the room I have to do with now was always cold, e xcept in summer, when the sun took the matter into his own hands. Indeed, I am n ot sure whether I ought to call it a room at all; for it was just a loft where t hey kept hay and straw and oats for the horses. And when little Diamond--but stop: I must tell you that his father, who was a c oachman, had named him after a favourite horse, and his mother had had no object ion:--when little Diamond, then, lay there in bed, he could hear the horses unde r him munching away in the dark, or moving sleepily in their dreams. For Diamond 's father had built him a bed in the loft with boards all round it, because they had so little room in their own end over the coach-house; and Diamond's father put old Diamond in the stall under the bed, because he was a quiet horse, and di d not go to sleep standing, but lay down like a reasonable creature. But, althou gh he was a surprisingly reasonable creature, yet, when young Diamond woke in th e middle of the night, and felt the bed shaking in the blasts of the north wind, he could not help wondering whether, if the wind should blow the house down, an d he were to fall through into the manger, old Diamond mightn't eat him up befor e he knew him in his night-gown. And although old Diamond was very quiet all nig ht long, yet when he woke he got up like an earthquake, and then young Diamond k new what o'clock it was, or at least what was to be done next, which was-- to go to sleep again as fast as he could. There was hay at his feet and hay at his head, piled up in great trusses to the very roof. Indeed it was sometimes only through a little lane with several turn ings, which looked as if it had been sawn out for him, that he could reach his b ed at all. For the stock of hay was, of course, always in a state either of slow ebb or of sudden flow. Sometimes the whole space of the loft, with the little p
anes in the roof for the stars to look in, would lie open before his open eyes a s he lay in bed; sometimes a yellow wall of sweet-smelling fibres closed up his view at the distance of half a yard. Sometimes, when his mother had undressed hi m in her room, and told him to trot to bed by himself, he would creep into the h eart of the hay, and lie there thinking how cold it was outside in the wind, and how warm it was inside there in his bed, and how he could go to it when he plea sed, only he wouldn't just yet; he would get a little colder first. And ever as he grew colder, his bed would grow warmer, till at last he would scramble out of the hay, shoot like an arrow into his bed, cover himself up, and snuggle down, thinking what a happy boy he was. He had not the least idea that the wind got in at a chink in the wall, and blew about him all night. For the back of his bed w as only of boards an inch thick, and on the other side of them was the north win d. Now, as I have already said, these boards were soft and crumbly. To be sure, th ey were tarred on the outside, yet in many places they were more like tinder tha n timber. Hence it happened that the soft part having worn away from about it, l ittle Diamond found one night, after he lay down, that a knot had come out of on e of them, and that the wind was blowing in upon him in a cold and rather imperi ous fashion. Now he had no fancy for leaving things wrong that might be set righ t; so he jumped out of bed again, got a little strike of hay, twisted it up, fol ded it in the middle, and, having thus made it into a cork, stuck it into the ho le in the wall. But the wind began to blow loud and angrily, and, as Diamond was falling asleep, out blew his cork and hit him on the nose, just hard enough to wake him up quite, and let him hear the wind whistling shrill in the hole. He se arched for his hay-cork, found it, stuck it in harder, and was just dropping off once more, when, pop! with an angry whistle behind it, the cork struck him agai n, this time on the cheek. Up he rose once more, made a fresh stopple of hay, an d corked the hole severely. But he was hardly down again before--pop! it came on his forehead. He gave it up, drew the clothes above his head, and was soon fast asleep. Although the next day was very stormy, Diamond forgot all about the hole, for h e was busy making a cave by the side of his mother's fire with a broken chair, a three-legged stool, and a blanket, and then sitting in it. His mother, however, discovered it, and pasted a bit of brown paper over it, so that, when Diamond h ad snuggled down the next night, he had no occasion to think of it. Presently, however, he lifted his head and listened. Who could that be talking to him? The wind was rising again, and getting very loud, and full of rushes and whistles. He was sure some one was talking-- and very near him, too, it was. Bu t he was not frightened, for he had not yet learned how to be; so he sat up and hearkened. At last the voice, which, though quite gentle, sounded a little angry , appeared to come from the back of the bed. He crept nearer to it, and laid his ear against the wall. Then he heard nothing but the wind, which sounded very lo ud indeed. The moment, however, that he moved his head from the wall, he heard t he voice again, close to his ear. He felt about with his hand, and came upon the piece of paper his mother had pasted over the hole. Against this he laid his ea r, and then he heard the voice quite distinctly. There was, in fact, a little co rner of the paper loose, and through that, as from a mouth in the wall, the voic e came. "What do you mean, little boy--closing up my window?" "What window?" asked Diamond. "You stuffed hay into it three times last night. I had to blow it out again thr ee times." "You can't mean this little hole! It isn't a window; it's a hole in my bed."
"I did not say it was a window: I said it was my window." "But it can't be a window, because windows are holes to see out of." "Well, that's just what I made this window for." "But you are outside: you can't want a window." "You are quite mistaken. Windows are to see out of, you say. Well, I'm in my ho use, and I want windows to see out of it." "But you've made a window into my bed." "Well, your mother has got three windows into my dancing room, and you have thr ee into my garret." "But I heard father say, when my mother wanted him to make a window through the wall, that it was against the law, for it would look into Mr. Dyves's garden." The voice laughed. "The law would have some trouble to catch me!" it said. "But if it's not right, you know," said Diamond, "that's no matter. You shouldn 't do it." "I am so tall I am above that law," said the voice. "You must have a tall house, then," said Diamond. "Yes; a tall house: the clouds are inside it." "Dear me!" said Diamond, and thought a minute. "I think, then, you can hardly e xpect me to keep a window in my bed for you. Why don't you make a window into Mr . Dyves's bed?" "Nobody makes a window into an ash-pit," said the voice, rather sadly. "I like to see nice things out of my windows." "But he must have a nicer bed than I have, though mine is very nice-- so nice t hat I couldn't wish a better." "It's not the bed I care about: it's what is in it.--But you just open that win dow." "Well, mother says I shouldn't be disobliging; but it's rather hard. You see th e north wind will blow right in my face if I do." "I am the North Wind." "O-o-oh!" said Diamond, thoughtfully. "Then will you promise not to blow on my face if I open your window?" "I can't promise that." "But you'll give me the toothache. Mother's got it already." "But what's to become of me without a window?"
He s crambled and tumbled in under the bedclothes. and feeling with his little sharp nails. and struck his little naked chest. "What is your name. or. "Diamond. "Do you know to whom you are speaking!" "No." returned its owner. North and I don't know which of us my great and good horse. he's big Diamond. sounded somewhere beside hi m. I suppose. vexed that it should not gi ve satisfaction." thought Diamond--and made windows into people's beds! But the voice began again. don't I just! Diamond is a me. In came a long whistling spear of cold. Diamond is very nice--as big as two--and so quiet all night! And doesn't he make a jolly row in the morning. large but very soft and musical. little boy?" it asked." persisted the boy. for y Wind." A beautiful laugh. getting upon his four great legs ! It's like thunder. He is old Diamond. Just you believe what I say. "What a funny name!" "It's a very nice name."I'm sure I don't know. if you like it better. and he thought it sounded a little like his mother' s. but Diamond kept his head under the clothes. and he sleeps right under young Diamond. although six times as la rge and loud as it had been." said the voice. it will not." said the voice. under the bed-clothes. and covered himself up: there was no paper now between him and the voice. "Diamond is a useless thing rather. It was a still more gentle voice now." said Diamond. "That's not true. . " "Well.--You had better look and see." "You don't seem to know what a diamond is. You wi ll be much the better for it. All I say is." "Oh. And indeed he did not. even with his head under the bed-clothes. he got hold of the open edge of the paper and tore it off a t once. Mr." said Diamond. it will be worse for me than for you. You shall not be the worse for it--I promise you that. and he felt a little--not frightened exa ctly--I told you he had not learned that yet--but rather queer. a little rudely. for what a stran ge person this North Wind must be that lived in the great house--"called Out-ofDoors. father likes best. "I don't know that. I do. I can pull the clothes over my head. and he could hear it quite plainly. and I am ou're very particular. and I'm little Diamond. and do as I tell you." "No." retorted Diamond. For to know a person's name is not always to know the pe rson's self. though. "Well. "Then I must not be angry with you." "Diamond is a very pretty name." answered Diamond.
" answered Diamond. half peevish. never mind your clothes. then."I'm not Mr. "how shall I get my clothes? They are in mother's room. "I will. hair but as Diamond gazed at her in speechless amazement. for he did not like to be scolded. From her eyes came all the light by which Diam ond saw her face and her. yes. You can't say it's polite to lie there talking--with your head under the bed-clothes." insisted Diamond. I shall take care of that. "I did not say Mister North Wind. What was the most strange was th at away from her head streamed out her black hair in every direction. half frightened. and that was all he did see of her yet.-I want you to come out with me." he a dded. a tremendous blast of wind crashed in a board of the wall. even when he deserved it." "Well. I do. mingled with confidence--for the boy was entranced with her mighty beauty--her hair began to gather itself out of the dar kness. "You shall sleep all the better to-morrow night. beautiful. and never look up to see what kind of person you are talking to." said Diamond. Dyves's garden. I didn't know better." "I don't know that. I'm very sorry." said Diamond. "Will you go with me now. for they had just begun to flash." said the voice. just a little angrily." "Besides. You will not be cold." said the lady. "Well." "I thought everybody was. Leaning ov er him was the large. Her dark eyes looked a li ttle angry." "But you ought to know better." "Oh. He started up in terror. North Wind. dropping them." "Will you take your head out of the bed-clothes?" said the voice. hair. The wind was over and gone. . pale face of a woman." "Then let me tell you I don't think it at all polite of you to say Mister to me . "But. I will." said Diamond. and the door is locked." "I do. but a quivering in her sweet upper lip made her look as if she were going to cry. so that th e darkness in the hay-loft looked as if it were made of her. "you are out in Mr." "I want to go to sleep. you little Diamond? I am sorry I was forced to be so rough with you. for mother tells me I ought to be polite. holding out both his arms. "You told me that you were the North Wind. and fell down all about her again. I can only get into our own yard. Nobody is cold with the north wind. till her face looked out of the midst of it like a moon out of a cloud. and swept the clothes off Diamond. "No!" answered Diamond. The instant he said the word." said the voice. and I can't get th ere. very nearly crying.
Again he stretched his arms. but mother never would let me go without shoes: she never said anyt hing about clothes. I knew your name quite well." "Oh!--a stone. too." said the lady. and blew the Bible ou t of the man's hands. but there's another thing. but without it. "She is a good woman. They are cold because t hey are not with the north wind. I have vis ited her often. I am quite ready to go with yo u." she said." If he ncy out Diamond had been a little older. ma'am. A horse is better than a stone any day. You're not bad." "You must not be ready to go with everything beautiful all at once. You must call me just my own name--respectfully. "Yes. right ove r the coach-house door. dear boy. so I dare say she wouldn't mind that." "I know your mother very well. eagerly. and the leaves went all flutter. "I thought it had been a horse-. please. only a little ruefully. Don't you remember that day when the man was fi nding fault with your name--how I blew the window in?" "Yes. I'm not bad. you see. and there----" "Was your name in the Bible--the sixth stone in the high priest's breastplate. Most people make it. ma'am--came in. I will go with you. and my mother picked it up and gave it back to him open." "Now for the next question: you're not to call me ma'am. Well. Diamond:--What if I should look ugly without be . you are so beautiful. ma'am?" "One question at a time." "How was it you did not know my name." "But what's beautiful can't be bad. Diamond." "Ah. But he was not older." said Diamond." answered Diamond. I was with her when you were born. "Follow me. you know--just North Wind. flutter on the floor. however."That is a great mistake. Diamond." "Yes. I know all about you and your mother. then. North Wind. and it takes some time for their badness to spoil their beauty. but I wanted to hear what you would say for it. So little boys may be m istaken if they go after things because they are beautiful. ma'am? Please am I to say ma'am to you." "Never mind. was it?" said Diamond. and did not fa himself wiser. I will go with you because you are beautiful and good.I did. But sometimes beautiful things grow bad by doing bad." "Well. "Our window opens like a door. I saw her laugh and cry both at once." "Well. North Wind?" "No. Diamond. and therefore understood her well enough. "No. I love your mother. And the wind--you. The lady's face drew back a little. "You're not afraid?" said the North Wind. and had supposed himself a good deal wiser. yes. would have thought the lady was joking.
if I change into a serpent or a tiger. Th is Diamond did very gently for a minute or so. I may look something very awful. C hildren in particular have not made up their minds to it. Diamond crept out of bed and followed her." "Well. you must not let go your hold of me. for my hand will never change in yours if you keep a good hold. they generally cry at nobody. But the moon was only a poor thin crescent. But when he got out into the yard. Diamond. If you see me flapping wings like a bat's. When Diamond the boy was half-way down. and darted up the ladder. and down the stair to the door. There was just one great. and wanted him to pull his ears for him. he remembered that it was of no use to go thi s way." said little Diamond. The st air by which he would naturally have gone down to the door was at the other side of the loft. for he knew boy Diamon d although he was in his night-gown. It was a clear night overhead. the gardener's wife-. for the stable-door was locked. You tell me what then. and looked very black indeed. the blacksmit h's wife--even if you see me looking in at people's windows like Mrs. And just beside him was the ladder going straight down into the stable. you will know who I am all the time. as she descended before him. Bill. and patted and stroked his neck t oo. "Come along. and kissed the big horse." he said. Orion in particular was making the most of his bright belt and golden sword. it was longer than twenty Diamonds' tails! She was gone. CHAPTER II THE LAWN WHEN Diamond got round the corner of the hay. and Diamond thought he would run down that way. If you see me with my face all black. black and gray cloud in t . But at the same moment there was horse Di amond's great head poked out of his box on to the ladder. If you keep a hold. when all at once he recollected that the Lady North Wind was wait ing for him in the yard. for a moment he hesitated.you must believe that I am doing my work. too! Why. "Good night. jagged. Now it is always a dreadful thing to think there is somebody and find nobody. The stair went close past the loose-box in which Diamond the horse lived. with his bare feet on the stones of the paved yard." said North Wind. North Wind. and disappeared behind the mountain of hay . for his little heart had been beating with joy: the face of the North Wind was so grand! To have a lady like that for a friend--with such long hair. Nay. and the stars were shining. I will tell you. don't be frighten ed. for it was full of North Wind's hair . Through the opening in the floor the faint gleam of the-stable lan tern was enticing. But it was an especial disappoint ment to Diamond. as big as the whole sky.ing bad--look ugly myself because I am making ugly things beautiful?--What then? " "I don't quite understand you. Eve Droppe r. and had begun to take the bits of straw and hay ou t of his mane. then. don't be frightened. If you hear me raging ten times worse than Mrs. especially when they wake up at night. up which his father always came to fetch the hay for Diam ond's dinner. Diamond. across the loft. even when you look at me and can't see me the least like the North Wind. And the re he stood. there was no lady . Do you understan d?" "Quite well.
But the most foolish thing is to fight for no good . until he found himself standing at a door in a wall. and felt warm after the s tones of the yard. But I confess that I have not yet s een Fairyland at its best. "I daresay she is hidin g somewhere to see what I will do. At least that was what Diamond thought as he stood for a moment staring at her. little man. But he was quite wrong. and the owner of Diamond. Still he would look in the kitchen-gard en. He turned his back to the wind. wouldn't have done that! But for my pa rt. I have seen this world--only sometimes. You must not think it was cowardly of Diamond to turn his back to the wind: he did so only because he thought Lady North Wind had said something like telling h im to do so. If he turned round. I don't mind people crying so much as I mind what they cry about. and looked as if she had tumbled off the top of the cloud-hill. which door led from the yard into a little belt of shrubbery. and things looked so s trange about him!-. I am always going to see it so some time. sharp as a knife came the wind aga inst his little chest and his bare legs. he was so disappointed to l ose the lady: of course.whether they cry quietly like ladies and gentlemen. Well. But if you had been out in the face and not at the back of the North Wind. Mr. But when he got round the weeping-ash that stood in the corner. you. and there was no pit she was going down into. How it was that he should have guessed what she meant at that very moment I cannot tell. But the mome nt he was clear of the shelter of the stable. But it can't be denied that a little gentle crying does one good. and all cooks are not ladies--nor all queens and princesses for that matter. anyhow!" said Diamond. or go shrieking lik e vulgar emperors. and it grew stronger and stronger till he could ha rdly fight against it. strange to say. It did Diamon d good. it blew so much more gently against his c alves than it had blown against his shins that he began to feel almost warm by c ontrast. and went through t he shrubbery. however. So she blew and blew. and broken herself in rolling down the precipice. or ill-natured cooks. still hoping to find North Wi nd. just now and then. and the moon was against this side. Coleman was his f ather's master. with a steep side to it like a precipice.just as if he had got into Fairyland. whereupon. Diamond wo uld have held his face to it. had not been out so late before in all his life. "She shan't say it was my fault. it was just as if the wind was pushing Diamond along. it grew very sharp on his legs especially.he sky. and went on. The soft grass was very pleasant to his bare feet. and out into the middle of the lawn." So he went round the end of the stable towards the kitchen-garden. for all emperors are not gentlemen. and a pit without sides to it is not a pit at all. for th e moon was not afraid. of which he knew quite as much as anybody. and how th ey cry-. for there w ere no sides to it. and so he thought the wind might rea lly be Lady North Wind. flanking Mr. on a cold rather frosty night. He cried a little. though he could not see her. and trotted again toward s the yard. you would have felt it all quite as stran ge as Diamond did. for his mother had no money to buy books to set him wrong o n the subject. and he went and went. bu t I have observed that the most wonderful thing in the world is how people come to understand anything. for as soon as it was over he was a brave boy again. Diamond. and he had better let her b low him wherever she pleased. Coleman's house. Then he began to think t . and in your night-gown. the wind blew much stronger. If she had said to him that he must hold his face to it. She did not seem comfortable. either . but the lady was nowhere to be seen. and to please nobody. for she wa s looking down into the deep pit waiting for her. you kn ow--look as strange as ever I saw Fairyland. He opened the door. I will look for her. just a little. Then he thought of what the lady had sai d about people being cold because they were not with the North Wind. And it was so cold! All the flashy spikes of the stars se emed to have got somehow into the wind.
Then without a word. for the Colemans were kind people. whether he was in a dream or not. I am safe in my bed. He burst out crying in good earnest. but they did not give light enough to show that the grass was green. indeed. He began to won der whether he was in a dream or not. "for. and there is a bad kind of crossness t hat is very nasty indeed. nor yet at the disconsolate. and led him towards the house. Crump was a little cross sometimes. beginning with a wail like that of the wind when it is waking up. I'm out here. Then. He would be just as lonely there as here. the wind blowing his night-gown till it flapped like a loose sail. and threw up her hands. and Diamond stood al one in the strange night. though they did not care much about children. and. At the very moment when he burst out crying. There he stood in the middle of the lawn. And as long as he saw that light. She thought she heard a cry. and went straight towards the white thing to see what it was. He made no objection. and she gone. for she thought Diamond was walking in his sleep. So she came up with her neck stretched out. but at the drawing-room window with the light shini ng through its green curtains. which looked half solid all about him. but it looked dreadful to him to creep up that stair again and lie down in his bed again. He had been in that room once or twice that he co uld remember at Christmas times. B ut if I'm not in a dream." He came to the conclusion. like a snail's. and her mother had told her to brush her hair by the drawing-room fire--a disorderly proceeding which a mother's wish could justify. Coleman's house was to the lawn. the fire in Miss Coleman's bedroom had gone out. Diamond could not feel quite lonely. and one of the drawing-room wi ndows looked out upon it. tha t. which certainly was ne ither wise nor polite. the old nurse who had grown to be one of the family. And when Diamond saw her coming he was not frightened either. peering into the night to see what it could be that went on glimmering white before her. and know that North Wind's window was open beside him. she caught hold of hi m. which was of glass. It was important to determine this. The stars were very shiny over his head. for could he not go home to his own be d again when he liked? Yes. "if I am in a dream. I'm not sure whether I can help it. no t at the great warrior Orion in the sky. came to the back door. But they had no idea that a little boy was standing on the lawn in his night-gown. The ladies had not gone to bed. for there is a good kin d of crossness that is only disagreeable. neglected moon going down in the west. and her eyes foremost of all. at lea st. All at once the light went nearly out: he could only see a glimmer of the shape of the window. however. He stood staring. he felt that he was left alone. and Mrs. for she had not gone away when Miss Coleman did not want any more nursing.hat after all he must have done wrong. and he might never see her again. she saw something white on the lawn. there could be no harm in not crying for a little while longer: he could begin whenever he liked. or they would have run out in a moment. it would be much worse if he had to think that the w indow was nothing but a hole in the wall. to close the shutters. or. The back of Mr. peering out with a hand on each side of her ey es like Diamond's blinkers. It was so dreadful to be out in the night after everybody was gone to bed! That was more than he c ould bear. Crump led him straight into the drawing-room. and her he ad at the end of it. Perhaps you think this was very foolish. though Mrs. for he was just in the m ood to be grateful for notice of any sort. and I needn't cry. she made a great exclamation. but staying to talk to the horse. she opened the door. and she was offended with him for not fol lowing close after her. When she did see. for the light was stil l shining in that window. Too old and too wise to be frightened. and perhaps I had better cry." thought Diamond. Now. Nay. The young lad . from the neglect of the new housemaid.
Crump's. His mother had to get out of bed to open the door when Mrs. But then th e horse stood as still as a stone. the horse b egan pulling at the hay. She had visited him twice during the night. She was so pleased that she threw down her brush. Crump said the poor child had walked out in hi s sleep. he thought for one moment that it was North Wind. Yet when she looked round. . young Diamond found himself hoisted up in the air. but she looked so like her he could not help running into her arms and bursting into tears afresh. and Diamond thought she ought to know. and her first thought was to see her b oy. she would say something to him a bout it." thought the. for young Diamond was a good boy. before the horse knew. boy. "I'll give old Diamond a surprise. She was indeed surprised to see her. he went down the l adder to the stable. and did not contradict her for a nything he knew. Then he got up and dressed himself. He came to the conclusion that. and giving one cry of terror young Diamond found himsel f lying on his neck. The next instant old Diamond lashed out with both his hind legs. it might be so indeed. "Diamond! Diamond! Where are you. finding that his father and mother were not yet stirring. while the horse ate. for he. and Miss Coleman had given him a sponge-cake. and the one was all right on the back of the other. after their astonishment was over. and said nothing. and she was frightened. boy. for th ey were still talking when Diamond fell fast asleep. with both hands twisted in the horse's mane. as Diamond entered. So he sat.y was very lovely. He saw the next moment that she was not Lady No rth Wind. always got up the moment he woke. and he had never got off him without being lifted down. Mrs. Now his bed was empty. and her hair wa s extremely long. for it came down to her knees--though that was nothing at all to North Wind's hair. CHAPTER III OLD DIAMOND DIAMOND woke very early in the morning. Crump should take him to his mother . pulling his hand from Mrs. and found him sleeping quietly. for as with an earthqua ke. until it did not lo ok altogether like a dream. and that would settle the matter. But while he meditated. and having taken him in her arms and carri ed him to his bed. except that he lifted his head gently up to l et the boy slip down to his back. returned and had a long confabulation with Mrs. and almost knelt on the f loor to receive him in her arms. a sprawling of legs and he aving as of many backs. Diamond?" she called out. and could hear them no long er. He let them talk on about him. and when. wondering how he was to reach the ground. and he began to doubt whether he had not really been abroad in the wind last night. and old Diamond was a good horse. Crump. He had never mounted Diamon d himself before. Then it was young Diamond 's turn to have more of a surprise than he had expected. he stretched out his arms and ran towards Miss Cole man. he was astride of his back. b ut. But the memory grew brighter and brighter in his head. with her hair all about her. For when he heard young Diamond's cry he knew that there was nothing to kick about. as well as young Diamond. if he had really been brought home to his mother by Mrs. it was decreed that Mrs. Crump. his mother woke. and the boy began thinking. and creeping up very soft ly. and thought what a curious dream he had had. though not nearly so beautiful as North Wind. he was quite satisfied. with his arms as far round it as they would go. with a rumbling and a rocking hither and thither. As soon as Diamond had got himself comfortable on the saddle place. and. and now he was lying as flat as a horse could lie upon his nice trim bed of straw. There he found that even old Diamond was not awake yet. Crump knocked.
especially that of driving two chairs har nessed to the baby's cradle. above that a golden cloud." answered Diamond. The grass showed white in the morning with t he hoar-frost which clung like tiny comfits to every blade. and hurried down the ladder. and peeping down. next to his own home." she said. with a red edge to every . but. At length his mother brought home his new shoes. And as Diamond's sho es were not good. above the fire in the sky lay a large l ake of green light. mother!" "Where.-"Here. to help her boy. Diamond had almost concluded the who le adventure a dream." His mother thought he had been walking in his sleep again. As he was looking at the lovely colours. and no sooner did she find the y fitted him than she told him he might run out in the yard and amuse himself fo r an hour.Diamond turned his head where he sat like a knight on his steed in enchanted st all. but your mother and your father. "How did you get up?" asked his mother. but. Al l the world was new to him." She came running to the ladder. he had never seen a ny place he would like so much to live in as that sky. and cried aloud. and if they did not go very fast." answered he. She did not much like going up to the horse. The sun was going down when he flew from the door like a bird from its cage. and the other only half a back. "Here. He playe d all his games over and over indoors. saw him aloft on the great ho rse. So she went and lifted him off Diamond's back. For it is not fine things that make home a nice place. careful not to spoil the grand show he made with his fine horses and his multitudinous cape. And in they came. Diamond was not in the least af raid of his father driving over him. "Quite easily. not to say a horse's stall . and felt brave r all her life after. Before the next day was over. although one of them had only three legs. And Diamond thought that. mother. and his mother had not quite saved up enough money to get him the new pair she so much wanted for him. A great fire of sunset burned on the top of the gate that led from the stables to the house. in fact. afraid of frightening him at his own sleep-walking. Diamond. as she supposed it. and over that the blue of the win try heavens. Every time she found him fast asle ep. she would not let him run out. Diamond?" she returned. they went as fast as could be expected of the best chairs in the world. For a week his mother watched him very carefully--going into the loft several t imes a night--as often. for she had not been used to horses. All that week it was hard weather. the gates were thrown open. but she would have gone into a lion's den. said nothing abou t last night. "I can't. "but when I got up. and so here I am. Diamond would get up too. as she woke. on Diamond's back. and there was old Diamond and his friend in the carriage. dancing with impatience to get a t their stalls and their oats. "Come down. She carried him in her arms up to her room.
" "No. What? Yes! There was one! He ran and knelt down to look at it. "Yes. N ot a flower was to be seen in the beds on the lawn. and not seemi ng to know that the wind was blowing at all. Even the brave old chrysanth emums and Christmas roses had passed away before the frost. As h e stooped his face to see it close. and was careful that even Diam ond should hear nothing he could repeat again concerning master and his family. Then his father took him in h is arms." He had got up on his knees. It was bed-time soon. and she looked very glum when she came out again. "Mis'ess has been to the doctor w ith her to-day. He ran t o the stable to see his father make Diamond's bed. a little wind began to blow. Now Diamond's mother had once more pasted up North Wind's window. whom he had proved better than himself long ago. please." returned Diamond. and one of the best of drivers. North Wind. and Diamond could not make out more than a word here and there." said a voice. "Not half as glum as Mis'ess. and passed through the little belt of shrubbery. for I haven't overmuch time.a baby-wonder. in the dark. "Are you North Wind?" said Diamond: "I don't hear you blowing.fold. and was busy with his nails once more at the paper over the hole in the wall. he would go in and see whether things looked at all now as they did then. For Diamond's father was not only one of the finest of coachmen to lo ok at." returned the coachman. It was just a one eye that the dull black wintry earth had opened to look at the sky with. "Open the window. carried him up the ladder. Therefore he did not talk about family affairs to any one but his wife. He opened the door." "Yes. Diamond. I was a-watchi ng of them to see what doctor had said. To be quite safe he had to step into the recess of the door that led from the yard to the shrubbery. Open the window." "And didn't Miss look glum too?" asked his mother." returned North Wind. where's the use? You left me all alone last time. a gentleman should never keep a lady waiting. but perfect in shape-. and. but you hear me talking. he remembered al l that had taken place before as distinctly as if it had happened only last nigh t. He awoke all at once. and he ought not to be staring at it so. "Miss is very poorly. For now that North Wind spoke again. looking up at the sky. "I had work to do. And once more he was almost sure that it was no dream. he slipped out of the way and let him dash right on to the stables. and Diamond went to bed and fell fast asleep. but the primrose lay still in the green hollow." . At all events. As he stood there he remembered how the wind had driven him to this same spot o n the night of his dream. be sides." said Diamond's father. and set him down at the table where they wer e going to have their tea. but one of the most discreet of servants as well. and two or thre e long leaves that stood up behind the flower shook and waved and quivered. "You see--" But he lowered his voice. "But. but that was your fault. All at once Diamond thou ght it was saying its prayers. It was a primrose--a dwarfish thing.
I'm not in such a hurry as I was the other night. scratching away at the paper. please?" "I'm North Wind. through the door in the wall. and was gone in a moment."But I'm not a gentleman." "I must dress myself. and getting hold of the edge of it. But if you won't come. Behind it stood North Wind." "Very well." said Diamond. you m ust stay. "I hope you won't say so ten years after this." "I am big enough to show you the way. anyhow." said Diamond. and I'll go and shake the primrose leaves till you come. and a coachman is not a gentleman. quite dismayed. I didn't mind with a grown lady. Didn't you see them blowing?" "Yes. springing out of bed. and stood upon the floor. Where was you?" "Behind the leaves of the primrose. and the mass of hay was at a low ebb now--the gleam of something vanishing down the stair. Dress as fast as you can. and away to the primrose." "Make haste. dressed himself as fast as ever he could." said Diamond. Diamond saw-. Then he crept o ut into the yard. "He doesn't call himself one. leaning over it. "I didn't know-." "Don't hurt it." "But you're no bigger than me.for it was a starlit night. The next instant a young gir l glided across the bed." "I'm going to be a coachman. and looking at the flower as if she had b . tore it off. "Oh dear!" said Diamond. Make haste. but I couldn't go with a little girl in my night-gown. then." "No." persisted Diam ond." Diamond was so pleased to hear this that he scratched at the paper like ten mic e. North Wind broke out in a little laugh like the breaking of silver bubbles.who are you." "Are you really?" "Yes. why." "Do you think I care about how big or how little I am? Didn't you see me this e vening? I was less then." "But you are not big enough to take care of me. I think you are only Miss North Wind. "That's of no consequence: every man ought to be a gentleman. if you want to go with me. and your father i s one." said North Wind. and. "We call your father a gentleman in our house.
stop!" he cried. gave a great spring. and there. "Come along. and wherever it passed over withered leaves. And North Wind was now tall as a full-grown girl. try" said Diamond. Her grassy robe swept and swirled about her steps. instead of North Wind. started in terror. they w ent fleeing and whirling in spirals." he thought. and the sound of a gre at fall came from above. "This is nice!" he said. She led him across the garden. and I must set about it at once." she said. and the wolf bounded up the stair. jumping up and holding out her hand. It was cold. The windo ws of the house rattled and shook as if guns were firing. but none of them were of the peo ple of the house. Diamond laid hold of her hand. "Please. and running on their edges like wheels. and went tripping on faster. North Wind laughed merrily. "before I get out to sea.een its mother. It was full tide. and I will. it was be tter than warm. Another bound. took him by the hand. "I have some rather disagreeable work to do to-night. and stood beside her. was a huge wolf by his side. "Stop. Her hair was flying about her head. Diamond kept up with her as well as he could. he rushed after her with his little fist clenched. She reached down. "Surely. who stared at him. and Diamond. she laid hold of Diamond and began to run. But they had not wal ked far before its surface was covered with ripples. North Wind met him. I can't jump like that. all about her feet. They walked along its side. apparently because it was not quite easy to get him over walls and ho uses. for it lay still. and gentlemen in white neckties attending on them. "Give me your hand again. but so pleasant and full of life. Before he reached the head of the stair . waiting for the tur n to run down again to the sea. and the wind was blowing a breeze down the river. "North Wind can't be eating one of the children!" Coming to himself all at once. There were ladies in long trains going up and down the stairs. Diamond stood with white face staring up at the landing . who from the top looked down a foot taller tha n before. and as she went her hair fell down around her. and they said nothing." "You don't try" said North Wind. and t he stars were shining clear in its depths. "I hope you haven't eaten a baby. and the stars had vanished from its bosom. gliding along faster and faster. and they stood in the road by the river." she said. . hearing a great gro wl. and hurried down and out of the house. The disagreeable work must be looke d after first. He let go his hold in dismay. very solemnly. Once they ran through a hall where they found back and front doors open. With one bound she was on the top of the wall." So saying. Diamond took her hand. But she turned aside an d went up a narrow lane. Diamond was left at the foot. North Wind!" said Diamond. however. A t the foot of the stair North Wind stood still. She made many turnings and windings.
"No," she said at last, "I did not eat a baby. You would not have had to ask th at foolish question if you had not let go your hold of me. You would have seen h ow I served a nurse that was calling a child bad names, and telling her she was wicked. She had been drinking. I saw an ugly gin bottle in a cupboard." "And you frightened her?" said Diamond. "I believe so!" answered North Wind laughing merrily. "I flew at her throat, an d she tumbled over on the floor with such a crash that they ran in. She'll be tu rned away to-morrow--and quite time, if they knew as much as I do." "But didn't you frighten the little one?" "She never saw me. The woman would not have seen me either if she had not been wicked." "Oh!" said Diamond, dubiously. "Why should you see things," returned North Wind, "that you wouldn't understand or know what to do with? Good people see good things; bad people, bad things." "Then are you a bad thing?" "No. For you see me, Diamond, dear," said the girl, and she looked down at him, and Diamond saw the loving eyes of the great lady beaming from the depths of he r falling hair. "I had to make myself look like a bad thing before she could see me. If I had p ut on any other shape than a wolf's she would not have seen me, for that is what is growing to be her own shape inside of her." "I don't know what you mean," said Diamond, "but I suppose it's all right." They were now climbing the slope of a grassy ascent. It was Primrose Hill, in f act, although Diamond had never heard of it. The moment they reached the top, No rth Wind stood and turned her face towards London The stars were still shining c lear and cold overhead. There was not a cloud to be seen. The air was sharp, but Diamond did not find it cold. "Now," said the lady, "whatever you do, do not let my hand go. I might have los t you the last time, only I was not in a hurry then: now I am in a hurry." Yet she stood still for a moment. CHAPTER IV NORTH WIND AND as she stood looking towards London, Diamond saw that she was trembling. "Are you cold, North Wind?" he asked. "No, Diamond," she answered, looking down upon him with a smile; "I am only get ting ready to sweep one of my rooms. Those careless, greedy, untidy children mak e it in such a mess." As she spoke he could have told by her voice, if he had not seen with his eyes, that she was growing larger and larger. Her head went up and up towards the sta rs; and as she grew, still trembling through all her body, her hair also grew--l onger and longer, and lifted itself from her head, and went out in black waves.
The next moment, however, it fell back around her, and she grew less and less ti ll she was only a tall woman. Then she put her hands behind her head, and gather ed some of her hair, and began weaving and knotting it together. When she had do ne, she bent down her beautiful face close to his, and said-"Diamond, I am afraid you would not keep hold of me, and if I were to drop you, I don't know what might happen; so I have been making a place for you in my hai r. Come." Diamond held out his arms, for with that grand face looking at him, he believed like a baby. She took him in her hands, threw him over her shoulder, and said, "Get in, Diamond." And Diamond parted her hair with his hands, crept between, and feeling about so on found the woven nest. It was just like a pocket, or like the shawl in which g ipsy women carry their children. North Wind put her hands to her back, felt all about the nest, and finding it safe, said-"Are you comfortable, Diamond?" "Yes, indeed," answered Diamond. The next moment he was rising in the air. North Wind grew towering up to the pl ace of the clouds. Her hair went streaming out from her, till it spread like a m ist over the stars. She flung herself abroad in space. Diamond held on by two of the twisted ropes which, parted and interwoven, forme d his shelter, for he could not help being a little afraid. As soon as he had co me to himself, he peeped through the woven meshes, for he did not dare to look o ver the top of the nest. The earth was rushing past like a river or a sea below him. Trees and water and green grass hurried away beneath. A great roar of wild animals rose as they rushed over the Zoological Gardens, mixed with a chattering of monkeys and a screaming of birds; but it died away in a moment behind them. And now there was nothing but the roofs of houses, sweeping along like a great t orrent of stones and rocks. Chimney-pots fell, and tiles flew from the roofs; bu t it looked to him as if they were left behind by the roofs and the chimneys as they scudded away. There was a great roaring, for the wind was dashing against L ondon like a sea; but at North Wind's back Diamond, of course, felt nothing of i t all. He was in a perfect calm. He could hear the sound of it, that was all. By and by he raised himself and looked over the edge of his nest. There were th e houses rushing up and shooting away below him, like a fierce torrent of rocks instead of water. Then he looked up to the sky, but could see no stars; they wer e hidden by the blinding masses of the lady's hair which swept between. He began to wonder whether she would hear him if he spoke. He would try. "Please, North Wind," he said, "what is that noise?" From high over his head came the voice of North Wind, answering him, gently-"The noise of my besom. I am the old woman that sweeps the cobwebs from the, sk y; only I'm busy with the floor now." "What makes the houses look as if they were running away?" "I am sweeping so fast over them." "But, please, North Wind, I knew London was very big, but I didn't know it was so big as this. It seems as if we should never get away from it."
"We are going round and round, else we should have left it long ago." "Is this the way you sweep, North Wind?" "Yes; I go round and round with my great besom." "Please, would you mind going a little slower, for I want to see the streets?" "You won't see much now." "Why?" "Because I have nearly swept all the people home." "Oh! I forgot," said Diamond, and was quiet after that, for he did not want to be troublesome. But she dropped a little towards the roofs of the houses, and Diamond could see down into the streets. There were very few people about, though. The lamps flic kered and flared again, but nobody seemed to want them. Suddenly Diamond espied a little girl coming along a street. She was dreadfully blown by the wind, and a broom she was trailing behind her was very troublesome . It seemed as if the wind had a spite at her-- it kept worrying her like a wild beast, and tearing at her rags. She was so lonely there! "Oh! please, North Wind," he cried, "won't you help that little girl?" "No, Diamond; I mustn't leave my work." "But why shouldn't you be kind to her?" "I am kind to her. I am sweeping the wicked smells away." "But you're kinder to me, dear North Wind. Why shouldn't you be as kind to her as you are to me?" "There are reasons, Diamond. Everybody can't be done to all the same. Everybody is not ready for the same thing." "But I don't see why I should be kinder used than she." "Do you think nothing's to be done but what you can see, Diamond, you silly! It 's all right. Of course you can help her if you like. You've got nothing particu lar to do at this moment; I have." "Oh! do let me help her, then. But you won't be able to wait, perhaps?" "No, I can't wait; you must do it yourself. And, mind, the wind will get a hold of you, too." "Don't you want me to help her, North Wind?" "Not without having some idea what will happen. If you break down and cry, that won't be much of a help to her, and it will make a goose of little Diamond." "I want to go," said Diamond. "Only there's just one thing-- how am I to get ho me?" "If you're anxious about that, perhaps you had better go with me. I am bound to
"I can promise you it will be all r ight in the end. starting in pursuit. gasping for breath." "Have you a father?" she said. North Wind stepped back a st ep. and all but blown away. thinking to stop her. though I cannot promise to take you home. Diamond crept into the shelter of a doorway. "Nothing. "What do you do. The same moment he was caught in the fierce coils of the blast. There was a lu ll in the roaring." answered he. and away went the little girl ." shouted Diamond." wailed the girl. to help the little girl. when down they went both together. "Stop! stop! little girl. In a few moments he had caught her by the frock. "I'm sure the wind will blow her over. The arm it belonged to was twined round a lamp-post as he stood between th e little girl and the wind. her hair flying too." "I don't know what I do do. "Where is your crossing?" asked the girl at length. only a tall lady." They had been sweeping more slowly along the line of the street. whic h made the little girl laugh in the midst of her crying. She put her hands to her back. and at once towered in stature to the height of the houses." she said. to ok Diamond. for the wind blew worse than ever. feeling rather ashamed. "Where are you going?" asked Diamond. but it tore in his hand. and this time he ran so fast that he got before her. b ut with her hair flying up over the housetops. The same moment North Wind dropt into the street and stood. "Home. "the wind won't leave go of me. "I don't sweep. crying gently and pitifully. "Well. I s uppose. then?" asked she. and he had no broom. And then they were silent for a while. if you do. Coleman's coachman." said Diamond." said North Wind. Do let me go." Diamond could run faster than she. "Then I will go with you. but she passed him like a bird. A chimney-pot cl ashed at Diamond's feet. who was still looking after the little girl. and set him down in the street. So he had to run again. and the wind was roaring a long the street as if it had been the bed of an invisible torrent. and behind her she dragge d her broom. staring at him as if a boy with a father was a n atural curiosity. The little gi rl was scudding before the blast." "There!" cried Diamond. "I can't. Have you made up your mind what to d o?" "Yes. He turned in terror. My father's Mr. rubbing the elbow that had stuck farthest out. and perhaps kill her." answered Diamond. .take you home again. and t hey had both to hold on to the lamp-post. You will get home somehow. and when he turned again the lady had vanished. but it was to look for the little girl. "You ain't big enough for most things. Her little legs were going as fast as ever they could to keep her f rom falling. as she sank nearer and nearer to the tops of the houses." said Diamond firmly. a nd turning round caught her in his arms.
"Yes." said Diamond. "No. then?" "Home to my home. "My crossing's a long way off at the West End. does she?" "I wish she would. They're always at it. She put it in his again. if you had nowhere else to go to. and I had been indulgin' in door -steps and mewses." said the voice of a policeman behind them." "We'd better have a try anyhow." "But old Sal doesn't beat you. "I wouldn't go to her if she wasn't good to me. Old Sal's all I've got. they found it quiet there ." . "and I'll take care of you. nor mother neither. for the ot her had enough to do with her broom." said the girl. but he saw nothing of the lady. "You must go somewheres. yes. "I shouldn't like to live here. but only to dry her eyes with her frock. then?" asked Diamond." "What do you mean?" asked Diamond." answered the girl." "Why are you out so late. "I told you so." "Move on. Haven't you?" returned Diamond. Ther e she knocked. and when they turned the corner too. But she wouldn't lie abed a-cuddlin' of her ug ly old bones." said Diamond. until they stopped at a cellar-door in a very dirty lane. "Where do you mean to go." said Diamond." "Then you're worse off than I am. taking her hand." said Diamond. and laugh to hear me crying at the door. "I o nly wish we may get in. "She would if she was my mother." And she began to cry again. turni ng after turning." As he spoke Diamond thought he caught a glimpse of North Wind turning a corner in front of them." "Where's that?" "I don't exactly know." "I don't want to go in." "You don't mean she won't let you in to-night?" "It'll be a good chance if she does. "Come along. "Now you lead me. "Oh. you would." he said. and led him." The girl withdrew her hand. "But you must go somewheres. quite bewildered.
But I can't think how a kid like you comes to be out all alone this time o' night. and that so soon makes people older. and stopped. but he thou ght he had been of no use to her. Perhaps the re's an open arch. "This is jolly!" he said." She called him a kid. "I told you so. By this time they were both very tired. Come on. He was mistaken there." "Hadn't you better come home with me." said Diamond. "Hallo! here we are!" said the girl." They went towards it and found one. and Diamond crept in beside her." ." said the girl. without any reason for one way more than ano ther. Come on. We'll have forty winks. when you don't know where it is. I mean. "What?" said the girl. Diamond's courage began to come back. anywheres. "There's something like a railway there. But Diamond did not reply. but she was not really a month older than he was. and when he began to grow warm."Oh no." Diamond obeyed. I'm used to it. there was an empty barre l lying under the arch. "North Wind is gone home long ago. and. until they had got out of the thick of the houses into a waste kind of pla ce. "I'm used to it." "What will you do. They wandered on and on. "A barrel's the jolliest bed going--on the tramp." she answered. for she was far happier for having Diamond with her than if she had been wandering about alone. for North Wind--" began Diamond. Neither did old Sal. "Where?" "Oh. only sh e had had to work for her bread. as she held her ear to the door listening. better still. "She is wide awake hearkening. nowheres in particular. I suppose. They put their arms round each o ther. She did not seem so tired as he was." "But where?" "Oh. he hardly knew why. not that he would have minded it if he had done the girl any good. "But I shouldn't have been out so late if I hadn't got down to help you. and thought he had been very silly to get down from the back of North Wind . "Move on. Diamond felt a good deal inclined to cry. "Do let us rest a bit. But we don't get in. "I'm so glad!" "I don't think so much of it." said Diamond. turning in this direction and that. Bless you." said the girl. The wind had now fallen considerably. and then go on again." She crept in. "Let's see. then?" asked Diamond." she answered. then?" "That's a good joke.
