“Shouldn’t you think that they’d have something dependable, in a summer place?” Felicia signed. “Oh, it seems as if we’d been living for years in houses with no furniture in them. And the home things will simply rattle, here.”
“I wish we could have brought more of them,” Ken said. “We’ll have to rout around to-morrow and buy an oil-stove or something and a couple of chairs to sit on. Ah hum! Let’s turn in, Phil. We’ve a tight room and a fire, anyhow. Shall you be warm enough?”
“Plenty. I’ve my coat, and a sweater. But what are you going to do?”
“Oh, I’ll sit up a bit longer and stoke. And really, Kirk’s overcoat spreads out farther than you’d think. He’s tallish, nowadays.”
Felicia discovered that there are ways and ways of sleeping on the floor. She found, after sundry writhings, the right way, and drifted off to sleep long before she expected to.
Ken woke later in the stillness of the last hours of night. The room was scarcely lit by the smoldering brands of the fire; its silence hardly stirred by the murmurous hissing of the logs. Without, small marsh frogs trilled their silver welcome to the spring, an unceasing jingle of tiny bell-notes. Kirk was cuddled close beside Ken, and woke abruptly as Ken drew him nearer.
“You didn’t take your overcoat,” he whispered.
“We’ll both have it, now,” his brother said. “Curl up tight, old man; it’ll wrap round the two of us.”
“Is it night still?” Kirk asked.
“Black night,” Ken whispered; “stars at the window, and a tree swaying across it. And in here a sort of dusky lightness—dark in the corners, and shadows on the walls, and the fire glowing away. Phil’s asleep on the other side of the hearth, and she looks very nice. And listen—hear the toads?”
“Is that what they are? I thought it was a fairy something. They make nice noises! Where do they live?”
“In some marsh. They sit there and fiddle away on bramble roots and sing about various things they like.”
“What nice toads!” murmured Kirk.
“Sh-sh!” whispered Ken; “we’re waking Phil. Good night—good morning, I mean. Warm enough now?”
“Yes. Oh, Ken, aren’t we having fun?”
“Aren’t we, though!” breathed his brother, pulling the end of the Burberry over Kirk’s shoulders.
* * * * *
The sun is a good thing. It clears away not only the dark shadows in the corners of empty rooms, but also the gloom that settles in anxious people’s minds at midnight. The rising of the sun made, to be sure, small difference to Kirk, whose mind harbored very little gloom, and was lit principally by the spirits of those around him. Consequently, when his brother and sister began reveling in the clear, cold dawn, Kirk executed a joyous little pas seul in the middle of the living-room floor and set off on a tour of exploration. He returned from it with his fingers very dusty, and a loop of cobwebs over his hair.