"Pl ease. and all that boys must do." he said. for they had no notion of being rolled over and over as if they had been packed tight and wo uldn't hurt." "It is all one. To his dismay it burst open. North Wind. "I thought so! North Wind takes nobody in! Here I am in master's garden! I tell you what. with a few doors in it. "but I can't say I'm very sleepy after all. Outside lay broken things in general." "But I know best." "I daresay I shall. Come." "It's all one. But he remembered that even if she did box his ears." They wandered on and on. let's go on again. They found themselves at last on a rising ground that sloped rather steeply on the other side. and say. Diamond had to tell her the whole story. So they made haste to get out of it." "No. is to go away and leave them. and my mother will give you some br eakfast. not in it. She said he wasn't such a flat as to believe all that bosh." "I said with the North Wind. She did not believe a word of it. But the moment they reached the brow of the rising ground." "And I know better." said Diamond. after staring for a few moments." So now. "I'm sorry I was cross. "Yo u said something about the north wind afore that I couldn't get the rights of. little girl ." "It's not all one. thank you. This brought Diamond to his senses. bounded by an irregular wall. but always turning i nto lanes or fields when they had a chance. "I thought we should have had a sleep. mayn't I go out with you?" and then you'll see what'll come. mister" said the girl." said the girl. you just bore a hole in old Sal's wall. It was a waste kind of spot below. sometimes sitting on a door-step. if girls are rude. Nor could Diamond stop before he went bang against one of the doors in the wall. So he went in at the door. "Come in. for she was a girl. I must be off to my crossing. ah!" cried Diamond. from garden rolle rs to flower-pots and wine-bottles. and put your mouth to it. Diamond got very angry. for the sake of his character."I think you must ha' got out o' one o' them Hidget Asylms. When they came to themselves they pee ped in. like a barrel of herrings." said the girl. "Ah. But I'm out in the wind too often already to want more of i t. It was the back door of a garden. I'll box your ears. a gust of wind seized them and blew them down hill as fast as the y could run. But as she spoke there came a great blast of wind through the arc h. and set the barrel rolling. he musn't box hers again. "Good-bye." . It's morning now.
he could no t guide him. "Come up. and left Diamond to guide Diamond. especially as he could hardly believe it himself when he thought ab out it in the middle of the day. "Well." "Oh. For both the Diamonds were just grandly obedient."I'm very sorry for you. and that. I should kill myself. Well! I suppose there's somebody ha ppy somewheres. And Diamond soon found that. It was some time before he saw the lady of the wind again. he must fall off. He had half a notion t hat North Wind was a friend of his mother. well pleased. saying once more. and ran through the kitchen-garden to the stable. although when the twilight was once half-way on to night he had no doubt about it. Then Diamond shut the door as he best could. let go his hold. Besides. He then led away both Diamonds together. left his hold of the mane and br idle. thinking. you wouldn't! When I think of it. But it ain't in them carriages. felt the boy pull it towards him." stepped out faster. came across to his boy. For he had not ridden far before he found courage to reach forward and catch hold of the bridle. The boy atop felt not a little tremulous as the great muscles that lifted the l egs of the horse knotted and relaxed against his legs. as he was obedient to his father. and the boy soon found that he could do so perfectly. who was now quite comfortable on his living throne. grasping with his hands the bit of mane worn short by the collar. I suppose. when he saw a girl sweeping a . The girl that swept the crossing had certainly refused to believ e him. so the horse was obedient to him. whe n he saw his little boy standing by the pump. and was just getting on his back to ride him to the forge. no." "I wonder you're so good. deeper into London. I always want to see what's coming n ext. Diamond. it is a life to be tired of--what with old Sal. And wasn't he gla d to get into his own blessed bed again! CHAPTER V THE SUMMER-HOUSE DIAMOND said nothing to his mother about his adventures. And another discovery he made was that. and so many holes in my shoes. and so I always wait till next is over. As they crossed the angle of a square. A t the same time he doubted whether he might not appear to be telling stories if he told all. lifted him up. Diamond the horse wanted new shoes. Then the coachman took his foot out of the stirrup. and. Diamond. if she did not know all abo ut it. Oh my! how they do look sometime s--fit to bite your head off! Good-bye!" She ran up the hill and disappeared behind it. he loo ked up and smiled. he had in a measure to obey the horse fir st. and Diamond's father took him o ut of the stable. and looking at him wistfully. at least for the first few days after he had been with her. The blacksmith lived at some distance. was glancing this way and that in a gentle pride. at least she did not mind his going anywhere with the lady of the wind. but when his father looked back at him. notwithstanding that the horse. This was what ha ppened then. Indeed nothing remar kable took place in Diamond's history until the following week. he felt sure that North Wind would tell him if he ought to speak . whose hand was upon it. told him to sit up like a man." said Diamond. It was a grand t hing to be able to guide a great beast like that." he let the mane go and sat up. and setting him on the horse's back . Diamond. in order to guide the horse. "Sit up. and he cowered towards th e withers. and w hen his father. th at his master had said to him. If he did not yield his body to the motions of the horse's body.
and she not only took his penny but put it in her mouth with a "Thank you. looking up. Diamond. she changed her idea. in a little summer-house at the bottom of the lawn--a wonderful thing for bea uty. I say. He had never seen a fairy. which." answered the boy. and he tumb led off his horse to give it to the girl. "There! that is something done. She made him a pretty courtesy when he offered his treasure . as they called he r. Meantime his father. merry. could not go quite asleep for the wind tha t kept waving them about. One hot evening. . Cole man. All at once he saw a great bumble-bee fly out of one o f the tulips. the boy thought." said a voice--a gentle. but the next moment catching sight of him. took him up and p ut him on. But his smile put it all right. I thought he would have had to stay there all nig ht. He never touched any of the flowers or blossoms. warm and splendid. He sat there gazing out at a bed of tulips. mister. and was speechless. The horse might have put his foot on you. Miss Coleman was a little better in he alth. Diamond could not bear it. and sat a good deal in the garden. for a little window in the side of it was made of coloured glass." "No.crossing scuddingly before a lady. and the hand returned only to grasp its broom. Mrs. A week even makes such a long time in a child's life. for he w as not like some boys who cannot enjoy a thing without pulling it to pieces. leaving th e boy in the summer-house. and by degrees it came about that he had leave to run in the garden as he pleased. and the little girl was she for whose sake he had got off North Wind's back ." "Lor!" said the little girl. and the lady began to feel chill. H e had a penny in his pocket. that Diamond had begun on ce more to feel as if North Wind were a dream of some far-off year. And there was the tiniest creature sliding down t he stem of the tulip! "Are you the fairy that herds the bees?" he asked. saying-"Don't get off again. and rode on in majestic safety." Diamond could not tell whether the voice was near or far away. and ran. but he had heard of such. The lady was his father's mistress. and down on his knees on the green shore of the tulip-bed. a gift of the same lady the day before. Coleman. He drew Diamond's bridle in eager anxiety to see whether her outstretched hand would gather a penny from Mrs. childish voice. Did they wollop you th en?" "Oh no!" answered Diamond. al though they had closed for the night. It grew dusky. suffered a p ang of awful dread. going out of the summer-hous e. and went in. for he did tumb le when he reached the ground. father. But he got up in an instant. and he be gan to look all about for one. and seeing the horse's back bare. "At last it was. but so tiny. and so preventing every one from enjoying it after them. But she had given one at the last cross ing. looking up at the sound of the horse's feet on the paved crossing. he had been sitting with the young mistress. One day she saw Diamond peeping through the shrubbery. "They never wollops me. and called him. The summer drew near. but with a bewildered stare. searching h is pocket as he ran. "North Wind is his fat her's horse! That's the secret of it! Why couldn't he say so?" And she had a min d to refuse the penny. poor fellow! I did. saying to herself. it was so small and yet so clear. She thought first: "Then he was on the back of th e North Wind after all!" but. He tumbled off. He talked to her so frankly that she often sent for him after that.
and the creature laid her hand on Diamond's shoulder." "Sink a ship! What! with men in it?" "Yes. a moan of wind bent the tulips almost to the ground. thoug h. You stupid Diamond! have you never seen me before?" And. In a moment he knew that it was N orth Wind. I am always able for what I have to do." "How dreadful! I wish you wouldn't talk so. I could be six times the size I am." ." "It is rather dreadful."I'm not a fairy." he said. and not be very huge. What with suc king honey and trying to open the door. I have got to sink a ship to-night." "I hope you won't ask me to go with you." "You've just told me." "Hard work! Why. and yet not very big. "I am very stupid. When I see my wor k. what would the sun have tho ught to find such a stupid thing lying there-. fairies are much bigger than you see me. or--or a boy's cap off. "I thought they were very little. But it is my work. "How do you know that?" "It would become you better to ask how you are to know it. though the nursery-tales do say so: they don't know better. Besides. you could blow a chimney down." said D iamond. "Both are easier than to blow a tulip open." "Oh!" said Diamond reflectively." "In the first place.with wings too?" "But how do you have time to look after bees?" "I don't look after bees. "but I never saw you so small before. and women too." "Must you see me every size that can be measured before you know me. not even whe n you were nursing the primrose." "But they might be tremendously bigger than I am. I had this one to look after. I must do it." "Yes. But I mustn't chatter. But I scarcely know the difference between hard and easy. as she spoke. how am I to know you are not a fairy? You do look very like one. Diamond?" "But how could I think it was you taking care of a great stupid bumble-bee?" "The more stupid he was the more need he had to be taken care of." answered the little creature. I just rush at it--and it is done. It was hard work. and when it opened in the morning to let the sun see the tulip's heart. Why. a fairy can't g row big and little at will. he was nearly dated. But what's the use of knowing a thing only because you're told it?" "Well.
that I can't tell you. But you must come for all that. and I will show you."No. "What are you going to do first." "But you can look round." "But how is it you never saw it?" "Because it is behind me." "Very well.--I think I had better be growing a bit. of course I must go. there." said Diamond. I could not be cruel if I would. East Wind says-." "How can you carry them there if you never saw it?" "I know the way. You cannot be cruel. Only you must go to bed first." "No. but whether she is good or naughty when she says that. I always look before me. I only mind my work. for she is very naughty sometime s--she says it is all managed by a baby. I gro w quite blind and deaf when I try to see my back. if you please?" "I think I may tell you. and D iamond said-"Please take me. so small that she could not have blown the d ust off a dusty miller." "I can't. as the Scotch children call a yellow auricula. just in front of the coach-house." "Won't you?" And North Wind grew a tall lady. North Wind." "But how does it be your work?" "Ah. In fact. although I often not know what I really am doing. then. That's the law about the c hildren. Jump up on the top of the wall." "Ah! and I can't help you--you haven't been to bed yet. The pe to--to--to--well." "But suppose I had to take you?" "Why. because when I do it I feel all right. I don't know. No. It is all one to me to le t a bee out of a tulip. Come out to th e road with me. Diamond c . you see. You would like to go with me to-night?" "I don't want to see a ship sunk. and when I don't I feel all wrong." "There's a good Diamond.only one does not exa ctly know how much to believe of what she says. I won't ask you. or to sweep the cobwebs from the sky. I do what looks like cruel to those who do ople they say I drown. I can't take you till you're in bed. only I never saw the place." "Not far enough to see my own back. So I had better go and do something else first. I just stick to my work. the back of the North long ago." "I won't then. I only know it is. I only carry away Wind--that is what they used to call it can do nothing cruel." North Wind grew very small indeed. and looked him in the eyes.
" "The boat is a boat. "Don't be impertinent." "I thought you said it was a bo-at. as you call it. grand woman." "Ah! now I know. "Yes. A poet is a man who is glad o f something." "So I see. She was only having her own beautiful fun out of Diamond." said Diamond. if it stood on end. and stood on the top of the wall. quite well. went out by the wicket in the-coach-house gates. The y left the lawn. and push her under. it is the way you humans judge things by their size. when I take an East Indiaman by the royals. I can't. and true woman's fun never hu rts." "That's a poet. and tries to make other people glad of it too. I am quite as respectable now as I shall be six hours after this. I wasn't sent to tell you. perhaps you're not so far wrong. "But I can see over. But I have no business to talk so much. "Not very well. Like the man in the sweety-shop. Only first just look at the man. "But look there!" she resumed. Diamond. You ha ve no right to address me in such a fashion. "Can't you spell?" asked North Wind. "Ah! to be sure." But as she spoke. and then cross ed the road to the low wall that separated it from the river. I must be off. North Wind gave a little bound." So saying. twist her round. Sh e was just about the height a dragon-fly would be. The man is a poet. seeing what a lovely little toy-woman she was. Some poets do carry people over the sea . "You can get up on this wall. a thing to sail on the water in. "If there's one thing makes me more angry than another. Master Diamond." "Then don't." "Well.ould not even see the blades of grass move as she flitted along by his foot.a green and white boat?" "Yes. but my mother has forbidden me. "You darling!" said Diamond." "He's not much of a rower" said Diamond--"paddling first with one fin and then . the tiny face wore the smile of a great." said North Wind." said North Wind. and so I can't te ll you. "Do you see a boat with one man in it-." said Diamond." said North Wind. A poet is not a bo-at." "Not very." "Stupid pet! Don't you know what a poet is?" "Why. But I see it is no use.
The roof of the loft in which he lay had no ceiling. no. he looked down to the wall. The night was ver y hot. dear North Wind. "I think you had better go to bed." "Now look here!" said North Wind. who was only puzzled. I blew in his face. And she flashed like a dragon-fly across the water. mother." "Yes. and all to understand each other." she added." "But what was the good of it?" "Why! don't you see? Look at him--how he is pulling. "How did you do that?" asked Diamond. North Wind was gone. Diamond. "Very well. Hearing no answer. Things seemed going on a round him." returned Diamond. He stopped for one moment to look out of the window. North Wind perched again upon the river w all. I blew the mist out of him . Man and boat and rive r were awake. and that woke him up. and wondered what it was all about." "I don't like that. Away across the river went a long ripple-." "How was that?" "That is just what I cannot tell you. and the sail began to shine white. but he could make nothing of it. The boat flew over the rippling water. Diamo nd rubbed his eyes. Above the moon the clouds were going different ways. He was staring after the boat.with the other. an d bent to his oars. notwithstand ing. like the rolling beat of great drums echoing through a brazen vaul t. for the wind had fallen again. Somehow or other this troubled him." "Well." said Diamond. So he put his hands in his pockets. The next moment the man in the boat glanced about him." "No. whose surface rippled and p uckered as she passed. The same instant almost. I know you too well not to believe you. He woke in the middle of the night and the darkness. A terrible noise was rumbl ing overhead. I have to do ten thousand things without being able to tell how. "I daresay not. "I am quite well. "I don't see how that could do it. And therefore you will say you don't believe it co uld.what sailors ca ll a cat's paw. "You don't seem very well to-night." answered North Wind." "But you did it. but." he answered. mother. he was soon fast asleep." said Diamond. and went in to have his tea. "I blew in his face. The moon was coming t o herself on the edge of a great cloud. only the tiles were betw . The man in the boat was putting up a sail." said his mother.
his legs threatened to float from under him. all the winds of heaven seemed to lay hold upon him. Every moment the folds of her garment would sweep across his eyes and blind him. but between. it was more like his mother's voice than anything else in the world. and have you in my arms. Cowering. for the noise ke pt beating him down." "Then if I'm it. and saw a gigantic. The wind caught them. That is what it was sent for. or choked a tigress off its prey--stretched down throug h a big hole in the roof. The same moment he heard a might y yet musical voice calling him. sent a spout of wind down into his bed and over his face. A s econd peal of thunder burst over his head. "for you're it. and buffet him hither and thither. The moment he was through the hole in the roof. which brought him wide awake. His hair blew one way." it said. They couldn't get out at all. "Diamond. CHAPTER VI OUT IN THE STORM THE hand felt its way up his arm. and in her answer it see med to Diamond that just because she was so big and could not help it. his night-gown another. having torn some tiles off t he roof." "Yes. For a while he could not come quite awake." whispered Diamond. and gave him back his courage.een him and the sky. but the words vanished from his lips as he had s een the soap-bubbles that burst too soon vanish from the mouth of his pipe. Nor did he recover until the great blast that followed. "It's all ready. I'm waiting for you." He looked out of the bed. Diamond had not seen the lightning. a peal of thunder which shook Diamond's heart against the s ides of his bosom hurtled out of the heavens: I cannot say out of the sky. Her voice was like the ba ss of a deep organ. lifted Diamond from the bed. for he had been intent on f inding the face of North Wind. my dear. and his head to grow dizzy with the swiftness of the i nvisible assailant. he clung with the other hand to the huge hand whic h held his arm. like the sound of falling water without the clatter and c lash in it: it was like all of them and neither of them--all of them without the ir faults. "But it looks so dreadful. but were torn away and strangled. without the groan in it. North Wind!" he murmured." she said. "Oh." At the same moment. like the most glorious of trumpet-ejaculations witho ut the defiance in it. and. so that his heart was troubled and fluttered painfully. and they were nowhere. it does. each of them without its peculiarity: after all. like the most delicate of violin to nes without the wail in it. she spoke to him more tenderly and graciously than ever before. "be a man. and laid it in the grand palm before him. What is fearful to you is not the least f earful to me." "But it can't hurt you. but most lovely arm--wi th a hand whose fingers were nothing the less ladylike that they could have stra ngled a boa-constrictor. powerful." murmured Diamond. for t here was no sky. how can it hurt you?" "Oh yes! I see. and just because her ear and her mouth must seem to him so dreadfully far away. and fear invaded his heart. and almost choked him with fear. dear. he could just persuade himself that he saw great glories of woman's eyes looking down through rifts in the mountain . grasping it gently and strongly above th e elbow. Without a moment's hesitation he reached out his tiny one. "Come up. and it pushes me about so. And yet North Wind heard them. Diamond.
so long as I fe el you there. It is a thousand times better to have them and the wind together. She instantly s tooped. I never talk. If you will only let me stay here." answered Diamond." "I don't mind that a bit. and he sunk down at N orth Wind's feet. you know. You will feel the wind. so long as I feel your arms through it. Here you are taking care of a poor little boy with one arm. and there you are sinking a ship with the other." answered Dia mond. dear North Wind! how can you talk so?" "My dear boy. indeed there are. say ing. pressing him closer. the othe r will be quite enough to sink the ship." "Well." "But hadn't you better get into my hair? Then you would not feel the wind.ous clouds over his head. "No. nestling closer to her grand bosom. "I am all right now-. Well. lifted him from the roof--up--up into her bosom. Nobody can be two mes. than to have only your hair and the back of your neck and no wind at all. dear North Wind." "Then you do mean to sink the ship with the other hand?" "Yes. I assure you." "Ah. I shall only want one arm to take care of you." "No. that his knees failed him." "But it is surely more comfortable there?" "Well. you will here. I will keep you in front of me. but I begin to think there are better things than being comfort able. I always mean what I say. this will never do. and held him there. dear. but. I shall be all right indeed.quite comfortable. It's not courage at all." "Yes. "Brave boy!" returned North Wind. and clasped her round the column of her ankle." "Oh yes. Diamond." "But you will feel the wind here." "It's not like you. He trembled so at the thunder." said Diamond." "How do you know that?" "Quite easily. perhaps." "Oh. which me is me?" . but not too much. as if to an inconsolable child-"Diamond. "I don't see that. dear North Wind. It can't be like you. it will." "Ah! but which is me? I can't be two mes. you don't know how nice it is to feel your arms abou t me.
It looks quite th e other thing." said Diamond." "There it is." "Well. you say. "I don't see that you are. ca n you?" "No. Then why shouldn't you?" "Because I am. You know the one me." "There it is again." "Then I must be good to you because I choose to be good to you." "Have you ever done anything for me?" "No." "Then why shouldn't you be good to other people as well as to me?" "That's just what I don't know." answered Diamond. clinging to Nor th Wind." "And you are sure there can't be two mes?" ." "That's just it." "Why should I like to be good to you?" "I don't know. You are sure of one of them?" "Yes." "Why should I choose?" "Because--because--because you like. but listen to me." "Yes.--You can't be knowing the thing you don't know. You don't know the other me. I am good to you because I like to be good. goodest. except it be because it's good to be good to me." "Which me do you know?" "The kindest. "Why am I good to you?" "I don't know. There looks to be two." "Do you know the other me as well?" "No. and that is goo d." "Yes. Why shouldn't I?" "I don't know either. I can't. best me in the world."Now I must think." "Yes. Diamond. I shouldn't like to. That's the very point.
For a few moments. else how did I co me to love you? How could you know how to put on such a beautiful face if you di d not love me and the rest? No. . I won't bel ieve it. dear North Wind. And as if the clouds knew she had come. and he saw the grey and black wind tossing and raving most madly all about him. no. It is quite impossible for me to describe what he saw. I can't say I shall like to see it. and he was lea ning against her bosom. Diamond saw the threads of the lady's hair stre aking it all. now it took his breath quite away by sucking it from his body with the speed of its rush."Yes. I can't believe that." "Then I will tell you something you might object. eddying and wreathing and whirling and shooting and dashing about like grey an d black water. I tell you that it is so." "Then the other me you don't know must be as kind as the me you do know?" "Yes. for the arm of North Wind was about him. for even when the thunder came he knew now that it was the billows of the gr eat ocean of the air dashing against each other in their haste to fill the hollo w scooped out by the lightning. Have you anything more to object?" "No. But he did not mind it. with Diamond on her left arm close to her heart. It seemed sometimes that all the great billows of mist-mudd y wind were woven out of the crossing lines of North Wind's infinite hair. some of it ev en turning back and opposing the rest. except that it went much faster. You may sink as many ships as you like. And Diamond felt as the wind seized on his hair. In parts indeed he could not tell which was hair and which was bla ck storm and vapour." "Besides. they burst into a fresh jubilation of thunderous light. now it deafened him by bellowing in his ea rs. and I wo n't say another word. greater confusion you might see nowhere e xcept in a crowd of frightened people. and that I am cruel all through." "Then the me you don't know must be the same as the me you do know. Now it blin ded him by smiting him upon the eyes. dear North Wind. D id you ever watch a great wave shoot into a winding passage amongst rocks? If yo u ever did. He only gasped first and then laughed. no. crying-"No. Well. I don't believe it.else ther e would be two mes?" "Yes. That I confes s freely." "But that kindness might be only a pretence for the sake of being more cruel af terwards. the wind was like that. because you are so kind." Diamond clung to her tighter than ever. and therefore was much wilder. you know." said North Wind. the winds were writhing around him like a storm of serpents. only it doesn't look like it." "That's quite another thing. I am quite satisfied. Diamond s eemed to be borne up through the depths of an ocean of dazzling flame. the next. and rushed up into the clouds. For they were in t he midst of the clouds and mists. and twisted and shot and cu rled and dodged and clashed and raved ten times more madly than anything else in creation except human passions. You might say that the me you know is like the other me. and as she spoke she gave one sp ring from the roof of the hay-loft. That would kill me. and you must love me. and they of course took the shapes of the wind . sweep ing in endless intertwistings. I love you. you would see that the water rushed every way at once. so that it was as if the wind itself had taken shape.-." "I know that can't be.
S o it would you if you could hear it. Diamond. the sound of a far -off song." returned Diamond. or what it means. that it is coming to swallow up all cries. "For they wouldn't hear the music of the far-away song. Someho w. North Wind. But so sheltered was he by North Wind's arm and bosom that only at times. revealing in varied yellow and blue and grey and dusky red the vapourous contention. I am only waiting a moment to set you down." said North Wind. b ut it seemed to Diamond that North Wind and he were motionless. in the fiercer onslaught of some curl-billowed eddy. Diamond felt North Wind's hair just beginning to f all about him. I do not exactly know where it is. I d on't care about your hearing the cry you speak of. did he recognise for a moment how wild was the storm in which he was carried." said Diamond. through all the noise I am making myself even. and I don't hear much of it. "I shall be sorry to leave you.which his mother kept rather long. and if they did. You would not like to see the ship sunk. for nothing is more weari some. and tha t all the confusion and fighting went on around them. dear!" "There are a good many passengers on board. "It must. flitting across the great billows of the ocean outside this air in which I make such a storm. North Wind? For I am sure you are kind. You see yo u and I are not going to be drowned. I am afraid you would not get it out of your little head again for a long time. ne stling in its very core and formative centre. as if he too was a part of the storm. It seemed to Diamond likewise that they were motionless in this centre. Oh. "It wouldn't be the song it see ." "But you have never heard the psalm." "Oh! thank you. but I would rather not see the ship go down. CHAPTER VII THE CATHEDRAL I MUST not go on describing what cannot be described. "Is the storm over. it tells me that all is right. and som e of its life went out from him." "No. They were sweeping with the speed of the wind itself towards th e sea. as it were. and I am going to give you a place to stop in till I come ba ck for you. and I should hear them. Diamond. and you don't know what it is like." "But that won't do them any good--the people. It must. throug h every noise. it wouldn't do them any good. all but the hair . Flash after flash illumina ted the fierce chaos. only the odour of its music. I can't say how. I shall never doubt that again. it wouldn't. and so we might enjoy it. stoutly. And I'm afraid the poor people will cry . peal after peal of thunder tore the infinite waste. but what I d o hear is quite enough to make me able to bear the cry from the drowning ship. North Wind?" he called out." persisted Diamond. Before they reached the sea." "But how can you bear it then. "No. It was not so. I mean. Diamond: I am always hearing." "I will tell you how I am able to bear it. and to tell the truth. hurriedly.
" answered Diamond. led him down a good way. She took his hand. that song ha s been coming nearer and nearer." "Yes. rather. and. which went twisting away down into the darkness for only a little light came in at the door. and it rose before him with an awful reality in the midst of the wide spaces. as she walked gent ly along." said Diamond.ms to be if it did not swallow up all their fear and pain too. ever since it began to go out and away. then. then. It was very narrow. for there was not bread th enough for them to walk side by side. "but you were a hundred times higher a few minutes ago. to allow Diamond to see that North Wind stood beside him. "But we shall go in. led him out upon a narrow gallery that ran all round the central part of the church. a nd you shall judge for yourself. therefore I judge it wa s coming nearer and nearer until I did hear it first. opening anoth er little door. except now and then. struck with a kind of terror. "What are you trembling for. "A very good place for you to wait in. and I can't see through it if I knock my eyes into it ever so much. And lo! it was a blue night. leading out upon the roof. ever since I knew I had hair. that is. and he found himself at the top of a stone stair. and set them sing ing it themselves with the rest. "Your hair is all down like a dar kness. And do you know. I can't sing at all. except where. on the ledges of the windows of the clerestory. Will you stop here?" "I can't see anywhere to stop. lit up with stars. little Diamond?" said the lady. I only know what it is after I have sung it. and except when they were passing through the wall. It was enough. "It is so deep down. and saw that she was no longer a beautiful giantess." said North Wind. she swept yards deep of darkness like a great curtain from before the face of the bo y. just opposite to Diamo nd's face." answered North Wind. with one sweep of her great white arm. conquering emptiness with grandeur." said North Wind.-. and through it they passed. Then North Wind set Diamond on his feet. "Oh! what's that?" cried Diamond. you k now--a few thousand years only--and I was quite a baby when I heard the noise fi rst. and. and through openings in the parts of the wall that divided the windows from each other. howeve r." "But how can you say it was coming nearer when you did not hear it?" asked doub ting little Diamond. and I can never tell w hat my song is going to be. but the tall gr acious lady he liked best to see. but I knew it must come from the voices of people ever so much older and wi ser than I was. giving him the broad p art of the spiral stair to walk on. with her hand held out behind her leading him." There was an open door in the middle of one of the towers.But t his will never do. It lay below him like a great silent gulf hollowed in stone. Diamond saw nothing to keep him from falling into the church. He looked up to fin d her face. I know it is growing louder. Only I must say it was some thousand years befo re I heard it. the grey towers of a cathedral blotted out each its own shape of sky and stars. "Since I began to hear it. I'm not so very old. I am sure it will. for he had neve r seen a cathedral. and he held his breath for fear as he looked dow n." "Look." . Where it did not shine with sta rs it shimmered with the milk of the stars. "I am afraid of falling down there.
"It was the wind that blew in my face that made me brave. I can't trust myself so well as your arms." "If you were to fall. Don't you know I have a hold of you?" "Yes. He walked on and on. bent double with terror. Courage was reviving in his lit tle heart. that in a minute more Diamond was marching along the narrow ledge as fearless for the time as North Wi nd herself. I tell you. "Come after me. You had to be taught what courage was. that he was given to metaphysics. dear North Wind?" "Because I wanted you to walk alone. and catch you long before you had reached the ground. but I couldn't hold a little coward to my heart. foolish child. I do. and still the cool wafts of the soft wind breathed upon him. whom my older readers will have a lready discovered to be a true child in this. and it kept blowing upon him in little puffs." sounding in his ears. who held him close to her. but somehow I can't feel comfortable. and kissed him on the forehead. She left the words. And you couldn't know what it was without feeling it: therefore it was given you. but suddenly there came a gentle breath of cool wind upon his fa ce. and had vanished. "It is a pity you should talk nonsense with it." she answered. until at last he came to a little open door. till at last all at once he found himself in the arms of North Wind." said Diamond. but I'm walking on my own legs. and my hold of you were to give way. But trying is not much."Ah. "Oh! oh! oh!" he screamed the next moment. D iamond nestled to her. leaving him standing as i f rooted to the gallery." "Yes." said Diamond." said Diamond. from which a broader stair l ed him down and down and down. I should be down aft er you in a less moment than a lady's watch can tick. "I daresay. In a moment more he would from very terror have fallen i nto the church. But move he dared not. but somebody's arm was about me then. and the great empty nave of the church echoing to every one of his brave strides on the other. It would make me s o cold!" "But I wasn't brave of myself. and murmured into her bosom. putting his litt le mouth to the beautiful cold hand that had a hold of his. North W ind?" "Yes: I know that." "But I have a hold of you. and the soft wind was so mighty and strong within its gentleness. and his fear with it.--"Why did you leave me." "I don't like it though. and they might slip. for North W ind had let go her hold of his hand. Wasn't it now. "What a dear little warm mouth you've got!" said North Wind. with the windows all in a row on one side of him." . "But it is so much nicer here!" said Diamond. But don't you feel as if you would try to be brave yourself next time?" "Yes. and at every puff Diamond felt his faintness going away. yes.
which were a lmost all of that precious old stained glass which is so much lovelier than the new." "How kind you are. I knew it would make you strong. and the next Diamond heard a moaning about the church. To try to be brave is to be brave. But really I must be going abou t my work. you shall get home before the morning." "Yes. But how was it that such a little breath could be so stro ng?" "That I don't know. just as it did the man in the boat." "Who blew the wind on me that made me brave?" "I did. His little footsteps waked little answering echoes in the great house. and never had to try. and let the poor ship go. All kindness is but justice." "I didn't see you. and mean t to make itself his house. He could only just distingui sh them from the walls. He began to feel his way about the place." "Ah! the poor ship! I wish you would stop here." "Never mind. But how my breath has that power I cannot tell. and he began to feel like a child whose mother has forsaken it." "But you made it strong?" "No: I only blew it. It was as if the church knew he was there. whose sills made part of it. North Wind!" "I am only just. He could only tell where it was far up by the faint glimmer of th e windows of the clerestory. You won't be long?" "Not longer than I can help." "That I dare not do. Only he knew that to be left alone is not always to be forsaken. for it is a beginning." "Therefore you can believe me. The storm was up again. but could not see the gallery along which he had passed. for there was not enough of light in the stars to show the colours of them. He looked up."Yes. Will you stop here till I come back?" "Yes. That is all I know. and he knew t hat North Wind's hair was flying. There is no hurry about understanding it now. and for a while went wandering up and down. The church was dark. We owe it. u . Only a little light came through the windows." In a moment North Wind was gone. yes. it is--a very great deal. which grew and grew to a roaring. So it went on giving back an answer to every step. And a beginning is the g reatest thing of all. But Diamond could not see how beautiful they were. The church grew very l onely about him. you remember. It wasn't too big to mind him. you will some day. It was put into it when I was made. Trust me. of course. The coward who tries to be brave is before the man who is brave because he is made so." "I don't quite understand that.
" But he did not hear the gentle echo that answered from far away over his head. They were very dim. Paul. So he was quiet. At last he gave a great sigh. For he thought he heard a sound as of whispering up in the great window. to tunes of his own. and there he lay staring at the dull window that rose nearly a hun dred feet above his head. until he could hear every word that wa s said. St. but he wouldn't do. but it wouldn't do. "What do you think. He cried a little first. He thought it was the Apostles talking about him. But he found he was afraid to speak. and then crawled up the step s on his hands and knees. Neither would `Sing a Song of Sixpence' sing itself at all. The next. and the rest of them. He was fond of singing. St. At the top he came to a little bit of carpet. and was very tired and lonely. and liste ned to the echoes that came out of the dark corners in answer to his footsteps. on which he lay down. And the whisp ering went on and grew louder and louder. So metimes before he had got them half up. for at the same moment h e came against the lowest of a few steps that stretched across the church. and at length he g ave it up quite. she was peeping over it." "What are we to do with him? We can't leave him lying there. and he had e nough to do with his eyes trying to make out their shapes. because he had hurt his arm. and at ho me he used to sing. St. and said. He kept lifting them and lifting them. growing out of the night and the darkness. but every tim e they were heavier than the last. Then he tried `Poor old Cockytoo'. but he could not. and his eyelids grew so heavy that they would keep t umbling down over his eyes. wondering when they would come down or what they would do next. It was no use: they were too much for him. "I think I saw him a while ago up in the gallery. began to dawn in the win dow in their lovely garments. for the moonlight was not strong enough for the colours. Perhaps it was as well that he did not . under the Nicodemus window. down they were again. But he thought he could sing. "And how comes he to be lying there. He tried to open his eyes. So his eyes grew tire d. He could not utter a word for fear of the loneliness. John and St. he was fast asleep. P erhaps he has fallen down. but it was no better. and the moon was at that moment just on the edge of the horizon. So he b egan to try `Hey diddle diddle'. Matthew?" "I don't think he could have crept here after falling from such a height. "I'm so tired. And we could not m ake him comfortable up here in the window: it's rather crowded already. So he lay and looked at them backwards over his head. all the nursery rhymes he knew. and f ell down and hurt his arm. and the moment he gave it up. Diamond did not know that the wonder-working moon was behind. They all sounded so silly! and he had never thought them silly before. But he could not open his eyes. Now this was the eastern window of the church. What do . and he thought all the light was coming out of the window itself. and more and more tired. and N orth Wind was so long in coming. He mu st have been killed. Peter?" said one. an d that the good old men were appearing to help him. CHAPTER VIII THE EAST WINDOW THAT Diamond had fallen fast asleep is very evident from the strange things he now fancied as taking place. and see what the church would answer. And lo! with the moon. Then he tried `Little Boy B lue'. for the sound of a spoken word would have made him feel the place yet more des erted and empty.ntil at length Diamond thought he should like to say something out loud.
Luke. St." Now Diamond could not bear to hear such things against North Wind. It will cost me shillings to clea n it. She was far too busy with her own work for that. and over it the great elm-tree. "It certainly is disrespectful of her. And he was so angry at their daring to abuse N orth Wind. I must say. which used to be so f . and Diamond felt somehow that all the Apostles were standing round him and looking down on him. for some time. there lay the little summer-house crushed to the ground. "This is one of North Wind's tricks. that he jumped up. But she always is disrespectful. he knew . St. without going taking care of other people's children! That's no t what our forefathers built cathedrals for. and then there was a sile nce. not to mention th at we live in it. I can tell you. She has a good right to blow the cobwebs from your windows. but as he spoke his eyes came wide open. What fun it would be to see Ol d Diamond washing his face with his hoofs and iron shoes! Wouldn't it be a pictu re?" So saying. "There's nothing the matter with him." said another. D iamond almost cried to see the wilderness of green leaves. and shaking himself so that young Diamond's bed trembled under him. Then he went out into the garden. for although all was quiet now . but without success." answered St." There came a rustling. talking like this. and put on the robes of deans and bishops. "What is the matter with him." This was what he began to say. I don't understand that woman's conduct.you say. She sweeps them away from grander places. "He's in a so und sleep. never played anybody a trick. who. like a withered leaf or a foundling baby. which the wind had broken across. for I've been w ith her at it. crying--"North Wind knows best what she is about. for she was sent to do it. one would think. The re must have been a tremendous wind in the night. As if we hadn't enough to do with our money. but a dark heap of hay all about him. What ri ght has she to bang at our windows as she has been doing the whole of this night ? I daresay there is glass broken somewhere. In a moment more he was on hi s feet. af ter their masters and mistresses. there were neither Apostles nor vergers there-. "I wish I could shake myself lik e that. and a chinking. and he can't." Then Diamond knew that they could not be Apostles." said Diamond. They coul d only be the sextons and vergers and such-like. he got up and dressed himself. Old Diamond was coming awake down below in the stable. and beh old. Thomas?" "Let's go down and look at him. But then I can wash myself. and called each other grand names. as the fooli sh servants he had heard his father tell of call themselves lords and ladies. "He's grand at shaking himself. I know my blue robe is in a dreadfu l mess with the rain first and the dust after. "She should consider that a church is not a place for pranks. being much decayed in the middle." "I have it. and the little panes in the roof of his loft glimmering blue in the light of the morning. She has caught him up and dropped him at our door. He struggled hard to open his eyes.not even a window with the effigies of holy men in it." cried another. And still he could not open his eyes. who must have joined the company of the Apostles from the next window. who got up at night. Luke?" asked one.
"but if this tree had been there now. indeed. He was a great scholar. and Diamond s at himself down in his usual place." CHAPTER IX HOW DIAMOND GOT TO THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND WHEN Diamond went home to breakfast. This is the north win d's doing. I'm sure." ." said the clergyman. "we should not have had to be sorry for it. Diamond saw that he had better have held his tongue. What a pity! I wish we lived at the back of it. please. after watc hing him for a moment. a brother of Mrs. now lying so near the ground. "there has been terrible work here. "Who are you. husband. my little man. it would not have been blown down. But Diamond thought within himself. I think she did speak about it once before." said Diamond." answered the clergyman." "Then we shouldn't have had to be glad for it. "I never heard of the place. and was in the habit o f rising early. looking at him very kindly. "Little Diamond. and looking around saw a clergyman." returned Diamond. my boy.ar up in the blue air." "Yes. if it had been there. for there is no wind there. a s he turned away to the house. "I wonder how old the tree is!" thought Diamond. "Dear! dear!" he went on ." "Certainly not. How do you come to be up so early?" "Because the sham Apostles talked such nonsense. they waked me up. "I daresay not. sir. His mother looked up at him. he found his father and mother already sea ted at the table. my man?" he added." "You're quite right. with his eyes bent towards the earth. who happened to be visiting her. "Away in the Hyperborean regions. for Diamond had spoken the last words a loud." "Where is that sir?" asked Diamond. and liking it best when the wind blew it most. either. said: "I don't think the boy is looking well. for he could not explain things." said a voice beside him." "But. looking at the tree. Coleman." The clergyman stared." said he. Diamond started. "It must take a long time to g et so near the sky as that poor tree was. "I will ask North Wind next time I see her to take me t o that country. "Oh! I have heard of you." answered the clergyman. and without any hope of ever ge tting up into the deep air again. smiling. tossing about in the breeze. They were both busy with their bread and butter." answered the boy. "You must have been dreaming. and.
" "Well. there. Diamond. from your sister." "Sleepy old hole!" said his father. "Not too goggle. "Right. a little dismayed. "I've had a letter from my sister at Sandwich. husband. I think I've got a little headache. I think he had better go. listen then. "I told you I had got a letter. "I'll manage that. "only I don't believe there are more th an two pair of carriage-horses in the whole blessed place. And then they both laughed. there's good people in it. not from Diamond." added his father." said his mother." "There! I told you. thank you. You would have thought he ha . old lady. "Well."Don't you? Well. "The child's quite well. I will not describe the preparations Diamond made. if you can find the money. what about him?" said his father. people can get to heaven without carriages--or coachmen either." "Have I got goggle-eyes. who was quite proud of her boy's eyes." "No more he is." said his mother. His aunt wants the boy to go down and see her. "Don't abuse the place. husband! you've got out of bed the wrong leg first this morning. I do beli eve." said his mother." "And that's why you want to make out that he ain't looking well. How do you fee l yourself. Not that I should like to go without my coachman. only you need not stare so." "Well." "Yes." "Well. my boy?" "Quite well. at least. "Not too goggle." said his father." "La. and so it was agreed that Diamond should g o to Sandwich." said his father and mother both at once. I think he looks pretty bobbish." said his father. father. I don't know. But about the boy?" "What boy?" "That boy. only did not want to make him vain. I don't care. staring at you with his goggle-eyes. you know. laughing. mother?" asked Diamond." "I always get out with both at once. "You see." returned his father. "The child's very poorly" added his mother." said his mother.
why didn't you come back fo r me in the church that night?" "I did. "Well. from a penny up to shillings. as his father called it. but it began to hold itself too high. There were the sails of a windmill going round and round almo st close to his ear. It used to be one of the five chief seaport s in England. please?" asked Diamond. Everything looked very strange. and the houses. It was a hot day. the sea. Nor will I describe the journey." "Not quite so bad as that. "for I didn't see yo u at all. t he sea went on with its own tide-business a long way off. for it was nearly dead of old age. but Diamond liked her." said Diamond." said the tiniest voice he had ever heard. and it was the smallest voice that ever spoke. aloud. "I can do without your help. now slower. although he had nothing to spend there after the twopence was gone. But. and forgot it. like an old oyster left on th e shore till it gaped for weariness. He thought at first it must be one of those toys which are wound up and go with clockwork. at the quaint old st reets. for our business is now at the place." said the voice. it was a common penny toy." Diamond soon made great friends with an old woman who kept a toyshop. with the wind mill at the end of a whistle. thinking the old wom an was somewhere in the shop. and the shops. It made him start an d look behind him. really. and boys and girls. till at length it left it high and dry: Sandwich was a seaport no more." "Not a hair's-breadth. "It means me. I'm en ough for myself. who say. You are as bad as a baby that doesn't know his moth er in a new bonnet. and he had gone in to her shop to spend it. and conveyed in safety to the sleepy old town. But he got no answer. gradually drew back. dear North Wind." said the voice. a cheerful middle-aged woman. And no wonder that it was sleepy. Of cour se it went to sleep. "I wonder how lon g it will be before you know me. please. She looked very funny. That's what comes to citi es and nations. and he felt tired. I begin to be ashamed of you. and when the whistle blows the windmill goes. As he passed the toyshop. One afternoon he had been wandering rather wearily about the streets for some t ime. although I recognise your voice. He was met at the station by his aunt. "Who are you. But the wonder was that there was no one at the whistle end blowing. All the time you were dreaming about the glass . "Please may I sit down for a minute on this box?" he said. Do gr ow a little. fo r here was a town abandoned by its nurse. and went often to her shop . now faster again. All at once he heard a gentle whirring somewhere amongst them. and the consequence was the sea grew less and less intimate with it. "What can it mean?" said Diamond. he stepped i n. indeed. and she got talking to him. I carried you safe home. for his m other had given him twopence for pocket-money before he left. or how often I might take you in before you got sharp enough to suspect me. and yet the sai ls were turning round and round--now faster. and had no more to do with ships. Diamond went about staring with his beautiful goggle-eyes. "What are you doing here?" "I am come to see my aunt. beca use she had not got any teeth. North Wind. please. and kept more to i tself. Ar ound him were a great many toys of all prices.d been going on a three months' voyage. and sat down without one. and indeed I don't see you yet. but no.
They're apt to get stupid with tumbling over each othe r's heads." Diamond rose. However. North Wind?" "Because then that clergyman would never have heard of it. "I thought that must be it. But the next moment he heard some one closing the window. One boat got away with six or seven men in it." "Oh! stay. the voice bega n again. He awoke in the middle of the night. and was silent for so long that Diamond thought she was gone indeed. That's when they're fairly at it. and the curtains of his little bed were swinging about in the wind. "I almost wish old Herodotus had held his tongue about it. she's thinking too much of her new st ock.Apostles. North Wind. for that same aftern oon his head began to ache very much. but that little must be done. She put her hand on his face. and manage the waves a little. the boat got to a desert i sland before noon next day. and I'll see what can be done for you." "I'm so glad. You must go home now. and went home. my dear. Much he knew of it!" "Why do you wish that. But we shall see. "What a big voice you've got! and what a noise you do make with it? What is it you want? I have little to do." said Diamond. But after he had quite given her up. and set you wanting to go. Did you sink the ship. quite sorry. I have a good deal of tro uble with them sometimes. and his aunt came to his bedside. and he had to go to bed. my dear child?" said North Wind. then?" "Yes. I obeyed orders. and said-- ." "That's not so easy. dismayed to see the windmill ge t slower and slower. and the windmill began turning ag ain so swiftly that Diamond could scarcely see it. There! go now. for you do n't seem very well. and without a word left the shop. Two or three will do." "And what good will come of that?" "I don't know. "What is it." "I want you to take me to the country at the back of the north wind. Don't wait for me." said North Wind. only I wanted to hear you say so. We shall see. It soon appeared that his mother had been right about him. do stay!" cried Diamond. I' ve got to break a few of old Goody's toys. The lattice window of his room had blown o pen." "And drown everybody?" "Not quite. you were lying in my arms. "If that should be North Wind now!" thought Diamond. I had to contrive a bit. Good bye." "How could the boat swim when the ship couldn't?" "Of course I had some trouble with it. When they're once thoroughly waked up.
I sit on the doorstep. and of course I can't blow northwards. saw the white glimmer of breaking water far below hi m. but only to come awake again. "We must make haste before your aunt comes. Di amond. bending over him. and Diamond felt very much refreshed. It won't hurt you. yes! I should." "Very well." said she." ." said Diamond. as he thought. "You little silly!" said North Wind." "You want me to go. but you will be better for a little fresh air." "Would you like something to drink?" "Oh. but we shall soon get to them. looking down. and getting out of the bed-clothes. Diamond. "where cows and sheep a re feeding now. with her beautiful face."How's your head. "I know that. set in it lik e a moon." said North Wind. "I have found such a chance!" "But I'm not well. There they are. though I never get farther than the oute r door." said Diamond. for that country lies in the very north itself. "I used to dash the waves about here. for she had been used to nursing sick peopl e. I do. The moment Diamond felt her arms fold around him he began to feel better. and that is as much as to say that one person cou ld be two persons?" "But how can you ever get home at all. I think. and hear the voices inside." said North Wind. he jumped into N orth Wind's arms. You shall have ple nty of that. dear?" "Better. as she glided out of the open lattice and left it swinging. please. then?" "You are quite right--that is my home. and very dark. "it is very difficult for me to get you to the back of the north wind. I am nobody there." "Why not?" asked Diamond. "You see." So his aunt gave him some lemonade. It wa s a moonless night. auntie. as a f resh burst of wind blew the lattice open a second time. and laid his head down again to go very fast asleep. The same moment he found himself in a cloud of North Wind's hair. "Quick. with glimpses of stars when the clouds parted . "Don't you see that if I were to blow nort hwards I should be South Wind." And Diamond. And so he did." "I'm very sorry. then?" "Yes. Diamond!" she said.
And besides it gave him a share in the business. It is not good at all--mind that. "Of course he must. and you had better not try. Ther e! What do you see now?" "I think I see a little boat." "How can you be taking me northwards." said Diamond. But don't you see. If I had been South Wind. you will be certain to go fancying some egregious nonsense. pet?" "That I'm so heavy for you. and I could not give the time to it." "It is easy enough for me. and had seen that they went other ways than the wind blew. It's not kind." "Yes." "He must have dodged for that. But you can easily see. "What for now. Of course I am. would take centuries." "Then you are going home with me?" "Of course. you know. you heavy thing." said Diamond. and there I am. my child . It will all come in good time." "Oh. I draw into myself and there I am on the doorstep. indeed! Well! She's a yacht of two hundred tons. I could toss you a hundred miles from me if I liked. then?" "A very sensible question. I have only to consent to be nobody. I will get rid of a few of these clouds--only they do come up so fast! It's like trying to blow a brook dry. away there. Did I not come to fetch you just for that?" "But all this time you must be going southwards. and can sail his cra ft well. "There's a good boy. I've carrie d him eighty miles a day. that to drag you. I would be lighter if I could. But you can't understand that now. but I don't know how . Why. it was the best I could do? I couldn't b e South Wind. and made ." "You silly darling! Why."Why?" "That you should be nobody. again and again. But you shall see. Diamond--to do everything for those you love." "Then I won't. along with m e." "But you haven't told me how you get to the doorstep." "A little boat. he would only have smoked his pipe all day. right north. I don't mind it. down below." "Oh. It's making too much of yourself. I'm so sorry!" said Diamond. for he is a man of good sense. when I was doing the very best I could for him. I t is only when I am going home that I shall find you heavy. and not give them a share in the doing. Dear little man! you will be very glad some day to be nob ody yourself. and the captai n of it is a friend of mine. or y ou have less sense than I think. and maki ng yourself miserable about it. who had been watching the vessels . I've heard him g rumbling at me. I've helped him many a time when he little thought it. for if you do.
and you will know I am near you by every roll and pitch of the vessel. and still Diamond lay there. The same moment I will drop you on deck. right over it. Away he went rolling to lee ward. You see t hat. the surge of the waves past her sides. and all will be just as we want it. and my help alone. and the loud trampling of the men over his head. rippling.himself stupid." "Thank you.a round thing like the top of a drum?" "Yes. Diamond felt about until he had found what seemed the most comfortable place. now to one side. for he had tumbled through the hole as North Wind had told him. So you are all wrong to say he can sa il north in spite of me. went by. In a moment they were on a level with the bulwarks. you will be sailing against me. my." said Diamond.--You do understand. the creaking of the boom.that thing the man is working. and some stores of that sort. and the cover was replaced over his head. it is of no depth. The c aptain won't get on so fast as he would like. a great many of them. now to the other-. I am going to blow that cover off. Do you see in front of the tiller-. and the t hud with which every now and then one would strike her. The straining of the masts. that a captain may sail north----" "In spite of a north wind--yes. but South Wind is sitting on her doorstep then. I do think you must be stupid. while through it all Dia mond could hear the gurgling. for the wind began all at once to blow hard. then. Diamond found himself in the dark. I do. Here we are. as they hauled at the main sheet to get the boom on board that they might take in a reef in the mainsail. and you will fall on sa il-cloth. an d there he snuggled down and lay." said North Wind. for a strange pleasure filled his heart. dear North Wind. the banging of the blocks as they put the vessel about. If I didn't blow. one of the finest that ever sailed the sea. and North Wind sent the hat ch of the after-store rattling away over the deck to leeward. The next. North Wind. You will find it nice and warm and dry-only dark." supplemented Diamond. Don't be afraid. talking flow of the water against her pl . Nonsense. "Below that is where they keep their spare sails. I am not a bit afraid." "But how could he be a man of sense and grumble at you when you were doing your best for him?" "Oh! you must make allowances. an d if I stopped there would be a dead calm. I shall be blowing agains t you. I am stupid. and so shall w e. he sails north by my help. all fell in with the roaring of the wind above. the singing of the ropes. dear" said North Wind. Hours after hours. and you must tumble in. "Suppose the no rth wind did not blow where would he be then?" "Why then the south wind would carry him. the captain couldn't sail his eighty miles a day." "Good boy! I am going to blow you north in that little craft. He never felt in the least tired or impatient." "So you think that when the north wind stops the south wind blows. "Now. No doubt South Wind would carry him faster. I'm just going to put you on board. The yacht shall be my cradle and you shall be my baby. but he will get on. "or you will never do justice to anybody." said Diamond. but I don't want to be stupid. Coil yourself up and go to sl eep. He heard the call of the capt ain. Diamond?" "Yes.
stepping by its jags and splintering. o nly through the sleep he heard the sounds going on. "That vessel down there will give us a lift now. North Wind hurried Diamond down the north side of the iceberg. Miss Coleman told me that. The same instant a wind bega n to blow from the south. the vessel lay over more and more on her side. and with a single bound lighted on one of them--a huge thing." "What a strange light it is!" said Diamond. and on and on they sped towards the north. Diamond seated himself on the other side. deep er than the deepest blue of the sky. and crags." "That will account for it well enough for all practical purposes. and a long arm came with it which laid hold of him and lifted him out. It was a deep. I suppose he feels very sleepy. I feel very faint. All at once arose a terr ible uproar. lovely blue. "What is the matter with you. "Is the sun rising or setting?" asked Diamond.anks. At length the weather seemed to get worse. her face was worn and livid. Some of the icebergs were drifting northwards. If he is se tting now. and went roaring through the waves." She managed to hide him amongst the flags of the big ship. "Come on deck. one was passing very near the sh ip. The same mome nt he saw the little vessel far below him righting herself. "I have heard that the sun doesn't go to bed all the summer in these parts. on its way to the North Pole. boiling and sp arkling. and. She brought him to a ca ve near the water. which were all snugl y stowed away. with sharp pinnacles and great clefts. which you please. "and after t hat I must do the best I can. She had taken in all her sails and lay now tossing on the waves like a sea-bird with folded wings." said North W ind. But when he looked across to North Wind he was frightened. where she entered. and towards it North Wind was carrying Diamond. He seemed to fall asleep sometimes. lying now on this side. with two or three sails s et." said North Wind. for this berg had never got far e nough south to be melted and smoothed by the summer sun." and he got up at once and crept on deck. l ike the blackness when you press your eyeballs with your fingers. "Neither or both. The blue seemed to be in constant motion. which banged and thumped at her as if in anger. sat down as if we ary on a ledge of ice. North Wind seized Diamond. dazzling. now on that--like a sub dued air running through the grand music his North Wind was making about him to keep him from tiring as they sped on towards the country at the back of her door step. for I can bear it qu . How long this lasted Diamond had no idea. "Nothing much. as she slipped through it. The confusion and trampling of feet grew more frequent over his h ead. and for a while was enraptured with t he colour of the air inside the cave. But you mustn't mind it. while a way beyond was a blue sea. a cold fierce wind swept in upon him. I can hardly tell which myself. A short distance to the south lay a much larger vessel. and castles. The hatch was blown off. Everything looked very strange. letting Diamond go. and that is why the light he sends out looks so like a dream . At length one night sh e whispered in his ear. looking like cathedrals. Here and there on all sides were huge masses of floating ice. he will be rising the next moment. dear North Wind?" he said. Diamond. It was a German ship.
for there was not the sl ightest breath of wind. ever sparkling in the sun. At length. You must not be frightened though. South Wind always blows me faint. If it were not for the cool of the t hick ice between me and her. North Wind was q uite gone. And the time pa ssed he did not know how. After a little while Diamond went out and sat on the edge of his floating islan d. The white sides of the berg refle cted so much light below the water. As it went on the peak rose an d rose higher and higher above the horizon. never going below the horizon. When he reached it. for the mountains rose and rose. with sharp edges and jagged ridges connecting them. he found that what he thought her eyes were only two hollows in the ice. he found himself on a broad table of ice. and seemed somehow dead. only Diamond thought he could stil l see her eyes shining through the blue. but I cannot. "I am going. and Diamond would have cried. a shining peak that rose into the sky like the top of some tremendous iceberg. wi th two great lucid eyes in it. at a considerable distance. her face too faded quite away. but in li ght. I thought I should be able to go with you all the way. Diamond stepped on shore. Diamond thought this must be the place he was going to." she answered. and he thought them very nice. all around which were lofty precipices with snow on their tops. for he felt as if he were in a dream. And she melt ed away till all that was left was a pale face. as it is. and other peaks rose after it. he spied far off on the horizon. I fear I must vanish. to see whether any land were appearing. "but I don't mind it. The air was very cold. if he had not trusted her so thoroughly ." she said. and y ou will come all right. . one time he came out of his cave. The berg floated slowly up to a projecting roc k. All this tim e he never wanted to eat. and looked down into the ocean beneath him. Sometimes he fancied he saw the eyes of North Wind looking up at him from b elow. When he got tire d of the green water. Diamond. he went into the blue cave. but transparent. It was an excellent craft to go with the current. Before him. and without looking behind him began to follow a na tural path which led windingly towards the top of the precipice. as it sped on and on into the o pen sea northwards. not in water. like something dissolving. for there was twice as much of it below water as above. He could see the side of the blue cave through her very heart. Indeed. not small. He broke off little bits of the berg now and then and sucked them. till h e saw the line of the coast at their feet and at length the iceberg drove into a little bay. "It's very uncomfortable.ite well. like the moon in the morning. rose a lofty ridge of ice. Just go straight on." Diamond stared at her in terror. and so it went fast. "Does it hurt you?" asked Diamond. and he was right. When he went closer. and streaks of ice down their sides." As she spoke. that he could see far down into the green ab yss. I should faint altogether. which shot up into fantastic pinnacles and towers and battl ements. but the fancy never lasted beyond the moment of its birth. along which he co uld walk without much difficulty. and when he got tired of the b lue cave he went out and gazed all about him on the blue sea. But h e chiefly gazed northwards. for he saw that her form and face were growing . But a light south wind was blowing too. which kept wheeling about the sky. an d his vessel was bearing him straight towards it. for I shall come all right again before long. however. You'll find me on the doorstep. So he sat still in the blue air of the cavern listening to the wash and ripple of the water all about the base of the iceberg.
because she did not move nor speak. with a great effort and a trembling voice. like one of the great fig ures at the door of an Egyptian temple. I am waiting. almost crying now. Then Diamond grew frightened. if you tell me to do it. gazing. "What do you want to do yourself?" "I want to go into the country at your back. He was sure i t was North Wind. like icicles. Diamond walked towards her instantly. with drooping arms and head. and hurried on. child?" said the form. dear North Wind?" said Diamond. without lifting its head. wishing to sho w his love by being obedient. Her face was white as the snow. He stood up before her. She had on a greenish robe." said Diamond. "Are you ill. and gazed fearfully into her face for a few minutes bef ore he ventured to speak." "Not in the least. At length. but he thought she must be dead at last. her eyes were blue as the air in the ice-cave." "Do it. He soon came up to the place." said North Wind. It will hurt you. "Yes I do. and wondering whether that could be the had to take. he saw that what had appeared a gap was the form of a woman against the ice front of the ridge. centre of the ridge before him appeared a gap like the opening of a vall as he walked towards it. When he reached her knees. and go rig ht through me. motionless. All my love is down at the bottom of my heart." "What for?" "Till I'm wanted. "It is North Wind on her doorstep." "But that will hurt you. leaning forwards with her hands in h and her hair hanging down to the ground. like the colour in the holl ows of a glacier seen from far off. he put out his ." said Diamond joyfully. he faltered out-"North Wind!" "Well. and there the form sat. You must walk on as if I were an open door." "I mean just what I say. But I feel it bubbling there. Only I can't show it. though." "Then you must go through me.In the ey." "I don't know what you mean. But way he seated er lap." "What do you want me to do next." "I don't mind that. and her hair hung down straight. dear North Wind?" "No." "You don't care for me any more.
The Italian. I believe. CHAPTER X AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND I HAVE now come to the most difficult part of my story. full of red and yellow flowers. on the contrary. and neither sun nor moo n could shine upon it. and Diamond wa s a little boy. and th at a gentle. sounding a bass to thei r song. he felt swallowed up in whiteness. even-tempered wind. I do not think he was right. agree in a general way abo ut it. One of them speaks from his own experience. But as he fell . He says that the purest stream in the world beside this one woul d look as if it were mixed with something that did not belong to it. Then all grew white about him. as well as about his adventures in getting there? Because. for his books will last as long as there are enough me n in the world worthy of having them--Durante was an elderly man. and I shall therefore only add from the account of this traveller. He describes also a little river which was so full that its little waves . He walked on . he rolled over the threshold. Therefore we are bound to believe that it appears somewhat different to different people. I would say that he fainted--only whereas i n common faints all grows black about you. and what he did remember was ve ry hard to tell. It was when he reached North Wind's heart that he fainted and fell. T he former was a great Italian of noble family. informs us that he had to enter that country through a fire so hot that he would have thrown himself into boiling glass to cool himself. as it hurried along. In describing it. making all the leaves point one way. and the cold stung him like fire. than Herodotus. and so their experience must be a little different. for the music of them is in another key from that of this story. but. however. All. w hen he came back. that every one of them has a crown like a king and a mitre like a priest. Durante says that the ground everywhere smelt sweetly. It thickened about him. and woke in the same countr y. Thi s was not Diamond's experience. and why should not Diamond tell about the country at the back of the north wind. At last. He seems to imply that it is always the month of May in t hat country. but it may well have appeared so to Diamond. but nothing was there save an intense cold. and it was thus that Diamond got to the back of the north wind. Indeed. It would be out of place to describe here the wonderful sights he s aw. Things there are so different from things here! The people ther e do not speak the same language for one thing. but then Durante--that was the name of the Itali an. and it means Lasting. Diamond insisted that th ere they do not speak at all. on the other hand. which never blew faster or slower. that the people there ar e so free and so just and so healthy. both of whom knew more about it. breathed in his face as he went. The peasant girl--Kilmeny was her name--could not report such grand things as D . through w hich it flowed.hand to lay it on her. The fact is. fell fast asleep in a wood. who died more than five hundred y ears ago. the other from the testimony of a young peasant girl who came back from it for a month's visit to her friends. not so as to disturb t he birds in the tops of the trees. the latter a Scotch shepherd who died not forty years ago. and he lost all sense. he had forgotten a great deal. I will tell you something of what two very different people have reported. groping through the whiteness. even althou gh it was flowing ever in the brown shadow of the trees. And why should I not know as much about this part as ab out any other part? For of course I could know nothing about the story except Di amond had told it. bent the grass. then. we have different reports of the place from the most trustworthy people. for he visited the country. He walked on still. it got in to his heart. And why? Because I do n ot know enough about it. The peasant girl.
They only look at each other. It all depends on how big our lungs are whether the wind i s too strong for us or not." And I may as well say at on ce that Diamond never told these things to any one but--no. And still an everlasting dream. When he came to himself after he fell. that. she could neither understand nor desc ribe it so well. Where the river swayed a living stream. who thought he had lost her. Where the rain never fell. but had no strong colo ur. a nd the wind never blew. Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew. A land of love and a land of light. He insisted tha t if it did not sing tunes in people's ears. And Kilmeny had seen what she could not d eclare. North Wind herself was nowhere to be seen. Sometimes he th ought it came out of the flowers. His account disagree d with that of Durante.urante. in this. sand. but over grass: its channel. or moon. Diamond?" "No. I had better not say who it was. instead of being rock. and when asked what he was singing. for there was plenty of a certain still rayless light. Noth ing went wrong at the back of the north wind. as far as the mere feeling went. and a matter of opinion. Neither was anything quite right. but was quite mistaken. he found himself at the back of the nort h wind. and I thought it would be well to write them for my child-readers. pebbles. Neither was there a vestige o f snow or of ice within sight. he thought. Withouten sun. in pr oof of which I may mention that. Diamond was oft en heard singing. would answer. At all events we could not do without wind. "One of the tunes the river at the back of the north wind sung. Where it came from he ne ver found out. if they would only wait. but he thought it belonged to the country itself. in the troubles which followed. He could not say he was very happy there. When the person he told about it asked him whether he saw anybody he knew there . And t he light a pure and cloudless beam: The land of vision it would seem. But it is clear. which were very bright." "Is it cold there?" "No. When she spoke of the lovely forms she ha d seen. for. and agreed with that of Kilmeny. as I came back. I think. it was something better than mere happiness. but he felt so still and quiet and patient and contented." The last two lines are the shepherd's own remark. though. was of pure meadow grass. But it seemed as the harp of the sky had rung. not over long. He said the river--for all agree that there is a river there--flowed not onl y through. telling her story as I tell Diamond's-"Kilmeny had been she knew not where. or night. it sung tunes in their heads. and understand everythin g. but whoever it was told me. he answered. Now I must give you such fragments of recollection as Diamond was able to bring back with him. and was to com e back some day. Only everything was going to be right some day. or anything else. The sun too had vanished. "Only a little girl belonging to the gardener. stones." "Did you talk to her. And a land where sin had never been. for he had neither his father nor mot her with him. as the shepherd says. I fancy he missed it. And the a irs of heaven played round her tongue. Nobody talks there. that he protes ted there was no wind there at all. for there she was safe enough." . not having his experience. but that was no matter. that Kilmeny must have described the same country as Duran te saw.
two of them would meet at the root. for he saw his mother crying. However many of the dwellers there did so. he began to long very much to ge t home again. until she was wanted. and then they would smile to each other more sweetly than at any other time. And now I wil l take up the story again." "Did the people there look pleased?" "Yes--quite pleased. occupied all his thoug hts. In a few minutes."Is it hot?" "No. without the least interference with each other. she was gone altogether from his sight. and he would fain follow his wish. Sometimes." "What a queer place it must be!" "It's a very good place. and tell you how he got back to this country. because they never wish but what i s good. and gone far away upon many missions. with power to do that which was demanded of her. She could never have in tended to leave him always away from his mother. however. climb the stem. She must be somewhere. and it was such a wide-spreading tree that there was room for every o ne of the people of the country in it. For North Wind was right honest. he had to go to a certain tree. therefore. he used to climb the tree every day. and sit down in the branches. She might be sitting on her doorstep still. and waiting. Diamond's wish was to get home." This was how Diamond used to answer questions about that country. One day when Diamond was sitting in this tree. He had never se en her back." "Do you want to go back again?" "No. as much as t . for the moment one got into the tree. In his anxiety about his mother. He could not go home without her. he became invisible to every one else. I don't think I have left it. Or she might have again become a mighty creature. and therefore he must find her. she would have told him. But how was he to set about it? If he could only see North Wind! But the moment he had got to her back. and no wonder. only a little sad. white and thin and blue-eyed. and given him his choice about going. he would see somethin g at least of what was going on with the people he loved." "What is it then?" "You never think about such things there. Durante says that the people there may always follow their wishes. and sit i n its branches. on getting down. I feel it here. they never incommoded one another. If there had been any danger of that. somewhere. looking southwards. How to find North Wind." "Then they didn't look glad?" "They looked as if they were waiting to be gladder some day. CHAPTER XI HOW DIAMOND GOT HOME AGAIN WHEN one at the back of the north wind wanted to know how things were going wit h any one he loved. if he kept very still.
with another he had reached the ridge of ice. and she laid her hand on Diamond's head. Far away was a blue shining sea. away towards the sea. on the other side. Yet a moment. The ridge of ice which encircled it appeared but a few yards off. looking at him with her old kindness." By the help of the stones all around he clambered up beside her. stroking her hand. I've often had to sit longer. and her motionless eyes were as blue as the caverns in the ice." said Diamond. She gave a lit tle start. With one stride he had cr ossed the river. dotted with gleaming and s parkling specks of white. She gave a great sigh. until she clasped him close. But the i nstant Diamond touched her. "Come nearer to me. seated as he had left her. after thinking a while. " "I'm very glad. and came quite awake. He thought he could distingui sh the vapoury form of North Wind. The peaks of the great ridge of ice were as lofty as ev er behind her. "Ain't you very tired?" "No. slowly lifted her arms. Nearer he saw a great range o f snow-capped mountains. b ut how long you may have been in there is quite another thing. Those were the icebergs. "Have you been sitting here ever since I went through you. Behind my back an d before my face things are so different! They don't go at all by the same rule. "You've been away from here seven days." replied North Wind. He stood in it. "Yes. and the country at her back had vanished from Diamond's view. As he looked he began to wonder. and she roused herself. "How very alive you are. A moment more. dear North Wind?" as ked Diamond. you've been up there too!" One day he was sitting on one of the outer branches of the tree. with the stream flowing and flowing through it. "You have just been seven days. "I thought I had been a hundred years!" exclaimed Diamond. and laid himse lf against her bosom. "Yes. with the third he stepped over its peaks. which had pierced Dia mond's bones." she answered. Light began to glimmer from the blue of her eyes. "Why?" asked North Wind. and the cold of her bosom. Do you know how long you have been?" "Oh! years and years. and no l arger than the row of pebbles with which a child will mark out the boundaries of the kingdom he has appropriated on the sea-shore. and slowly folded them about him. Diamond took hold of her hand. "Ah. vanished. and that which was near him looked just as small as that which he knew to be miles away." returned North Wind. Her pale face was white as the snow.o say. for the whole country lay beneath him like a map. and down below him the lovely meadow-grass of the count ry. and to his amazement found that the map or model of the country still lay at his feet. For there she sat on her doorstep. I daresay. Hastily he descended the tree. ." answered Diamond. looking southw ards after his home. her face began to change like that of one waking fro m sleep. and laid his face to it. child!" she murmured. and sank wearily down at North Wind's knees. North Wind was as still as Diamond had left her. and began playing with his hair.
" "You dear boy! It was only in fun." She jumped from his shoulder. and Diamond after it. he was near the precipices that bounded the sea. and then it vanished altogether. "Won't you take me in your arms and carry me?" he said in a whisper. for there were no insects amongst the ice. till all at once Diamond saw that the weasel was not a weasel but a cat. North Wind had van ished."Because I've been such a long time there. And away went the cat again. Diamond turned. sitting up and wash ing her face not to lose time. . And away went the cat. And the hunting-leopard grew to a jaguar. and such a little while away from mo ther. and he concluded that it must be No rth Wind herself. a tall lady. But the next time he came up with the cat. for he kne w she did not like a loud voice when she was small. for he had been at North Wind's back. but it could be neither. And t he weasel grew. It was up with him sooner than he had expected. and away went Diamond afte r it. saying aloud to himself: "When North Wind has punished me enough for making game of her." returned North Wind. but a huntin g-leopard. and grew. but Diamond ran a long way before it. but you shall walk a bit for your impertinence fir st. the cat was not a cat. and she perched on his shoulder. I've got my orders now. for I can't go much farther without her. But she was no longer vapoury and thin. And the spider grew and gre w and went faster and faster. she will come b ack to me. And now Diamond fel t that he would rather not run any farther. and Diamond after it . but only with one eye. growing less and less to Diamond's eyes till it was only a blac k speck upon the whiteness. and it took all the run there was in him to keep up with the weasel. so he slackened his p ace to a walk. by turning his head towards his shoulder as far as he could. and it had grown a good deal. flying in circles around him. till all at once Diamond discovered that it was no t a spider. he could see nothing but a little spider with long legs that made its way over t he ice towards the south. But we mustn't talk any longer. al though tiny. She was solid. It passed him ag ain and again. no bigger than Tom Thumb when his mother put him in the nutshe ll lined with flannel. I will carry you. standing beside him. however. It ran very fast indeed for a spider. And at none of them was Diamond af raid." Next moment Diamond found himself sitting alone on the rock. "it is time we were setting out for Sandwich. Why. for his nose came between her and the other. and saw her as he liked best to see her. but when Diamond looked for her upon the ground. A moment more. Come along. and we must be off in a few minutes. and then waited for it. all covered with spots like eyes. and away glided the weasel. And the jaguar grew to a Bengal tiger. Diamond. and he could be afraid of her no lon ger whatever she did or grew. in the smallest and highest of treb le voices. Here I am!" said North Wind's voice behind h im. and grew. he found the cat waiting for him. smiling "how dare you make game of me? Yes. she won't be expecting me home from Sandwich yet!" "No. but a weasel. "Come along. "Ah! you ungrateful boy." Diamond could just see her. And wh en he had run half a mile. And the tiger flew over the snow in a straight lin e for the south. I know she will. A creature like a great humble-bee or cockchafer flew past his face." she said in his ear. and that the ice had got very rough. Besides.
a face was bending over him. I was puzzled and forgot. and there you were behind me. none of these things are odder to me than it is to y ou to eat bread and butter. but it was not North Wind's. mother?" he said." returned Diamo nd. "I thought you were dead. "Oh. Perhaps ki ssing is the best thing for crying." on a blue sea turned upside down. And they went so fast that Diamond himself went the other way as fast--I mean he went fast asleep in North Wind's arms. mother dear. when I think of it."Where's the tiger?" he asked." he added. They wen t so fast that the stars themselves appeared to sail away past them overhead. But it is no more odd to me than to break an old pine in two. "we're better to-day. which was litt . for he must be kept as quiet as possible." said his mother. "Oh! there!" said the doctor with gentle cheerfulness." Then he drew the mother aside. that's odd enough. that is--since I had anything to eat. blue shot with grey. I saw it such a long way off before me. "But." said North Wind. "You shall hav e some bread and butter very soon. When he woke. Her tresses began to lift and rise and spread and stream a nd flow and flutter. He put out his arms to her. for he felt very strange and weak. North Wind and Diamond went flying s outhwards. so fast they went that the sea slid away from under them like a g reat web of shot silk. Diamond: I see that." "Well. CHAPTER XII WHO MET DIAMOND AT SANDWICH As THEY flew. Diamond. But that moment the doctor came in. I see. I am glad to find you want some. Diamond kissed her again and again to make her stop. and was safe upon her bosom." "Come then. of course. and green shot with purple. but it will not always stop it. It's so odd. you know. and she clasped him to her bosom and b urst out crying. "you were the tig er. whose slow torrent tumbled two or three ice bergs at once into the waves at their feet. "I should just l ike a slice of bread and butter! I'm afraid to say how long it is--how long it s eems to me. or to mind what he might say. "No." persisted Diamond. Well. it was his mother's. that's odd too. North Wind bounded into the air. stooping and holding out her arms. "l ike golden boats. "What is the matter." Diamond held up his arms to meet hers. my darling! you have been so ill!" she sobbed. and told her not to talk to Diamond." remarked Diamond." "Well. and with a roar from her hair and an answering roar from on e of the great glaciers beside them. And indeed Diamond was not much inclined to talk. for he knew all the creatures from a picture boo k that Miss Coleman had given him. I've only been at the back of the north wind." "It must look very odd to you. "So it is! I forgot.
We know that North Wind was very busy that night on which she left Diamond in t he cathedral. I confess. First. They may have forgotten that Miss Coleman was in a very poor state of health. then mo st of the people he has to do with must suffer in the same way with himself. Nor was this all yet. or a dirty rag. we may be sure she did not think the loss of their fine house an d garden and furniture the greatest misfortune in the world. and North Wind had wound a fe w of her hairs round the lady's throat. and that all on boar d had perished. and she might have found something if she had tried. In the third place. thinking she had shut it. Now while he is lying there. he must be a great and a g ood man indeed. to find something to do that is worth doing. there was a gentleman somewhere who had not behaved ve ry well to her. like a bit of a broken basin.a thing to be thrown out in t he dust-hole of the creation. but if she had had anything to do. that would have been of little consequence. she had not anything particular to do. but it is an awful thing for him to grow dishonest. S o she sank the ship which was his last venture. N ow there were three reasons for this. but dishonest y goes very far indeed to make a man of no value-. When the cause of suffering is most deeply hidden in the heart. the trouble did not end with Mr. th at she had not tried. but if the other two causes had not existed. Only then again. and he was what himself and his wife and the world called ruined. the ship which North Wind had sunk that very night belonged to Mr. And for this third cause of her illness. and there could not be much nourishment in them. and some kinds of speculation lead a man deep into dishonesty before he thinks what he is about. Of course she co uld not help the first cause. for they ought to be told it. Nobody can suffer alone. as if small and great tria ls were to be gathered in one heap. North Wind had to teach them. Miss Coleman's maid had left a chink of her mistress's window open. Coleman and his family. It is not always easy. she would only have to be a little carefu l. Again. She was considerably worse the next morn ing. I will tell my readers what had been taking place at his home. In the first place. In the second place. she might have borne his bad behaviour so that even that wou ld not have made her ill. Coleman. Nor will my readers understand what a heavy loss this was to him until I have informed them that he had been getting poorer and poorer for some time. if she had had anything to do th at was worth doing. These three nots together are enough to make a lady very ill indeed. and h ad done it well. The second she could not help quite. Poverty will not make a man worthless--he may be wor th a great deal more when he is poor than he was when he was rich. He was not so successful in his speculations as he had been. The elm-tree which North Wind blew down that very night. and try to make an honest man of him. her lungs were not str ong. But when a man brings money-troubles on himself by making haste to be rich. her father and mother were to blame that they had never set her going. So as none of them woul d find it out of themselves. for he speculated a g reat deal more than was right. such as few of us have known. and when the news came that the vessel had gone down. crushed Miss Coleman's pretty summer-house: . Her fault lay in this. but the most difficult things are constantly being done . to be sure. C oleman. getting strong again with chicken broth and other nice things. seeing that all the time he had been away he had only sucked a few lu mps of ice. it would have been very difficult for any man to behave badly t o her. For on board that vessel Miss Coleman's lover was a passe nger. an d nobody knows anything about it but the man himself. It is a h ard thing for a rich man to grow poor. Of course. But. if the pain inside him does not ma ke him behave so as to cause all about him to be more or less uncomfortable. So N orth Wind had to look after Mr.le wonder. and it was time he should be pulled up. She had in a sense been blowing through and through the Colemans' house the whole of the night. nobody had told her father and mo ther that they ought to set her going in that direction.
There w ere no white cliffs here. The sun was just far enough past its highest not to shine in their eye s when they looked eastward. I have. "But who's to ta . child? You've been too well taken care of. Mr.just so the fall of Mr. "it's a sad world!" "Is it?" said Diamond. every wave of which fl ashed out its own delight back in the face of the great sun. and the place was rather d reary. Crump had gone to live in a small house in Hoxt on. He an d his wife and daughter and Mrs. as further north and south. Away before them stretched the sparkling waters of the ocean. with a deep sigh. the tail of which had slippe d through his fingers to the very last joint. I think he must have forgotten. but the sky got at them so much the better. he does. furniture. which looked down f rom the stillness of its blue house with glorious silent face upon its flashing children. "Oh dear!" said Diamond's mother. and co mforted the mother without letting her know what it was that comforted her. carriage. and whence he could walk to his place of business in the City. "your father's the best man in the world. horses. For he was not an old man. yes. and leave them there for a few hours. forming a little bay. she said. where he would be unknown. doesn' t he take very good care of you?" "Yes. that just managed to grow out of the poverty-stricken shore. and he would be greatly obliged to her. Coleman--or his creditors. the gentleman who had bought the house had allowed his furniture to remain where it was for a litt le while. "I'm sorry! I thought you were taken care o f too. and everything. for I do not know the particulars-. A whiff of the sea-air woul d do them both good. I will ask him about it. I thought my father took care of you. bursting into tears. who had a little pony-cart. it would be bette r for them. When he had recovered so far as to be able to go out. to carry them down to the sea-sh ore. Of course. He had some business to do further on at Ramsgate. and would pick them up as he returned. And indeed Diamond was not yet well enough to be moved with safety. Not a house. not a creature w as within sight. one day his mother got he r sister's husband." "So I thought!" returned Diamond with triumph." answered his mother." returned Diamond. CHAPTER XIII THE SEASIDE DIAMOND and his mother sat down upon the edge of the rough grass that bordered the sand. I trust. if her sister would keep her there till he got a place. and hoped yet to retrieve his fortunes. there was no home for him to go to." "Oh yes. He wrote to his wife that." "Dear boy!" said his mother. if not beyond it. and under them thin wiry grass. "I was sure of it!--Well.had sold house. A sweet little wind blew on their left side. but it was not so har d for him to have nothing to do as it was for Miss Coleman. Diamond's aunt was quite willing to keep them as long as she could." "How should you know. Let us hope that he lived to retrieve his honesty. Dry sand was about their feet. Diamond's father had nothing to do for a time. Meantime. and she thought besides she could best tell Diamo nd what had happened if she had him quite to herself. Coleman crushed the little family that lived over his co ach-house and stable. Before Diamond was well enough to be taken home. On each hand the shore rounded outwards. "I didn't know.
" "Are you very hungry. Would you. Diamond. "That's all right then. no. thinking I daresay more than he chose to put in words. But the birds get through the winter. and we shall have nothing to ea t by and by." returned his mother. "hasn't he got anything to eat? Oh! I must go home to him. "Is it though? Poor boy! how little you know about things! Mr. they do." "There are people in the world who have nothing to eat. There's a piece of gingerbread in the bask et. I hope not. But what's to become of us. He's not come to that yet.ke care of him? And how is he to take care of us if he's got nothing to eat hims elf?" "Oh dear!" said Diamond with a gasp.what you call--d ie--don't they?" "Yes. mother." "Are you sure. but she said nothing." "No. I know. mother?" "Sure of what?" "Sure that we shall have nothing to eat. "Then I don't understand you at all. child." "Like enough they don't want it. don't they?" "Some of them fall dead on the ground." said Diamond." "They must die some time. and your father has nothing to do." "O you darling stupid! I didn't say I was hungry. mot her?" "What a child it is!" thought his mother. petulantly. They wouldn't like to be birds always." "No. smiling through her tears. the snow. I don't know. "Do tell me what's the matt er. But I suppose they go where they get something to eat. thank Heaven! I'm not sure of it." said Diamond. mother? There's the basket. They--they-. How would you like that?" "I don't know." "O you little bird! You have no more sense than a sparrow that picks what it wa nts. I never tried. and never thinks of the winter and the frost and." "Then I can't understand it." "Then I suppose they don't stop in it any longer. ." said his mother. Coleman's lost a ll his money." "Ah--yes--I see. I thought you put something t o eat in it.
" "And when yours was empty. which came back upon her--something like this. for there were the hips." "It's not a very big one." "Then we shall starve." "No. and I've always had plenty to eat. and she and Diamond had their dinner. And Diamond did enjoy it. But I haven't got even a cupboard. Do you know. So. thout it well enough. The fact at the back of the north wind." "Then let's go and work." "Yes." said his mother. and the may-bushes. There's the basket. But there ar e no such barns for you and me. I've heard you say I had too much. mother. that the rose-bushes. She had heard something at church the day before." said Diamond. that's all very true. getting up. Diamond. I cannot tell whether Diamond knew what she was thinking. instead of saying anything more. all ready for the winter. But the same moment she stopped. and the haws. He'll have found a cupboard somew here by that time." returned Diamond promptly. I wish I could find the door of that cupboard. We've not got anything to do. al to existence." "No."Oh! now I remember." "How do you know that?" "I don't know it. For ngry. people could live wi . So you see the birds are provided for. but I think I know. We've got to work for our bread. auntie opened hers." "But that can't go on. and that what was not wante d couldn't be missed. child. the drive and the fresh air had made him quite hu mother. she stretched out her hand for the basket." "Ain't there?" "No. and was silent for a good while. sometimes. out of which the little cupboards are filled. and he did not. you know. "Father told me that day I went to Eppin g Forest with him. trouble himself about what they should di was he had lived so long without any food at all that he knew quite well that food was not essenti under certain circumstances. "But we can't eat auntie's things all up and leave her to starve." "How do you know? I think there must be a big cupboard somewhere. mother. And when it's empty--where are we then?" "At auntie's cupboard. and the holly-bushe s were the bird's barns. "It's no use. I think I shall call that basket the barn." "Then let's wait. We'll go back to father before that." "But I tell you that's because I've had a cupboard for you. and the holly-be rries." "Well. no. that s he hadn't to eat for tomorrow as well as for to-day. like his ne off that day week." Diamond went on. that in fact.
She never thought he might understand it. with sudden puffs." said Diamond. She took it up and brought it to Diamond. "Do read that one. "I will try to find a better one. "Do read some of them to me." So she rose and went and found that they were both right. "I'm too sleepy. A few yards off he saw something fluttering. I will. This is how they went-I know a river whose waters run asleep run run ever singing in the shallows dum b in the hollows sleeping so deep and all the swallows that dip their feathers i n the hollows or in the shallows are the merriest swallows of all for the nests they bake with the clay they cake with the water they shake from their wings tha t rake the water out of the shallows or the hollows will hold together in any we ather and so the swallows are the merriest fellows and have the merriest childre n and are built so narrow like the head of an arrow to cut the air and go just w here the nicest water is flowing and the nicest dust is blowing for each so narr ow like head of an arrow is only a barrow to carry the mud he makes from the nic est water flowing and the nicest dust that is blowing to build his nest for her he loves best with the nicest cakes which the sunshine bakes all for their merry children all so callow with beaks that follow gaping and hollow wider and wider after their father or after their mother the food-provider who brings them a sp ider or a worm the poor hider down in the earth so there's no dearth for their b eaks as yellow as the buttercups growing beside the flowing of the singing river . Now I do not exactly know what the mother read. After it was over she helped him to walk about a little. "Some nursery rhymes. for it was a little b ook. and took a bit of wo rk from her pocket. He lay down on the dry sand." she said. I think. but he was not able for much and soon got tired. and began one. as I have said. very sleepy. but this is what Diamond heard. "What is it. who seemed to be of the same mind as the wind . but three times. She then sat by his side." said Diamond. and turned on his side and g azed sleepily over the sand. I am sure it is a good one. mother?" he said." she answered. or thought afterwards that he had heard. and his mother covered him with a shawl. I think. the wind b lew the leaves rustling back to the same verses. He was. mother?" he asked." So his mother thought it might amuse him. But several of its leaves were clear of the sand .--"But this is such nonsense!" she said again. "I'll go and see if you like. And when he thought he understood the verses he may have been only dream ing better ones." said his mother. however. "What is that. "My eyes are none of the best." She turned the leaves searching. though. But Diamond felt rather sleepy." she answered. partly buried in the sand." said Diamond." "Yes. to fret because he could not run about. "It sounded very nice. though she couldn't find any sense in it. and these the wind kept blowing about in a very flutterful manner. although she could not.His mother did not speak much during their dinner. "Only a bit of paper. "It flutters more than a bit of paper would. He was too glad of having the sun and the wind aga in. He did not get fretful.
" said Diamond. "Why. That's almost the very tune it used to sing." His mother was frightened." she answered. "It's such nonsense!" said his mother. "Who made that poem?" asked Diamond. mother dear?" he asked. "I believe it would go on for ever. So sh e did not contradict him. "Why don't you go on. "Some silly woman for her children. the river. "What did?" she asked. for she thought the fever was coming on again.always and ever growing and blowing for fast as the sheep awake or asleep crop them and crop them they cannot stop them but up they creep and on they go blowin g and so with the daisies the little white praises they grow and they blow and t hey spread out their crown and they praise the sun and when he goes down their p raising is done and they fold up their crown and they sleep every one till over the plain he's shining amain and they're at it again praising and praising such low songs raising that no one hears them but the sun who rears them and the shee p that bite them are the quietest sheep awake or asleep with the merriest bleat and the little lambs are the merriest lambs they forget to eat for the frolic in their feet and the lambs and their dams are the whitest sheep with the woollies t wool and the longest wool and the trailingest tails and they shine like snow i n the grasses that grow by the singing river that sings for ever and the sheep a nd the lambs are merry for ever because the river sings and they drink it and th e lambs and their dams are quiet and white because of their diet for what they b ite is buttercups yellow and daisies white and grass as green as the river can m ake it with wind as mellow to kiss it and shake it as never was seen but here in the hollows beside the river where all the swallows are merriest of fellows for the nests they make with the clay they cake in the sunshine bake till they are like bone as dry in the wind as a marble stone so firm they bind the grass in th e clay that dries in the wind the sweetest wind that blows by the river flowing for ever but never you find whence comes the wind that blows on the hollows and over the shallows where dip the swallows alive it blows the life as it goes awak e or asleep into the river that sings as it flows and the life it blows into the sheep awake or asleep with the woolliest wool and the trailingest tails and it never fails gentle and cool to wave the wool and to toss the grass as the lambs and the sheep over it pass and tug and bite with their teeth so white and then w ith the sweep of their trailing tails smooth it again and it grows amain and ama in it grows and the wind as it blows tosses the swallows over the hollows and do wn on the shallows till every feather doth shake and quiver and all their feathe rs go all together blowing the life and the joy so rife into the swallows that s kim the shallows and have the yellowest children for the wind that blows is the life of the river flowing for ever that washes the grasses still as it passes an d feeds the daisies the little white praises and buttercups bonny so golden and sunny with butter and honey that whiten the sheep awake or asleep that nibble an d bite and grow whiter than white and merry and quiet on the sweet diet fed by t he river and tossed for ever by the wind that tosses the swallow that crosses ov er the shallows dipping his wings to gather the water and bake the cake that the wind shall make as hard as a bone as dry as a stone it's all in the wind that b lows from behind and all in the river that flows for ever and all in the grasses and the white daisies and the merry sheep awake or asleep and the happy swallow s skimming the shallows and it's all in the wind that blows from behind Here Diamond became aware that his mother had stopped reading. I suppose--an . "I don't know." "That's just what it did.
I bought him only a few weeks ago. and before they reached Sandwich he was fast asleep and dreaming of the country at the back of the north wind. But for a four-wheeler as takes families a nd their luggages." said Diamond's father." said Diamond's father. "You must have saved a goodish bit. They lifted Diamond in. anyhow. He'd carry a small house any day. said to him: "Why don't you set up for yourself now--in the cab line.d then thought it good enough to print." "Oh. he found the horse he wanted him to buy was no other than his own old Diamond. worse. A strange occurrence it was which turned his thoughts in t hat direction. grown very thin and bony and long-legged. tu rning to accompany the cab-master. happening to meet him one day as he w as returning from an unsuccessful application. I mean?" "I haven't enough for that. I don't want him. as was Mr. thinking he'd do for a Hansom. But what was the ex-coachman's delight. And there's the cab too." "Since I lost my own old pair. That would come t o a deal of money." returned his friend sympathetically. "A body must have time to think over an affair of so much importance. Now his father having s aved a little money. That's just how it went. "But come and look at the animal. and finding that no situation offered itself. and I'll sell him cheap." "She must have been at the back of the north wind some time or other. But he soon grew quiet. He's got bone enough for a wagg on. and he ain't got wind enough. had been doing what they could to fit him for Hansom work! "He ain't a Hansom horse. and she was very glad indeed when she saw her brother-in-law jogging along in his little cart. home again. but he's a good un" said his owner." And he began to chant bits of it here and there." "I could fit you there." a s Diamond sang. "home again. You see pa rties as takes Hansoms wants to go like the wind. I boug ht him cheap. as if they." said his friend. "I ain't almost got the heart to look a horse in the face. had been thin king over a new plan. but his mother said nothing for fear of making him. He ain't handsome. remarking to himself under his breath- ." answered Diamond's father. "Who says he ain't handsome? He's one of the handsomest horses a gentleman's co achman ever druv." said Diamond's father. when. "Well. It's a thousand pities to part man and horse. home again. "She couldn't have got a hold of it anywhere else. Just come home with me now and look at a horse I can let you have cheap. This man. who lived by letting ou t cabs and horses to the cabmen. for he ain't so young as he once was. anyhow. Coleman's." said Diamond's father indignantly." said Diamond. on going into the stable where hi s friend led him. you're right. and away they went. but I was wrong. He ain't got go enough for a Hansom. an d got up themselves." "So it is. that in a few days he was quite able to g o home as soon as his father had a place for them to go. CHAPTER XIV OLD DIAMOND AFTER this Diamond recovered so fast. he's the very horse. I should think. He had a friend in the Bloomsbury region. but a waggon ain't a Hansom. I daresay.
and the y are always better worth knowing than the disadvantages. for a thick. he too k them. I know. an'll go like a train. he ain't for my work. he said to himself it was a fine thing all the old furniture was there. And he must have been a good-hearted fellow. and set up as a cabman. for I nev er heard of such an idea coming into the head of any other man with a horse to s ell: instead of putting something on to the price because he was now pretty sure of selling him. persistent rain was falling by the time they reached home. not so much. leastways a parly. You ain't got him too. "It's my own old Diamond. and laid his big he ad on his master's breast." said the owner. wrote to his wife to come home. But when he got to the mews. Diamond's father. For the old ho rse. The cab-mas ter had never been so fond of a horse himself as to hug him like that. for every place has some advantages. I bought him cheap. dull. And as there were some rooms to be had over the stable. Certainly the weather was depressing. saying to himself it was a shame to part old friends. got upon the box himself and drove off. he began to find o ut all the advantages of the place." "No. nothing in the stable to match him there.-"though I says it as shouldn't"-. had turned his long neck. "Well.for he did not feel inclined all at once to c onfess that his own old horse could have sunk so low. but they had not told Diamond who the horse was. and Diamond was quite proud of riding home in his father's own carriage. as strong as a church. and the tea-things were put out. as soon as he came to himself. I was so full of Diamond that I forgot to tell you a baby had arrived in the meantime. "But you'll be wanting a long price for him ." he added. and when his old friend went u p to him and laid his hand on his side." said his friend. I liked him far the best of the pair." "I believe you. He got in with his mother without looking at the horse. there was a good fire burning in the room. I am afraid he would have cried a little. turned and asked how much he w anted for the horse. "I see you're old friends. though the othe r was good. hearing his voice. have you?" "No. but he sa w in a moment how it was. This settled the matter. along with a four-wheeled cab. and besides. But happily the weather is very changeable. His father was waiting for them with his own cab. he whinnied for joy. and the kettle was b . and he fairly broke down and cried. and if he had never been to the ba ck of the north wind. And instead of helping his mother to be miserable at the change. "all I say is--There's a animal for you." The end of it was that Diamond's father bought old Diamond again. he cou ld not help being a little dismayed at first. and as I say." said the coachman. correcting himsel f. and his father having put up Diamond's carpet-bag and his mother's li ttle trunk. which their neighbour with the drunken husband had attended to for them. for his father wanted to enjoy the pleasure of his surprise when he found it out. The coachman's arms were rou nd the horse's neck in a moment. CHAPTER XV THE MEWS IT WAS late in the afternoon when Diamond and his mother and the baby reached L ondon. But the coachman had a lump in his throat and tears in his eyes. he actually took a pound off what he had meant to ask for him. But instead of t hat.
thank you. and Diamond laughed till he had a fit of coughing which frightened his mother. Things go right there. on the contrary. I've got to fight the miserable things. But it could not make him miserable. because he had been at the back of t he north wind. their windows now looked out upon a dirty paved yard. It was dreadful to Diamond to hear the scolding and the c rying. We shall see how he got on. father. not only from Sandwich. but they repre sent the kind of thing that was in his heart and his head. His little heart was so full o f merriment that it could not hold it all. but from their old place. and so I must tr y to get things to go right here. and where the long thin boats shot past with eight and sometimes twelve rowers. and went on till the little fellow was shrieking with laughter. and there were so many houses about the mews. They are perhaps too grown-up for him to have thought. Then Diamond began to am use him. And when heart and he ad go together. Diamond's father and mother were. "What nice bread and butter this is!" said Diamond.oiling on the fire. If my reader find it hard to believe that Diamond should be so good. and came home chiefly to quarrel with his wife a nd pinch his children. except when something must be done. my dear" said his father. notwithstanding." "Sit still. and the dreary mews . I can't give in to this. did he ever know a boy that had been to the back of the north wind? It wa s not in the least strange of Diamond to behave as he did. Diamond. His father took the baby. Oh. he must re member that he had been to the back of the north wind." So she took the baby herself. with gay flowers about his feet. You'r e not strong enough to lift him yet. Neither was there a wooden wall at the back of his bed with a hole in it for North Wind to come in at when she liked. "This will never do. there's baby waking! I'll take him. things c annot be said to be miserable." "It's very nice. "I bought the butter myself at the little shop round the corner. and set him on her knee. On the co ntrary. "Go on with your bread and butter." I do not mean that he thought these v ery words. rather miserable. "I'm glad you like it. I ndeed. . What cared baby for t he loss of a hundred situations? Yet neither father nor mother thought him hardhearted because he crowed and laughed in the middle of their troubles. and made them all stop. that North Wind seldom got into the place at all. a nd his mother put him to bed. his crowing and laughing were infectious. nothing can stand before them. and tea and bread and butter. Father a nd mother began to laugh too. and Diamon d began to feel a kind of darkness beginning to spread over his own mind. And with a good fire." said his mother. If he never knew a boy so good. They s han't make me miserable if I can help it. it w as thoroughly sensible of him. instead of the great river where the huge barges with their mighty br own and yellow sails went tacking from side to side like little pleasure-skiffs. and she had a grand cleaning out like other housewives. and even his father's troubled face could not touch him. and the drizzling rain. I've been to the back of the north wind. an d solemn sun-filled trees over his head. and it ran over into theirs. while the partiti on at the head of Diamond's new bed only divided it from the room occupied by a cabman who drank too much beer. there was such a high wall. But it was indeed a change to them all. But th e same moment he said to himself. For the baby's world was his mother's arms. And there was no garden m ore for Diamond to run into when he pleased.
For our Selves will always do pretty well if we don't pay them too much attention. and become like great toadstools. and nur sed him till his mother had got the breakfast ready. I am almost sure that was how he woke so refreshed. bes ides the little one. and toasting the bread.how can I tell? I d on't know what I know. and that comes partly of not being able to think so much about oursel ves when we are helping other people.CHAPTER XVI DIAMOND MAKES A BEGINNING THE wind blew loud. but the baby waking up. I must try and be of use now. but it may have been the chirping of the dingy sparrows picking up their breakfast in the yard-. shining out. but when we begin to interfere with them. When he woke that first morning he got up at once. but Diamond slept a deep sleep. When he knew he was coming awake. he too w ould have grown miserable. in which Diamond slept. he .one line faded away out of it. But the praises of father or mother do our Selves good. not much more than a closet.over the shallows. and his father was silent. "I've bee n ill long enough. till at last there was nothing left but some lovely picture of water or grass or daisies. he could not tell what-could not tell whether it was the last far-off sounds of the river dying away i n the distance. loveliest little songs to the baby--of his own making. "you're as good to your mother as if you were a girl--nursing the baby. though not to me--that always when he w oke from such a sleep there was a something in his mind. but Diamond said he did not make them. and. My own impression is that every time when Diamond slept well and remembered nothing abo ut it in the morning. and to tell the truth. or something else very common. he took him. and make them presents of too nice playthings. child!" said his mother at last. When his father had finished his breakfast. and puff and swell them up. and the lovely soul of it. Sometimes he thought it must have been the twittering of t he swallows-. alas! yet seldomer believe in. If they do any harm. it comes of our mixing some of our own p raises with them. or some of the words of the endless song his mother had read to him on the sea-shore. They had only the one room. but even when he thought he had got them well fixed in his mind. but with al l the commonness polished off it. he had been all that night at the back of the north wind. and never heard it. But to try to make others comfortable is the only way to get right comfortable ourselves. or too many sweet things. I only know what I think. saying to himself. and then they would have been all miserable together. and sweeping up the hearth! I declare a body would think you had been among the fairies. and his father just getting out of bed. e ver as he came awaker--as he would say-. they were made somewhere insid e him." Could Diamond have had greater praise or greater pleasure? You see when he forg ot his Self his mother took care of his Self. and then another. they begin at once to fret and spoil. She was looking gloomy. he would sometimes try hard to keep hold of the words of what seemed a new song. Our Selves are like some little childre n who will be happy enough so long as they are left to their own games. and that turns them nasty and slimy and poisonous. and he knew nothing about them till they were coming out. He beg an at once to set things to rights. "Why. I am mor e for the swallows than the sparrows. and then another. till they lose all shape and beauty. and help my mother." When he went into her room he found her lighting t he fire. and felt so quiet and hopefu l all the day. which people so sel dom see. They never do them any harm. and loved and praised his Self. one he had not heard before--a song in which the words and the music somehow appeared t o be all one. and comfort them and make them beautiful. and indeed except Diamond had done all he possibly could to keep out the misery that was trying to get in at doors and windows. Indeed he said this much. his mo ther said. Diamond. which he did rather in a hurry. you. and have given a great deal of trouble. But after that he woul d sing the oddest. Ou r own praises poison our Selves. know.
Bu t when he came round in front of the old horse. and told him to run to his f ather. And what he sang was something like this--such nonsense to those that couldn't understand it! but not to the baby. and the bones might be Diamond's bones. Diamond went round to look at the horse. and kissed both his big hairy cheeks. father?" he said. for he had never seen the shape of them." answered Diamond. He did not know much about different hor ses. "Won't you come and see the cab. The sight of him made him feel very queer. and began poking his face into its little body. .got up and went down into the yard to get out his horse and put him to the cab. "Diamond. and hi s father was looping the traces on.put his arms round his neck and cried--but not much. and he put out his long neck. She took the baby from him. "Bless the child! I don't want him. and all other horses than their own were very much the same to him. But as he was following his father out of the door. then Diam ond saw it could be no other than old Diamond. took the baby in his lap. so that the baby crowe d like a little bantam. who got all the good in the world out of it:-baby's a-sleeping wake up baby for all the swallows are the merriest fellows an d have the yellowest children who would go sleeping and snore like a gaby distur bing his mother and father and brother and all a-boring their ears with his snor ing snoring snoring for himself and no other for himself in particular wake up b aby sit up perpendicular hark to the gushing hark to the rushing where the sheep are the woolliest and the lambs the unruliest and their tails the whitest and t heir eyes the brightest and baby's the bonniest and baby's the funniest and baby 's the shiniest and baby's the tiniest and baby's the merriest and baby's the wo rriest of all the lambs that plague their dams and mother's the whitest of all t he dams that feed the lambs that go crop-cropping without stop-stopping and fath er's the best of all the swallows that build their nest out of the shining shall ows and he has the merriest children that's baby and Diamond and Diamond and bab y and baby and Diamond and Diamond and baby Here Diamond's knees went off in a wild dance which tossed the baby about and s hook the laughter out of him in immoderate peals. I have something to say to your father . Diamond?" he said." So Diamond sat down again. "Was there ever anybody so lucky as me? Dear old Diamond!" And he hugged the horse again." said his mother cheerfully. and he did just as his father had done before-. please. an d began sniffing at him and rubbing his upper lip and his nose on him. yet the head that was hanging was very like the one that Diamond used to hold so high. but the skin they pushed out of shape so was very like Diamond's skin. laughing and singing all the while. the horse was between the shafts. But he could not make it out. father--if mother can spare me a minute. "Ain't it jolly. she called him back. Diamond's bones didn't show through his skin like that. This was Diamond and it wasn't Diamond. His mother had been listening at the door to the last few lines of his song. and came in with the tears in her eyes. Diamond didn't ha ng his head like that. however--the other cheek was so far off on the other s ide of his big head. "Yes. He could o nly manage one at a time. gave him a kiss. By the time Diamond got into the yard. just hold the baby one minute.
putting the reins into his hands." He had kept his brown livery-coat. was all coach men." said Diamond. but. as Diamond thought. with his hands in his pockets. only his wife had taken the silver buttons off and put brass ones instead. I see already he's a born coachman. another voice called afte r young Diamond. and went with his mother. and Diamond said to himself. "Mother wants me. "Oh. that's his great-grandfather. His father changed places with him at once.His father mounted the box with just the same air. and that had the silve r crest upon it still. old Diamond's as proud of him as we are our own selves. Diamond got down. wife. "Don't pull at his mouth. I understand." said his father proudly. with whi ch he had used to get upon the coach-box. Perhaps she 'll let me go another day. he had to obey." "No thank you. not to-day. for my father and my grandfather. That's what I call talking to him throu gh the reins. "Go on Di amond. because they did not th ink it polite to Mr. father. father. a little disappointed of course. with the mouths of them open." said his mother. any one would think. at it gently to let him know you're there and attending to him. in his turn. I'm told." "Yes. and Diamond pulled the reins. coming up. father. It's my first day here. which. you know. for the first w ord he speaks to tumble in? He's too well bred to turn his head. the owner of the stables. husband. Everything's got to be done . And there's that baby!" "Bless you. "Father's as grand as ever anyhow. you know. D iamond gathered them up eagerly. He can watch his way back. "you're never going to trust him with th e reins--a baby like that?" "He must learn some day. "just feel. Coleman in his fallen fortunes to let his crest be seen upo n the box of a cab." said Diamond. She only took hold of his hand as tight as if she ha d been afraid of his running away instead of glad that he would not leave her. for it was that of his moth er. But before they had reached the entrance of the mews. "Husband." said Diamond. Now. and had heard and seen all that passed. and he can't begin too soon. so it must come natural to him. jumping up on the box beside him. you see. my man. Then to the horse he said. the same man who had sold the horse to his father. Besides." "Well. and took the reins which Diamond was hold ing out to him." "Very well. seeing it had been by no fault either of his or of the old horse's th at they had come down in the world together." said his father. although they did not know it. "And I don't see well how he could escape i t. and so l et it remain for a memorial of the better days of which it reminded him--not unp leasantly. wh o was too pleased to speak. Old Diamond had kept just his collar. had been standing just inside one of the stabl e-doors. . Don't you se e how he's turning round his ears. do let me drive a bit." said his father. wife! I never meant to take him away--only to the bottom of Endell Street. and the horse st ood still as a stone." And old Diamond's ponderous bulk began at once to move to the voice of t he little boy. I can't do without him to-day. "Diamond! Diamond!" it cried. for his master thought nobody would notice that.
Stonecrop knocked at the door. Stonecrop. what a funny thing! How could he have been an invalid when he did not even know what the word meant? But." said his mother. and to obey is to understand. and guided the nameless horse through it in safety. Give the boy a whip. well. Mr." said his mot her. just as Diamond was feeling tired of the day's work. he shall drive my old horse till he's tired. to be sure he is--at your service. He'll go well enough without it." Diamond thought. "It's not a nice name. as they were turning the corner into Bloomsbur y Square. Stonecrop nearly so grand as his father. and Diamond did mind the gate. "No. and the other driver pulling up. "You see he's been an invalid. put his hand in Mr. The same evening. Stonecrop. and could obey the smallest hint in a moment. and they neither understand quickly nor are able to turn what they do understand into action quickly. and his new friend got up besi de him. He got up on the box. as he took the reins from the man . by holdi ng it half down the stick." said Mr." said Mr. Not hing helps one to get on like that. "Oh. A cab was approaching rather rapidly from the opposit e direction. Jack. it's I'm at his service. ma'am. I ne ver carries one when I drive old----" He didn't finish the sentence. no. And Diamond." "It's getting rather late for him. for it is the law of the univer se. got his cap. Stonecrop. they have not been used to it. a nd away he went. And this was the beginning of what came of it. the less pleased. I didn 't give it him. it's a bad beginning to run into your own father. Jack handed Diamond a whip." cried the dri . Diamond. sir. "Mind the gate. but he was none. His mother we nt and opened it. I'm sure. da ncing with delight. "I can just let him drive through Bloomsbury Sq uare. of course. ma'am. nor Mr." said he. Stonecrop's. and if he likes to come with me. and went with him to the yard where the cab was waiting. And I'm much obliged to you. and then he shall run home again. Stonecrop. "You needn't call him by it. pulling him this way and that according as was necessary. Mr. "Why. and Diamond pulling aside. Stonecrop. they on ly just escaped a collision. He did not think the horse looked nea rly so nice as Diamond. he managed just to flack the haunches of the horse. Diamond learned to drive all the sooner that he had been accu stomed to do what he was told." "Very good. his mother was right.and from that day John Stonecrop took a great fancy to the little boy." said his mother thoughtfully." said Mr. "What's the horse's name?" whispered Diamond. "Look out!" cried Mr. I'm just a-going out with my own cab. "Good evening. Then they knew each other. Some people don't know how to do what they a re told. "Is the little master in?" "Yes. and wish ing his father would come home. It was getting dusky now. With an obedient m ind one learns the rights of things fast enough. with which.
Stonecrop. and I promised not to take him farther than the square. as he brought his cab up to the ot her. Only I suspect the fact that it was old Diamond. "Well. For he was indeed one o f the merriest children." said his mother. Some peopl e wondered that such a child could rhyme as he did. and the two men laughed heartily. "you've not been long gone. wouldn't it have been a bad ending to run into your own son?" sai d Diamond in return." said his father. "This is very kind of you.ver. may have had something to do with young Diamond's success. Give me the baby. CHAPTER XVII DIAMOND GOES ON DIAMOND became a great favourite with all the men about the mews. when he entered the room. and old Diamond on hi s way to his stable. And no wonder." said his mother. father. and thank you. a nd in the tone of voice in which they were said. for he was as plump as a plum-pudding. for there he was. I'm sure." But as Diamond took him." said his father." "Come along then. Diamond sat down with him and began to sing to him. Mr. but he did not like them. Nor did his father find it necessary to give him a single hint as to his driving. and'll be fit to drive on his own hook in a we ek or two." and drove away ho me. Stonecrop. baby baby babbing your father's gone a-cabbing to catch a shilling for its penc e to make the baby babbing dance for old Diamond's a duck they say he can swim b ut the duck of diamonds is baby that's him and of all the swallows the merriest fellows that bake their cake with the water they shake out of the river flowing for ever and make dust into clay on the shiniest day to build their nest father' s the best and mother's the whitest and her eyes are the brightest of all the da ms that watch their lambs cropping the grass where the waters pass singing for e ver and of all the lambs with the shakingest tails and the jumpingest feet baby' s the funniest baby's the bonniest and he never wails and he's always sweet and Diamond's his nurse and Diamond's his nurse and Diamond's his nurse When Diamond's rhymes grew scarce. At first. he always began dancing the baby. "Then give him to me. He's a brave fellow. said "Good-night. . here I am. mother. But I think you'd better let him drive you home now. he heard a good many rough and bad word s. for his mother d on't like his having over much of the night air. and moved off the box to the seat beside it. Diamond. child." "The baby's asleep. feeling more of a man than he had ever yet had a chance of feeling in all hi s life. a nd had never had an ache or a pain that lasted more than five minutes at a time. and so they did him little harm. He did not know in the least what they meant. and I'll lay him down. "Not a bit. for he was only trying to remember what he had heard the river sing at th e back of the north wind. caught at the reins. but there was something in the very sound of them." "No. "But. he woke up and began to laugh. Diamond jumped across. but his rhymes were not very good. but it mus t have been. Some may thin k it was not the best place in the world for him to be brought up in. which Diamond felt to be ugly.
but there's my young god son on my back. was a little shy of the company for him. and attacked his hind-quarters. and perhaps said to himself something like this-"I'm a stupid old horse." "Give me a leg. for the strife came to be who s hould have him out with him on the box. as far as he could reach. and then at the other. He never took any notice of them. for he had to lift it up. whereas he was a great deal more there than they had the sens e to see. One of them lifted him down. took no notice of the p roceeding. "It won't do to have a horse's belly c lean and his back dirty. to the great amusement of the men.So they did not even stick to him. and besides she c ould not always spare him. however. an d all much amused. And if ever there was a boy who had a chance of being a prodigy at cab-driving. then he turned around like a monkey. "I'm so tired!" And he laid himself down at full length on old Diamond's back. Then he sat on his croup. and combed his mane tho roughly. and every no w and then old Diamond would whisk it out of his hands. so metimes a smart one. and that helped much to make them change their minds about him. Of course . This last was not so easy to manage. and reaching forward as he ate hi s hay. and that through the most crowded streets in London City. And before long the bad words found themselves ashamed to come out of the men's mouths when Diamond was near. and from that time he was a grea ter favourite than before. When they talked to him nicely he had always a good answer. cleaning me like an angel. By this time all the men in the stable were gathered about the two Diamonds. and did his shoulders as far dow n as he could reach. not to say get inside him. Also his father liked to have him himself when he cou ld. But Jack fet ched it again. At first. grow" he said. and his face shone pure and good in the middle of them. and did not leave off until he had d one the whole business fairly well. His mother. One day Jack gave him a curry-comb and a brush to try his hand upon old Diamond 's coat. who can't brush his own coat." said Diamond. and yet so thoroughly. so that he was more desired than enjoyed among the cabmen. and. He used them so deftly. But one way and another he did learn to drive all sorts of horses. Diamond was that boy. He sat on his withers. When that was done he asked for a dressing-comb. and the words choked themselves before they got any farther. he curried and he brushed. All the time the old horse went on eating his hay. for it is very difficult to find out what any old horse is thinking. that the man could not help admiring him. first at one side of his neck. and did his back and sides. like a p rimrose in a hailstorm. "You must make haste and. The one would nudge the other to remind him that the boy was within hearing." I won't vouch for what the old horse was thinking. you know. meaning that he was half an idiot. and rubbing away at him with the comb and the brush. but with an occasional whisk of his tail when Diamond tickled or scratched him. Then he pushed himself on to his back. and in a moment he was on the old horse's back w ith the comb and brush. they said he wasn't all there. and because he never heeded t heir ugly words and rough jokes. and once he sent the com b flying out of the stable door. "Oh dear!" said Diamond when he had done. ready. But that was all a pretence. and combed his t ail. so gently. and Diamond began once more. with a smile always either awake or asleep in his eyes. So h e was quite pleased and proud. experienced fashion. for he knew very well who it was that wa s perched on his back. because his face was so quiet and sweet. and to drive them well. if not in a first-rate.
The girl opened the door for them. nor cleaning-day nor marketing-day. and as he could not let go the broom to mind his nose. The girl thanked Diamond. with her broom over her shoulder. he was soon washed into decency. When they reached the curbstone--who should it be wa iting for the cab but Mrs. When they reached the house. With the help of old Tom." said Diamond's father--with what truth I cannot say. for Diamond's father was a gentleman. an d calling. running. she told the cabman. Diamond's father got down and rang the bell. nor Monday--upon which consequently Diamond could be spared from the baby--his father took him on his own cab. but before long there was s eldom the least occasion to take the reins from out of his hands. and his father set him on the box again. but he believed what he said--"some ladies is very hard. ho wever. perfectly sat isfied with the account he gave of the cause of his being in a fray. One or two other passing cabs heard the cry. and made it bleed . and give another to the old waterman. he touched his hat as he had been wont to do. "Certainly not." said his father. and then there would b e a chance of a job. up came the girl. By and b y ladies would be going home from the Academy exhibition. and made for the pl ace. and were now hauling at her broom to g et it away from her. and began sweeping as if nothing had happened . A sudden noise got up. while his father led him away. but nobody seemed to want to be carried anywhere. Diamond's father got down to have a glass of beer himself. The l . Diamond was off his box in a moment. but mayhap they may get more law than they like some day themselves. quite pleased. "Though. For one thing he never got frightened. scolding and entreating alternately. and consequently was never in too great a hurry. To be sure it's the law. "I couldn't let them behave so to a poor girl--could I. He go t hold of the broom at her end and pulled along with her. One day. Some rough young imps had picked a quarrel with her. and fol lowed the girl. and away they drove. H e had to look twice. Yet wh en the moment came for doing something sharp.there was the man always on the box-seat beside him. and missing Diamond. but the girl had taken care not to call till she was near enough to give he r friends the first chance. looked about. father?" he said. and keeps you to the bare s ixpence a mile. for he was the foremost in the rank. The y waited a long time. A moment after. and a penny . and Miss Coleman! They did not look at the cabman. I must once more remind my readers that he had been to the back of the north wind. There was a crossing near the cab-stand. He rushed in. they gave her the address. there! cab!" Diamond's father turned instantly. he was always ready for it. Diamond." As it was very hot. which was neither washing-day. where a girl was sweeping. and one of them hit Diamond on the nose. After a stray job or two by the way. before he could be sure that that was his boy in t he middle of the tumult. and Diamond looked round to see what was the matter. to be sure. But the boys proceeded to rougher measures. As he opened the door of the cab. he was soon a dreadful figure. however. But as they did not pull all together. when every one knows that ain't enough to keep a family and a ca b upon. and sent the assailants flying in all dir ections. t hey drew up in the row upon the stand between Cockspur Street and Pall Mall. But presently his father came back. the waterman. and running to the help of the girl. "Cab. she was holding it a gainst them. He left Diamond on the box. nor Saturday.
But he could not quite sa tisfy himself whether the whole affair was not a dream which he had dreamed when he was a very little boy. Nobody knows the sense in that he ad of his. but just at the corner. and it's not very often we can have a cab even. or even thought much about her. Only he had been to the back of the north wind since-there could be no doubt of that. Joseph! can it be you?" "Yes." The two ladies went near to pat the horse. he always knew that he had been there again. proudly. but you see my daug hter is still very poorly. and from that. Coleman." said Miss Coleman. and I couldn't r esist him. when he could not remember anything of her. and was wondering what made him feel as if he knew her quite well. and answered politely. and then they noticed Diamond on the box. a cold wind came down the street. might have something to do with what had happened since. by degrees." "Well. But a picture arose in h is mind of a little girl running before the wind and dragging her broom after he r. when they found the way blocked up.adies both stared for a moment. I had a chance of buying the old horse. ma'am. thank you. with the maid holding the door for t hem. looking at you. and I saw that Miss Co leman must not face it. he recalled anothe r thing that had happened that morning. and with a parting salu te drove off. ma'am. an d me you paid long ago. Coleman took out her purse. Where do you live?" Diamond's father gave the ladies a ticket with his name and address printed on it. although it seemed a mere acciden t. but abo ut the crossing-sweeper. ma'am. And as he thought and thought. you see. and then exclaimed together: "Why." "Well. which. he recalled the whole adventure of the night when he got down from North Wind's back in a London street. Joseph?" "No. with all the resp ect he could possibly put into the action." "Who would have thought it?" said Mrs. and upon inquiry we . of all the cabmen in London! I didn't know you had got a cab. It was a long time now since Diamond had seen North Wind. "He'll be fit to drive himself before long." answered he. leaving them on the pavement." said Joseph. Joseph. There he is. And as his father drove along. ma'am. yes. "It was your own old horse as took you. Indee d we meant to walk a bit first before we took a cab. His father had inten ded going on the stand at King's Cross that morning. miss. again touching his hat. and had turned into Gray's Inn Lane to drive there. "How do you do." He jumped on his box before she could say another word. and then Mrs." said his father. now you've found us out. "It's a lucky day which I see you onc e more upon it. But to think we should have fallen upon you. and she can't bear the motion of the omnibuses. Di amond?" Diamond lifted his cap. he was thinking not about her. he must come and see us. "The old horse is a-teaching of him. for when he woke every morning. "Why. for as hot as the sun was. "It's changed times for both of us. saying: "And what's your fare. you've got both Diamonds with you.
South Wind was moaning round the chimneys. he knew that it was the voice of the drunken cabman. What has that to do with it?" "When we were down at Sandwich." said Diamond. for she was not very happy that night. and a s himself was the only somebody at hand. a bod y would need to mind what they say to you. You see they've been used to such grand things. It was anything but pleasant to hear. So he got up and put on part of his clothes. now we were poor. But it was something quite different. whether conscience-stricken I do not know hurried him away to b ed. and when Diamond came a little wider awake. to be sure. as any lady would. "Poor things!" said the mother. Diamond woke up suddenly. That night the father and mother had a great deal to talk about." "I don't know" said Diamond thoughtfully. At length there came a cry from the woman." "That's just why. where after various attempts to understand her. he must go and see whether he could not do something. "Really." "Why?" said Diamond. and for them to come down to a little p oky house like that-. the wall of whose room was at the head of his bed. "I only think about it. and went down the st . Diamond's fathe r turned. "Why is why?" but getting no answer to the question. They were just clearing the rubbish away. resumed and resumed again in spite of invading sleep. It was a loud. Coleman had bells on he r toes. believing he heard North Win d thundering along.re informed that a stack of chimneys had been blown down in the night." "What do you mean." "Is it a great disgrace to be poor?" asked Diamond. now growling like that of a beast . No. he was conquered at last." "Bless the child. and then a scream fro m the baby. for he had not yet learned that grown-up people are not often so much grown up that they never talk like children--and sp oilt ones too. "Mrs. because of the tone in whic h his mother had spoken. but it w as not her voice that had wakened Diamond. "you said you would have to part with your mother's ring. Diamond.it breaks my heart to think of it. and made for Charing Cross. but he could not h elp hearing it. and gave in. Her voice would only have lulled him the deeper asleep. now raving like that of a madman. "Why is that why?" persisted Diamond." said the mother. "She had rings on her fingers. Coleman is none so poor as all that yet." returned Diamond. "it's worse for them than it is for us. "whether Mrs." said his mother. he forgets nothing. murmuring over and over to himself. child?" said his mother. Thereupon Diamond thought it time that somebody did something. thank Heaven! she's not come to that. CHAPTER XVIII THE DRUNKEN CABMAN A FEW nights after this. angry voice. But his mother. "Of course she had. and had f allen across the road. anyhow.
set him up on his knee. and the baby kne w that. had left open. Now the way most people do when they see anything very miserable is to turn awa y from the sight. and although not one b aby is the same as another. for through it all he was dimly ang ry with himself. and next they would make his wife angry by saying it m ust be her fault as well as his. every one as foolish as another to the cabman. baby. But the baby was more than content with Diamond's songs. fortunately. Now all the light there was came only from a lamp i n the yard. not quite lost in stupidity either. and heard Diamond saying to th . For that great Love spea ks in the most wretched and dirty hearts. and the gas was bad. But they did the cabman goo d as well as the baby and Diamond. and the baby on his knees smiling to the lamp. and it was a very dingy and yellow light. and Diamond himself was so contented with what the songs were all about. for the cabman's room did not open upon their stair. it was thunder. This. that he did not care a bit about the songs themselves. going out to fight the devil. It was that he had struck his wife. and in at the next door. of course. the cabman. The little boy was just as much one of God's messengers as if h e had been an angel with a flaming sword. He opened it softly . and telling him to be good. if only baby liked them. and he knew that one baby so thoroughly.so dreary. The devi l he had to fight just then was Misery. and try to forget it. his temper a little smoother. with his arms hanging down by h is sides. and the b aby was wailing in the cradle. sat the drunken cabman. and although it was indeed a wretched room which that lamp lighted-.that was the. he did not know why. And this misery was the voice of the great Love that had made him and his wife and the baby and Diam ond. that he had good reason to believe he could do something for any other. sobbing. Like a wise soldier. notwithstanding. and dirty. for the glass of the lamp was dirty. And the way he fought him was the very b est. B ut Diamond had him out of the cradle in a moment. neither asleep no r awake. which guided him to the right door. smiling to the baby. for such was the way he spoke himself. By the time he reached their stair. was the voice of Diamond singing to the baby-. but the light that came from it was. But Diamond began as usual to try to des troy the misery. notwithstan ding. and peeped in. whil e all the time they would not have put out a finger to touch the wailing baby. only the tone of its voice depends on the echoes of the place in which it sounds. in the soul of St. It was very miserable altogether. and his heart not quite so di rty. the cabman began to wake up. and began to talk to the baby instead. but was miserable about it. speaking in his heart. He had forgotten it. smoothing the wrinkles out of his temper. being drun k. The father of him sat staring at nothing. leaning back in a chair. for he was too tipsy to part one word from another: all the words mixed up in his ear in a gurgle without division or stop. happy. and smiled to it. yet they are so very much alike in some things. His wife lay in her clothes upon the bed. in t he cabman's heart it was misery. and hopeless!--there in the midd le of it sat Diamond on a stool. This. and by leaving ill-bred though well-meant shabb y little books for them to read. He began to listen and he went on listening. for Misery can never get such a hold of a baby as of a grown person. His brain was a little clearer now. as certainly light as if it had come from the sun itself.song after song. and his legs stretched out before him and supported on his heels. and to ld him to look at the light. he attacked him first in his weakest point-. On Mount Sinai. John it was perfect blessedn ess. for although he had only known one baby as yet. and he knew he could do something to make the bab y. Diamond was knowing in babies.air. I have known people who would have begun to fight t he devil in a very different and a very stupid way. for they put him to sleep. and he had to go out i nto the yard. and empty. By and by he became aware that there was a voice of singing in the room. There. At length Diamond grew tired of singing. when he was in this horrid conditio n. and the sleep was busy all the time it lasted. They would have begun by sco lding the idiotic cabman. which they were sure to hate the sight of. all was still except the v oice of the crying baby. And as soon as he stopped singing.
he's crosser. and a duck o' diamonds he is! No woman could wish for a better child than he be.only rather confused--the one from the beer. and he hadn't go t none o' them wingses. father says. though without knowing it. for fear of being d rowned in it. and look so pretty! and daddy will be so good to baby! and baby will be as happy as a swallow. Baby's daddy would never hit baby's mammy if he didn't take too much beer." He went on with chatter like this till baby was asleep. at Diamond. And they put nasty stuff in beer. the other from the blow-. and now it was paler than usual with sleeplessness. although he had his room in this. let bygones be bygones. And then the ugly devil creeps out of him. and lets all the bad in. It wur one o' them baby-angels you sees on the gravestones. and laid the baby in the cradle. and teach him to drive a cab. till he kills himself with it. which is the merriest fellow! And Diamond will be so happy too! And when Diamond's a man. and you do take care of them. Did you see him. and crawls about on his belly. and works from morning to night to get her breakfast and dinner and supper. only at night he f orgets. too. wife? He warn't wery big. "I do somehow believe that wu r a angel just gone. poor man! I wish he wou ldn't. He's very fond of baby's mammy. and not his own self at all.e baby something like this. Dadd y says when a man takes a drink. "Wife. Come. That's what my daddy says. there's a thirsty devil creeps into his inside. because he knows he will always get enough there. but I never see the brat afore. baby--don't you." The cabman kept his cab in another yard. But his wife knew him well enough. that drives all the good out. and we'll go to bed. and that makes him someb ody else. for the devil can't abide that kind of stuff. which was oftener than not." said the cabman. baby? I know you do. he did not know him. you know. and pays the money away for beer. and creeps out pretty soon. I've heard my daddy say. baby? And when daddy stops drinking beer and nasty gin with turpentine in it. That's little Diamond as everybody k nows. Hence. and was not one to take notice of children. He w as often late in coming home. At length he found himself nodding. if he had ever seen D iamond. for he sat half-asleep. while the cabman could not withdraw his gaze from Di amond's white face and big eyes. at the cabman. for it makes mammy cross with him. lest he should let him fall. and there's nobody in the house to take care of them but bab y. and he did not want much covering--and then he all but stagge red out of the door. For Diamond's face was always rather pale. you know. "but it's just as good. th e only way to make the devil come out is to give him plenty of cold water and te a and coffee. And the devil is always cryin g out for more drink. he was so tipsy himself with sleep. turning towards the bed. and he knew then it was time to pu t the baby down. and covered him up--it was well it was a warm night. and gie us a kiss. looking for some other cabman to get into. and so he drinks more and more. and nothing at all that comes from the public-house." "I ha' heerd on him in the stable. And he says. by which time he was ti red. I might say better. that h e may drink. and the light of the street-lamp upon it. th e other from her bed. But he was quite unaware of their notice. drink. baby. with his eyes wide open. as did every one else who lived all day in the yard. and father and mother were both wide awake-. But your daddy will drink the nasty stuff. he'll take baby out with him on the box. especi ally when he was tipsy. the one from his chair. and that makes the man thirsty. It was she wh . Babies al ways take care of their fathers and mothers--don't they.and staring. hubby!" said his wife." "Nonsense. She was a good-natured woman. staring in his turn. f or you can ketch hold of him when you like. and no wonder! and then when mammy's c ross. baby? That's what they come for--isn't it. drink. old gi rl. for he thought the cabman was asleep: "Poor daddy! Baby's daddy takes too much beer and gin. So he rose from the little three-l egged stool. then mammy will be so happy.
and he had nice boots on. and his master was reading the newspaper on the box of hi s cab. How she do make them laugh. my child?" "Paradise Row. looking up confidently in his face. he did not go near the public-house. though it was some time before he began really to reform. When he lifted them. "Still you shouldn't say so. for the streets were muddy.o had got the fire lighted and the tea ready for them when Diamond and his mothe r came home from Sandwich. but how he himself h ad behaved to his wife. It 's no good till you do that--she's so old now." she replied.down the area. And for a whole week after." . and sh uts her out in the streets at night. hard as it was to avoid it. "Please. you know. I assure you. There's nothing like it in the Row. CHAPTER XIX DIAMOND'S FRIENDS ONE day when old Diamond was standing with his nose in his bag between Pall Mal l and Cockspur Street. "If you don't believe me. You should hear her swear. Indeed. little Diamond got down for a run. He was pleased to find it so clean. And her husband was not an ill-natured man either. Indeed." she answered. an d when in the morning he recalled not only Diamond's visit. "her grannie's very cruel to her sometimes." said the girl. "Shouldn't I? Everybody calls her wicked old grannie--even them that's as wicke d as her." "Whom do you live with?" he asked. the child spoke so as plainly to indicate pride in her grannie's pre-eminence in swearing. for he was sorry that such a nice little girl should be in such bad keeping. to be sure!" Although she called her wicked. so he put his hand in his pock et." The words sounded rude. he saw the face of Diamond looking up in his. "My wicked old grannie. But when she gave him a sweet smile in return. which was the last of a good many in the row." he insisted. a ta ll gentleman stepped upon the crossing. there's ne'er a one of them can shut my grannie up once she begins and gets right a-going. he was very vexed with himself." said the gentleman. if she happens to be late. and became still more interested in her. like a trap to catch souls and bodies in. The gentleman looked very grave to hear her. you can come and take a look at her. "You shouldn't call your grannie wicked. he looked at her again." said Diamond. he was never quite so bad after t hat. at almost every corner he had to pass on his way home. for his legs were getting cramped with sitting. But he did not know what to say next. And first of all he stro lled with his hands in his pockets up to the crossing. where the girl and her br oom were to be found in all weathers. "But she is. and gladdened his poor w ife's heart by telling her how sorry he was. sir. sir. and stood for a moment with his eyes on the ground. "next door to the Adam and Eve-. an d made him a pretty courtesy. You must put her in a passion first. and said: "Where do you live. but the girl's face looked so simple that the gentleman saw she did not mean to be rude. seeing a certain rich brewer had built one. Just as he was going to speak to her. and gave the girl a penny.
" Here she tapped her forehead with her finger in a significant manner. you know. So I don't count that. turning toward s him--just for the sake of saying something. kept on smili ng. and they're going to teach me some day soon ." Still Diamond. sir. "What do you mean by that?" asked the gentleman. A tile loose. so long as he did nothing he ou ght not to do? And. as he put his hand in his pocket." "You're a useful little man." "Oh no." "How does he know your grandmother. "What else can you do?" "Not much that I know of. here's a penny for you. then? He does not look like one of her sort . for. "Nurse a baby." she whispered. and what can you do?" asked the gentleman. who was too much a man of the world not to know that he must have the gentleman's address before he could go and see him. "No. "The cabbies call him God's baby. and wishe d to be kind to the poor little fellow." said Diamond. God's baby was surely the best of names! "Well. "There." "Please. "Good." "Can you read?" "No. where am I to come?" asked Diamond. come to me. and understood it too. and I'll give you sixpence and a book with fine pictures in it." said Diamond. But mother can and father can. "Drive a cab. and what else?" he continued. and tel . "your father will be able to read that." "Well. and make him a bit of toast for his tea. What could it matter what people called him."Is this your brother?" asked the gentleman of the girl. sir! He's a good boy--quite. accepting what the girl had said." "Thank you." said Diamond. my little man. "You're no such silly!" thought he. "I can't curry a horse. except somebod y puts me on his back." "And when you have learned to read. "He's not right in the head. "Well--and what else?" "Clean father's boots. he regarded the still sweetness of Diamond's face as a sign of silliness. while Diamond looked on smilin g. sir." he said. though he heard every word. and broug ht out a card. sir." said the gentleman. besides.
for it may lead to something. and showed him the gentleman's card. saw Diamond give his penny to the girl. "Why." "Haven't you got friends enough. an d then hitch it into my pocket." said Diamond. and what he had promised him if he would learn to read." "Who's cripple Jim?" "A boy in the Row. I always keeps o ff a penny for Jim--leastways as often as I can. is Jim. the only trustworthy article of dress she wore. "Is she as cruel as ever?" asked Diamond. giving him back the card. His mother broke his leg when he wur a kid. "Much the same. You may have my penny. then?" "O' course she do. God knows. . and got up again upon the box. then?" "Give it to cripple Jim. for them busses makes no end o' dirt. Don't she just! But I make believe and drop it in my lap. "Take care of it. and I love Jim dearly." The girl put it beside the other in her pocket. and then she'd know as I must get something some wheres. walking slower heard him say: "I've got a father. Her grandmother always took care that she had a stout pocket. and. and take browns enough home besides to keep her from grumbling." "But you don't want it!" "Yes." "Diamond! Diamond!" cried his father." "What would she do if she found you out?" "She never give me no more. and put the card in his pocket. and I can get summa ts to eat. though. in thes e hard times a man wants as many friends as he's ever likely to get. "'Cause if she was as sharp in the eyes as she used to be. who was afraid he might get no good by ta lking to the girl. and Diamond obeyed. so he's never co me to much.--But there I must sweep again." "Doesn't she watch you. it's not many doors from the Mews!" said his father. and little brother. He told hi s father about the gentleman." "Yes. father?" asked Diamond. sir. and mother. my boy. I do want it. Thank you. she would find out I never eats her broken wittles." "What do you do with it. The gentleman walked away.l you where to go. It's a good thing she's so blind. but he's a good boy." "Why?" asked Diamond. but turning round a few paces off. sir. But I gets more coppers now than I used to. and you've got nothing but a wicked old grannie.
you know. for it never looks at you. father. Next there's old Diamond--a nd the cab--no." His father was silent. and when Diamo nd's out of the shafts. and. "Then there's Jack and Mr. Coleman and Miss Coleman to carry home. Coleman and Mrs." "A fine set of friends you do have." "How can you count him. but the more the better. His father laughed. I won't count the cab. Then there's the man that drinks next door."Well. "There's mother. "Well. began to count." His father laughed again. it's nobody. you're just counting everybody you know. first. "How do you know they won't?" returned Diamond. "Well. and then baby. Stonecrop. child. if they would." "Just let me count. and his wife. go on. If it hadn't been for her. they're friends of mine. Crump." said his father." "How will you do that?" "They can't help themselves then. And he took his hands from his pockets." "They're no friends of mine." "What's his name!" "I don't know his name. to be sure. but they shall be my friends. "Why. they can't prevent me. and very kindlike too." "Don't it? I thought it did. Then there's that girl at the crossing. and was ashamed to fi nd himself more ungrateful than he had thought. Coleman. and Miss Coleman." said Diamond. . and his baby. for he saw that Diamond was right. and spreading out the fingers of his le ft hand. and then me." said Diamond. and Mrs." "Where does he live?" "I don't know. you would nev er have got Mrs. Diamond!" "Surely she's a friend anyhow. deary me! not to have mentioned Mr. then?" "He did talk to me. Well." said his father. "Much good they'll do you!" he said. beginning at the thumb. I shall make ' em. And then there's the clergyman that spoke to me in the garden that day the tree was blown down. you know. If I choose to be their friend . I have no right to complain. That don't make 'em frien ds.
he came upon the following verses. ain' t I?" "And God for us all. like a king on my throne. and ma ke you feel so happy. roses and honey. although they were certainly not very like those he was in search of." said he. All so jolly and funny. CHAPTER XX DIAMOND LEARNS TO READ THE question of the tall gentleman as to whether Diamond could read or not set his father thinking it was high time he could. Baby can laugh in your face. He said. "Li e down at my feet. "Come and sing your song on my finger instead. which took his fancy much."Then there's the new gentleman. When he had almost reached the end. and then they were both silent for that was very solemn. But I don't quite understand. daddy." A little snake crept out of the tree." The snake coiled up. for his father took for his lesson-book those very rhymes his mo ther had picked up on the sea-shore." said his father. and Diamond ended off with saying: "And there's the best of mine to come yet--and that's you. he learned very fast indeed. But he had never come upon the poem he thought he had heard his mother read fro m it that day. roses and hon ey. you know. "If he do as he say. and crow in your ears. This took him nearly a fortnight. fancying he could tell the look of it. It's all so jolly and funny. he began the task that very night.except it be mother." Diamond went on. You're my friend. and as soon as old Diamond was su ppered and bedded." interposed his father." He sang. Apples and cherries. All so jolly and funny. All so jolly and funny. ain't you? And I'm your friend. roses and honey. So he wisely gave up the search till he could really read. "This wood is all my own. I won't say that. Then he resolved to begin at the beginning. but ha d always failed to find one more like it than another." "Oh no. He had looked through and through the book several times after he knew the letters and a few words. I shouldn't. But it was not much of a t ask to Diamond. Call you that nothing. father: is nobody your friend but the one that does so mething for you?" "No. A little bird sang in the tree overhead. father?" The father's heart was fairly touched now. my boy. You would have to leave out baby then. Apples and cherries. an d read them all straight through. Apples and cherries. Sing apples and cherries. "I would not go back if I could. And sang him the song of Birdie Br . LITTLE BOY BLUE Little Boy Blue lost his way in a wood. Within a month he was able to spell out most of the verses for himself. little snake. daddy-. roses and honey. He made no answer to this last appea l. So her e I'll sit. and the bird flew down. and as Diamond was not beginning too soon. "And why shouldn't he? I daresay sixpence ain't too much for him to spare.
the fallow-deer following. The swallows and flies.own. ships al l sails. and larks. little bird and snake. He came where the apples grew red and sweet: "Tree. each a full-g rown kiss. followed. " he said. "Come along. follow me. Flew Birdie Brown with its song in i ts heart. Cockroaches. And he thought he had better walk on a bit. And every creature low down below. follow. and the creatures obeyed the call. And owls. cockioli-birds. He said. The dappled fawns fawning. And the snake went first and Bi rdie Brown last. After the merry boy fluttering and going. And he said. Each on his own little humpy br own back. And every bird high up on the bough. "Little brook. And the boughs bow down. and flowing. and come this w ay. And weasels. and slugs all tails. Squirrels that carried their tails like a sack. f lying and swallowing. By Boy Blue's head. The dead leaves rustled as the water ran. with flutter and dart. henchafers. sing-songing forest brook Leaped from its bed and after h im took. Followed him. sweet kisses. I say Do as I tell you. Fall to his mouth. "You must follow me. his way to take. He called. cuckoos in he rds. . Little Boy Blue found it tiresome to sit. And butterflies. All went running. henroaches. So up he got. drop me an apple down at my feet." He came where the cherries hung plump and red: "Come to my mouth. He met a little brook singing a song. you are going wro ng. " And waves of snake o'er the damp leaves passed. and hark ydarks. Householder snails. and ousels. And pale and wan. and creeping. Cockchafers. Took their legs and their wings a nd followed him all." And the song-singing. and rere-mice. And the cheeriest cherries. flutterbies. with never a miss. and the apples they dapple The grass. too many for him to grapple. and mice.
As if he had been the gold cock on the spire. Shouting and calling. The bees went buzzing." And the wind wound round at his desire. all an d some. The gay wasp forgot his rings and his waist. "Come after me!" And then they rose up with a leafy hiss. "I want you there. And they flew through the wood all flattering and fluttering. And left the farmers all in the lurch. Calling for followers still as he went. Only their feet were too fast in the ir boots. Till out of the wood he burst on a lea. come. Then Little Boy Blue began to ponder: "What's to be done with them all. Over the dead lea ves flickering and muttering. follow. And stood as if nothing had been amiss . "Come. And the creatures came round him every one . and beating his drum. " And the sunset came and stood up on the wold. With whistle and pipe. "Come all of you. And lost all his thread from end t o beginning. an d rustle and hollo. so busy and beesy. And the midges in columns so upright and easy. com e!" He said to the shadows. After him leaning and straining and bending. He never had made such undignified haste. The very trees they tugged at their roots. I wonde ." And the shadows began to flicker and f lee. The dragon-flies melted to mist with their hurrying. As on through their boles he kept walking and wending. But Little Boy Blue was not content. Little Boy Blue sat down on a stone. They run and they fly. And he said to the clouds. they creep and they come. And the cock itself flew down from the church. And burned and glowed in purple a nd gold. follow. And he said to the wind." And down they sank through the t hin blue air. The mole in his moleskins left his barrowing burrowing. I want you. "Come here. And crying aloud. And he said to the sunset far in the West. I know best.The spider forgot and followed him spinning. Everything. "Come after me. everything. Blowing his horn.
"What to do with you all I am sure I don't know. "I am going that way as fast as I can. And for rats and bats and the world and his wife. no. "Two hundred worms -. Pray what do you want us all to do?" "Go away! go away!" said Little Boy Blue.r. we shall all be mi ssed from our posts. and away. or else we stay. What in earth or in w ." Said they all." Said the wind with a voice that had changed its cheer." Said the brook running faster." Then the clouds clodded down till dismal it grew. The brook sat up like a snake on its tail. as it sank and turned a nd ran. no. Give us some work. Little Boy Blue. and spoke like a king. no. " "Oh dear! and oh dear!" with sob and with sigh. yes. And all the creatures sat and stared. And what he sang was the very thing: "You have brought us all hither." The sunset stood at the gates of the west. follow me" came from Bir die Brown's breast. And he turned his sack wi th a swing and a swirl. Said the cock of the spire. "it mustn't be so. when you brought me here. no. "Follow me. "If that's where you want us to steer for. Said Little Boy Blue. and began to cry. "His father's churchwarden." Sang Birdie Brown." Said the brook. And the wind came up with a what-wil l-you wail. and I'm goin g again next autumn." Said the mole. he said. Little Boy Blue was afraid of his life. quite low. "We cannot for nothing come here. Back to the woods fled the shadows like ghosts: "If we stay. "I'm sure I don't want you -. roun d Birdie Brown flew. he thought of a thing. no." "That's where I live. The mole opened his very eyes and glared. "I was just going there. Then Birdie Brown began to sing. The snake sneaked close. And up he stood.get awa y -. "Why do you hustle and jostle and bother? Off with you all! Take me back to my mother." "No. and no. But before he got far.do." said the sack-backed squirrel.there I caught 'em Last year. "I run through his garden." Then Little Boy Blue.
and go home without you. I will break you r head.ater did you bring us here for?" "Never you mind. let me see-- . I think I will." He rose.Apples and cherries. Little Boy Blue has listened to me -. fas t asleep. come blow me your horn. "I'm sure I don't know what." he said. But wherever he turned." The snake he neither would go nor come. rose s and honey." returned Diamond." she answered. you know. The snake fell down as if he were dead." she said.Little Boy Blue. He had to keep them out. The sheep's in the meadow. "If you don't get out of my way. half a hiss . There. "I tell you. And all the creatures they marched before him. mother! And then. So he hit him hard with the stick of hi s drum. CHAPTER XXI SAL'S NANNY DIAMOND managed with many blunders to read this rhyme to his mother. of course it is--for this one went `blowing his horn and beating his drum. half a wail. the cow's i n the corn. And hissed three times. I begin to doubt you. "I think it means something. And Little Boy Blue set his foot on his head. "That's what I tell you.All so jolly and funny. mother?" he said. it must be the same-." said Little Boy Blue. and up rose the snake on its tail. And marshalled him home with a h igh cockolorum. "Isn't it nice. Little Boy Blue. ' He had a drum too. you know. "I wonder if it's the same boy--yes. If that you wo n't do. Let me see--how does that rhyme go? Little Boy Blue. Little Boy Blue he tried to go past him. "I'll get up at once. it's pretty. sat the snake and faced him. It goes-Where's the little boy that looks after the sheep? He's under the haystack. you see. And Birdie Brown sang Twirrrr twitter twirrrr twee -. But he wasn't minding his work. come blow me your horn-Yes. "Yes. snake.
" So saying he climbed on his box and drove off. I venture to remind him once more that Diamond had been to the back of the north wind." But before the week was out. She can't be well. who did know somethin From talking to the girl he had a good noti . and he took him farther away. I only know that he killed the snake. He had great confidence in his boy. So I suppose nobody did wake him." His mother looked uneasy. On the fourth day . I want to go and look after the girl. It looks true. He was a rather cross little boy. Diamond's father was on the same stand near the National Gallery." "But surely you're not such a silly as to take it all for true. you see. any fear. And I'll ask him if he can help me to understand the rhyme. Finding she made no reply. he ran away into the wo od and lost himself. Fathe r was telling us about it last Sunday." "Bless the child!" said his mother to herself. and then added aloud." "All right. and would trust him anywhere. and when father and you talk about your tr oubles. but what it is I can 't say. "So you see he was naughty. It's what I've got to do so often. For three days. Diamond. who had that moment shut the door o f his cab upon a fare-"Father. for even when he lost himself he did not want to go home." This did little to reassure his mother. not seeing her yet. mother. he would perhaps have to go alone. That killing of the snake looks true. And when he did wake of himself." said his father. He couldn't do it with his horn. But which the girl lived. at one time or other. had not. he had another reason for going to Mr. mother?" "I shouldn't wonder. however. Diamond went on-"In a week or so. Raymond. he said to his father. and saw the mischief the cow had done to the corn. I suppose that's what he had a dru mstick for. Diamond smiled full in her face." she answered. Diamond?" "I think it must be. fearing she must be ill. Don't you think that's very likely. I suppose it was a young one of the same serpent that tempted Adam and Eve. when woke up. what next?" "I don't know. He followed the snake. Any of the creatures would have shown him the way if he had asked it--all but the snake. "Only take care of yourself. instead of running home to his mother. on each of which. I mean. he'll be sure to cry. and lest my reader should have his qual ms about it too.Who'll go and wake him? No. I'm sure there's a great deal more. the girl was not at her crossing. you know. finding th at Diamond did not go on. "Well. Diamond. you remember. and added-"When baby cries and won't be happy. I shall be able to go to the tall gentleman and tell him I ca n read. not I. I daresay. For if I do. if he had known the kind of place in thought twice before he allowed him g of it. and Diamond got quite anxious about her.
" "Oh." said the policeman." Happily then for Diamond. "They might think I was going to meddle wit h them. "I live in Bloomsbury. and watching him round eve ry corner." "No sir" answered Diamond. who was a kind-hearted ma n.on of where about it was. all at once he thought he remembered the place." "Well. and Diamond saw that he co uld do nothing for her without help. So he tried th e door." "Nobody hurts me. I've seen her when she'd have torn him in pieces." answered Diamond. "Yes." said the policeman. stood a chest of drawers. and I ain't. But it's not safe. "It's an ugly place. do as you please. He laid his ear to the door. Diamond stood still f or a while. while over the grating which kept people from falling into the area.--and very dar k. mostly of policemen. which shut out almo st all the light. and he remembered the address well enough. but she made him no answer. but he heard the moaning plainly e nough now. and covered with mud. for the window was below the level of the street. and gave him full directions. but th ey never thought he was telling a story. for nobody ever disbelieved Diamond. "Is it far off?" asked Diamond. "I must go with you. She's worse when she's sober than when she's half dru nk. placed there by a dealer in second-hand furniture. I guess. it's a good distance. And the smell in the place was dreadful. and found it was not locked! It was a dreary place indeed. and replied with another question. "Not a wrong turn does he take! But old Sal's a rum un for such a child to pay a morning visit to. Diamond set off. he received no answer. was following him close. he discovered his friend lying with closed eyes and a white suffering face on a heap of little better than rags in a corner of the den. old Sal had gone out to get some gin. so by askin g his way some twenty times. or only that he had laid up the policeman's instructions well in his mind. When he got used to the darkness. As he went on. no! please not. with children of his own." said Diamond. I suppose." said Diamond. and of course the man believed him. for he could see next to nothing. "No. and thought he heard a moaning within. my small kid? It ain't where you was bred. Policemen are always kind to me. he went straight for the cellar of old Sal. The last policeman he questioned looked down upon him from the summit of six feet two inches." "But what on earth do you want here?" Diamond told him plainly what he was about. and wh ether it really was so. you know. He went up to her and spoke. but kindly: "What do you want there. she was not in the least aware of his presence. In deed. he came at length pretty near the place. "but I find my way about pretty well. anyhow. for as simple as he looks. never suspecting that the policeman. People might think he was mistaken. So taking a lump of barley-sugar from his p . It's next door almost. When he came to her door at the bottom of the area-stair and knocked." said the man." "That's a long way off. "He's a sharp little kid." said the man to h imself.
" "He told me to come to him--that is. for he was not frightened. Diamond reached Mr. m ake haste. instead of seei . and. for going prying into her house when she's out.ocket. having already made up his mind to go and see the tall gentlem an. It'll be one go apiece. If you don't give me your jacket directly. He told the m quite quietly. you know. s aw the tall policeman coming towards him. so they couldn't. Cherry. When he asked if he was at home . "What do you know about Nanny?" said one of them fiercely. which was flushed with his resistance. but you were at hand. and Diamond. you know." said Diamond. though." "They would have if I hadn't been at hand." returned Diamond. I'd keep it. Raymond. Raymond's door in less than an hour. They wanted his clothes f or their children." "But I can't go and trouble him with such a message as that. in return. however. for each wanted to get some advantage over her neighbours. as the girl was ca lled. I've just told you. sud denly they all scampered away. and ask him to do something for Sal's Nanny. Mr. "It belongs to my father and mother . It's not mine to give." he said. and all began talking at once. they laid their hands on him." But this man was made of coarser grain than the policeman. h e left the place. I'll go and fetch her. while Diamond stooped and kept his arms be nt to resist them. "Wait till old Sal c omes home. three or four women who had seen him go d own were standing together at the top waiting for him. The moment he appeared. with a rough laugh." "Yes. By the time he got up the area-steps. that he had come to see what was the matter with Nanny. Diamond telling his new friend how ill poor Nann y was." "I can't give you my jacket. and stepping out in good earnest." They all began to tug at the jacket. looking down i n Diamond's face. "You came just in the right time. thank you." "How am I to know that?" Diamond stared with astonishment for one moment. That's how you know it. and laying it beside her. "I want to tell him something. "But if the jacket ain't yours. The policeman put h im in the nearest way for Bloomsbury.would you now?" "Give it away! No. but they did not follow him down lest Sal should find them th ere. then answered: "Why." she said. "They've done m e no harm. and you'll catch it. asked what he wanted. Is it now? You would not think it right to gi ve away what wasn't yours-. when I could read--and I can. which he had bought for her as he came along. and that he was going to let the tall gentleman know. that I wouldn't. Before they had done him or the jacket any harm. "You had better have let me come with you. little man. the servant. looking in the opposite direction." Perhaps the answer was deeper in purport than either Diamond or the policeman k new. what right have you to keep it? Here. They walked away together.
and s aying. "What are you doing on the doorstep?" "Waiting for Mr. away" he said. John?" he asked. not that.for the first time in her life in a nice clean b ed. "Who's this. "I don't know. but he used to go and tell the children stories of an afternoon. "Do you think I'm going to take your word for it?" shut the door in his f ace. Raymond. and when Diamond looked round yet again. if I find any more of this kind of thing. and he was therefore in the best po ssible position for finding him." returned Diamond. my little man. "He's not at home. I can now. Come in. Now Mr. Is it a habit of your s to turn away my visitors? There'll be some one else to turn away. . One of the doctors promised to go and find Nanny." "Please sir" said Diamond." "What! can't you read yet?" "Yes. she did not object to having her removed. But I'll come for that next time. "he told me you weren't at home. I remember. But she knew nothing of the whole affair. That same night they sent a litter for her. but when he looked round. There he was well known to everybody. he put his answer down as impudence. Raymond. but a step sounded from the ha ll. and I sat down to w ait for you. a little. I suppose you' ve come to claim your sixpence?" "No.ng that Diamond could not tell a lie. He had not waited long before the door opened a gain. What the man would have done next I do not know. took Diamond with him. and drove to the Children's Hospital. thinking with himself that the tal l gentleman must either come in or come out." "Then I'll wait till he comes. Diamond turned and sat down on the doorstep. if possible. yes. So she was soon lying in the fever ward-. getting up. what!" said Mr. for he was not only a large sub scriber. it was only the servant once more. He sent at once to have t he horse put to the brougham." "Who's Sal's Nanny?" "The girl at the crossing you talked to the same day. and do what could be done-." "Eh. An imperent little boy as will sit on the doorstep. sitting down again with a smi le.have her brought to the hospital. She was too ill to know anything. I came to tell you about Sal's Nanny." answered Diamond. there was the tall gentleman. "John! John! This won't do. "Get. sir." "Oh. Raymond was one of the kindest men in London. and as she could be of no use to ol d Sal until she was better. sir. I'm afraid. What's the matter? Has she got run over?" Then Diamond told him all.
They're awfully silly. "Take it home to my mother. and when he reappeared he had in his hand the torn and crumpled book which North Win d had given him. and that's all they're meant for. but she saves it up to buy shoes for me. you know. And there's baby coming on famously. I don't mean I printed it." he then said. I made it. "It means that people may have their way for a while. and Mr. although he had never been at the b ack of the north wind. "You shall read it to me when we get h ome." Still with a good many blunders. Now Mr. sir. RAYMOND'S RIDDLE MR.CHAPTER XXII MR. Raymond gave Diamond his sixpence. I know!" said Diamond. and she keeps all her money in it. Raymo nd took the little book and read it over again. and he'll want shoes soon." he answered. .such a black one! --with a broken spout." answered Mr." "Couldn't you let me hear one of them now?" said Mr. And every sixpence is something--ain't it. Mr." "Just so." said Diamond. He drinks too much. I wrote it myself. if you please. but it will get them into such trouble s they'll wish they hadn't had it." "I wasn't thinking of that so much as of another thing. sir?" "To be sure. "She has a teapot-." cried Diamond triumphantly." "I hope so." "I will if I can. I want you to tell me what it me ans. Diamond did read it after a fashion. I make songs myself. you know. and then I shall see." returned Mr. Raymond. A good deal more talk followed. but they ple ase baby." "I was sure the snake had something to do with it." added Mr. wishing Diamon d to understand that he was the author of the book. But befor e saying anything about it." said Mr. "But when people want to do right. my man. if they like. Raymond: "you are going to claim your sixpence now." "I know." said Diamond. Raymond was a poet himself. he read it over aloud. It ain't much. and so. things abou t them will try to help them. "I'll tell you what I think it means. "There's a rhyme in this book I can't quite understand. and Diamond thought he unders tood it much better already. "What will you do with it?" he asked. Only they must kill the snake. Raymond. "Like the poor cabman next door. Raymond. chiefly for the children of the hospital where I hope Nanny is going. stopping at the Mews to tell his mother that he would send him back soon. "And here's a book for you. I hope you'll always make as good a use of your money. "I know what you mean. "Ah! I see. Raymond. full of pictures and stories and poems. he was able to understand the poem pretty well. RAYMOND took Diamond home with him. Diamond ran in with the message himself.
but never goes . But in w inter I fast and groan and shiver." And if you do not understand t hat. He had been d oing night work of late. "It's something that means something else. and had written a few-. "Genius finds out truths. giving him the book. not tricks. "he could not have been a gen ius. I breathe with my hair. From the ends of my fingers my beauty grows.one of which he now read."No." If Diamond had had to find out the riddle in order to see Mr. and think over it. turning over the leaves of his own bo ok. and Diamond attended to the baby. "Do you know what that means. I couldn't make a line without baby on my knee." I answer." said Diamond. Raymond. "Do you like riddles?" asked Mr. large and s mall. but thousands of toes." "I suspect the child's a genius. and his wife nursed him." said the poet to himself. My one foot stands. "Then you can read it for yourself. None e'er saw me eat -." answered Diamond. "I don't know what a riddle is. The next day he was forced to keep his bed. "No. We make them together. Raymond again. T hey're just as much baby's as mine.shall I try to t ell them. sitting by the fire and looking rather miserable. "And now you had better go home to your mother. for his head ached and he felt sick. When you've found the riddle. I have only one foot. and the first day Diamond sang more songs than ever to the baby." Mr. it would have been delightful to have him at home. And yet I am alwa ys very tight laced. so he had given it up. and they're mighty all. It's he that pulls them out of me. and it had not agreed with him. CHAPTER XXIII THE EARLY BIRD WHEN Diamond got home he found his father at home already. Yet I eat al l day in the full sunlight." said Mr. and see if you can find out. I forget them as soon as I've done with them. I doubt if he would ever have seen him. sir. I couldn't. when he had finished. but not in time. And hundreds of fingers. and his father listened . or shall I not? I will give them one very short answer: it means one w ho understands things without any other body telling him what they mean. "Oh then. I have many arms. Raymond liked the old-fashioned riddle best. you know. "and that's what ma kes people think him silly. indeed. Raymond." I think I hear some little reader say. Diamond?" he asked. Besides. In the summer with song I shave and quiver. you can come again. and I drink with my toes. I don't. for a genius finds out things without being told. I grow bigger and bigger about the waist. If he had not been ill.I've no mouth to bite. I am afraid you must be content to wait till you grow older and know more. for he had taken some kind of fever. and you've got to find out what the something else is. God mak es a few such now and then to teach the rest of us." Now if any of my child readers want to know what a genius is-.
" sighed his mother. wee bird. again." said a wee. and s ome very fat spiders: No one will say I don't do as I preach -. Wo .I don't know wher e there's a single worm. voice.with some pleasure." The yellow-beaks they slept on and on -. mother?" "No. Diamond. was. For she never can tell the night before. as well as she could. or borrow. Motherly foresight. She had filled her own just over-full. She couldn't sleep. But the next he could not bear even Diamond's sweet and was very ill indeed. for he had a wonderful memory. While her crop stuck out like a feather bed Turned inside out. as she sat with her head Sunk in her chest." "Then what are you crying for. and she called it virtue.I'm one of the b est of bird-providers. mother?" "Because my money is almost all gone. and end of quiet games with him there. Diamond began and repeated the poem. If he did pull all his bedding on the it did not matter. So it was late ere she tucked her head in. "Oh. and no neck at all. he was frightened. "O mammy. you make me think of a little poem baby and I learned out of North Wi nd's book to-day. lest she should dis tress him. "Has alwa ys been my especial bother. The fact.They never had heard of the bogy To-mo rrow. But the mother sat outside. but h e was not. And had filled every one of their litt le crops. any Name you may call it that will no t hurt you. making her moan -. as I say. But long before his father got well. Where she shall find one red worm more. child. Which woke at the voice of his mother's pain. thinking only of what she should do a fter to-morrow. and said-"Is father worse. Besides a few flies. and one night." And with the word He tucked in his head. she came into Diamond' s room that his father might not hear her. she'd had too many. But where's the use? We want a storm -." she answered. "I know where there's five. affection. Sh e did not say a word about it in the hearing of her husband. "The folly of childhood. his mother's savings were all but gone.She'll soon have to beg." "There's five in my crop. and many nights after." she replied. That day she had done her very best. A little bird sat on the edge of her nest. and made the bed himself and slept in it with baby all the next night. and went off again. "What shall I do if things don't reform? I don't know where there's a single worm. When he heard her sobbing. dear!" she sighed. And hence she was feeling a lit tle dull. "I've had twenty to-day. And she slept so late it was almost a sin. She thought Diamond was asleep. had no floor. Her yellow-beaks slept as sound as t ops. or steal. for he kept baby very quiet. and the children five each." said his mother heedlessly. so Diamond took the baby into his own room. when she could not help crying. But the little fellow who knew of five Nor troubled his head about any more. "he's a good bit better. Don't you remember how I bothered you about some of the words? " "Yes. and rath er small.
however. thinking what he could do to catch worms." said his mother. or else letting the bit get amongst his teeth. They followed him as far as the stable-door. He fastened the cheek-strap very carefully. By this time there were several of the men watching erfere. he opened his mouth for the bit. I think. and then went out. The colla r was almost the worst part of the business. just in the usual hole." He would not ask any one to help him. leaving the door open. The yoke was rather difficult.ke very early. . so that if he should cry his mother might hear him a t once. When he got into the yard he found the stable-door just opened. When his mother awoke and had rubbed her eyes. and could catch worms for your self. of course he could not have done it. "There. but with the chair he managed it. Feeling less like a bird. as he finished. and mo re like a mole. If the old horse had had the least objection to the proceeding. but they would not int over the various difficulti there stood watching him ag up one after the other into breeching. Then he got his whip. the belly-band. She saw him -.fancy with what surprise -. But they would not let him go without a gener al inspection of the harness. "ain't it funny?" "I wish you were like that little bird. he would have knelt down t o let him put it on his back. for fear of choking his friend. and shook it on to his shoulders. a nd then Diamond had to creep quite under him to get hold of the girth. He tuc ked in his little brother so that he could not tumble out of bed. and although they found it right. for not a buckle had to be shifted. th e weight was not too much for him. but with the help of a broken chai r he brought down from his bedroom. the greedy elf. He held his head very low till his little master had got it over and turned i t round. and ain as he put the horse between the shafts. And wanted a sixth to add to his store: He push ed his mother. felt quite alive. If old Diamond had ha d an education in physics to equal that of the camel. It was a j ob to get the saddle on. they never allowed him to do it for himself again all the ti me his father was ill." he said to himself. "I hope I shall catch the wo rm. fastened the traces. mother!" said Diamond. just as if he had been taking the apple which Diamond sometimes gave hi m. With great difficulty. they were so anxious to see how he would get es. and the reins. but when he had laid the traces over the horse's neck. but that was more than could be expected of him. the him. fearing his project might meet with disap proval and opposition. the men broke into a heart y cheer of delight at his success. and then he lifted his head. It was very little trouble to make up his mind. he managed to put the harness on Diamond. The moment he mounted the box.Dragging a huge worm out of a hole! 'Twas of this same hero the proverb took form: 'Tis the early bir d that catches the worm. but even when it came to the bridle. Diamond. but there Diamond could help Diamon d. "I'm the early bird. Then thought he had better try for himself. He got him right at last. CHAPTER XXIV ANOTHER EARLY BIRD HE GOT up in the morning as soon as he heard the men moving in the yard. Diamond lay awake for a few minutes. and still less to go to sleep after it. and led him out of the stable. as she rose to go and look after her husband. got them the loops.
and put him to. I can drive. A boy o' Diamond's size as can 'arness a 'oss t'other Diamond's size. "Never fear for him." "But he won't upset the cab. a nd never to crawl for fear of getting annoyed by idlers.if he do upset the keb--'ll fall on his feet. But you are a rum 'un for a cab by--ain't you now?" said the policeman. saying with a smile: "Father's ill at home. There's no fear of me. Leastways he won't go for to do it." she answered. and although not quite easy was less anxious than his mother. ma'am. She called "Diamond! Diamon d!" but there was no answer except from Jack. Besides." answered Diamond." "I know as much as that myself. the anx iety of both of them increased. He was the first there after all. I came to the old place. and made him so far ashamed besides. who was in a great hurry . that he went away crawling. and so I came out with the cab. thank you. sir. was out of the mews. closing the window in some fear lest her husband should have been made anxious by the news of Diamond's expediti on. and before she could open it. and almost out of the street. Diamond had resolved to go straight to the cab-stand where he was best known. How's th e gov'nor to-day." . "Ain't you afraid of the old 'oss running away with you?" asked one. "He knows I'm getting the shillings for father. Diamond." "Just as well. You're a pair of 'em. he set off again in great spir its. and wa s in too great a hurry to think about the driver. Once. b ut it was stiff. y ou see. Having carried him to King's C ross in good time." In the course of the day one man did try to cut him out. "No. and his mother peep out of the window. and there she saw her little boy se tting out alone with the cab in the gray of morning." said Diamond. "I don't know as I ought to let you go. ma'am. ma'am?" "A good deal better. and the shout the rest of them raised let him see it would not do. and there ain't so many o' them as some folk 'ud have you believe. the old horse could go alone. however. What do you mean?" "I mean he's a little likely to do it as the oldest man in the stable." said Jack." "Well. will he. Dia mond showed him his father's badge. and got a good fare in return. Jack?" "Not he. "It 'ud be only a devil as would hurt h im. ma'am. Before he got across Ox ford Street. a policeman came up to him. Or if he did he would only run home. But as the evening drew on. he was hailed by a man who wanted to catch a train. rig ht as a trivet-. you're a plucky one. She tugged at the window. for all your girl's looks!" said the man. and reached the stand in safety." "Thank you. however. in a block. but he was a stranger.The cheer brought his mother to the window. and every sound of wheels made his father raise himself in his bed. As the men arrived they all greeted him kindly. and asked him for his number. because I knew you would let me have my turn here. "I'll do what I can. he wouldn't run away with me. I daresay. and inquired after his father. what his boy was capable of. "and I wi sh ye luck. He knew pretty well.
and had not to mind so much what he was about. and drove away. He was going a good distance. it ain't got no mouth. "Yes. "But if you're afraid. opening the door himself." said Diamond." . And it can't do it except in the daylight. and this gentleman looked so clever that he fancied he must be able to read it for him. with his usual smile. said. but fancied it could not be the right one. He had thought of the ans wer himself." answered the gentleman." he returned. sir. and with his head just looking in at the windo w. that van 's a-moving now. his thoughts always turned to the riddle Mr. when it begins to move?" "Just you get up on the box. and turning his he ad like a little bird. "I ts breath is its food. "Are you the driver of this cab?" he asked. I'm big enough for my age. of which." said Diamond. I shall soon get another fare. How am I to know you won't break all my bones?" "I would rather break all my own. he got down very quickly. can you tell me the meaning of a riddle?" "You must tell me the riddle first." he answered. he was proud. Raymond had set him. "You ain't fit." "I'll risk it." "How do you know that?" asked Diamond. In a few minutes a gentleman hailed him. So. and. he jumped in . never m ind me. as he got down again. Now when Diamond had only to go straight ahead. "I don't know as I should be right to in terfere. and was soon satisfied that the little f ellow could drive. my little man!" "Thank you. but how then does it eat all day lon g?" "It sucks in its food through the tiniest holes in its leaves." said the man. sure enough." The policeman did as Diamond told him. "You're the youngest cabman I ever saw. and he could not plague his father about it when he was ill. how are you to get out of this ruck now. showing his badge. and soon found that Diamond got him over the grou nd well." said Diamond."I ain't done nothing." said Diamond." he said." said the gentleman. as the gentleman gathered his gloves and newspapers: "Please. Good luck to you. "Well." "Well. "It's not my fault I'm no bigger. "Oh! that's easy enough. when he reached the end of his j ourney. He had given up all hope of finding it out for himself. There. Jump up. "Why. sir" said Diamond. "It's a tree. Diamond repeated the riddle." "That's where it is. for to see how it all fi tted required some knowledge of physiology. amused. sir. "and I'll show you.
sir." "What's your fare. but it is. Mr. young innocent?" "Well. It'll help father to get well again. sir." "I hope it may.first to tell me my riddle." he said at last. then?" "Cabbies don't cheat. He took it all good-humouredly. until one of them. "Ain't you a cabby. he drew up at a stand he had never been on before: it was time to give Diamond his bag of chopped beans and oats. Will that do?" "Thank you kindly." As Diamond returned. put it in the boot. but he would have h is fun out of him." "But you needn't tell him any one told you." "Then that's half-a-crown. "Do you see this young oyster? He pretends to drive a cab. But I think you're wrong. thank you." "You're a deep one. and making general game of him. I'll tell my father how good you were to me-. though we can't ask for mor e. It's over four miles-. or I'll be ne arer you than quite agreeable. You'd better leave him alone. a nd began to chaff him. here's three shillings. He's a angel come down on his own business. and was just going to mount and drive away. and the driver got off and approached the assemblage. when the fellow interfered. I shouldn't wonder if you're as good as you look. after all." "Don't they? I am of a different opinion. and Diamond knew the voice. It was that of the drun ken cabman. Raymond would have been better pleased with me. "What's up here?" he asked. Only father says sixpence a mile is too little. it will. You be off. I do see him."Thank you." said his enemy.not much. where that kind of thing is unknown." said Diamond. "Yes. and the tears came in his eyes. then to put me right about the distance. and was very civil. In a few minutes a group of idle boys had assembl ed." "I'm sure my father don't. "Well. I think the distance is a good deal over three miles-. and then to give me sixpence over.that's two shilli ngs. The men got about him. as he said. "That would be cheating." . Another cab drew up at the stand. who wa s an ill-conditioned fellow." returned Diamond. And I sees you too. That he could not bear. and would not let him get up. He ain't no oyster. Diamond endeavoured to persuade him. and Diamond found himself in a very uncomfortable position. my man. began to tease old Diamond by poking him roughly in the ribs. He undid the nose-bag." Diamond gave him a stare which came from the very back of the north wind. "I'm sorry I couldn't find it ou t myself.
and ran with the money to her husband. should be yet a there was the o in the box. was it. His mother had got very anxious indeed--so much so that she was when she did hear the sound of his cab. he carried with him one pound one shilling and sixpence. to go and look. but it ain't no fault of hisn. who did not look one to take libertie s with. and after a good many friend ly questions and congratulations. so very quietly that his mother hel d his head back and stared in his face." said the other. who was waiting him at the top of the stair. for he wa s too happy either to make a song of his own or to sing sense. he do. But to see her face as he poured the shillings and sixpences and pence into her lap! She burst out crying a second time. Raymond's book." "Thank you. took hi m on her lap as if he had been a baby." When Diamond went home at night. "Oh! if he's a friend of yours. Diamond." resumed Diamond. said: "You go in to your mother. who was lying awake in his cradle. and there was the cab all right. Diamond turned to baby. Jack. and there was Diamond pale face looking triumphant as a full moon in the twilight. But while he was counting th e coins. "And here's my worm. "That or something else. And how pleased he was! It did him no end of good. "Well! of all the children!" she said. I'll put up the old 'oss. anxious woman led him into his own room. and said no more. and took him up. you monkey?" said his mother. drawing back. He do deserve some small attention." "Didn't you tell him I was the early bird gone out to catch the worm?" "That was what put it in your head. my child. almost afraid." she answered. baby! I haven't seen you for a whole year.The drunken cabman was a tall. saying: "Baby. stout man. Jack came out. It's a pity he ain't a friend o' yourn." said Diamond. sucking his precious thumb. Old Diamond should have his feed out now. . You'd be the better for it. my dear. But ld horse. he is a friend o' mine. "but uneasy about you. lest she gain disappointed. "Yes. And what he sang was this. his When he drew up at the stable-door." And then he began to sing to him as usual. and should break down before her husband. and cried. begin ning to get better. I'll take care on him. besides a few coppers extra. sat down on his bed. which had followed some of the fares. and into the arms of his mother. "How's father?" asked Diamond. almost afraid to ask." answered Diamond. It was one out of Mr. Diamond got out the nose-bag again. "Better. The poor. and bounded into the house. One o' the best I ever had.
For I've found a dis h and a spoon." said his mother." said Diamond. Somebody else will be sure to have taken the crossing by that time. Hey diddle. Said. They made such a caterwauli ng. "O Moon there you are!" Got into her car. Said." a merry tune. when she said r answer all right. would hav e gone for father's beef-tea. I wish I could think of something else. mother. oh me! And back came the cow With a merry. "It's just what I wish To hold my cold plum-porridge!" Gave the cow a rat-tat. and of the nice dinner she would get for y. And sent him away like a rocket . Oh. Both of them togethe r made her heart ache. don't you see? Before that could be. For she'd he man in the moon. Caught up the dish. than of the angels and their nonsense. and whether I shall have to help her." She was thinking more of and sixpence. and bawling. "I'm so happy that I can only sing nonsense. diddle! The cat and the fiddle! He played such the cow went mad With the pleasure she had. his her her it. And went off with the spoon in his pocket Hey ho! diddle." answered ouldn't be like other people."No more in the South Shall I burn my mouth. But down and listened. mother?" "I daresay they've got their own sort of it. instead of going for Old Sal's gin. The dish got excited.when they've been driving cabs al l day and taking home the money to their mothers. "We should have all starved. The spoon was delighted. But "Ho! ho!" said the man in the moon -. I wonder what Nanny will do when she gets well aga in. That the cow in a fright Stood bolt upright Bellowing now. Coming back too soon From the famous town of Norwich. and then the money. nothing like it." CHAPTER XXV DIAMOND'S DREAM "THERE. It was hey iddle. diddle. But the man in the moon. you know-. th dee. think if you had been a poor man. And the dog on his tail. I'm such a silly! But I can' t help it. "else they w twenty-one shillings sick husband next da But Diamond found he . I won't bother my head about that. diddle! The wet cat and wet fiddle. my precious Diamond." said his father from the bed. f ather. Do you think they ever sing no nsense. Raymond would take me to see Nanny. whose pride in her boy was even greater than her joy in the shillings. and hadn't had a cab and old Diamond! W hat should I have done?" "I don't know indeed what you could have done. mother. That over the moon. So loud that he barkened. The moon had come The little dog hearkened. d humbled t the dish Hey. diddle! Went the cat and the fiddle. And waltzed away with the spoon. I wonder if she will fight for it. "Oh no! we shouldn't. "There's ere isn't.THE TRUE STORY OF THE CAT AND THE FIDDLE Hey. Stretched his neck with a wail. for pleasure can do that as well as pain. The dog laughed at the sport Till his cough cut him short. baby!" said Diamond. Time enough yet! Hey diddle! hey diddle! hey diddle diddle! I wonder whether Mr. but there's nothing will come into my head but hey diddle diddle! the cat and the fiddle! I wonder what the a ngels do--when they're extra happy. "I could have taken Nanny's crossing till she came back. merry low. dee! diddle. Flung water on the cat. diddle. And jumped right then. diddle. Hey diddle! hey diddle! hey diddle diddle! The baby and fiddle! O.
issuing like a slow fountain and spreading in the air till it joined the thin rosy vapour which hung over all the wilderness." and in jumped the star to its place.a merry face. with bright eyes. and did his father and mother good. lilacs and syringas and laburnums. again he heard the cry. more of it for baby. far and near. for there was no house to be seen anywhere. mother? There's baby fast asleep! Oh. That night he had a very curious dream which I think my readers would like to h ave told them. which were full of may-blossom. but she did not come. but the roses were everywhere. There were no trees of any size. . Again ca me the voice. He could see the scent like mist s of the same colour as the rose. and both sky and stars looked nearer to the e arth. There too was the gum-cistus. leaving something like a scar in the blue . He threw himself on his back. and see if she were there. than usual. being more tired. He dreamed that he was running about in the twilight in the old garden. and fixed his eyes upon it. but in his dream it had grown so long and spread out so w ide that the gate he wanted was nowhere. But he was not frightened. but having patches of heath. It was of no use going back . for the face withdrew the same moment. But as he went on gazing he saw a face where the star had been-. He threw himse lf down under a rose-bush. He wandere d on and on. or holly. but all was still about him. and it seemed to come from over his head. While he gazed up. It was a good long ga rden out of his dream. He thou ght he was waiting for North Wind. than he had seen them before. to be sure. When he went to bed. for you know Diamond was used to things that were rather out of the way. of which he did not know the names. Nor had he gazed long before it went out. roses were glowing. He ran and ran. On every side. But before coming to any conclusion he fell fast asleep. mother?--a little of it now and then. But again came the voice calling him. yet wherever in an ordinary heath you might have expected furze bushes. and many shrubs beside s. Nonsense is a very good t hing. wondering when it would come to an end. if they are as fond of nice dreams as I am. thinking he heard a child's voice. The rosebushes were pouring out their odours in clouds. which he did early. mostly covered with grass. or broom. ain't it. calling "Diamond. and fell asleep. but to know that D iamond had caught sight of them. not out of his dream.isn't it. as if it went out and came in again. and n ot so much for grown people like cabmen and their mothers? It's like the pepper and salt that goes in the soup--that's it-. calling "Diamond. I wonder what the angels' nonsense is like. mother?" Diamond chattered away. He ran and ran." he replied. So he would run down to the back gate. but instead of coming t o the gate found himself in a beautiful country. but into it. and not like t hat silly hey diddle diddle! the cat and the fiddle! I wish I could get it out o f my head. as you may suppose. nothing bigger in fact than h awthorns. ther e grew roses--wild and rare--all kinds. The place in which they grew was wild and dry. And no wonder. Diamond!" He jumped up. not like any country he had eve r been in before. But although it was so wild. But it must be very pretty nonsense. Diamond. The eyes appeared not only to see Diamond. at least. and don't have enough of them of their own. He looked up. He woke. "They wouldn't be like other people if they hadn 't their nonsense sometimes. fo r it must be acknowledged a difficult question. At the same moment he saw one of the biggest stars over his head give a kind of twinkle and jump. They would. What rose in his happy little heart ran out of his mout h. It extended on every side as far as he could see."Yes. he was still thinking what the nonsense could be like which the angels sang when they were too happy to sing s ense. howe ver. what a nonsense baby it is--to sleep so much! Shall I put him down. whose flowers fall every night and come a gain the next morning. but saw only the deep blue sky full of stars--more brilliant.
and Dia mond thought he would try to lift it. and the rest with s houts of laughter came tumbling over them till they heaped up a mound of struggl ing merriment. till at last he came where it hurried out from under a stone. Just as the foremost of the troop reached him. But scarcely had he noticed so much as this before a merry sh outing and laughter burst upon him. and he went on. There was a wind on the hillside which blew like the very embodiment of living .a stair down i nto the earth. and. and up and up the stream. so cool and soft--all the sides as well as the steps grown with moss and grass and ferns! Down and down Diamond went--a long way. When they had all embraced him.Diamond called as loud as he could. which were of no use for flying. and walked to the other side of the rose-bush. What do you want him to do?" The next instant many of the stars round about that one went out. forced up by the stream from below. It made a merry tune as it came. Lightly it rose to his hand. and its voi ce was like the laughter he had heard from the sky. however. but Diamond had learned to look through the look of things. This appeared promising.-"Come up. running up just as naturally as if it had been doing the other thing. They kept c onstantly coming back to Diamond. We're so jolly! Diamond! Diamond!" This was followed by a peal of the merriest. kindliest laughter. But he avoided it. met it coming up the stairs to meet him. It was of turf and moss. and all the st ars jumped into their places again. It did not seem to promise well for gett ing into the sky. There he found what seemed the very opposite of what he wanted-. and the stair stopped altogether. and each as he got free threw his arms round Diamond and kissed him. only bein g made for it they could not help fluttering as if they were flying." cried one. At the shoulders of each fluttered two little wings. It was such a nice stair. down below you. every one eager to get to him first. Th e voice must have meant that he was to go down this stair. and down which came the brook which van ished in the hole. And as the stream bubbled up. and many voic es shouted from the sky. Diamond's heart was ready to m elt within him from clear delight. Neither wa s Diamond in the least surprised to see it pitching itself from one step to anot her as it climbed towards him: he never thought it was odd--and no more it was. nor had he go ne much farther before he met it--yes. "How am I to come up?" shouted Diamond. Diamond got up at once. one or two of them fell. and found himself on the side of a grassy hill which r ounded away from him in every direction. down and down the stair. come up. as the centre of their enjoyment. and with the help of the ston e he scrambled out by it. and when it fell. the stone shook and swayed with its force. and down this stair D iamond went. It's got its foot in it. "Go round the rose-bush. He now saw that the opening through which the water came pouring in was over his head.-"Now let us have some fun. threatened to come tumbling upon his head. as they were mere buds. there. unt il at last he heard the gurgling and splashing of a little stream. without waiting to think more about it. One after another they extricated themselves. and with a shout they all scampered hith er and thither. by what would have seemed an unaccountable perversio n of things had he been awake. and a number of naked little boys came runni ng. got upon it. It would have been odd here. and played the wildest gambols on the grassy slopes. right up into the sky: "Here's Diamond. rej oicing over him as if they had found a lost playmate." said the first voice.
And ev ery time a star was dug up all the little angels dropped their tools and crowded about it. "I never saw anything more of one that went that way. he did not know wh at would have become of him. shouting and dancing and fluttering their wing-buds. one after another. They all scurried away. you see. "That's true. or no bigger t han his fist. kneel down . catch eagerly at his pickaxe and strike it into the ground once and again. One would get up and walk on again.there was something marvellous about them--he could not tell w hat." said the captain. I'm off. was. and he said that if he had not cried. Diamond rose and followed." There was no more fun. joy. Every time he rose from looking through a star-hole. Now one would sorrowfully sh ovel the earth into the hole again. each with a picka xe on his shoulder and a spade in his hand." . and commence digging at the loosened earth. and after much tugging and loosening would draw from the hole a lump as big as his head. All that diamond could report. "He's lost them by this time. he felt as if his hear t would break for." he said. and the rest of the heap left as a sign that the star had been discovered." They crowded about him. and then shot himself headlong through the star -hole. yet comfort ed by the calm looks of the rest. a little mou ld was strewn over it. and seated himself on the edge of the hole. their wings lying close to their shoulders. Every now and then one would stop. When they had examined it well. saying: "This will do for me. but soon returned. But another would give a joyful shout. and walk on. Diamond. concerned and fearful. trample it down with his little bare white f eet. then throw it aside. and look intently. the star was carefully fitted in again. that through the star-holes he saw a great many things and places and people he knew quite well. They all do that go that way. snatch up his spade. and made him so happy that he was forced to sit down and cry. instead of showing it about. they would kneel down one after the other and p eep through the hole. however. the c aptain led them in a straight line to another part of the hill. then stood back with a solemn stillness. It blew into Diamond's heart. As soon as all had looked. As soon as they were gathered. feeling with his hands and parting the grass. The little fellow looked round on them once with a smile. only somehow they were different-. as privileged. threw himself on the ground to peep after him. The moment the angel saw what it was. walking slowly with bent shoulders and his eyes fixed on the ground. another spring to his feet. he handed it to one of his neighbours. "Here is where we begin our lesson for to-night.gladness. "Scatter and dig. bu t he saw nothing. Good-bye. but they always stood back to give Diamond the first look. Each went by himself." said one who seemed to be the captain of the troop. hugging and kissing him." "His wings can't be much use. "Now let's go and dig for stars. At length one dug up a small star of a most lovely colour--a colour Diamond had never seen before. Gold and blue were the commoner colours: the jubilation was greater over red or green or purple. You haven't got any." said the captain." said Diamond. when the under side of it would pour such a blaze of golden or blu ish light into Diamond's eyes that he was quite dazzled. "It's no use.
"No," said Diamond. "I never did have any." "Oh! didn't you?" said the captain. "Some people say," he added, after a pause, "that they come again. I don't know . I've never found the colour I care about myself. I suppose I shall some day." Then they looked again at the star, put it carefully into its hole, danced arou nd it and over it--but solemnly, and called it by the name of the finder. "Will you know it again?" asked Diamond. "Oh, yes. We never forget a star that's been made a door of." Then they went on with their searching and digging. Diamond having neither pickaxe nor spade, had the more time to think. "I don't see any little girls," he said at last. The captain stopped his shovelling, leaned on his spade, rubbed his forehead th oughtfully with his left hand--the little angels were all left-handed--repeated the words "little girls," and then, as if a thought had struck him, resumed his work, saying-"I think I know what you mean. I've never seen any of them, of course; but I su ppose that's the sort you mean. I'm told--but mind I don't say it is so, for I d on't know--that when we fall asleep, a troop of angels very like ourselves, only quite different, goes round to all the stars we have discovered, and discovers them after us. I suppose with our shovelling and handling we spoil them a bit; a nd I daresay the clouds that come up from below make them smoky and dull sometim es. They say--mind, I say they say--these other angels take them out one by one, and pass each round as we do, and breathe over it, and rub it with their white hands, which are softer than ours, because they don't do any pick-and-spade work , and smile at it, and put it in again: and that is what keeps them from growing dark." "How jolly!" thought Diamond. "I should like to see them at their work too.--Wh en do you go to sleep?" he asked the captain. "When we grow sleepy," answered the captain. "They do say--but mind I say they say--that it is when those others--what do you call them? I don't know if that i s their name; I am only guessing that may be the sort you mean--when they are on their rounds and come near any troop of us we fall asleep. They live on the wes t side of the hill. None of us have ever been to the top of it yet." Even as he spoke, he dropped his spade. He tumbled down beside it, and lay fast asleep. One after the other each of the troop dropped his pickaxe or shovel fro m his listless hands, and lay fast asleep by his work. "Ah!" thought Diamond to himself, with delight, "now the girl-angels are coming , and I, not being an angel, shall not fall asleep like the rest, and I shall se e the girl-angels." But the same moment he felt himself growing sleepy. He struggled hard with the invading power. He put up his fingers to his eyelids and pulled them open. But i t was of no use. He thought he saw a glimmer of pale rosy light far up the green hill, and ceased to know.
When he awoke, all the angels were starting up wide awake too. He expected to s ee them lift their tools, but no, the time for play had come. They looked happie r than ever, and each began to sing where he stood. He had not heard them sing b efore. "Now," he thought, "I shall know what kind of nonsense the angels sing when the y are merry. They don't drive cabs, I see, but they dig for stars, and they work hard enough to be merry after it." And he did hear some of the angels' nonsense; for if it was all sense to them, it had only just as much sense to Diamond as made good nonsense of it. He tried hard to set it down in his mind, listening as closely as he could, now to one, n ow to another, and now to all together. But while they were yet singing he began , to his dismay, to find that he was coming awake--faster and faster. And as he came awake, he found that, for all the goodness of his memory, verse after verse of the angels' nonsense vanished from it. He always thought he could keep the l ast, but as the next began he lost the one before it, and at length awoke, strug gling to keep hold of the last verse of all. He felt as if the effort to keep fr om forgetting that one verse of the vanishing song nearly killed him. And yet by the time he was wide awake he could not be sure of that even. It was something like this: White hands of whiteness Wash the stars' faces, Till glitter, glitter, glit, go es their brightness Down to poor places. This, however, was so near sense that he thought it could not be really what th ey did sing. CHAPTER XXVI DIAMOND TAKES A FARE THE WRONG WAY RIGHT THE next morning Diamond was up almost as early as before. He had nothing to fe ar from his mother now, and made no secret of what he was about. By the time he reached the stable, several of the men were there. They asked him a good many qu estions as to his luck the day before, and he told them all they wanted to know. But when he proceeded to harness the old horse, they pushed him aside with roug h kindness, called him a baby, and began to do it all for him. So Diamond ran in and had another mouthful of tea and bread and butter; and although he had never been so tired as he was the night before, he started quite fresh this morning. It was a cloudy day, and the wind blew hard from the north--so hard sometimes th at, perched on the box with just his toes touching the ground, Diamond wished th at he had some kind of strap to fasten himself down with lest he should be blown away. But he did not really mind it. His head was full of the dream he had dreamed; but it did not make him neglect his work, for his work was not to dig stars but to drive old Diamond and pick up fares. There are not many people who can think about beautiful things and do co mmon work at the same time. But then there are not many people who have been to the back of the north wind. There was not much business doing. And Diamond felt rather cold, notwithstandin g his mother had herself put on his comforter and helped him with his greatcoat. But he was too well aware of his dignity to get inside his cab as some do. A ca bman ought to be above minding the weather--at least so Diamond thought. At leng th he was called to a neighbouring house, where a young woman with a heavy box h ad to be taken to Wapping for a coast-steamer. He did not find it at all pleasant, so far east and so near the river; for the roughs were in great force. However, there being no block, not even in Nightinga
le Lane, he reached the entrance of the wharf, and set down his passenger withou t annoyance. But as he turned to go back, some idlers, not content with chaffing him, showed a mind to the fare the young woman had given him. They were just pu lling him off the box, and Diamond was shouting for the police, when a pale-face d man, in very shabby clothes, but with the look of a gentleman somewhere about him, came up, and making good use of his stick, drove them off. "Now, my little man," he said, "get on while you can. Don't lose any time. This is not a place for you." But Diamond was not in the habit of thinking only of himself. He saw that his n ew friend looked weary, if not ill, and very poor. "Won't you jump in, sir?" he said. "I will take you wherever you like." "Thank you, my man; but I have no money; so I can't." "Oh! I don't want any money. I shall be much happier if you will get in. You ha ve saved me all I had. I owe you a lift, sir." "Which way are you going?" "To Charing Cross; but I don't mind where I go." "Well, I am very tired. If you will take me to Charing Cross, I shall be greatl y obliged to you. I have walked from Gravesend, and had hardly a penny left to g et through the tunnel." So saying, he opened the door and got in, and Diamond drove away. But as he drove, he could not help fancying he had seen the gentleman-- for Dia mond knew he was a gentleman--before. Do all he could, however, he could not rec all where or when. Meantime his fare, if we may call him such, seeing he was to pay nothing, whom the relief of being carried had made less and less inclined to carry himself, had been turning over things in his mind, and, as they passed th e Mint, called to Diamond, who stopped the horse, got down and went to the windo w. "If you didn't mind taking me to Chiswick, I should be able to pay you when we got there. It's a long way, but you shall have the whole fare from the Docks--an d something over." "Very well, sir" said Diamond. "I shall be most happy." He was just clambering up again, when the gentleman put his head out of the win dow and said-"It's The Wilderness--Mr. Coleman's place; but I'll direct you when we come int o the neighbourhood." It flashed upon Diamond who he was. But he got upon his box to arrange his thou ghts before making any reply. The gentleman was Mr. Evans, to whom Miss Coleman was to have been married, and Diamond had seen him several times with her in the garden. I have said that he had not behaved very well to Miss Coleman. He had put off their marriage more th an once in a cowardly fashion, merely because he was ashamed to marry upon a sma ll income, and live in a humble way. When a man thinks of what people will say i n such a case, he may love, but his love is but a poor affair. Mr. Coleman took him into the firm as a junior partner, and it was in a measure through his influ
in which case it is the one f rightful thing to be successful. As s oon as he had entered the street. old Diamond had so much ado to stop the cab against it. So he had come back a more humble man. the wind blew right behind them. and where they lived now. opened th e door. so that he had come to s ee that he had been foolish as well as wicked. and expected to see them all at Th e Wilderness as before. therefore. and long ing to ask Miss Coleman to forgive him. Evans had gone out with it in the hope of turning its cargo to the best a dvantage. The distance. He was one of the single boat-load which managed to reach a desert isl and. Diamond drew up at the door. sir. Evans for a visitor. The moment he came to this conclusion. of no use to drive Mr. So his love had n ot been a blessing. but you can't stand in this wind. Evans. and as they had ofte n to head it. he changed his course from westward to n orthward. to build her a hut. It's Miss Coleman he wants to see. and went in again. Hence he never doubted he should find matters much as he left them. Evans yielded to the boy's sugge stion. at leas t. By this time the wind had increased almost to a hurricane. my harness has given away. In five minutes after. Coleman lived it blew so tremendously. and when he pulled up. who was going out a little way. however. he would have thought himself the most fortunate of men. of the change of direction. Mr. and he had gone through a great many hardships and sufferings since then. But if he should tell him what had befallen them. I shan't be many minutes. that she was afraid to vent ure. and walked in at the door which the maid held with difficulty against the wind. it dashed against the wall with such a bang. and begin to think. he would not h ave thought of going there first. of course. he had even begun to understand that no man can make haste to be rich without going against the will of God. whispered to her as she closed the door-"Tell Miss Coleman. a nd Mr. I'll take you where you like after I've go t it mended. for he had never made himself thoroughly acquainted with the firm's a ffairs. he would not marry till he could afford a man-servant. as indeed he was." Half stupid with fatigue and want of food. It was. What was Diamond to do? He had heard his father and mother drop some remarks co ncerning Mr. and showed him into t he room on the ground-floor. it was no joke for either of the Diamonds. that the breeching broke. So he went rather slowly till he sho uld make up his mind. and let them set matters right for themselves. and when he was at home. But he had no idea what ruin had fallen upon them. must want very much to see Mr. h e might put off going to see them. Would you mind stepping in here for a few minutes? They're friends of mine. E vans was too tired and too much occupied with his thoughts to take the least not ice of the streets they passed through. f or they had made him doubt himself. He understood that he had not been so considerate as he might have been.ence that he entered upon those speculations which ruined him. Evans to Chiswic k. Coleman's poor little house in Hoxton. She took Mr. Before they reached the street where Mr. was not great. and went straight for Mr. and mak e clothes for her. Few speculative people do know their own affairs. Evans had quite begun to think so mething must be amiss: "Please. however. Young Diamond jumped off his box. and hunt for her food. Mr. B ut he was not past being taught. Befo re he got home again. But if he had not fallen in with Diamond. and his troubles had done him no end of good. knocked loudly at the doo r. if he had had Miss Coleman w ith him in the desert island. He was pretty sure also that the best t hing in any case was to bring them together. who had followed into the hall. Diamond. that when Miss Coleman. Evans which made him doubtful of him. For. and he was certain that Miss Coleman. The ship which North Wind had sunk was their last venture. then turned to the cab and said--before Mr. and had no suspicion." .
" The maid could not but remember Diamond. and his father seemed ever so much better from finding that his boy was already not only useful to his family but useful to other people. and did work worth doing. Almost as soon as Mr. Diamond obeyed. and some of which he could not answer. After that fortnight. and I know him. The next morning his father was so much stronger that Diamond thought he might go and ask Mr. He left them nearly as ha ppy as they were themselves. consented at once. Mr. Between the two. the wind began to cease. What passed in the little parlour when Miss Coleman came down does not belong t o my story. They con trived to save him as much as possible. and people would prefer taking hi s cab because they liked what they heard of him."I don't know" said the maid. And what a st ory he had to tell his father and mother about his adventures." "He is. and he did bravely. and wa lked with him to the Hospital. but they could not afford to have another horse. His serva nt had grown friendly by this time. Evans went in. and Diamond drove the cab the rest of the day. his father was able to go out again. his father. Diamond went with him as usual. George's church. There was a cry and a running to and fro in the house. Raymond received him with his usual kindness. and this led to something else. although he had not so much to take hom e as the day before. and keeping his family. yet on the whole the result was satisfactory. and had to be wat ched itself by the clock of St. and so does Miss Coleman. It was hard for old Diamo nd to do all the work. though. and what was the result! They asked him such a multitude of questions! some of which he could answer. and quite taking his place as a man w ho judged what was wise. and went to do what he told her. and how he had do ne. which is all about Diamond. thin king it better to let him have his bag in this quiet place. CHAPTER XXVII THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL THE first day his father resumed his work. and Diamond was punctual as clockwork--though to effect that required a good deal o f care. however. He found him at home. and. One gentleman who lived near th e mews engaged him to carry him to the City every morning at a certain hour. and there was payment for him! Not to ment ion the five precious shillings she gave him. wen t home. and fed him well. having seen him when he and his father brought the ladies home. The rest of the day he did better. Diamond found that by making the breeching just a little tighter than was quit e comfortable for the old horse he could do very well for the present. Raymond to take him to see Nanny. which was close at hand. Evans was dead. and to his delight Miss Coleman p ut her arms round him and kissed him. In t he afternoon. He had begun to be known about some parts of London. perhaps he would have managed differently. and asked him to come in. "He don't look much like a gentleman. Then Diamond went to make inquiries about Nanny. he sat on the box ti ll the old horse should have eaten his dinner. which he could not refuse because his mother wanted them so much at home for his father. and was now still . and showed him in without any cross-question ing. So she believed him. Evans came out. for his father's watch was not much to be depended on. In a little while Mr. and then all was quiet again. For a fortnight Diamond went on driving his cab. and. he di d make a success of it. It was a comfortable old . however. having taken a fare to the neighbourhood. If he had known that Miss Coleman though t Mr.
whose face was a story in itself. who were carefully tended for love's sake. built in the reign of Queen Anne. Raymond." "I do." said Diamond. And Diamond could not help thinking of words which he had heard in the church the day before: "Surely it is good to be afflicted. and in her day. an d gentle. blunt in her speech. Their faces reminded you of snow and keen cutting winds. The old Nanny. many-footed crea ture. when it turns sick and ill. Her face would always have reminded one who had already been to the back of the north wind of something he had seen in the best of company. just as out o f the cold dreary winter the spring comes in blushing buds and bright crocuses. Mr. the stars o f the kingdom of heaven. what with the fire of the fever and the dew of tenderness. yes. and dirty in her p erson. and giving her cooling drink when she was thirsty. "Nanny's not here. I have seen her many times since you have. "It is Nanny. Raymond." "Why. that girl must have been to the back of the north wind!" thought Diamond." he said. partly from the weather. but he said nothing. though." or something lik e that. with two wings instea d of many feet. but even in them the signs of suffering told that the suffering was less . soothing her aching hea d. North Wind. but could see no Nanny. and partly from having to defend herself: now it was so sweet. partly from her living among st low people. but it had be en coarse notwithstanding. that which was coarse in her had melted away. whose fathers an d mothers are dead. in habited by rich and fashionable people: now it was a home for poor sick children . no doubt. "Oh. Diamond looked all round. Raymond into the room where those children who had go t over the worst of their illness and were growing better lay. He turned to Mr. "Well?" said Mr. and as he stared. a nd her whole face had grown so refined and sweet that Diamond did not know her. so that. more than of sunshine and soft breezes and butte rflies." He pointed to a bed right in front of where Diamond was standing. though a good gi rl. When Diamond followed Mr. it had yet arrived. that she might have had a lady and gentleman for a father and mother." "I don't see her. had been rough. and kind eyes. "That's not Nanny. with their heads to the walls. There are regions in London where a hospital in every other street might be full of such children. only stared. however. and that if the spring-time had but arrived. she is. and in every one of them a child. Raymond with a question in his eyes. and a friendly girl. There she is. In some. health had begun to appear in a tinge upon the cheeks. and refined. something of the old Nanny began to dawn through the face of the new Nanny.-fashioned house. somehow or other. was not surprised. for he was used to see such lovely cha nges--something like the change which passes upon the crawling. In others there were more of the signs of winter left. must have had to do with her! She had grow n from a rough girl into a gentle maiden. and a doubtful brightness in the eyes. Illness makes a great difference. he saw a number o f little iron bedsteads. making her comfortable and sweet and clean. and revives a butterfly. Instead of her having to take care of herself. kind hands minist ered to her. or unable to take care of them. . had shone upon her.
E very one knew him. He went up to her. Raymond tell us a story?" "Oh." said Mr.But as he gazed. for he was the only boy except Joe who had ever shown her kindness. but had never seen her s mile before." "Oh!" exclaimed several. I may choose. dawned upon him. as there is a difference. Raymond was in the habit of telling them a story w hen he went to see them. she had dreamed of him often. and the turning of thei . "It came into my head this morning as I got out of bed. Raymond. She laid her hand in hi s. tha t which was Nanny herself. and I daresay there might be a peculiar freshness about it. instead of only believing Mr. I can't think of any true story just at this moment. She smiled. and every one was eager to have a look. "No. "Nanny. thinking it very grand to have the first telling. he sa w for himself that it was Nanny indeed-. nobody." "Oh. yes. "and if it turns out pretty well. Some were only sitting up and some were lying down. so I will tell you a sort of a fairy one." "Then nobody ever heard it before?" asked one older child. the best of the old face. for although she did not yet know it was he w ho had got her there. and they enjoyed it far more than the other nice things which the doctor permitted him to give them. and a smile.very worn but grown beautiful. and shifting to and fro with which children genera lly prepare themselves to hear a story. "A fairy tale. jolly!" exclaimed the little boy who had called out for a fairy tale. Diamond sat down on a stool at the head of Nanny's bed. all the true and good part of it. so there could not be the s ame busy gathering. Raymond. because everything would be nearly as new to the story-teller himself as to the listeners. Raymond that this was she." said a little boy. "I will. She only smiled again. Raymond. but their faces. Suddenly a little voice called aloud-"Won't Mr. bustling. "Well. No one else of her old acquaintance had been near her. Raymond was going from bed to bed. "Very well. Meantime Mr. Nor was it much wonder. until at length. What sort of a story shall it be?" "A true story. She was not likely to forget him. and a ki nd word from him." continued Mr." said one little girl. and had talked much about hi m when delirious. and then you shall read it when you like. For Mr. "I suppose. I will write it down. and get somebody to pri nt it for me. please do! please do!" cried several little voices which also were st ronger than the rest. like the moon coming out of a cloud." said Mr. He had heard her laugh. as if the question was amusing. do you know me?" said Diamond. talking to the little people.
The curious houses they l ived in were well known also. always concealing her power. for in such a story every one has just to take what he can get. and those who knew her by sight were careful to avoid offending her. little Daylig ht made her appearance from somewhere-. for a palace ought to be open to the sun and wind. in order to tempt people to give her off ence. and nobody even knew she was a fairy exc ept the other fairies. Now this we can understand. a hollow oak. But they all listened with apparent satisfaction. Diamond kept his place by Nanny's side. such a grand wood. and wilder.r heads.nobody could tell where--a beautiful bab y. and there is as much happiness over a new baby in a palace as in a co ttage. another. CHAPTER XXVIII LITTLE DAYLIGHT NO HOUSE of any pretension to be called a palace is in the least worthy of the name. however. and give each a share of seeing him. Raymond stood in the middle of the room. when the vanes were flashing and the flags frolicking against the blue sky. that she might have the pleasure of taking vengeance upon them. The king and his courtiers often hunted. with weathercocks glittering and flags flying. I do not know how much of Mr. though nobody could ever find how that fairy made a house of it. because it is an ancient custom amongst huma n beings as well. with her hand in his. One glorious summer morning. that they can have b usiness with a good many generations of human mortals.--one. indeed. and patched up with turf and moss. or any child of sufficient importance in their eyes. who always had had something to do with each n ew baby that came. She lived in a mud house. and many feeble exclamations of expected pleasure. and it was free of brushwood for a long way in. and it grew wilder. for fairies live so much longer than we. only by and by s he showed such lively ways that she might equally well have come out of the wind . I cannot myself help thinking that he was somewhat indebted for this one t o the old story of The Sleeping Beauty. No t all round it--I don't mean that. showed that all such preparations were making within them. The people about thought she was a witch. another. except it has a wood near it--very near it-. and it is not hard to explain why wicked fairies should choose the same time to do unkind things. for a good story-teller tries to make his stories better every time he tells them. Near th e house it was kept very trim and nice. a hut of grow ing trees intertwined. when the wind and sun were out together. But there is one disadvantage of living near a wood: you do not know quite who your neighbours may be. that nobody yet had ever got to the other end of it. A wicked old thing she was. b ut on one side of every palace there must be a wood. and being as disagreeable as she could. and stand high and brave. and this kept the wild beasts far away from the palace. a birch-tree. always at the chris tening. I don't quite know how much there was in it to be understood. until some said wild beasts at last did what they liked in it. There was great jubilation in the palace. with such bright eyes that she might have come from the sun. In all history we find that fairies give their remarkable gifts to prince or pr incess. Raymond wrote it down afterwards. in a swampy part of the forest. Mr. that he might turn from side to si de. and here it is--somewhat altered no doub t. Raymond's story the smaller children understood. and wilder.and the nearer the better. But there was another fairy who had lately come to the place. Mr. but it is difficult to understand how they s . and certainly with great attention . for this was the first baby the quee n had had. living within a few miles of the palace. And there was a very grand wood indeed beside the palace of the king who was going to be Daylight's father. but by degrees it got wild. Everybody knew there were in it several fairies.
Five fairies had one after the other given the child such gifts as each counted best. whether she will or not. for instance. my good woman. hi!" Then out started the sixth fairy.hould be able to do them. For the power of the fairies they have by nature." she said. mournfully." cried the fairy. hi! a nd I had to go through Ho. But they could neit her render her powerless. for they loved her far too much to give her up to nurses. of course." said the crone. giving a bite or two to every wo rd before she could part with it: "Please your Grace. and the fifth had just stepped back to her place in the surrounding splen dour of ladies and gentlemen. and at the moment w hen the archbishop was handing the baby to the lady at the head of the nursery d epartment of state affairs." said the other fairies. knowing the danger thus run." "I beg your pardon. addressed him thus. "she shall. whereas a witch gets her powe r by wickedness. Of course all the known fairies were invited to the christening. Ha." said the archbishop." "And little daylight it shall be. And what that may mean I . the others had arranged shoul d come after the wicked one. all together. for you would fancy all wicked creatures would be powe rless on such an occasion." "A nice prospect for her mother and me!" thought the poor king. hu! So I decree that if she wakes all nig ht she shall wax and wane with its mistress. provid ed as well as they could against accidents from her quarter. "If she sleep all day. But I never knew of any interference on the part of t he wicked fairy that did not turn out a good thing in the end. Of course the old hag was there without being asked. "I had only got to Hi. he! Hi. mumbling a laugh between her toothless gums. nor could they arrange their gifts in reference to her s beforehand. and more agreeable to t heir friends. it was that one princess should sleep for a hundred years! Was s he not saved from all the plague of young men who were not worthy of her? And di d she not come awake exactly at the right moment when the right prince kissed he r? For my part. ho! and Hu. I'm very deaf: would your Grace mind repeating the princess 's name?" "With pleasure. The other fairies. For somehow even the wickedest of creatures likes a pretext for doing the wrong thing. in order to undo as much as she might." said the wicked fairy. however. It would be happier for them. especially at night. who. I hadn't done laughing. as most kings an d queens do--and are sorry for it afterwards. "You spoke before I had done. at least. stooping to shout in her e ar: "the infant's name is little Daylight. I cannot help wishing a good many girls would sleep till just th e same fate overtook them. Not to be asked was just w hat she wanted. when. But the king a nd queen never thought of inviting an old witch. For I bestow upon her the gift o f sleeping all day long. "She did. ha! He. "That's against the law. that she might have a sort of reason for doing what she wished t o do. the wicked fairy hobbled out into the middle of the circle. for they could not tell what those might be. "and little good shall any of her gifts do her. the moon. It gives me another chance. in the tone of a dry axle. What a good thing . wake all ni ght.
with what courage he could summon. she seemed better when. and only consulted the almanac to find the moment when she woul d begin to revive. was with the first appearance of the silver thread of the crescent moon. She c ould not pretend that she had not finished her speech this time. for she always dropped as leep at the first hint of dawn in the east. But her merriment was of short durat ion. and the lady at the head of the nursery department any thing but comfortable in the prospect before her. whose heart the old fairy's curse could not reach. like one dead. ho! and Hu. When the moon was at the full. at least. brilliant and profound as the sky of a June day. For at certain seasons the palace rang all night with bursts of laugh ter from little Daylight. which. But she soon began to take every chance of getting away from her nurses and enjoying her moonlight alone. but wondered whether he could with any propriety require the First Lord of the Treasury to take a share in the burden l aid upon him. I will not attempt to describe what they had to go through for some time. but at last they got used to it." said she. of course. she was Daylight still. however. hu! "I don't know what that means. hu!" But out stepped another fairy. in order to be near her. And thus things went on until she was nearly seventeen years of age." The wicked fairy made a horrid noise like an angry cat. Then the night was quiet as the day. and they would give her a little nourishment. But so much more painful and sad was the change as her bad time came . ho! Hu. for they had been wise enough to keep two in res erve. Then she would move her lips. she was always merriest out in the moonlight. appeared in conceivable. because every fairy knew the trick of one. with the sunniest hair and the loveliest eyes of heavenly blue. for of course the queen could not do it all. they carried her cradle out into the light of the waning moon. As for the king. most pitiful smile. As she grew older she had grown more and more beautiful. she was in glorious spirits. But a t last the household settled into a regular system--a very irregular one in some respects. But how any prince was ever to find and deliver her. and she would grow better and better and better. As she grew older she becam e such a favourite. prepared for a go od many sleepless nights. that about the palace there were always some who wo uld contrive to keep awake at night. The assembly broke up. The meaning will come with the thing itself. until for a few days she was splendidly well. and it is amazing how things contrive to accommod ate themselves. until at last she was wan and withered like the poorest. for the little creature lay in her gorge ous cradle night and day with hardly a motion. and hobbled away. When well. and as beautifu l as it was possible for a child of her age to be. "a prince comes who shall kiss her without kno wing it. she fa ded. for she had lau ghed Ho. "Until. miserable enough--the queen. and indeed at last without even a moan. in warm summer nights. All their arrangements had reference to the s tate of the Princess Daylight." said the seventh fairy." said the poor king to the seventh fairy. But as the moon waned. Th en in her sleep she would smile the faintest. "Don't be afraid.hope her royal parents will live to see. sickliest child yo u might come upon in the streets of a great city in the arms of a homeless mothe r. At first they often thought she was dead. only a little in the wrong place. Ho. Her father and mother had by that time got so used to the odd state of things that they had ceased to wonder at them. he made up his mind. For a long time very few people ever saw her awake. but even when near her worst. to meet the demands of the case.
to lay hold o f something. which he thought the most delicious food he had ever taste d. she vanished from her attendants. The more beautiful she was in the full moon. The momen t she saw him she knew quite well who he was and what was going to come of it. the more withered and worn did she become as the moon waned. One tolerable reason was that he had no other clothes to put on. She rec eived him with the kindness she would have shown to any other traveller. This was one of the good fairies. when he came upon the strangest little house. like an old woman exhausted with suffe ring. and did not know where to get any more. that they found her fast asleep in the forest. and see what would come of it. still more being touched by any hands. a nd carried her home.on. and there aw ait the flow of the tide of life. but unable. Her wan face was both drawn and wrinkled. Whethe r the good fairies had anything to do with it or not I cannot tell. At the time at which my story has now arrived. when the moon was small or gone. This was the more painful that her appearance was unnatural. and here she mostly resided. and there she lay--fast asleep. None of the court mig ht go there without leave. she looked. There were serious objections to such a relation . wondering that they did not have it for dinner at the palace sometimes. howeve r. yet as everybody knew she was under a bad spell. he suffered much from hunger and fatigue. tidy. and another that he had very little money. But she grew to dislike being seen. during this season. for here the full moon sh one free and glorious. at the foot of a silver birch. she had wandered into a thicke t a long way from the glade. When he awoke he was amazed to find how well and strong he felt. for her hair and eyes did not change. He would go on . and had an ea ger hungry look. else his rank only made a foo l of him. while through a vista in the trees she could generally se e more or less of the dying moon as it crossed the opening. for the people were kind. and here he was out in similar case. A little way from the palace there was a great open glade. the great er part of the nobility was massacred. when the moon lay all but gone upon the verge of the horizon. her chest went in. For a day or two he had been walking through the palace-wood. This was her favourite haunt. It was morning before they found her. and it was only after searching for her a long time in great terror. and had no longer any fear of being recognised. an insurrection took place upon the death of the old king. inhabited by a very nice. but at last she got into the way of retreating further into the wood every night as the moon waned. and gav e him bread and milk. Although the fame of her beauty and sweetness had gone abroad. Here she had a littl e rustic house built for her. only without having had a choice in the matter. There was no good in telling everybody he met that he was a prince. One lovely summer evening. until he got out of the country. For some time. He had read of princes setting out upon adventure. so that sometimes they had great trouble in finding her. Her skinny hands moved as if wishing. The o ld woman pressed him to stay all night. no king in the neighbourhood had any desire to have her for a daughter-in-law. motherly old woman. He did not abandon his disguise. but when he got into that ru led by the princess's father. so that she was very much at liberty. She would not take any of the money he offered. Her shoulders were bent forward. Feeble as she was. of course. they scarcely dared to do so. but as she was always very angry if she discovered they were watching her. and her own attendants had learned by this time not t o be officious in waiting upon her. in consequence of the wickedness of the nobles. he fared better. and she stooped as if she were eighty years old. About this time in a neighbouring kingdom. for he felt that a pr ince ought to be able to get on like other people. At last she had to be put to bed. disguised like a peasant. and the young prince was compelled to fle e for his life. At length one night they thought they had lost her altogether. but beg . covered with the gre enest and softest grass. b ut she was not at liberty to interfere with the orderly march of events. and had had next to nothing to eat.
What could it be? It moved. "Yes. pretty nearly round indeed." said the fairy. covered with grass. and got nowhere. because she had risen the night before. Still i t looked dreary because of its loneliness. but when he reached what he thought the last of it. . The moon shone very bright. so he felt a little an gry. Was it a human creature. dropped her arms." said the fairy. The sooner I get out of this wood the better. and her clear blue eyes. "What do you mean?" asked the prince. After walking a considerable distance. "Thank you much. gleaming in the moonshine? She came nearer and nearer.ged him. She approached him again. for he could not see the house at the other side. But this did not offend the fairy. and gazed into the glade. ate a bit of bread the old woman had given him. he got up and went--he knew not whither. weary again. dancing on by the edge of the trees and away i n a great circle towards the other side. "I can't tell. and waving her arms over her head. you do. It must be some strange being of the wood--a nym ph whom the moonlight and the warm dusky air had enticed from her tree. how should I know?" returned she. and waited for the moon. Th en she said "At last!" and went in. to return and occupy the same quarters. ceased her song. he knew the moon would rise some time. it came nearer." said the prince. wondering." said the fairy. whereupon. He sat down. The prince was not used to be spoken to in this fashion. Up she came. and the loveliest fac e and form that he had ever seen. But when she came close to where he stood. gliding across--a girl dressed in white." said the prince. She stood at the door of her little house looking after him till the trees hid him quite. but of a good size. and became a figure once more. good mother. "How strangely you talk!" said the prince. the spot grew. "Do I?" said the fairy. until he could see but a spot of white in the yellowish green of the moonlit grass. He crept behind a tree and watched." answered the prince. "Very well. he thought he was coming to the outside of the forest. he found hims elf only upon the edge of a great open space in it. with her eyes ever turned towards the moon. Just opposite his tree she stood. until she had completed t he circle. and he thought he had never seen a more lovely spot. He had not seen so much room for several days. he no longer doubted she was human--for he ha d caught sight of her sunny hair. although he was not much of an astronomer. s inging and dancing. if he found occasion of continuing in the neighbourhood. All at once she began singing like a nightinga le. Sh e passed close to where he stood. greatly ref reshed with his piece of bread. All at once he spied something in the middle of the grass. But when he feared it would vanish quite. "Very well. for. and he seemed no nearer the end of the wood than ever. and dancing to her own music. "but there is little chance of that. slow and slow. and turned and walked away. The sun sank and sank and we nt out of sight. "Why. The prince wandered and wandered. He sat d own on a fallen tree." "I don't know that.
she'll make you repent it. describing it as well as he could. She had lain for a long hour or longer. and make his soul blessed. Then he spied a lovely little house. As to venturing near her. as if tired. She said she k new it well enough. But mind what you are about. you know. surrounded by an exquisite garden. and because the cook did not choose to be heard talking about her mistress to a peasant lad who had begged for his breakfast.and broke out into a long clear laugh. after all? If so. determined to make inquiries. He walked round the glade to see if he could discover any prints of her feet. He would build him a hut i n the forest. Of course this must be where the gracious lady who loved the moonlight lived. that she had not left a single trace behind her. he walked towards the door . musical as a brook." "It's not more than three miles. Perhaps she was but a vision of his own fancy. Forgetting his appearance. What if she should come the next night! He would gladly endure a day's hunger to see her yet again: he would buckle his belt quit e tight." answered the prince "that if you wish to do anythin . While he ate. and began singing as she would draw her down from the sky by the power of her entrancing voice. and her steps had been so light. But while he thus dreamed she sprang to her feet. he talked with his en tertainer. There he knocked. "Why. Onc e more she returned in a similar manner. and the princess was nowh ere. is it?" "Yes. but as he passed a little pond full of gold and silver fishes. and she should vanish from his sig ht. turned her face full to the moon. with thatched roof and low eaves. "What do you mean by that?" asked the cook. Then. he fell fast asleep before s he came near him. and asked for a piece of bread. it stands to reason. He walked half-way round the wood without s eeing anything to account for her presence. and danced away into the distance. When he awoke it was broad daylight. But he learned nothing more. But the grass was so short. what with fatigue and what with gazing. when the prince began again to doubt co ncerning her. but although he was watching as eagerly as before. he caught sight of himself and turned to find the door to the kit chen. it occurred to him that he might not be so far fr om the old woman's cottage as he had thought. adding with a smile-"It's there you're going. Or was she a spirit of the wood. both because he was afraid of seeming inquisit ive. U pon nights like this at least she would come out and bask in the moonlight. which the prince found nothin g the worse for being served in the kitchen. glad to have lost k ingdom and everything for the hope of being near her." "The best thing that could happen under the circumstances. As he rose to take his leave. he too would haunt the wood. that never came into his head. and lay gazing at the moon. and there he would live for the pure chance of seeing her again. Again she began dancing to her own music." "Why do you say that?" "If you're after any mischief. The good-natured cook br ought him in. The prince was almost afraid to breathe lest he should startle her. and gave him an excellent breakfast. He could not leave the place. if it's not far off. and he asked the cook whether she knew anything of such a place. She looked more beautiful than ever. and learned that this was the favourite retreat of the Princess Dayli ght. sh e threw herself on the grass." remarked the prince . with doves and peacocks walking in it.
the prince did not go back to the cottage that da y: he remained in the forest. for there was the princess coming dancing towards him. As it drew nearer. and in the exuberance of her delight ordering the clouds away from off her face. which she shared with him." said the cook. but when she heard him coming. and when he saw again. But. He darted to her. bu t dared not go near her. he did not know that s he was really more beautiful because the moon was nearer the full. until at last he could see her no more. She gave him full instructions. but waiting anxi ously for the night. Before she returned in her circle. thinking she had be en struck. The prince feared that the princess would go in. he saw it was she indeed--not dressed in white as before: in a pale blue like the sky. In fact the n ext night was full moon. amusing himself as best he could. Weary as he was. to h is horror. she was on her feet in a moment. directly the moon rose. H e watched the whole night long. in the hope that the princess would again appear. or merely that it is one thing to go and a nother to return by the same road. He was entranced with her lov eliness. Just as she passed the tree where he s tood. He would have been ashamed of watching her too. But she came dancing on more jubilant than ever. but the circles in her dance ever widened as the moon rose. She was of course still more beautiful than before. and she came still closer to the trees where he was hiding than she had come the night before. I think you may venture. He then went to bed. a flash of lightning blinded him for a moment. waving her arms towar ds the moon. She was high in the heavens before he reached the glade. after all. and he left her with many thanks. had he not become almost incapable of thinking of anything but how beautiful she was. and their lighter branches leaned all one wa y before it. in a dress t hat shone like gold. She's a good old soul." "Which way does it lie from here?" asked the prince. . When he awoke the sun was down.g wrong. and with shoes that glimmered through the grass like firefl ies. he spied a glimmering shape far acr oss the glade. the trees moaned. He thought i t was that the blue suited her yet better than the white. and the princess would then be at the zenith of her lov eliness. I shall not attempt to descr ibe his misery when the moon rose. the clouds had gathered deep. Nor was h e disappointed. "Well. trees. he set out for the old woman's cottage. "What do you want?" she asked. and danced away into the distance. the clouds had begun to gather about the moo n. the princess lay on the ground. The prince could hardly believe she was not a creature of the elem ents. for it was indeed a marvellous thing. Being now refreshed. and he departed in great an xiety lest he should lose a glimpse of the lovely vision. and saw that as the moon went down she retreated in smaller and smaller circles. The prince feared for some time that she was not coming near his hiding-place t hat night. The wind rose. Then indeed his troubl es vanished. and he saw nothing but trees. and there were growlings of distant thunder. she looked lovelier still. he lost his way. trees. the best thing for you is to be made to repent of it. and s lept for many hours. her gol den dress and her sunny hair streaming out upon the blast. All night long he watched her. however. Like an embodied sunbea m she passed him. By the time she had completed another circle. until at last they embraced the whole glade. for. whether it was by the machinations of the swamp-fairy." "I see. and he should see her no more that night. where he arrived just in time for her breakfast.
"Then go and grow better. "Come back. "There's nothing the matter. I've never seen the sun. "But where's the good of asking what you know?" "But I don't know." "Then you can't know what it's like till you do see it." said the princess. "Why don't you." said the princess. "Why." said the princess." .-. "Can you tell me what the sun is like?" she asked. only so bright that you can't look at it for a moment. It shines like the moon. "Do I look like one?" said the prince." said the prince." said the prince. Again the disappointed prince turned and went. I thought--the lightning" said the prince. is much the sam e shape as the moon." "I think you must be a prince." said the princess." "But it doesn't go out like that." he answered. "No." "That's the very thing: I'm not everybody. "I can't quite say that." "Then why do you think so?" "Because you both do what you are told and speak the truth." she rejoined." said Daylight: "I like you. You do what you are told. rises and sets like the moon. "Come back.Is the sun so ver y bright?" "As bright as the lightning." "But I would look at it. He obeyed." said the princess."I beg your pardon. "But you couldn't. Are you good ?" "Not so good as I should like to be. and stood before her waiting. hesitating. The poor prince turned and walked towards the wood. waving him off rather haughtil y. then?" "Because I can't. no. everybody knows." said the princess. does it?" "Oh. "But I could.
to his surprise." she answered. Indeed . but as she did not come ne ar him again." said the prince. the old wom an was paring potatoes at the door." said the prince. Besides. this time of the night. but. "I've seen a princess who never saw it. Fairies are fond of doing odd things. turned away. "Oh. mother. he obeyed at once. for that was the kind way in which any young man in his country would address a woman who was much older than himself. I don't want any supper." "A fairy can believe anything that ever was or ever could be. but that he wanted the fairy to tell him more. she's a princess. what are you doing there. he set off at last for the old w oman's cottage." "Plenty. I'm a prince. She was too old a fairy. to be caught so easily . which. like a true gentle man-prince. however."Why can't you?" "Because I can't wake. "Getting your supper ready. I grant you. the night is always their day. "More than you would believe. "Then are you a fairy?" asked the prince. and as the night had now cleared." said she. He waited a long time. "But do you believe there could be a pr incess who never saw the daylight? Do you believe that now?" This the prince said. not that he doubted the princess. "Why." "I know that. but she turned and made a repellent gesture. mother?" said the princ e." said the prince." . and walked in the slowest. And I never shall wake until----" Here she hid her face in her hands." said the old wom an." "How do you know it?" "By the curl of the third eyelash on your left eyelid. "Oh! don't I?" said the prince. "Do you like her?" asked the fairy. "Ah! you've seen Daylight. "Then what do you do for things not to believe?" asked the prince. fairies must not tell secrets. "Yes. "Of all people. however they may dissemble. my son. I'll tell you a secret. The prince ventured to follow her at a little distance." said she. sta teliest manner towards the house. It was long past midnight when he reached it." "Well. And so it is with a ll who have fairy blood in them. "There's plenty of them--everything that never was nor ever could be.
nay. It would take me too long to tell her tricks. at least. "What! you don't think you're the only prince in the world. she was dreadfully afraid of the wrong prince. But I know there's one too many just at present. for there was n o chance of the prince wishing to kiss the princess during that period. an d this always seems to give the bad the advantage over the good." "There ain't any more of them--are there?" said the prince. Now. for they use me ans to gain their ends which the others will not. T . But the princess never came. she consoled herself by thinking that the princess must b e far too proud and too modest for any young man to venture even to speak to her before he had seen her six times at least. "What's it?" asked the prince. but they were something other than amusing to the poor prince. however. and then fell fast asleep. After the third quarter of the moon. He wander ed about the forest till daylight. But it is all of no consequenc e. for the glorious Princ ess Daylight? At last. there can be no harm in tell ing me about a princess. for. She will try the bad thing just as they all did befo re her. there being little or no light."Which corner do you count from?" "That's a secret. the fairy was going to do all she could. Now wicked fairies will not be bound by the law which the good fairies obey." said the fairy. They would be amusing to us. How co uld he have taken the worn decrepit creature she was now. But there was even less danger than the wicked fairy thought. and succeeds no better of course. if I am a prince. for all their cleverness . exc ept the princess----" "Yes. yes. But he could get nothing more out of the fairy. dear. however. that's it. however much the princess might desire to be set free. for. he ventured near the house. When she knew it. Nor would he have known her if he had seen her. no! not at all. who know that they could not do an y harm. in the end it brings about the very thi ng they are trying to prevent. during which neither could he find the good fair y's cottage. and. So the f irst day of the fourth quarter he did find the cottage. for what they do never succeeds. and the next day he foun d the glade. but at this period she always wore black. I have little doubt she was on the farther edge of it some part of every night. and had to go to bed unanswered . For nearly another week he haunted it. the prince never saw her. that the next night the prince cou ld not by any endeavour find his way to the glade. the bad fairy thought she might be at ease about the affair for a fortnight at least. wicked fairies are dreadfully stupid. The same thing occ urred for seven following days. The prince had so far stolen a march upon the swamp-fairy that she did not know he was in the neighbourhood until after he had seen the princess those three ti mes." "It's just the princes I can't tell. although from the beginning of the world they have really helped instead of thwarting the good fairies. So you see that somehow." "Another secret? Well. She so contrived it by her deceitful spells. do you?" "Oh. one night when there was no moon at all. which was something of a trial. not one of them is a bit wiser for it.
feeling more tired than he could have imagined possible--she was such a little thin old thing-. describing a circle which did not touch the ope n glade at all. It was Daylight herself w hom he had brought from the forest! He fell at her feet. and this was a night when she would probably wander very far. He rose then.she began to move. nor dared to look up un til she laid her hand upon his head. which the good fairy had given him. but stretched away from the back of the house. promising to do all he could to help her. and carried it to the flame. into her mouth. She closed her eyes again. and she gave such a sad moan that it wen t to his very heart. when he came to a great birch-tree. because the one whose turn it was to watch her had f allen asleep. The first gleam of the morning was caught on her face: that face was bright as the never-aging Dawn. In a little while she opened her eyes and looked at him--so pitifully! The tears rose and flowed from her grey wrinkle d cheeks. She started. for her women were in considerable uneasiness. "Mother. A black hood concealed her hair. When he got round. took off his coat and wrapped it about her. The countenance was that of an old woman." murmured Daylight.here he heard voices talking. It was getting towards the dawn. and sat down weary at the foot of it. he plunged at once into the wood to see if he could fin d her. although it was past midnight. and in short did the best he could. there lay a human form in a little dark heap on the earth . The prince recoiled in overmastering wonder. He lifted it in his arms. hardly heavier than a child. he bethought himself t hat it would not be a bad plan to light a fire. a nd wondering how her attendants could take it so quietly. There was light enough from his fire to show that it was not the princess. but still she did not speak. you may be sure-. and took her in his arms again to carry her to the princess's house. for it was still very dark. and that she must have gone somewher e in the said direction. the tears flowed yet faster. Her hood had dropped. He begged her to tell him what was the matter. and her whole appearance was so utterly pitiful that the prince w as near crying too. mother!" he said. which seeme d to come from the other side of the tree. put a little cordial from a bottle. but it had a fearfully strange look. and became s o restless that. where h e thought the good-natured cook might he able to do something for her. "You kissed me when I was an old woman: there! I kiss you when I am a young pri ncess. chafed her hands. would attract her. for so much had he picked up from the talk he had overheard. Just as he approached the door. and he had enough to do to make his way through the trees towards the house. he thought to lay her on t he grass. "Poor mother!" and kissed her on the withered lips. and what eyes they were that opened upon him! But he did not see t hem. and her eyes were lovely as the sky of dark est blue.full of fear for the princess. al so the gift of the fairy. but his heart throbbed so that he had to lean for a moment against the tree before he could mo ve. While he sat--very miserable. unable to carry her a moment longer. but she said never a word. He sprung to his feet.--"Is that the sun coming?" CHAPTER XXIX . and her eyes were closed. and her hair fell about her. This he managed with a tinder-box. deep into that si de of the forest--a part of which the prince knew nothing. He laid her down as c omfortably as he could. and had not seen which way she went. He thought she was dyi ng. For hours he roamed with nothing to guide him but the vague notion of a c ircle which on one side bordered on the house. When he understood fr om what they said that she had disappeared. when he heard a moan. but as yet there was no streak of light in the sky. But she stood upright on her feet. It was just beginning to blaze up. which. When he l ifted her. if she were anywhere near . but the tears ke pt on flowing.
Nobody gave it to her. went away with him. couldn't somebody teach her something?" "Couldn't you teach her." "I'm glad of that. sir ." "But they can't keep Nanny so long as they would like. Diamond?" "No. Raymond. and I couldn't bear to see Nanny fighting for it. Diamond?" "I don't know anything myself. you know. sir. sir. I'm afraid. "And there's hardly any money to be got except on the wet days. At least poor Nanny can't find any of them. Raymond. at least. does she. sir?" "Not without being taught. But it's better to be well and doing something. Angels don't fight-. she only took it. And the question is. and when he had found one to bring it to them. now. So as they walked away together. bef ore he did anything so good as he would like to do for them. I could teach her to dress the. Raymond had been turning over in his mind what he could do both for Dia mond and for Nanny. "Besides.RUBY THE children were delighted with the story. very. she would be laid up again the very first wet day. And now he has taken it." added Diamond. There are always so many sick children they want to take in and make better. "I don't quite see that she would have any better rig ht to the crossing than the boy who has got it. and had been greatly pleased with him. especially with such a poor fellow as has taken it. Diamond having taken leave of Nanny. sir. I doubt. sir." said Mr. They can't keep her till she's quite strong. He had therefore made some acquaintance with Diamond's fathe r. he began to talk with Diamond a s follows:-"Nanny must leave the hospital soon. But he had come to the resolution. He's quite lame. She looks too like an angel. and made many amusing remarks upon it. and promised to go and see her again soon. baby. Her crossing was taken long ago." "Well. What will she do when they send her out a gain?" "That's just what I can't tell. for where would she get the cab to drive? There ain't fathers and old Diamonds everywhere." "She doesn't look much like fighting. Mr." remarked Diamo nd reflectively. but n obody would give her anything for doing things like that: they are so easy." "If she were to sweep a crossing--soon at least--after the illness she has had." . Raymond promised to search his brain for another." "Why? Don't you think it's a nice place?" "Yes. Now Mr. Diamond. to put them all to a certain test.do they. though I've been thinking of it over and over. "Is there nothing else she could do." said Mr. sir?" "Not to get things for themselves. Ther e wouldn't be much good in teaching her to drive a cab. even if i t's not quite so comfortable.
you know." said Mr. you know." he returned. "And to dress babies." "Of course." said Diamond to him self. "How could he drive a cab if he wasn't?" "There are some men who drive cabs who are not very good. but. when he feels his ribs of a morning." said Diamond: "I help him out with it." "Then I'll ask mother. sir. Diamond. you know. like a haystack. When he's tired of driv ing. Diamond remembered the drunken cabman. and feed them. I am going away on the Continent fo . with such a horse as old Diamond . "Ah. "But you'll have to give her her food then. has enough to do already without that. Raymond. But then I suppose they don't know better. sir?" "From your description I should say certainly. and never g ets up till he's called. but I have not the pleasure of h is acquaintance myself. you know--nobody could. "I'm sure he'll get to the back of the north wind." Mr. But then he says the old horse do eat well. and the moment he's had his supper. down he goes." "Your father must be a good man." he added. We mustn't be too hard upon them." "But here's me. father says.isn't he." said Diamond. for the legs of him. Now. but he do es his duty all the same. "she might get a place as a nurse somewhere. "I confess I should be gl ad to think so. I think it's very stupid o f them. and so does old Diamond." objected Mr. "So father says. Raymond. but go to sl eep on their four pins." said Diamond. anyhow. People do give money for that. wondering what he could mean. up I get. It's got to be done. not being strong. "he must be. Raymond procee ded. and saw that his friend was right. and only speak gentle words" "Mother could teach her that. It don't make any difference to old Diamond. Raymond . and. smiling thoughtfully. Raymond's f ace. father says. I don't mean he like s me as well as my father--of course he can't. Some horses. and so they can't help it." said Mr. Diamond. "Isn't it rather too much for him to go in the cab all day and every day?" resu med Mr. "I said your father must be a good man. and your father. sir! they won't lie down all night long." "Don't you think he will go to heaven. Raymond. and Diamond's a go od horse-. I will g ive you a proof that I think him a good man. "But it is quite enough that h e is a good man without our trying to account for it."Perhaps if she were taught to be nice and clean." interrupted Diamond." "That does make a difference. and take care of them. but he had learned to be very careful of saying such things aloud. sir?" "That I don't know anything about. if you like. father says that makes no end of a differ." Diamond looked up in Mr.
and Diam ond went home. It must be after he's had his tea. "That is true." Diamond accompanied his father to Mr. I fan cy. sir." said Mr. Raymond smiled. Ray mond's message. but took thought-sauce to his bread and butter. and fed him well. as you say. made the following distinct proposal-. Diamond gave him Mr. As soon as his father entered the house. some time?" "He must have his dinner first. but I don't want to part with him. he should take N anny home as soon as she was able to leave the hospital." "Of course. Raymon d's door. you can go home and think about it. that is. and provide for her as one of his own children. and as they had now reached his door. You may be sure he will come. saying: "I will go to your friend directly. but for which he had reasons--namely. Will you ask him when he comes home to call and have a littl e chat with me--to-day. Raymond. We do want it. "It will save your own horse. ought to be idle. Diamond. where he gazed with some wonder at the multitude of books on the walls." said Diamond. and work him under certain conditions. it has come into my head that perhaps your father woul d take charge of him. Diamond's father could not help thinking it a pretty close bargain. and as soon as he h ad finished his meal." answered Joseph. My father think s you a very kind gentleman. for I know your very own se lf. . I will tell him. and only six hours' work out of the hor se. and there left him. I believe--and I am going to let my house to a gent leman who does not want the use of my brougham. neither better nor worse--so long. He was shown at once into Mr. and I know he is right. It would be a grand thing to get a little more money. as he had t he horse. Raymo nd must be. of course.one not over-advantageous to Diamond' s father. they parted. Presently Mr. and if I save him and feed your horse and the girl--don't you se e. His father said little." "My father will do what's right. and I don't want him to be idle." Mr. He should h ave both the girl and the horse to feed. My horse is nearly as old. adding that he did not think there was much advantage to be got out of it. I shall be at home all day. Any time will do. Now. rose. "No." said Diamond. and let me know by the end of the we ek. sir. "I'm sure of that. besides. for nobody. and thought what a learned man Mr." "Very well. I am in no hurry before then. that Joseph should have the use of Mr. on condition that he never worked him more than six hours a day. Raymond's horse while he was away. but neither do I want him to be worked very hard. so I think." So Joseph went home and recounted the proposal to his wife. as your Diamond. Raymond's study.r a while--for three months. sir?" "Well. and after saying much the same about his old hor se. Raymond entered. and recounted the conversation that had preceded it. he's got his dinner with hi m to-day." "Well. and that. "but all I can get by my own horse is only eno ugh to keep us.
and I should be th e stronger for it." "One hour would make a difference to old Diamond. you know. and I don't discover any much good in helping him to save a little more. and accepted his propos al." answered her husband. One evening."Not much that way. Young Diamond said they were rich now. or in the morning.I do think--at least if I took less work ou t of our own horse. "I am so fond of dreams!" "She must have been to the back of the north wind.--that is. That would give Diamond something to do every day. Diamond's name came from a white lozenge on his fore head. if I had good luck." "Oh! do. and I don't mean he shall get me. so that the week after having got another stall in the same stable. as he sat by her bedside. and there would be four hours ext ra out of the other horse. You must think what an advantage it would be to the poor girl that hasn't a ho me to go to!" "She is one of Diamond's friends. Raymond. he had t wo horses instead of one." said his wife. But that's not the main point . for he was a very red chestnut. you know. and one of th e horses to attend to. seeing he went out eve ry day for a few hours with old Diamond. "but there would be an adv antage. "Mr." "I won't hear of that. It might pay for the ke ep of both of them. and there the conversation ended. if I gave Diamond two hours' additional rest. It would be a loss rather than a gain-. the name of the new horse was Ruby." the mother went on." he said to himself. and had his baby to mind. Raymond is a gentleman of property . though he be rather hard. and how to handle a baby. she said to him: "I've had such a beautiful dream. when I got the chance. and I could take the other horse out for six hours after tea. for he has been very kind to our Diamond. CHAPTER XXX NANNY'S DREAM NANNY was not fit to be moved for some time yet. Oddly enough. "It was a very foolish dream. and. Ra ymond. as I found best. "Have the girl by all means. I wonder if the horse is a great eater. "and teach her housewor k. But somehow it was so pleasant! What a good thing it is that you believe the dream all the time you are in it!" . and Diamond went to see her as often as he could." said her husband. He wo n't easily get one to make such a bargain. "I could be kind to her. Diamond! I should like to tell it you. wife. husband. he could not go so often as he would have liked." said Diamond. Hasn't he now?" "He has indeed. I'm asha med I did not think of both sides of the thing at once. Diamond's father went the very next day to Mr." thought his father. with such a big diamond and such a big ruby. I should like to oblige Mr. But being more regularly engaged now. it wou ld be all the better for the old bones of him. He could drive old Diamond after dinner. besides. and what matter who gets it!" "I don't see it. and able to do an odd bit of charing now and then. To be sure." said Diamond's mother. Joseph. she would help me.
it h as made me able to tell her dream better than she could herself. She had such a lovel y shawl on. "Eh?" said Nanny. I hea rd the matron say to her that it was very kind of her to come in blue and gold. I leaned back. I did not know where I was going. and at last went out altogeth er. When she came to my bedside. but at a red sunset. that I was tempte d to stroke it. just like redness dipped in milk. as the sunsets always do. But she drew her ha nd away. if you like. and had heard very litt le else than vulgar speech until she came to the hospital. and she told me they called it a ruby. and all worked over with flowers o f the same colour.-. with my table before me ready for my tea. a lady came to see us--a very beautiful lady. and it would be a shame to give the boy all the advantage. o . and although that could never make me able to dream so well as Nanny. I was sitting up. and flutter all my rags about----" "That was North Wind herself. but Nanny went on-"And I stroked it again. "Our new horse is called Ruby. I wasn't sure. but it kept in the shine. it was only that she didn't like giving me her glove to stroke. and very beautifully dressed. and laid her hand on the counterpane. and then laid her hand where it was before." "Your hand ain't ugly. just where you are sitting. standing looking at me. for I thought I had been rude. And she drew it off. It was a red stone. We've got ano ther horse--a red one--such a beauty!" But Nanny went on with her story. and I looked down to see what it was like. but you may keep it till tomorrow. but now I thought it horrid. at which the nast y mud came through to my feet. and went on with her story. she sat down. for everybody that comes to the hospital is kind. And I am the mo re desirous of doing this for her that I have already done the best I could for Diamond's dream.My readers must not suppose that poor Nanny was able to say what she meant so w ell as I put it down here. I thought she wouldn't be angry. It didn't shine much. and wandered away. with streaks of green and gold b etween. Her hand looked so pretty in its blue glove. it was silk. I was so delighted t o hear it. It's only in the streets they ain't kind. She had never been to school. and put it upon one of my fingers." said Diamond." said Nanny. for she dr ew it off. Only you must take care of i t. Nanny. "I looked at the ruby all the time the lady was talking to me." "Oh. half lying and half sitting. for some one gave it to me. and I almost cried.--think of that! And there w as a ring on her finger. but I vent ured to put out my ugly hand. and I had great holes in my shoes. "The day before yesterday. and I do think it was the ring that set me dreaming." said Diamond. and she answered that she knew we didn't like dull colours. I didn't use to mind it before. which shone in at the end of a long street near where Grannie lives. and then she stroked mine. for." Wasn't it kind of her? I could hardly take my tea. that is funny!" said Diamond. "I will tell you all I know about it. and looked at the rin g on my finger. Why couldn't I live in the sunset instead of in that dirt? Why was it so far away always? Why did it never come into our wretche d street? It faded away. how ever.it was so beau tiful! And as she talked I kept seeing deeper and deeper into the stone. un til at last I found that I was not looking at a red stone. Then a cold wind began to blow. Diamond. Instead of that. But I have been to sc hool. By degrees I began to dream. "I turned my back to it. after I had taken my tea. And there was the great red sunset. I was dress ed in rags as I used to be. I can't give it you. and what do yo u think she said?--"Wear it all night. and I began to pull the ring off my finger. The ring grew larger and larger. At last she rose to go away.
" said Diamond. and the moment I came into the moonlight. Somehow the moon suited me exactly. "Two people can't always understand each other. Nanny." "I don't know what you mean.and what do you think I saw? A garden place with green grass. But they must be nice ones. anyhow. "I sometimes think they must have been righ t about you." "I don't know that." said Nanny." "How kind of them! But I knew that." returned Diamond. There was not a breath of the nort h wind you talk about.nly it was warmer to go that way. until I came to a fine street on the top of a hill. we won't dispute about it. I think I like dreams even better than fairy tales. I looked and the re was nobody near: I would not do any harm." said Diamond." said Diamond. "I believe North Wind can get into our dream s--yes. and the moon shining upon it! Think of that! There was n o moon in the street. like yours." "Suppose I have. keeping my back to the wind. But it doesn't matter in a dream which wind it was. up the steps. and thro ugh the house. for I found myself in the west end at last. Diamond. "Thank you." returned Nanny." said Nanny. just then. "Well ." "I feel all right. and not only the front door. "don't you see it may let in the moonlight. putting both hands to his head. I lay down upon the grass in the moonlight without thinking how I was to get o ut again. and blow in them." answered Diamond. Sometimes she has blown me out of a dream altogether. and the grass was so much nicer tha n the mud! But I couldn't think of going on the grass with such dirty shoes: I k icked them off in the gutter." "You didn't want her any more. and on to the grass. How it happened I don't know. I began to feel better. She never goes where she's not wanted . but the front door of one of t he houses was open. and ran in on my bare feet. and what would become of the other places without them?" "You do talk so oddly!" said Nanny. but through the house there was the moon. I went on. They'd both be at the back of the north wind directly. "It came of Mr. but the back door as well." "Well. "They called you God's baby." "What did they say about me?" asked Diamond. "Never mind. as if it had been a globe he could take off and set on again." said Diamond." "Did you know what it meant. I don't think it was a north wind. Raymond's story about Princess Daylight." said Nanny: "you've got a tile loose. you know. you kn ow. though? It meant that you were not right in the he ad. as long as you are pleased I am pleased. so t hat I could see right through the house-. or the sunlight for that matter?" . "Well." "That's why North Wind blew you there." "Well. "But she blew you into the moonlight. Do go on with your story. it was quite gone.
all crapey and fluffy. I looked up." "Oh! do you?" rejoined Nanny." "Perhaps I won't." "Why?" said Diamond. But I know besides they are something more as well. can anything be too good to be true? That's like old Sal--to say t hat. She's a horrid old thing. She's the only thing worth looking at in our street at night. and "I will." persisted Nanny. "Perhaps you will some day. I knew her ways." "So do I." "Yes. quite laughing at i ts impudence." said Diamond. She'll be sorry too. and again Diamond held his peace. just like a whole plate." said Diamond. And there'll be an end of it. You're coming to us. Nanny. she and her gin bottle . you know. and t here was a cloud." said Nanny. "All at once I felt that the moon was not shining so strong. "North Wind----" "It was the moonlight. then. and the moonlight got in at every tear in my clothes. that the cloud couldn't sti ck to her. Diamond held his peace. trying to drown the beautiful creature." said Nanny. "I lay a long time. "but I hope t his is. Isn't true good? and isn't good good? A nd how. She shook it off." "Don't call it your street." said the moon." ." "That's too good to be true. perhaps no. and said there and shone out clearer and brighter t han ever. but I know they're dreams. "I don't. "You're not going back to it." said Diamond. But up came a thicker cloud." "Don't abuse Grannie. and then you'll be glad not to have said anything against her. too. Too good to be true it can't be.--but it couldn't: out shone the moon. and m ade me feel so happy----" "There." "All right.--and "You shan't." "Very well. "And you've got your dreams." said the cloud. but she'll repent some day. But the moon was so round. Diamond. and Nanny resumed her story." said Nanny." "I am sorry for her now. I tell you. for I've always been used to watch her."Perhaps yes. That's right. "There are very few things good enough to be true. I tell you!" said Diamond. "Because you'll be sorry for her. "What do you tell me?" returned Nanny.
"I only meant that was the very pane I should have expe cted her to shine through." said Diamond. "No.wasn't it?" "You dreamed of the door because you wanted it. and I heard a gentle tapping at the door. I was safe i nside the summer-house." "There--I've caught you!" said Diamond. Presently it was opened-. and what do you think I saw?" "A beautiful lady. "Telling me how the moon served the clouds. I thought if he caught sight of m e. You couldn't expect her to throw off a hundred of them at once-. "The dog stopped barking. I do not pretend to say. Up came the clouds and the clouds. if you will lay traps for a body!" said Nanny. not a bit funny." said Diamond. and the y came faster and faster." "Yes. "So it grew very dark.not to let me out . So I jumped up. like the wi nd blowing a little branch against it. "If you will be contrary!" said Nanny. "Anyhow. but to let the dog in--yelping and bounding." said Diamond. and a dog began to yelp in the house. all of it. in the true dream. But the moon was so beautiful that I couldn't k eep from looking at it through the red pane. The dog came after me. What Diamond meant. it came of itself. And what do you think?-." said Nanny. I was in for a biting first. and it grew till it filled them too and the whole window. who thought everything strange and beautiful mus t be done by North Wind. and ran fo r a little summer-house in the corner of the garden. no." said Diamond. It was there. It was well it had a door-. "I didn't know what to do." said Diamond." "Oh. But it wouldn't do. so that I could see it throu gh the other panes.could you?" "Certainly not. until the moon was covered up." "Just like her. and I couldn't get out." "Oh." said Diamond." said Diamond. I didn't. very well!" returned Nanny. well. "And now."All right. . You come to us. "I knew you believed in the dream as mu ch as I do. for the dog kept barking at t he door. and the police after. Wasn't it funny?" "No. "Where was I?" said Nanny. He had curious notions about thing s. And as I looked it got larger and l arger till it filled the whole pane and outgrew it. I looked and saw t hat the door to the garden was shut. but I shut the door in his face. "So I turned from the window and opened the door. "No.There was the moon beginning to shine again--but only through one of the panes--and that one was just the colou r of the ruby. so that the summer-house was nearly as bright as day.
all so big and shining as hard as ever they could!" "The little girl-angels had been polishing them. I went up to the beautiful bright thing. Nanny. After he had pulled a while. And what do you think it was like? It was such a pretty little house." I wasn't a bit frightened. shining like yellow silver. It's only a window. with a cro oked thing over his shoulder. that will do. but so bright that I think he saw by the light that went out of them. looking out. There are ladders all about. a door ope ned in the side of it. and the old man held down his hand. though . She was away somewhere . and I was inside the moon. Nanny. When you have done. in such a nice. looked out. of course . clea n little house! `Your work will be to keep the windows bright. my lady wants you."No--the moon itself. They were very sma ll. and the drops of rain leave marks on them. but I'm getting rather ol . I used to clean them myself.' I did as he told me. and a curious little old man. We're come to fetch you.' The little man closed the door. the frost settles on them sometimes.' I said. as big as a little house. There's one lyin g by the door of the summer-house now.down on the very grass: I could see nothing else for the brightness of it: And as I stared and wondered. `No. There are a great many windows you haven't seen yet. The stars are in it--not the moon. `It's not a hole. and I saw the blue sky and the clouds.' I looked at his eyes. with her head lea ning on her hand. a nd stood staring at her. `it's quite easy. `Don't be frightened.not a very tiny one either. lying at the bottom of the moonlight. I don't think that.' said the little man. for we can't fancy it's only us that get such fine things done for them. and beg an to pull at a rope which hung behind it with a weight at the end.' Then he to ok me by the hand and opened a little trap in the floor. ' `I can easily clean them inside. and throug h another trapdoor. "The little man took me all round the house. indeed!' I answered: `who would have thought it?' `Ah! who indeed? But you see you don't know everything. though. `Bless you. I cannot tell. and I took hold of it. we're all right now. Then h e took me up. though I did think I could make her follo w me when I was a boy-. and I saw like a great hole below me. `Can you see anything so smal l and so far off?' I said. all up in the air. and said: 'Come along. and some of them look into places you d on't know anything about. I know she did not come to fetch me. and made me look out of every wind ow. `but how am I to get the frost and r ain off the outside of them?' `Oh!' he said. You've only got to go out at the door. Put your face down and look through. and there was the garden and the summer-house. Perhaps she was gone to fetch you then. She seemed rather sad. It stood on the grass-. it was beautiful! There we were. "But my nonsense is just as good as yours. and he gave me a lift. for my dre am was longer ago than yours. `we 've brought you off! Do you see the little dog barking at us down there in the g arden?' I told him I couldn't see anything so far. She might have been to fetch some one else. Oh. Only.' said t he tittle man. f ar away. "What nonsense you do talk!" said Nanny." Perhaps one of my child-readers may remember whether the moon came down to fetc h him or her the same night that Diamond had his dream. he said--`There. near the ground. and climb about. though. I'll tell you my dream. and gave a jump. and there was one great round window above us. "`You didn't think I had such a beautiful mistress as that!' said the queer lit tle man. `I could pic k up a needle out of the grass if I had only a long enough arm. `There!' said the little man. and I was sorry for her. for there ain't much dust up here." said Diamond. `You won't find it very difficult. with blue windows a nd white curtains! At one of the windows sat a beautiful lady. and as round as a ball. But d o tell me what came next. and such lots of stars. and led me down two or three steps. and up again by a little stair in a corner of the room. child!' said the little man.
"You and Jim ought to be friends. and another. and through a narrow passage. yes. But I thought he looked offended too. "All ri inside should depend on the outside. `Don't yo .' I said.' I ventured to say. `What is it?' I asked.' For Jim had pointed that out to me. please. and heard a noise something like the purrin g of a cat." said Nanny. Really. and I laid myself on the floor of his garret. Mr "I don't see what that has got to do with it. The y didn't wind.' "He took my hand and led me down the stair again. "and let you know." that that was very much the sort of thi checked himself and only added. I hope. `No!' said he. `Done saying your prayers. What you saw was my bundle of dusters. you know. I don't see it. and stared up and around at the great blue beautifulness.' After this he said nothing for a whil e. only not so loud. Well. and much sweeter. How could it have a n inside that was so independent of its outside? There's the point.' I answered.' says he. ' I answered. Poor Jim! I wonder he hasn't been to see me." "Didn't he say anything?" "Oh. yes! He said: `That's all nonsense. The little man told me to put my ear against it. "For who knows how soon he may have t o go there? But the main thing is. It of their outsides and make new ones. what they do say of their superiors down there!' `It's only because they don't know b etter. `Oh. I did so. and that sets it all right. It takes a good many." "But what did the man in the moon say. and another. I was going to clean the windows. I don't know how there could be room for so many passages in such a little house.d. and he drew the corners of his mouth down from the tips of his ears into his neck. and through another. ' `It's very good of you." said Nanny. He was going to say ng at the back of the north wind. `Not very near. you know.' `Never saw the man in the moon?' said he. The heart of it must be ever s o much farther from the sides than they are from each other. `Nobody ever does know better.' I answered. `though yo u didn't know it! And now I must show you something else." said Diamond. I had forgotten him almost. `You see I never saw you w hen you were younger. They creep out . His little nose turned up sh arper. you see. I have seen the bundl e of sticks on his back. `it's not in the least good of me." said Diamond. you were.' said the little man. what did you come to at last?" "We came to a small box against the wall of a tiny room." said Diamond. Raymond told me so. "Then go on with your story. "What did you come to. I forgive them. `not to tell how young or how old he looked. Jim was very fond of looking at the man in the moon. But he didn't look cross. I couldn't be comfortable otherwise. afte r going through all those winding passages into the heart of the moon?" "I didn't say they were winding passages. when you told him you had seen him with the bundle of sticks on his back?" "He laughed. of course. I'm afraid he's ill too. Ain't I now?' `I can't tell. `Of course. They went by corners. when at last he said: `Ai n't you done yet?' `Done what?' I asked. Diamond?" "No." "I'll try to find out. It was funny --wasn't it. I said they were long and narrow. but he ght.' said he. I don't see why the ain't so with the crabs. 'I wasn't saying my prayers." "Thank you." remarked Diamond." "That's worth knowing.
and could not know the sound of them.' said the little man.' I followed him. and if they're quit e clean before. however. and he made me sit down under a lamp t hat hung from the roof. `you'll see how you have to go well enough. `It's time yo u set about the windows. Besides. for it looked dangerous. before three bees h ad shot out into the room. but chie fly the string at the back of the door.only the side of i t.' I said. then the rain can't spoil them. She sat with her forehead leaning on her hand. `Once you're up. `Nanny. Then the little man handed me the bundle of dusters. where they darted about like flashes of lightning. At length I came to a very little one. It frightened me much. It was so beautiful that all fear left me. You shall have it i f you like. I was thinking with some uneasiness that he would soon be wanting me to go out and clean the windows. Te rribly frightened.' he said.' he went on. having held them into the flame of the lamp one after the other. or even to look at me. The little man was busy about the room. There was the room with the box of bees in it! I laid my ear to the window.' As he spoke. `for there's rain coming.u know the sound?' returned the little man. I started back in a terrible fright.the tiniest crack--when out came the light with such a sting that I closed it again in terror--not. and heard the musical hum quite distinctly. and I opened the window and crept in. so bright and so near that I could almost have laid hold of them. which had followed me. `Those are my lady's bees. for she never moved to turn it full upon me. flew at once to the lady. The little man showed me how and where to lay hold while I put my foot round the edge of the door on to t he first round of a ladder. Her face was not so sad now as stern. and that was in th e room where the lady sat. but I could see nothing. and caught them. I think. `You won't tumble off. for there was nothing but blue air to be seen under me. saying. "The lady had never moved.' he answered.' he said. Only you must be careful. `My lady's bees gather their honey from the sun and the stars.' he said. But what must be mus t.' I wouldn't take it. I opened it-. The little box had a do or like a closet. Th en first I saw her move. Her face wa s very beautiful. and crept out very carefully. but I could not: ther e was no way to the outside of the moon but through the door. I don't know. and gave me some bread and honey. and crawled up to the top of the moon . But what a grand sight it was! The stars were all over my head. `I always carry them on my r eaping hook. you h ave got me into trouble. turned t o me. he opened the doo r. I tried to get out of the window again. that I never thought of not doing as I was told. "I did the best I could with the dusters. But I don't quite know: they are so very b right--like buttons of lightning. and I set to work diligen tly. `Don't you know th e sound of bees?' he said. however. and I didn't fancy the job. I cleaned window after window. which it . `You have been letting out my bees. and very white. in at which I peeped.' I got up at once. She started. and we 'll go back to the room. but I don't think you could manage it properly. and a string there.' I answered. Always hol d on with one hand while you rub with the other. `You needn't be afraid. and to live up here was so much nicer than down in the mud with holes in my s hoes. No sooner had I reached the room. At last he came up to me with a great armful of dusters. `But where are the flowers for them?' I asked.' I did as he told me. and settled upon her hair.' she said. A great longing to see them came upon me. and very still.' `Then you have seen the m?' `Oh. The round ball to which I cl ung went bobbing and floating away through the dark blue above and below and on every side. `I have no busines s with them. Now I've showed you all I can to-night. and her hand was as white as t he forehead that leaned on it. then ros e and. I had heard that bees gather ho ney from the flowers. From where I was sitting I looked out of it too. gazin g out of the little window. than the three bees . pulling a string here. yes! Once or twice. hung like the rest with white cloudy curtains. "How long I sat after I had eaten my bread and honey. I had never heard bees. I don't understand them. I daren't do that. they are so bright that if one we re to fly into your eye. put up her hand. it would blind you altogether. `No. `No. I did not see her whole face-. `Do le t me see them. like a great water without a bottom at all.
I had cried out in my sleep. and there will be a storm. and I felt him tugging a t the ring. `she's not quite bad enough for t hat. and the moon rocked and swaye d. it is very probable she would not have been so pleasant in a decent house hold. my l ady?' said the little man. But. I do so want to hear more.' she answered. I could see them come crowding up white about the windows." "I don't know that. I am sadly afraid she has stolen it. but. "But it was such a beautiful dream!--wasn't it. If Nanny had been taken straight from the s treet. but after the refining influences of her illness and the kind treatment she had had in the hospital. and saw th e nurse. But how can you tell you mayn't dream it again?" "That's not a bit likely. You have forced me to burn them. The little man wasn't there. It is a great loss. and the colou ." "Then I won't say it again--if I don't forget." said Nanny. saying to himself. I tried to speak what was true about it. She wo uld make dreadful mischief up here. I opened my eyes at last. Just take that ring off her finger. Nanny? What a pity you opened that door and let t he bees out! You might have had such a long dream.who knows?" CHAPTER XXXI THE NORTH WIND DOTH BLOW IT WAS a great delight to Diamond when at length Nanny was well enough to leave the hospital and go home to their house. `that you are not to be trusted. and Diamond went. But where's the goo d? I shall never have the chance. Somebody else had a hold of me. the moon might have carried her to the back of the north wind-. She's only fit for the mud." But now the nurse came and told him it was time to go. Nanny. she moved about the house just l ike some rather sad pleasure haunting the mind." said Diamond. `Shall I throw her out of the door. Perhaps if she hadn't done that.is all I can do to manage. after a terrible effor t. dear. Do try to go again. She was not very strong yet. and such nice talks with the moon-lady. only she'll never do for us. All grew dark about me. I am sorry for her. and took care that she should have noth ing to do she was not quite fit for. You must go home again--you wo n't do for us." "You woudn't do it again--would you--if she were to take you back?" said Diamon d. `No. "I can't help thinking that North Wind had something to do with tha t dream. or so easy to teach.' As she spoke. and I fell on the floor and lay half-stunned. I don't think anything would ever make me do it again. for all it was only a dream. "I know that. "I don't like it." said Diamond." "I don't know that. but Diamo nd's mother was very considerate of her. As she got better. I could hear everything but could see nothing. "No. It's a great pit y. Other things began to come into my head. Diamon d. "You silly baby! It was only a dream." said Nanny. "You're always saying that. I cannot help being ashamed of myself yet for op ening the lady's box of bees. ' said the lady. the clouds had gathered all about us.' The little man caught hold of my hand. and she had come and waked me." said Diamond. I don't think there's much harm in her. It would be tiresome to lie there all day and all night too--without dr eaming. `I am sorry to find.' Then came a great clap of thunder. Nanny. only gave a groan.
Of God's gifts a baby is of the greatest. while Ruby was as plum p and sleek as a bishop's cob. she was as heartily welcomed by the little household as if she had brought plenty with her. and of course would not like the same kind of songs. not even then--so that at the end of it he was as thin as a clothes-horse. and although the mother would have been able to manage without Nanny no w. Joseph had b een looking anxiously for him. her step grew lighter and quicker. she was a sister-baby and not a brother-baby. therefore it is no wonder that when t his one came. Mr. But he did not sing the same songs to her that he had sung to his brother. and began to sing to the new b aby the first moment he got her in his arms. Things however did not go well with Joseph from the very arrival of Ruby. would get Diamo nd to read to him. Where the difference in his so ngs lay. and that is very soon felt amongst the cabmen. It was great fun to see Diamond teaching her how to hold the baby. for it was a season o f great depression in business. and they we re not altogether sorry for this. Raymond did not return. One thing I am sure of. and as she was a clever child. Sometimes things were better. for his own health was far from what it had been. Raymond did not return. and wash and dress him.far more difference than her size warranted. she was very soon able to put letters and words together. but that he was a constant weight up on his mind. C ity men look more after their shillings. and bread rose greatly in price. and the pay less. but I can say that he tried to do his best. and it became certain that she would soon be a treasure of help. but Mr. Notwithstanding the depressing influences around him. they lived on very short commons indeed. and often they laughed together over her awkwardness. Ruby's services did indeed make the week's income at firs t a little beyond what it used to be. she was a new baby and mus t have new songs. that they not only had no small share in the education of the little girl. Nanny was a great hel p in the house. for a new baby was coming. Still. The fares were fe wer. seldom tasting meat excep t on Sundays. Joseph was able to keep a little hope alive in his heart. and their wives and daughters have less to spend. Of course she made a great difference in the work to b e done-. her smile shone ou t more readily. as far as provision went. But the sadder he saw his . and that was much. But she had no t many such lessons before she was able to perform those duties quite as well as Diamond himself. chiefly with the desire of getting rid of Ruby--n ot that he was absolutely of no use to him. but on the other hand. Thus the three months passed away. During al l that month.r came back to her cheeks. It was besides a wet autumn. he said. They were almost without bread before it was over. and for the whole of the next Joseph dared not a ttempt to work him. and when he came home at night. I can hardly say. he was rather worse off with Ruby and Nanny than he had been before. I do not pretend to be able to point out. you will see that these were not very jolly times for our friends in the mews. but Nanny was no end of he lp. I cannot say that he never grumbled. and poor old Diamond. It al most seemed as if the red beast had brought ill luck with him. for. For Diamond had taken her education in hand. Indeed. Afte r the first month he fell lame. Nanny would be with his wife. who worked hardest of all. and it was a comfort to him to think that when the new baby did come. sometimes worse. however. and the winter was over and gone. When I add to this that Diamond's mother was but poorly. and besides. they could not look for a place for her so long as they had Ruby. but then there were two more to feed. and would also make Nanny produce her book that he might see how she was getting on. But at last the spring came. How they managed to get through the long dreary expensive winter. b ut helped the whole family a great deal more than they were aware. Nor was it much better after Ruby was able to work again. One week at last was worse than they had yet h ad. and Diamond was as much of a sunbeam as ever.
He picked it u p." said Diamond. the no rth wind often blew. the change was a happy one. although a fine place to what she had been accustomed to. and went in. or am I asleep?" But he had no time to answer the question. that he thought more light came out of it tha . "She wants me to go into the stable.father and mother looking. and she might be close beside him. "Diamond. All at once he said to himself. and even now that the spring had come. however: just as he reached it there came a wild blast. in a certain hole in the wall--far too high for him to get at. but could not see her. and shows h ow necessary this faith is. and in obedience to it he turned his back. sufficient to sho w him Diamond and Ruby with their two heads up. it was such a long time since he had heard that voice. and looked everywhere. looking at each other across the partition of their stalls. "Am I awake. It had been a very stormy winter. To be sure the room was all but quite dark." said Diamond to himself. the more Diamond set himself to sing to the two babi es. which. but Ruby's eye shone so bright. His father had been very gloomy--so gloomy that h e had actually been cross to his wife. And what do you think h e saw? A little light came through the dusty window from a gas-lamp. a great p uff of wind came against him. Neither now was he to see her. The mother would always pay the week's rent before she l aid out anything even on food. Diamond in consequence had gone to bed very qui et and thoughtful-. and ran back and opened the stable-door. had had very little to eat that day. The light showed the white mark on Diamond's forehea d. When Diamond went to his bed. for was not his mother the more comf ortable for it? And was not Nanny more comfortable too? And indeed was not Diamo nd himself more comfortable that other people were more comfortable? And if ther e was more comfort every way. Diamond gave up hi s room that Nanny might be at hand to help his mother. and down fell the key clanging on the stones at his feet. but I can't tell where. for when we lose it." He knew where the key was. like the rest of the household. and went on blowing. His little heart was in a flutter. which was in a tiny room in t he roof." was all her answer. and wen t as it blew. and Diamond." "Come here. It is a strange thing how pain of seeing the suffering of those we love will sometimes make us add to their suffering by being cross with them. "I want so much to go to you. and went to hers. He ran to the place. Hi s heart beat very fast. "Dear North Wind. but where the here was he could not tell. we lose even the kindness which alone can soothe the suffering. This comes of not having faith enough in God. CHAPTER XXXII DIAMOND AND RUBY IT WAS Friday night. Diamond opened the door. com e here. When he got out. It blew him right up to the stable-door. H e jumped out of bed. Diamond. One thing which had increased their expenses was that they had been forced to h ire another little room for Nanny. was not very nice in h is eyes. he heard it like the sea moaning. When the second baby came. for he had long given up all though t of seeing her again.a little troubled indeed." she said again and again. "but the door is locked. and went out of the room. He did not mind the change though. and when he fell asleep he still hear d the moaning. for there was North Wind calling him. and down the stair and into the yard.
" "No harm?" retorted Diamond. This is what he saw. and. You're a disgrace to the stable. if you go on like that." said Ruby. but I don't bel ieve he grudges anything else. But that old horse knows he's got the wife and children to keep--as well as his drunken master--and he works l ike a horse. nor in be ing sleek. "Look how fat you are Ruby!" said old Diamond. You dare to say my master ain't your master! That's your gratitude for the way he feeds you and spares you! Pray whe re would your carcass be if it weren't for him?" "He doesn't do it for my sake. poor things-. at least you ought to be thankful you're the better for it.not for all you'r e worth." "And I'm proud to be so worked. I don't grudge yours what he gets by me. who apparently had been already quarr elling with Ruby. You get a tw o hours' rest a day out of it. "Is it no harm to go eating up all poor master's o ats." "Your master's not mine. I may as well shine as not. No decent horse would bring it on him. and taking up so much of his time grooming you." "Ain't you afraid I'll kick. T he first words he heard were from Diamond. they'd stick out f or ever. If I were his own horse. he would work me as har d as he does you. you ought to be ashamed of yourself. and eat all that is given me.they wo rk till they're tired--I do believe they would get up and kick you out of the st able. "You are so plump and your skin shines so." "There's no harm in being fat. It comes to next to nothing--what with your fat and shine." "Well. when you only work six hour s--no. as I hear. get along no faster than a big drayhorse with two tons behind him?-. and be sleek and fat as I can. "What he gets isn't worth grudging. he could understand. You make me ashamed of being a horse. Talk of kicking! Why don't you put one foot before the other now and th en when you're in the cab? The abuse master gets for your sake is quite shameful . "I must attend to my own master's interest s. It's my belief. "Gets!" retorted Diamond. He's somet hing like a horse--all skin and bone. I daresay he grudges his master the beer he drinks. no cabman likes t . But what do you think he heard? He heard the two horses talking to each other--in a strange language." "I thank my master for that--not you. "No. Ruby. you'd be down on your belly before you c ould get your legs under you again." said Ruby in a deprecating tone. Depend upon it." said Ruby. You might heave your rump up half a foot ." "Now really if the rest of the horses weren't all asleep. Diamond?" "Kick! You couldn't kick if you tried. "Well. Look at the horse next you. and go no faster than I need. not six hours a day. He put a stinging lash on his whip last week. you lazy fellow! You go along like a butt ock of beef upon castors--you do. which yet .So they tell me. but for lashing out--oho! If you did. I wouldn't be as fat as you-. and turn over in his mind in English. once out.n went in. And his master ain't over kind to him eith er. somehow or other.
and sleep. Indeed they are. eat. Diamond. You don't take care of your legs. you see. But my belief i s. and it gave my ankle such a twist. If you would but step out a bit and run off a little of your fat!" Here Diamond began to double up his knees. shot his angry head and glaring eye over into Ruby's stall. my nature is to keep fat for a long time. and I didn't know when master might come home and want to see me. but fall as leep between every step." "I tell you I put my foot on one of those horrid stones they make the roads wit h. in a rather different tone. you'll run a good chance of laming all your ankles as y ou call them. And so long as you don't lift your feet better. at least when you are between the shafts." "I'm not denying there was a puffy look about your off-pastern. I don't want to go lame again. good-for-nothing brute! You're only fit for the knacker's yard." "You grease-tub! Oh! my teeth and tail! I thought you were a humbug! Why did yo u want to get fat? There's no truth to be got out of you but by cross-questionin g." "Because once I am fat. you unworthy wretch. the old horse arose with a scramble like thunder." "Ankle indeed! Why should you ape your betters? Horses ain't got any ankles: th ey're only pasterns. but Ruby spoke again. It's not your lively horse that comes to grief in that way. or I'll break my halter and be at you--with your handsome fat!" . I'm not lame. I tell you I believe it wasn't much. "I meant to do it.o be abused any more than his fare. There! I've done. or I'll bite you. are very much to be excused. T here you are with your huge carcass crushing down your poor legs all night long." returned the other. Diamond. You a horse! Why di d you do that?" "Because I wanted to grow fat. it wasn't even grease--it was fat. "I say. You ain't fit to be a horse. Diamond. You don't even care for your own legs--so long as you can eat. I'm going to sleep. sleep. I'll try to think as well of you a s I can. and said-"Keep out of my way." "Well. and. as young Diamo nd thought. tumbling against the partition as he rolle d over on his side to give his legs every possible privilege in their narrow cir cumstances." "Then I believe it was all your own fault. one after another. and if it was. You a horse indeed!" "But I tell you I was lame. but I was. But his fares. I never was lame in al l my life. I will tell you the truth: it was my own fault that I fell lame. it was your own fault." "I told you so. You wanted to look handsome." At the words." "You conceited. I can't bear to have an honest old horse like you think of me like that. You never lay them down at night." "I don't believe you were so very lame after all--there!" "Oh. did you? Hold your tongue.
he was past understandin g a word that Ruby was saying. though you mayn' t be good enough to be able to believe it. else the angels couldn't ride upon them. rude old human horse. Diamond. or took any notice of him. however. he shot his head over the partition and looking down at him said-"You just wait till to-morrow. lions and eagles and bulls. in more important situations. must be angel-horses." "Indeed I don't. I' m one of them." "Nothing of the sort. But Ruby never turned his head. You're a good horse." "You ain't." "What's that?" "Of course you don't know. But you've confessed to shamming lame. CHAPTER XXXIII ." Ruby turned away. your master. should grow lean.Diamond!--No I won't. couldn't know i t. But there's young Diamond listening to all we're saying. and began pulling at his hayrack in silence.--I declare the old horse is fast asleep!-. The horses the ange ls ride. that his companion made no rep ly. revealed that." "Why then?" "Because I'm an angel. and after a glance about the st able to see if North Wind was anywhere visible. You can't hurt me. Well. and you'll see whether I'm speaking the truth or not." "No. "I'm good enough to believe it. and looking round saw that the door of the stable was op en." "I know you don't. I assure you. I could have pretended to be lame. least of all an angel-horse would do. as well as other animal s. Diamond gave a shiver. very lik e a snore." "Did you ever know a horse tell a lie?" "Never before."Never mind. An ignorant.and it hurt me very much. So I must be lame." "Can't hurt you! Just let me once try. Diamond. like you. he thought he migh t venture to take up the dropt shuttlecock of the conversation. He had lain down again. and so I sprained my ankle-. When young Diamond found this.for the angel-horses have ankles--they don't talk horse-sl ang up there-. I suppose he did not understand more of English than just what the coachman and stableman were in th e habit of addressing him with. if he was not already asleep. Ruby. and a sleepy snort. you can't. and he knows well en ough there are horses in heaven for angels to ride upon. He began to feel as if he had been dreaming. Finding." Old Diamond made no reply. It was necessary I should grow fat." he said. he thought he had better go back to bed. but that no horse. and necessary that go od Joseph.
I'm afraid he's getting into his queer ways again. "if he had not driven such a hard bargain with me at first." "So I should have said. for Ruby' s an angel. "I'm not quite comfortab le about that child again. Diamond's mother said to his father. He had the ne w baby in his arms. I'm afraid. Dulcimer!" said Diamond. "I daresay he has some good r eason for it." "Perhaps he couldn't help it." "Well. Dulcimer!" he repeated. I'm sure." returned his father. "for he weighs heavy on my mind. It was too b ad to leave him on my hands this way." returned Martha." . wife?" "Of course I did--and found him fast asleep in his bed. "You've got a choice now. I'm very sorry.--"What do you think." suggested Diamond. wife?" "You can't help it. Joseph was sitting at his breakfast--a little weak tea. dry bread. what am I to do. fat angel. "But you needn't be afraid. Dulcimer. to hea r the little man singing." said Diamond. Dulcimer? It must be for some good. my dear good man. He sprained his ankle and got fat on purpose. had co me upon the word dulcimer. "Ah! that I can't tell. for everybody says he's in better condition than when you had him. The re I'm nursing baby all this time. you wouldn't think there was much amiss with him.THE PROSPECT BRIGHTENS THE next morning." said his father. The baby had not been christened yet. anyhow. I saw him run up the stair in the middle of the night. "for Ruby's an angel of a h orse. and thought it so pretty that ever after he called hi s sister Dulcimer! "Think of a red. He had groo med both horses." "It may be that." "I wish I were rid of him. while his mother was dressing herself. but he may be as thin as a tin horse before his owner comes." For at that moment Diamond was singing like a lark in the clouds." "Yes. "And after all I don't know." "Didn't you go after him. I know. It's because he's had s o little meat for the last six weeks. but Diamond. But if it don't please God to send us enough." "No wonder. I don't see why he shouldn't get on as well as the rest of us. Diamond I mean. Diamond?" asked his father. and very dubious butter--which Nan ny had set for him." "What purpose." answ ered Diamond. in reading his Bible. He's been at his old trick of walking in his sleep. Martha?" asked Joseph. father: he's so fat." "Which child. "Think of a fat angel. and which he was enjoying because he was hungry. and I get along pretty well. and had got old Diamond harnessed ready to put to. I suppose to look handsome when his master comes.
But how did you come to us." said Joseph. and so I am here. and it came out to hear. For some time he carolled snatches of everything o r anything. No. Diamond resumed his singing. husband. If I didn't love bab y (which couldn't be. That would be to take it from somebody else. What makes the light in them sparkle and spin? Some of the starry spikes left i n. I don't. Where did you come from. whence did you come. mother. and so I grew. Where did you get your eyes so blue? Out of the sky as I came through. Where did you get that little tear? I found it waiting when I got here. What makes your forehead so smooth and high? A soft hand stroked it as I went b y. seeing you've had more of the bargain than you wan ted or reckoned upon. as he rose and went to get his cab out. What makes your cheek like a warm white rose? I saw something better than any o ne knows. Where did you get this pearly ear? God spoke." "I'm afraid not: he's a hard man. Where did you get those arms and hands? Love made itself into hooks and bands. and baby is my very own Dulcimer." said his mother. How did they all just come to be you? God thought about me. Feet. But I do love baby." "What makes it yours?" "I love it so. you dear? God thought about you. "Mr. you darling things? From the same box as the cherubs ' wings." "That makes her the more mine. mother--at least more than anything else can. Diamond. baby dear? Out of the everywhere into here. Whence that three-cornered smile of bliss? Three angels gave me at once a kiss." "How do you make that out?" ." said his wife. I wish I had." "Does loving a thing make it yours?" "I think so."But we don't know what may come of it yet. mother. I cann ot tell where or how he got it." "The baby's mine. But it's mine for all that. "You never made that song. but at last it settled down into something like what follows. Raymo nd may give a little to boot. you know) she wouldn't be mine a bit. "No. Diamond.
I've wished I were rid of him a thousand times." "Is that because you love me?" "Yes. but not very cordially." . "Let's have a look at him. but" "He did it on purpose. Diamond?" said his father. sir. "But how are we to get there. not intending to say it aloud." "I heard it--in the stable. and Joseph. It was only to be for three mo nths. Before his father could speak again. but he would not sit down. mother. sir. I didn't expect to hear that from you . Diamond?" "We must wait till we're taken. and he told them he had not had a fare worth mentioning the whole morning. "Hasn't he been of serv ice to you?" "Not much. Love makes the only myness. "We shall all have to go to the workhouse. a knock came to the door." he said. Raymond with a smile on his face." "I'm sorry to hear such a statement. and he's all right now. I see." "I don't know what you mean by that. He's sound in wind and limb--as sound as a barrel. not with his lameness" "Ah!" said Mr. Raymond. "you've not been using him well." said Diamond. Raymond. and here it's eight or nine. walked Ruby into the middle of the yard. I see. "It would be better to go to the back of the north wind. Raymond. What with anxiety about him. "So it would. Martha set a chair for him." said Mr." said Mr. having first taken off his harness. "I'll bring him out." "How do you know that. "You are not very glad to see me. "I never said so. "You don't want to part w ith the old horse."Because you're mine. dreamil y." returned Diamond. and in walked Mr . Raymond." he said to Joseph. they saw him look very sad. I don't know how it happened. hastily--"you've been laming him--have you? That accoun ts for it. and change Diamond for Ruby. turning to him. you are mistaken there. for I could not think how it came." They went." "Indeed. "He put his foot on a stone just to twist his ankle. When his father came home to have his dinner. wife." said Mr. Joseph got up and received him respectfully. and bad luck ." answered his father. "Why. "If you'll step into the yard. just because." "It wasn't my fault." said Joseph." said Diamond." answered Diamond." said Diamond.
he's as fat as a pig! You don't call that good usage!" Joseph was too angry to make any answer. There! look at him now. he do. "I must say. sir. sir. He never did want the whip." "He's too fat. It can't come to good where there' s no love between 'em. Rub y. and he eding no one else. I sit on the box as miserable as if I'd stolen him."And as big. If ever a horse wanted the whip." said Joseph. When the two were placed side by side. I must bu y your Diamond. sir. "Suppose I were to ask you to buy him of me--cheap. and so I c ouldn't make the most even of that. all body and no legs. sir. He's an awful eater." returned Joseph." said Mr. but I'm always afraid of his coming to grief again." "There was a whole month I couldn't work him at all. "You've not worked him enough." "I didn't say that. I'm very glad you've come to rid me o f him. Gaunt and grim and weary he stood." "I don't think so. Raymond could hardly keep his counte nance. And if you won't buy my Ruby. and he did nothing but eat his head off." "I wouldn't have him in a present. kissing his master. The horse is worth three of the other now." "Just bring out your own horse. I say. Why. Mr." "I'm glad to hear it. but from a mingling of feelings." "Thank you. Beside the great. " Joseph laughed rather bitterly as he went to fetch Diamond." "I shouldn't be sorry if I was served the same. throwing an arm round his horse's neck. Raymond. Raymond. If the one's too fat." "I don't know that. I haven't laid the whip on him more than three times. sir. "You don't seem to like the proposal. I say. Raymond. And I wouldn't drive a horse that I didn't like--no. I've taken the best part of six hours a day out of him since. round barrel. "that th e remark had better have been spared. in a tone implying anything but thanks. I declare to you. I don't like him. when he's between the shafts. "You haven't been using him well. There was hardly a spot of him where you could not descry some sign of a bone underneath. sir. squinting round at me with one eye! I dec lare to you. . Diamond looked like a clothes-horse with a skin thrown over it. He's brought m e to beggary almost with his snail's pace. th e other's too lean--so that's all right." said Mr. That's not doing as you'd be done by. and let me see what sort of a pair they'd make." said Mr. He looks all the ti me as if he was a bottling up of complaints to make of me the minute he set eyes on you again. you might add. not for gold. I think they make a very nice pair. on my word. That's not making good use of him. red.
you set yourself to take Ruby down and bring Diamond up. and for s o long. sir." said Mr." continued Mr."I don't. it would be the work of a mom ent. I do believe that child of mine knows more than other people. sir. y ou give me the option of buying him. I think these will just do. and ma de speech still harder than before. "I've bought a small place in Kent. for. and by that time I shall be ready for you to go down into the country. the moment he saw you. which I wrote to offer you for him. He had meant to test Joseph when he made the bargain about Ruby. His body ain't worth it--shoes and all. sir. many's the time in my trouble ." he said at length." "No. sir. Suppose. too. then?" "I will. I could not part with him. sir. I only spoke of buying him to make a pair with Ruby. father. as much as to say: "I know him better than you. sir." "I think so. at least." "I don't think so. Will that be enou gh?" "It's too much." Joseph stood bewildered. by the time we've got him fed up agai n. that I never thought you was only a chaffing of me when you said I hadn' t used the horses well. Diamond set you down for a friend. dearly. there's a cheque for twenty pounds." "Well. unable to answer. It's only his hear t. thank you." A strong inclination to laugh intruded upon Joseph's inclination to cry. in case I should find you had done the handsome thing by Ruby. If we could only lay a pipe from Ruby's sides into Diamond's. It won't be. "and I must have a pair to my carriage." returned Joseph. Just go on with your cabbing for another month. they are as near a match as I c are about. But I fear that wouldn't answer. sir. my little Diamond would look at me with a smile. and had been quite unable to return sooner. "I've been so miserable. Raymond as he walked away. but had no int ention of so greatly prolonging the trial. sir--that's worth millions--but his heart'll be mine all the same--so it's to o much. You take it and welcome. for a w eek or two." "Who said anything about parting with him?" "You did now. I did grumble at you.and I do love old Diamond. I al ways thought the boy must be right. He went away now highly gratified a . He had been taken ill in Switzerland. "I beg your pardon. And for height. sir. that's nothing. sir. on one condition--that if ever you want to part with him or me. Of course you would be the coachman-. but whenever I said anything. it's only loving a thing tha t can make it yours-. "I wouldn't part with my old Diamond for his skin a s full of nuggets as it is of bones. Raymond. As to who c alls him his. I don't want to make a show with a pair of high-steppers.if only you would consent to be reconciled to Ruby. only take it out of Ruby and let Diamond rest. I didn't. for the roads are hilly thereabouts." "Will you sell me old Diamond." and upon my word. as Diamond says." "Thank you. sir. We could pa re Ruby and patch Diamond a bit.
and nothing to do. Diamond?" said his father. an d got over the ground with incredible speed." Joseph stared and said no more. It will do you good . and was a true man. whereas in tru th. When she heard that the horses were to go t ogether in double harness. So willing. when he found the chang e that had come over Ruby. Ruby had got respectably thin. pray?" "I heard them talking about it one night. father. was he to go now. she burst forth into an immoderate fit of laughter. "how could I but laugh at the notion of t hat great fat Ruby going side by side with our poor old Diamond?" "But why not. mother? With a month's oats." "You silly darling!" said his mother. he exerted himself amazingly. "To compare the two for manners. He didn't try to make the best of him. mother dear? Do cry a little. They really began to look fit for double harness. a new fear came upon him lest the horse should break his wind. angrily. however." "How dare you say such a thing. Now Ruby will have a chance of teaching Diamond better manner s. to let out upon the horse some of his pent-up dislike. and Mr. too. Considering his fat. he was very gloomy as he re-harnessed the angel. and Diamond respect ably stout. Ruby's an angel. that Joseph had to hold him quite tight. Raymond have good cause to think he had not been using him well. and everything ready for migrat ing at the shortest notice. He might even suppose that he had taken advantage of his new ins tructions." "Who?" "Why Diamond and Ruby. D iamond came up with the baby in his arms and made big anxious eyes at her. there's no comparison possible. For all his new gladness. Diamond'll be nea rer Ruby's size than you will father's. Our Diamond's a gentleman. I think it's very good for different sor ts to go together." "How do you know that. sayin g-"What is the matter with you. had been his friend all the time. for I daresay some gentlemen judge their neighbours unjustly. Joseph and his wife got their affairs in order. He could not help thinking rather differently.t finding that he had stood the test. When father takes ever so small a drop of spirits. it had so utterly vanished that he felt as if Ruby. Diamond shouldn't have thought such bad things of Ruby. for he thought his darling Diamond was going out of his mind. and they felt so peaceful and happy that they judged . That's all I mean. even anxious. Joseph rushed in to his wife who had been standing at the window anxiously wait ing the result of the long colloquy. CHAPTER XXXIV IN THE COUNTRY BEFORE the end of the month. Then as he laughed at his own fancies. " "I don't mean to say he isn't. he puts water to it.
"I'm always wanting something. Diamond in her eyes at best on ly an amiable." answered Diamond." "That's because you're such a silly. and that same evening he went to find Mr. His opinion of him was ve ry different from Nanny's. Jim had moved his quarters. Diamond?" said Mr. what has that to do with Jim?" "You couldn't find a corner for Jim to work in--could you. they make you happy to look at them. she was more attached to Jim than to Diamond: Jim was a reasonable being. "Well?" "Nanny doesn't care much about going to the country." Diamond smiled with a far-away look. "There ain't nothing in it but the sun and moon. and had at las t succeeded through the help of the tall policeman." returned Nanny. But when at length she went to live wi th Diamond's family. That is. for he had heard that he had returned to town. As for Nanny. not to say think it. for she had never seen anything about her but streets and gas-lamps. over-grown baby. sir. "What do you want now." "There's trees and flowers." "Well. that Nan ny expressed to Diamond her opinion of the country. where he was too shy to go and inquire about her. "I am glad to see you. It was after one of his visits. Raymond. Raymond. she ha d been so happy ever since she left the hospital. Diamond. Besides. Diamond had taken a great deal of pains and trouble to find Jim." said Diamond. Towards his father and mother . "Well." . during which they had been talking of her new prospects. if you can show good reason for it. and had not heard of Nanny's illness till some time after she was taken to the hospital. Jim was willing enough to go and see her. so long as what you want is right. Raymond. she judged herself altogether his superior. Now that she could manage the baby as well as he. whom no amount of expostulation would ever bring to talk sense." And he was indeed. "Ain't they? They're so beautiful. "Ah! how do you do. that's quite right. But he was thinking with himself what mo re he could do for Nanny." said Mr. At the same time. as if he were gazing through clouds of gre en leaves and the vision contented him. a lame boy.all the trouble they had gone through well worth enduring. sir. who was glad to renew his ac quaintance with the strange child. What is it now?" "There's a friend of Nanny's. called Jim." "I've heard of him. Everybody is alwa ys wanting something. "Well. for he had grown very fond of him. only we don't mention it in the right place often enough. my child?" he asked. that she expected nothing bett er. and saw nothing attractive in the notion of the country. sir?" "I don't know that I couldn't. she was all they could wish. they ain't no count. s he had not the least idea of what the word country meant.
Raymond and a lady in the carr iage. sir? " "No. to be sure. Could you bring Jim to see me?" "I'll try." "Then Nanny would be better pleased to go. there ain't so much doing." Diamond succeeded in bringing Jim to Mr." "It wouldn't be nice to walk over the flowers with dirty boots-. you know. she recognised her as the lady who had lent her the ruby-ring. But one part of it was. "I think he would come though--after dark." "They wouldn't like it--would they?" "No. sir. I will not describe the varied feelings of the p arty as they went. But after d ark. sir. and Mr. The moment Nanny saw her. I didn't mean that. I will turn it over in my mind. then Nanny would like it better. exactly. But they don't mind me much. sir?" "Yes. and the consequence was that he resolved to give the boy a chance." "No. or when they arrived. All I will say is. I dare hardly attempt to put down here. Raymond's new residence. What Mr. That ring had been given her by Mr. Raymond thought. with one of his sweetest smiles. so much the better for him. People's kind to lame boys. sir. which was the name of Mr. . you know." "You want your boots shined in the country--don't you. and do odd jobs." added Diamo nd." "So much the better for us. and Nanny and Jim. I see what you mean. Raymond. where they found a cart waiting to carry them and their luggage to The Mound. He provided new clothes for both him and N anny. you know. with the carriage behind them.would it. sir. that Diamond. sir. Raymon d. For Mr. sir. sir. that the highest wisdom must ever appear folly to those who do not po ssess it. "He do es well at shining boots. They think I'm silly." Diamond continued. Raymond was an old bachelor no longer: he was bringing his wife wi th him to live at The Mound. I meant. if you would take Jim with you to clean your boots." "If the flowers didn't like dirty boots to walk over them. Joseph returned to town the same night. was full of quiet delight--a gladness too deep to talk about." "Well."He's a good boy. Joseph took his wife and three children. She 's so fond of Jim!" "Now you come to the point. indeed." "I know he can shine boots. and the next morning drove Ruby and Dia mond down. Diamond. by train to a certain station in the county of Kent. Nanny wouldn't mind going to the country? Is that it? I don't quite see it. who is my only care. and upon a certain day. they wouldn't.
Mr. The house itself was of brick. sometimes his little sister. bo th in the stable and the harness-room. But there was plenty of the loveliest grass and daisies about the house. "A boy like that. But all the time. Joseph and his wife lived in a little cottage a short way from the house. but he helped his father still. Only for two months or so . with a roof of thick thatch. smiling to himself at the idea of pushing Diamond. "Would you be afraid to sleep alone. sometimes a merry time it was. at least. and his father and mother were quite pleased to have him employed without his leaving them. and then he felt just like a cat with her first kittens. and breathe the pure air.had been dug. because it stood upon a little steep knoll. and took up his abode in the house. and the woods very shadowy. "ought not to be pushed. because Nanny occupied his former place. from which his pale face and fair hair came out like the loveliest blossom. The mound had been cast up to give a good basement-advantage ov er the neighbouring heights and woods. So he was dres sed in a suit of blue. and generally went with him on the box th at he might learn to drive a pair. It had. beyond doubt. so that its great height should be well buttressed.all he could do was to sing. and so be able to follow with your eyes the flying deer and the pursuing houn ds and horsemen. and sometimes both of them in the grass with him. and Mrs . the boy had a wealth of time at his disposal. He did not do so much for his mother now. CHAPTER XXXV I MAKE DIAMOND'S ACQUAINTANCE MR. Af ter doing everything that fell to his share. ma'am. as the current legend stated." Joseph assented heartily. These were very different times from those when he used to drive the cab. they woul d never get a glimpse of the sun for them. been built for Queen Elizabeth as a hunting tower--a plac e. At first Diamond had a nest under this tha tch--a pretty little room with white muslin curtains. he said. for it was getting well towards autumn. only he couldn't purr-. And a happy." said Diamond. and Diamond's chief pleasur e seemed to be to lie amongst them. "I never was afraid of anyth ing that I can recollect--not much. RAYMOND'S house was called The Mound. from the top of which you could see the country for miles on all side s. he was dreaming of the country at the back of the north wind. because if they did not. and the most of the wil d flowers rise early to be before the leaves. R aymond advised his father to give him plenty of liberty. and be ready to open the carriage-door. Diamond?" asked his mistress.The weather was very hot. but afterwards Mr. For this was more like being at the back of the north wind than anything he had known since he left it. the wind sprinkled with the red and white petals it shook from the loose topmost sprays of the rose-trees climbing the walls. in June and July. brim-full of water. from which." he said. and they said the foundations were first laid in the natural level. which. It wa s a real cottage. "I don't know what you mean. Raymond wanted to have him for a page in the house. There were not a great ma ny wild flowers. and trying to reca ll the songs the river used to sing. namely. There was a great quarry-hole not far off . he neither saw nor heard anything of North Wind. but y ou must not suppose that Diamond was idle. so smooth and symmetrical that it showed itself at once to be artificial." . Sometimes he would have his little brother. the materials fo rming the heart of the mound--a kind of stone unfit for building-. So they have their fun over. and then the stones and earth of the mound were heaped about and between them. and are ready to go to bed again by the time the trees are dressed.
" . and his new room got ready for him. saw that he was reading a fairy-book. As he loo ked down. that it would be a nice place for North Wind to cal l at in passing." said Diamond . I was then a tutor in a family whose estate adjoined the little property belonging to The Mound. "You would like this room. with two windows from which you c ould see over the whole country. and yet not far from the tops of the trees." he cried. I walk ed up behind the tree. That's just what I like. then." "You can be up here with your books as much as you like. and the calmness of his face rebuked my unkind desire and made me ashamed of it. Near the top they entered a tiny little room. He's my master. with the hope of seeing a s tartled little face look round at me. Raymond made it. He was sitting at the foot of a great beech-tree . Below him spread a lake of gr een leaves. she led him up and up the oval-winding stair in one of the two towers. "I am busy for him now. It was very soon after this that I came to know Diamond. and peeping over his shoulder. Diamond?" said his mistress." she answered. "I will have a little bell hung at the door. He wants my opinion upon it. he saw a squirrel appear suddenly. "What are you reading?" I said." So Diamond was installed as page. and I like best to be high up. when I saw Diamond for the first time. "It's the grandest room in the house. "Anything he wishes me to do. I had made the acquaintance of Mr. "Aha! little squirrel. "Who is it by?" "Mr." "What do you do for him?" I asked respectfully. a few yards from the road." he answered. "perh aps you would not mind sleeping there?" "I can sleep anywhere. also." said his mistress."There's a little room at the top of the house--all alone. "No. but he said nothing of that sort. He did not see me. "I shall be near the stars. Should I be able to see o ut?" "I will show you the place. "I am reading the story of the Little Lady and the Goblin Prince. with a book on his knees. and was walkin g up the drive towards the house to call upon him one fine warm evening. He gave me this story to read. "I am sorry I don't know the story. and taking him by the hand." "Is he your uncle?" I asked at a guess." I daresay he thought. with glimpses of grass here and there at the bottom of it. Diamond clapped his hands with delight. Raymond in London some time before." he answered. and as suddenly vanish amongst the topmost branches. "my nest is built higher than yours. and spoke suddenly." I returned." she returned. Hal f-way down the stair is the drawing-room. Diamond turned his head as quietly as if h e were only obeying his mother's voice. which I can ring when I want you.
"Don't you find it rather hard to make up your mind?" "Oh dear no! Any story always tells me itself what I'm to think about it. Mr. R aymond doesn't want me to say whether it is a clever story or not, but whether I like it, and why I like it. I never can tell what they call clever from what th ey call silly, but I always know whether I like a story or not." "And can you always tell why you like it or not?" "No. Very often I can't at all. Sometimes I can. I always know, but ays tell why. Mr. Raymond writes the stories, and then tries them on does the same when she makes jam. She's made such a lot of jam since e! And she always makes me taste it to see if it'll do. Mother knows I make whether it will or not." I can't alw me. Mother we came her by the face
At this moment I caught sight of two more children approaching. One was a hands ome girl, the other a pale-faced, awkward-looking boy, who limped much on one le g. I withdrew a little, to see what would follow, for they seemed in some conste rnation. After a few hurried words, they went off together, and I pursued my way to the house, where I was as kindly received by Mr. and Mrs. Raymond as I could have desired. From them I learned something of Diamond, and was in consequence the more glad to find him, when I returned, seated in the same place as before. "What did the boy and girl want with you, Diamond?" I asked. "They had seen a creature that frightened them." "And they came to tell you about it?" "They couldn't get water out of the well for it. So they wanted me to go with t hem." "They're both bigger than you." "Yes, but they were frightened at it." "And weren't you frightened at it?" "No." "Why?" "Because I'm silly. I'm never frightened at things." I could not help thinking of the old meaning of the word silly. "And what was it?" I asked. "I think it was a kind of an angel--a very little one. It had a long body and g reat wings, which it drove about it so fast that they grew a thin cloud all roun d it. It flew backwards and forwards over the well, or hung right in the middle, making a mist of its wings, as if its business was to take care of the water." "And what did you do to drive it away?" "I didn't drive it away. I knew, whatever the creature was, the well was to get water out of. So I took the jug, dipped it in, and drew the water." "And what did the creature do?"
"Flew about." "And it didn't hurt you?" "No. Why should it? I wasn't doing anything wrong." "What did your companions say then?" "They said--`Thank you, Diamond. What a dear silly you are!'" "And weren't you angry with them?" "No! Why should I? I should like if they would play with me a little; but they always like better to go away together when their work is over. They never heed me. I don't mind it much, though. The other creatures are friendly. They don't r un away from me. Only they're all so busy with their own work, they don't mind m e much." "Do you feel lonely, then?" "Oh, no! When nobody minds me, I get into my nest, and look up. And then the sk y does mind me, and thinks about me." "Where is your nest?" He rose, saying, "I will show you," and led me to the other side of the tree. There hung a little rope-ladder from one of the lower boughs. The boy climbed u p the ladder and got upon the bough. Then he climbed farther into the leafy bran ches, and went out of sight. After a little while, I heard his voice coming down out of the tree. "I am in my nest now," said the voice. "I can't see you," I returned. "I can't see you either, but I can see the first star peeping out of the sky. I should like to get up into the sky. Don't you think I shall, some day?" "Yes, I do. Tell me what more you see up there." "I don't see anything more, except a few leaves, and the big sky over me. It go es swinging about. The earth is all behind my back. There comes another star! Th e wind is like kisses from a big lady. When I get up here I feel as if I were in North Wind's arms." This was the first I heard of North Wind. The whole ways and look of the child, so full of quiet wisdom, yet so ready to accept the judgment of others in his own dispraise, took hold of my heart, and I felt myself wonderfully drawn towards him. It seemed to me, somehow, as if litt le Diamond possessed the secret of life, and was himself what he was so ready to think the lowest living thing--an angel of God with something special to say or do. A gush of reverence came over me, and with a single goodnight, I turned and left him in his nest. I saw him often after this, and gained so much of his confidence that he told m e all I have told you. I cannot pretend to account for it. I leave that for each
philosophical reader to do after his own fashion. The easiest way is that of Na nny and Jim, who said often to each other that Diamond had a tile loose. But Mr. Raymond was much of my opinion concerning the boy; while Mrs. Raymond confessed that she often rang her bell just to have once more the pleasure of seeing the lovely stillness of the boy's face, with those blue eyes which seemed rather mad e for other people to look into than for himself to look out of. It was plainer to others than to himself that he felt the desertion of Nanny an d Jim. They appeared to regard him as a mere toy, except when they found he coul d minister to the scruple of using him-- generally with success. They were, howe ver, well-behaved to a wonderful degree; while I have little doubt that much of their good behaviour was owing to the unconscious influence of the boy they call ed God's baby. One very strange thing is that I could never find out where he got some of his many songs. At times they would be but bubbles blown out of a nursery rhyme, as was the following, which I heard him sing one evening to his little Dulcimer. Th ere were about a score of sheep feeding in a paddock near him, their white wool dyed a pale rose in the light of the setting sun. Those in the long shadows from the trees were dead white; those in the sunlight were half glorified with pale rose. Little Bo Peep, she lost her sheep, And didn't know where to find them; They we re over the height and out of sight, Trailing their tails behind them. Little Bo Peep woke out of her sleep, Jump'd up and set out to find them: "The silly things, they've got no wings, And they've left their trails behind them: "They've taken their tails, but they've left their trails, And so I shall follo w and find them;" For wherever a tail had dragged a trail, The long grass grew b ehind them. And day's eyes and butter-cups, cow's lips and crow's feet Were glittering in t he sun. She threw down her book, and caught up her crook, And after her sheep di d run. She ran, and she ran, and ever as she ran, The grass grew higher and higher; Ti ll over the hill the sun began To set in a flame of fire. She ran on still -- up the grassy hill, And the grass grew higher and higher; W hen she reached its crown, the sun was down, And had left a trail of fire. The sheep and their tails were gone, all gone -- And no more trail behind them! Yes, yes! they were there -- long-tailed and fair, But, alas! she could not fin d them. Purple and gold, and rosy and blue, With their tails all white behind them, Her sheep they did run in the trail of the sun; She saw them, but could not find th em. After the sun, like clouds they did run, But she knew they were her sheep: She sat down to cry, and look up at the sky, But she cried herself asleep. And as she slept the dew fell fast, And the wind blew from the sky; And strange things took place that shun the day's face, Because they are sweet and shy. Nibble, nibble, crop! she heard as she woke: A hundred little lambs Did pluck a nd eat the grass so sweet That grew in the trails of their dams. Little Bo Peep caught up her crook, And wiped the tears that did blind her. And
But when you had lost your greedy grief. Sometimes he would say. Don't mind me. Some of them were out of books Mr. Raymond had given him. if one fine day. In a month or more. This is as near what he sang as I can recollect. going up to him and giving h im a pitying hug. I found it somewhere. I confess again to having touched up a little. that blinded us all for a moment." or "I g ot it at the back of the north wind. ." One evening I found him sitting on the grassy slope under the house.nibble. Why should I be?" he answered with his usual question. but they ne ver heeded Diamond. home she came. And do not know where to find them. When they've got their bushiest tails. or reproduc e rather. Dia mond's face. With three times as many sheep. Home. and remained shining. These he always knew. When I went up to them he ceased his chant.You could only gather a leaf. and the other reading a story to her. and just as he ceased there came a great flash of lightning." but generally he would say. What would you get in the top of the tree For all your crying and grief? Not a star would you clutch of all you see -. pale with fear. too. with his D ulcimer in his arms and his little brother rolling on the grass beside them. While he sang. but when the roar of thunder came after it. it grew very dark. the little brother gav e a loud cry of terror. Dulcimer crowed w ith pleasure. He began again at once. Diamond. nibble crop! without a stop! The lambs came eating behind her. "Do go on. "He ain't got sense to be frightened. Content to see from afar. "I don't know. Bo Peep. He was chanting in his usual way. You would fi nd in your hand a withering leaf. but with delight. 'Tis after the sun the mothers have run. To get what she could but see. What would you see if I took you up To my little nest in the air? You would see the sky like a clear blue cup Turned upside downwards there. Their grown up game should be just the same. "No. both tired and lame. Some of the glory seem ed to have clung to it. they'll be as big as before." said Nanny. but it loses far more in Diamond 's sweet voice singing it than it gains by a rhyme here and there. As Diamond went on singing. And she have to follow their trail s? Never weep. but about the others he could seldom tell. though you lose your sheep. Diamond?" I said. one hemming a pocket-handkerchief. And there are their lambs behind them. was paler than usual. "I made that one. Nanny and Jim came running up to us. And then she'll laugh in her sleep." I said. "You're not frightened--are you. more like the sound of a brook than anything else I can think of. What would you do if I took you there To my little nest in the tree? My child w ith cries would trouble the air. In your heart a shining star. But what would you say. Nanny and Jim sat a little way off. looking up in my fa ce with calm shining eyes.
I let him see plainly enough." said Diamond. I fancy he could not quite make up his mind what to think of them . Upon one subject alone was he reticent--the story of his relations wi th North Wind. CHAPTER XXXVI DIAMOND QUESTIONS NORTH WIND MY READERS will not wonder that. you little silly!" "No. sir. and a tearing crack. They go and they come. no. "Good-night. "Do yo u think the lightning can do as it likes?" "It might kill you. dickery. As he spoke there came another great flash. While I stood gazi ng. "I told you so. as if out of a watering-pot. only the n he told me everything. When I came out again to return home. and when we looked round. for the other children were going on with their chatter. after the blinding o f the flash had left our eyes. At all events it was some little time before he trusted me with this. up in his airy nest:-The lightning and thunder. I don't. Diamond jumped up with his little Dulcimer in hi s arms. I saw the great black top of the beech swaying abou t against the sky in an upper wind. and the evening sky glimmered through the trees. If I could not regard it all in exactly the same light as he did. Dickery. and heard the murmur as of many dim half-art iculate voices filling the solitude around Diamond's nest. was-The clock struck one. and that was all the twilight would allow me to see."Perhaps there's more sense in not being frightened. I saw the bough torn from t he stem. dock! Then there came a blast of wind. "There!" cried Nanny. while guiltless of the least pretence. and they ran for the cottage. "There's a tree struck!" I said. down from the sky came a sound of singing. If you had been up there you see what wou ld have happened." said Jim. and began to sing to Dulcimer. But the stars and the stillne ss Are always at home." I said. and Nanny caught up the little boy. it mightn't!" said Diamond. And then the voice ceased." answered Diamond. blue. the child was so ready to trust. Diamond. after this. that whatever might be the explanation of the ma . and he was satisfied without demanding of me any theory of difficult points involved . I did my very best to gain the fri endship of Diamond. Jim va nished with a double shuffle. but the voice was neither of lark nor of nightingale: it was sweeter than either: it was the voice of Diamond. "Good-night. "Oh. I turned my steps a little aside to look at the stricken beech. fully sympathetic. All I could hear of the song. Nanny. As I walked away pondering." I returned. the clouds were gone. and pale-green towards the west. And the mouse came down. Nor did I find this at all difficult. and I went into the house. I was. we saw a huge bough of the beech-tree in which wa s Diamond's nest hanging to the ground like the broken wing of a bird. and the rain followed in straight-pouring line s.
"What are you always going up there for. Diamond?" I heard Nanny ask." "That one was true. The tree-tops were swinging abo ut in it. "Do you really believe. and vanished in the le aves over our heads. "I'm going up to look at the moon to-night. I know my way so well. I came upon Diamond in the act of climbing by his little l adder into the beech-tree. I never dreamed but that one. with a beautiful lady and a crooked old man and dusters in it?" "If there isn't. and it was nonsense enough. no. Didn't you come to grief for doing what you were told not to do? And isn't that true?" "I can't get any sense into him. "I don't think so. and never let go wit h one hand till I've a good hold with the other. I would have given much for a similar one myself. you know. and called up to see if Diamond were sti ll in his nest in its rocking head. "Are you there. both in one . where I visited often in the evenings." "It wasn't nonsense. for al though it was late summer now. with an expression of mild d espair. Nanny. "You'll break your neck some day. with a half-moon high in the heavens. when you know it was only a dream? Dreams ain't true. it was still hot." answered Diamond. "Isn't it growing too dark for you to get down safely?" "Oh. in a late twilight." "But what's the good of talking about it that way. I went into the house. "Sometimes for one thing. Nanny. I thought. without heeding her rema rk. yes! I shall. sir--if I take time to it." she returned." "Oh." she said. that there's a house in the moon. Nanny." came his clear voice in reply. It was a beautiful dream--and a funny one too." exclaimed Nanny." he added. there's something better.rvellous experience. sir." he answered. I must be nearer her. When I came out. I'm sure." . Diamond?" I said. rather ru dely. On an evening soon after the thunderstorm. sometimes for another. there was a little wind blowing. I took my way past the beech. look ing skywards as he climbed." "You'll be no nearer to her up there. very pleasant after the heat of the day." "You silly! you never have done about that dream. I wish I could dream as pret ty dreams about her as you can. You know it was. Diamond. "Yes. "You'll see the moon just as well down here.
if he only composed himself and let the sleep come." He ran to the house. When he reached his own room." he returned. It was quite empty. and set him on the ground. isn't it. until at length it seemed as if he were borne u p on the air. He would go and see if it was so. and. for a gentle wind might turn any wa y amongst the trunks of the trees. The door now opened quite easily. he shut the east window. But something made hi . He thought he heard a knocking at his door. and blew about him as he danced. for he thought perhaps North Wind herself would come n ow: a real north wind had never blown all the time since he left London. This time he went fast asleep as usual . as she always came of herself. he thought. and. but it was one of his peculiarities. the noise still continuing . His mistress had rung for him only to send him to bed. and jumping out of bed. Good-night. Perhaps some of my readers may wonder that he could go to sleep with such an expectation. "That's the north wind blowing. lovely and desolate. The yellow light of the half-moon streamed over the dark floor. And as he dan ced. to find how the wind blew. "Somebody wants me. and I went home. I should have wondered at it m yself. if I had not known him." "I shall know when I get up to my own room. indeed. The room was low with a coved ceiling. moonlit place close to his own s nug little room. but he had never been able to open it. I took h im in my arms. He closed it again. he opened both his windows. instead of a closet he f ound a long narrow room. But there was no one there." said Diamond. and seemed nothing strange in him. But. which was sinking in the west." I insisted--foolishly. for she was very careful over him and I daresay thought he was not looking well. he grew more and more delighted with the motion and the wind. and indeed a lmost never when he was thinking of her. and occu pied the whole top of the house. the hill-sides and farm-yards and treetops and meadows."Do be careful. H e was so full of quietness that he could go to sleep almost any time. one of which looked to the north and the othe r to the east. immediately under the roof. and could almost fly. sir. "It feels cool and kind. over which it had blown on its way to The Mound. But I couldn't be sure except it were stronger. "I've got all the moon I want to-night." I answered." he said. He kept picturing to himse lf the many places. his feet grew stronger. and never when he was looking for her. shone in at an open window at the further end. The moon had vanished. in which he floated about on the air at will." I heard a rustling and a rustling drawing nearer and nearer. and I think it may be. and he ke pt turning towards it that it might blow in his face. but to his surprise. that he began to dance and skip about the floor." he said to himself. But he woke in the dim blue night. It belonged to a closet. sir?" "I can't tell. that at la st he began to doubt whether he was not in one of those precious dreams he had s o often had. sir. and his body lighter. "I'm coming. So strong did his feeling become. found that another door in the room was rattling. The moon. Diamond was very glad. The wind blowing in at the windo w must be shaking it. "Thank you. and went to be d. It blew right in at the northern windo w. desolate. The wind came in through the door he had left open. seeing the boy was as careful as he cou ld be already. "I think I hear my m istress's bell. and he appeared at length creeping down his little ladder. Three or four minu tes elapsed. ran to open it. He was so delig hted at the discovery of the strange.
right deep down into them. well enough. "Please. who was dancing with him." answe red Diamond. I've been thinking about it a great deal. he thought. not twenty la mbs would do instead of one sheep whose face you knew. will make up for tha . dear No rth Wind? Do say No. because then I should lose you. or there's something better that's not a dream. North Wind." said North Wind. I mean. however. She was. and you'll be gone for ev er. There she placed him on her lap and began to hush him as if he were her own baby." "Why not. and placing him in her lap as before. now filling the arched ceiling. else I shall cry." he persisted. How am I to know that it's not a dream?" "What does it matter?" returned North Wind. She did not stoop in order to dance with him. and I could not bear that. "I should.is it not?" "That's just why I want it to be true. round and round the long bare roo m. but held his han ds high in hers. and come awake. At length. and settled with him in his nest on the top of the great beech-tree. but got twice as many lambs?" asked North Wind. dear North Wind. but rose with him in her arms and sailed away over the tree -tops till they came to a meadow. whether it be a dream or not. when once you've looked into anybody's eyes." "Have you forgotten what you said to Nanny about her dream?" "It's not for the dream itself--I mean. child?" "Because it seems to say one's as good as another. "Do you remember what the song you were singing a week ago says about Bo-Peep-how she lost her sheep. I can't bear to find it a dream. or two new ones are better t han one that's lost. if it is a dream. sitting down on the grass. it's for you. pleasant as it was. cry" said Diamond. She made no answer. The same moment she swept with hi m through the open window in at which the moon was shining. that. and it seems to m e that although any one sixpence is as good as any other sixpence. alr eady beginning to cry a little. her eyes s hining on him like thinking stars. ever so beautiful or so good. I daren't dream about you once again if you ain't anybody. where a flock of sheep was feeding. it's not for the pleasure of it. and Diamond was so entirely happy that he did not care to speak a word. You ain't a dream. and his arms were about he r neck. I do. Nobody. and that would b e to lose so much. and to his unspeakable delight. of the height of a rather tall lady. are you. "for I have that. and the sweetest of grand smiles playing bree zily about her beautiful mouth.m look up. Diamon d. You woul d be nobody then." answered Diamond. made a circuit like a bird about to alight. her hair now falling to the floor. "but I never just quite liked th at rhyme. North Wind." he said. and her arms holding him to her bosom. he found his uplifted hands lying in those of North Wind. he gave one spring." "I'm either not a dream. nobody will do f or that one any more. he found that he was going to sleep. When he saw her. in a rather sorrowful tone. he could not consent. as so often before. "Oh yes. Somehow. "But it's not something better--it's you I want. "But why should you cry? The dream. "I am so happy that I'm afraid it's a dream . is a pleasant one-.
t one going out of sight. So you see, North Wind, I can't help being frightened to think that perhaps I am only dreaming, and you are nowhere at all. Do tell me that you are my own, real, beautiful North Wind." Again she rose, and shot herself into the air, as if uneasy because she could n ot answer him; and Diamond lay quiet in her arms, waiting for what she would say . He tried to see up into her face, for he was dreadfully afraid she was not ans wering him because she could not say that she was not a dream; but she had let h er hair fall all over her face so that he could not see it. This frightened him still more. "Do speak, North Wind," he said at last. "I never speak when I have nothing to say," she replied. "Then I do think you must be a real North Wind, and no dream," said Diamond. "But I'm looking for something to say all the time." "But I don't want you to say what's hard to find. If you were to say one word t o comfort me that wasn't true, then I should know you must be a dream, for a gre at beautiful lady like you could never tell a lie." "But she mightn't know how to say what she had to say, so that a little boy lik e you would understand it," said North Wind. "Here, let us get down again, and I will try to tell you what I think. You musn't suppose I am able to answer all y our questions, though. There are a great many things I don't understand more tha n you do." She descended on a grassy hillock, in the midst of a wild furzy common. There w as a rabbit-warren underneath, and some of the rabbits came out of their holes, in the moonlight, looking very sober and wise, just like patriarchs standing in their tent-doors, and looking about them before going to bed. When they saw Nort h Wind, instead of turning round and vanishing again with a thump of their heels , they cantered slowly up to her and snuffled all about her with their long uppe r lips, which moved every way at once. That was their way of kissing her; and, a s she talked to Diamond, she would every now and then stroke down their furry ba cks, or lift and play with their long ears. They would, Diamond thought, have le aped upon her lap, but that he was there already. "I think," said she, after they had been sitting silent for a while, "that if I were only a dream, you would not have been able to love me so. You love me when you are not with me, don't you?" "Indeed I do," answered Diamond, stroking her hand. "I see! I see! How could I be able to love you as I do if you weren't there at all, you know? Besides, I co uldn't be able to dream anything half so beautiful all out of my own head; or if I did, I couldn't love a fancy of my own like that, could I?" "I think not. You might have loved me in a dream, dreamily, and forgotten me wh en you woke, I daresay, but not loved me like a real being as you love me. Even then, I don't think you could dream anything that hadn't something real like it somewhere. But you've seen me in many shapes, Diamond: you remember I was a wolf once--don't you?" "Oh yes--a good wolf that frightened a naughty drunken nurse." "Well, suppose I were to turn ugly, would you rather I weren't a dream then?" "Yes; for I should know that you were beautiful inside all the same. You would
love me, and I should love you all the same. I shouldn't like you to look ugly, you know. But I shouldn't believe it a bit." "Not if you saw it?" "No, not if I saw it ever so plain." "There's my Diamond! I will tell you all I know about it then. I don't think I am just what you fancy me to be. I have to shape myself various ways to various people. But the heart of me is true. People call me by dreadful names, and think they know all about me. But they don't. Sometimes they call me Bad Fortune, som etimes Evil Chance, sometimes Ruin; and they have another name for me which they think the most dreadful of all." "What is that?" asked Diamond, smiling up in her face. "I won't tell you that name. Do you remember having to go through me to get int o the country at my back?" "Oh yes, I do. How cold you were, North Wind! and so white, all but your lovely eyes! My heart grew like a lump of ice, and then I forgot for a while." "You were very near knowing what they call me then. Would you be afraid of me i f you had to go through me again?" "No. Why should I? Indeed I should be glad enough, if it was only to get anothe r peep of the country at your back." "You've never seen it yet." "Haven't I, North Wind? Oh! I'm so sorry! I thought I had. What did I see then? " "Only a picture of it. The real country at my real back is ever so much more be autiful than that. You shall see it one day-- perhaps before very long." "Do they sing songs there?" "Don't you remember the dream you had about the little boys that dug for the st ars?" "Yes, that I do. I thought you must have had something to do with that dream, i t was so beautiful." "Yes; I gave you that dream." "Oh! thank you. Did you give Nanny her dream too--about the moon and the bees?" "Yes. I was the lady that sat at the window of the moon." "Oh, thank you. I was almost sure you had something to do with that too. And di d you tell Mr. Raymond the story about the Princess Daylight?" "I believe I had something to do with it. At all events he thought about it one night when he couldn't sleep. But I want to ask you whether you remember the so ng the boy-angels sang in that dream of yours." "No. I couldn't keep it, do what I would, and I did try." "That was my fault."
"How could that be, North Wind?" "Because I didn't know it properly myself, and so I couldn't teach it to you. I could only make a rough guess at something like what it would be, and so I wasn 't able to make you dream it hard enough to remember it. Nor would I have done s o if I could, for it was not correct. I made you dream pictures of it, though. B ut you will hear the very song itself when you do get to the back of----" "My own dear North Wind," said Diamond, finishing the sentence for her, and kis sing the arm that held him leaning against her. "And now we've settled all this--for the time, at least," said North Wind. "But I can't feel quite sure yet," said Diamond. "You must wait a while for that. Meantime you may be hopeful, and content not t o be quite sure. Come now, I will take you home again, for it won't do to tire y ou too much." "Oh, no, no. I'm not the least tired," pleaded Diamond. "It is better, though." "Very well; if you wish it," yielded Diamond with a sigh. "You are a dear good, boy" said North Wind. "I will come for you again to-morro w night and take you out for a longer time. We shall make a little journey toget her, in fact. We shall start earlier. and as the moon will be, later, we shall h ave a little moonlight all the way." She rose, and swept over the meadow and the trees. In a few moments the Mound a ppeared below them. She sank a little, and floated in at the window of Diamond's room. There she laid him on his bed, covered him over, and in a moment he was l apt in a dreamless sleep. CHAPTER XXXVII ONCE MORE THE next night Diamond was seated by his open window, with his head on his hand , rather tired, but so eagerly waiting for the promised visit that he was afraid he could not sleep. But he started suddenly, and found that he had been already asleep. He rose, and looking out of the window saw something white against his beech-tree. It was North Wind. She was holding by one hand to a top branch. Her hair and her garments went floating away behind her over the tree, whose top was swaying about while the others were still. "Are you ready, Diamond?" she asked. "Yes," answered Diamond, "quite ready." In a moment she was at the window, and her arms came in and took him. She saile d away so swiftly that he could at first mark nothing but the speed with which t he clouds above and the dim earth below went rushing past. But soon he began to see that the sky was very lovely, with mottled clouds all about the moon, on whi ch she threw faint colours like those of mother-of-pearl, or an opal. The night was warm, and in the lady's arms he did not feel the wind which down below was m aking waves in the ripe corn, and ripples on the rivers and lakes. At length the y descended on the side of an open earthy hill, just where, from beneath a stone
each standing in a lovely lawn. one after an other--beautiful rich houses. and then break out again. Sometimes she would hold Diamond ove r a deep hollow curving into the bank. "What a lot of dreams they must be dreaming!" said Diamond. T hen they would leave the river and float about and over the houses. they floated. But you could." said North Wind. "They can't surely be all lies-. folded in sleep. or whether the seed of them is blown over somebody else's garden-wall." "What could I do?" . and now they would watch the fishes asleep among their roots below. a spring came bubbling out. so I can give you a treat. until the y came upon boats lying along its banks. Sometimes its song would almost cease. they would hover for a moment over a be d of water-lilies. which rocked a little in the flutter of North Wind's garments. where the roses and lilies were asle ep. had taken centuries to gro w.can they?" "I should think it depends a little on who dreams them. Then came houses on the banks. It began with a musical tinkle which changed to a babble and then to a gentle rushing." said North Wind. Then she would return and foll ow the river. At the bottom of the hill they came to a small river. with grand trees." suggested Diamond. But the people who love what is true will surely now and then d ream true things. darkly clear below them in the moonlight. could see the grass at the bottom of the water. "No. and not a movement to be heard: all th e people in them lay fast asleep. and grew and grew and changed with every turn .." "Couldn't you do something for her?" said Diamond. and in parts the river was so high that some of the gra ss and the roots of some of the trees were under water. and Diamond. The bees were all at home. And the song of the brook came up into Diamond's ears. There was scarcely a light to be seen. and now it would lead them through stately t rees and grassy banks into a lovely garden. now. babble. I can't. and watch them swing about. Ah! th ere's some one awake in this house!" They were floating past a window in which a light was burning. "Yes. But then something depends on whether the dreams are home-grow n. and the clover was asleep." said North Wind. "The people who think lies. "She can't sleep for pain. and rush. glided along level with its flow as it ran down the hill. as the water on which they leaned swayed in the presence of North Wind. And so it was . strong odours. Now the armies of wheat and of oats would hang over its rush from the opposite banks. that he might look far into the cool stil lness. Along the sur face of the river." She stooped over the stream and holding Diamond down close to the surface of it . as they gli ded through between the stems. and only a few wide-awake and sending ou t their life in sweet. Wider and wider grew the stream. "It's a lady. and looked up anxiously in North Wind's face. are very likel y to dream lies. the tender flowers quite folded up. "Yes. It grew wider and wider as it went. It seemed to Diamond to be singing the story of its life to him. and do lies. tinkle . like fine trees. where it widened out into a little lake. now the willows would di p low branches in its still waters. "I am going to take you along this little brook. "I am not wa nted for anything else to-night. into which the brook flowed with a muffled but merry sound." returned North Wind. which. Diamond heard a moan. Sometimes she would leave the river and sweep across a clover-field. all at once.
no." "Why didn't she look to see who it was?" "She didn't know you were there. a lady was seated in a white wrapper." By a shaded lamp. or her head from her hand. I shall take as good care of the lady as of you. And the moon be laid by. and won't be able to understand it at all. "Was she frightened then?" "Oh. It will only hide From the frost and the snow. Diamond." "What did she hear me with?" "With her heart. She will search all thr ough it to-morrow to find them. but he thought a while."Sing a little song to her. He was a little frightened. The flower is asleep But it is not dead." "She wouldn't hear me. "Didn't the lady hear me?" asked Diamond when they were once more floating down the river. Sure is the summer. Come. As soon as Diamond had finished. "What will she do?" . of course. It will lift its head. But the sun will come up. When the morning shines. wouldn't it? You can go where you please." "You may trust me." "Where did she think the words came from?" "She thought they came out of the book she was reading." "Oh. yes. an d then sang:-The sun is gone down. "Oh. And the moon's in the sky. North Wind floated behind her chair. North Wind lifted him and carried him away. trying to read." answered North Wind. she heard you. and to ld him to sing something. and then she will hear you. what fun!" said Diamond." "How could she hear me then?" "She didn't hear you with her ears.no." "I will take you in. It will die -. Sure is the sun. no. When winter comes. set Diamond down. Th e window is open." "But that would be rude. b ut I should have no business in her room. The lady never lifted her eyes from her book. The night and the winter Are shadows that run. but moa ning every minute.
"Everything. and that was not enough to make him wish to stop. dreaming and all. I should like to stay there all the rest of the night. it will puzzle her. Oh! do let me go into the old ga rden." "Did you hear me call you then?" "Yes." "Do take me home. and fell in the grass beside him. h . The moment it lighted. The moon was under a cloud. my child. "you shall stay as long as you like. that it will. "Oh!" cried Diamond. She will never be able to understand it. "Oh!" cried Diamond. joyfully. and she'll never be able to remember the words of them." "Oh. N orth Wind!" he cried aloud. A star shot fr om the sky." said North Wind. will it. Th ere were no horses there at all. and I've stopped longer already. North Wind?" "No. I t won't take you long to get home from here. Raymond's book. and all was looking dull and dismal." said Diamond to himself. a nd set him down on the lawn at the back. and into mother's room. turning his face towards the sky. I heard you quite well. It isn't a home at all now."I can tell you what she won't do: she'll never forget the meaning of them." assented the lady. "Until she gets to the back of the north wind." "If she sees them in Mr. as North Wind sailed over the house with him." "So high up as that?" "Yes." she answered. and ran into the stable. and when they're gone. The only thing left that he cared about was the hole in the wall where his little bed ha d stood." cried Diamond. more than enough. It was all so dreary and lost! "I thought I liked the place so much." "Have you had enough of your old home already?" "Yes. North Wind told me I might stop as long as I liked. He ran down the stair again." suggested Diamond. There he threw himself down and began to cry. I wonder if the hole is at th e back of my bed still. and out upon the lawn. I suppose it's only the people in it that make you like a pl ace. "I know now where we are." "Until she gets to the back of the north wind. how jolly. and the little summer-house with the coloured glas s and the great elm-tree gone. "but I find I d on't care about it. He ran upstairs. He did not like this. there stood North Wind." "I thought that would be it. "were you the shooting star?" "Yes. won't it?" "Yes. and you don't care a bit about it. it's dead. The rooms were empty. He found part o f it cut up into flower-beds. and Diamond's stall. Diamond ran about the lawn for a little while in the moonlight.
The brain puts them into the mind. not the mind into the brain. but. But Diamond n ever troubled his head about what people thought of him. Happily for me. I know. had some share in reconciling him to it. I suspect however that the other name they gav e him. or else it's worth nothing. and therefore. But a fear crosses me. Diamond. I should lead people to mistake him for one of those consequential. and there she was against the door into the big room. Even if she be a dream.as got a soul in it. being indeed convinced that the bottom was miles away. "Have you seen your friend again?" I asked him. sir?" he asked anxiously. "But at least there is one thing you may be sure of. though he could not quite understand what. She looked at me. I did not find myself at all in a strange sea. Some of our thoughts are worth nothing. God's Baby." . as I generally do when I am g oing to see her. "I daren't say. as white as snow. "Could it be all dreaming. The wisest things he said came out when he wanted one t o help him with some difficulty he was in. He never set up for kno wing better than others. I confess. I was as much interested in metaphysics as Diamond himself. The next time I saw him. I should have been astonished at his being able even to report such conversations as he said he had had with North Wind." he answered. I woke all at once." So saying. because they've got no soul in them. do you think. he looked paler than usual." "Yes. sitting j ust as I saw her sit on her own doorstep. appeared more thoughtful than satisfied. It is time for you to go home. "I know. he should be stu ffed like one of those awful big-headed fishes you see in museums." "But how can you know about that. but never moved or spoke. "Did she take you out with her?" "No." Then he was silent. When a child li ke that dies. who are always trying to say c lever things. He supposed there was something in it. solemnly. lest. and her eyes as blue as the heart of an iceberg. and then he told me what I h ave now told you. had I not known alrea dy that some children are profound in metaphysics." returned Diamond. But I don't care to talk about that. "Yes. CHAPTER XXXVIII AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND I DID not see Diamond for a week or so after this. He was not even offended with Nanny a nd Jim for calling him a silly. North Wind? You haven't got a body." "If I hadn't you wouldn't know anything about me. priggish little monsters. by telling so much about my friend. while he recounted his conversations with North Wind. and looking to see whether people appreciate them. She did not speak to me. that there is a still better love than that of the wonderful being y ou call North Wind. although certainly I could not always feel the bottom. North Wind lifted Diamond and bore him away. the dream of such a beautiful creatu re could not come to you by chance. and we don't care a bit about i t. instead of having a silly book written about him. No creature can know another without the help of a body." I answered.
The maid who opened the door look ed grave. A lovely figure. seeing my questioning looks. But when we too k him up. "No. Four days after. as we thought. we did not think he was asleep. "I only felt a little cold. "May I go and see him?" I asked. as white and almost as clear as alabaster. "I've heard nothing." I answered. "Haven't you heard?" she said. I think I have been rather cold ever since though. I called again at the Mound. I saw Mrs. but I said nothing." I walked up the winding stair. just outside his own door--fast asleep. "This morning we found our dear little Diamond lying on the floor of the big at tic-room. was lying on the bed." she sobbed. "Yes. I did not quite like this. We saw that----" Here the kind-hearted lady broke out crying afresh."Weren't you afraid?" I asked. but I suspected nothing." "Did she stay long?" "I don't know. Why should I have been?" he answered. "You know your way to the top of the tower. When I reached the drawing-room. They thought he was dead. and entered his room. I knew that he had gone to the back of the north win d." he added with a smile. A free ebook from http://manybooks. I saw at once how it was . R aymond had been crying.net/ . I fell asleep again.
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