There seemed no other way to settle it just then, so Bruin was allowed to go back to his rug in the blue room, and the door was securely locked.
Keith took Lloyd down to dinner, and his grandmother heard him apologising all the way down for having frightened her. The little Queen of Hearts listened smilingly, but her colour did not come back all evening, until after the archery contest. It was when Malcolm came up with the prize he had won, a tiny silver arrow, and pinned it in the knot of red ribbon on her shoulder.
“Will you keep it to remember me by?” he asked, bashfully.
“Of co’se!” she answered, with a smile that showed all her roguish dimples. “I’ll keep it fo’evah and evah to remembah how neah I came to bein’ eaten up by yo’ bea’h.”
[Illustration: “‘Will you keep it to remember me by?’”]
“It seems too bad for such a beautiful party to come to an end,” Sally Fairfax said when the last merry game was played, the last story told, and it was time to go home. “But there’s one comfort,” she added, gathering all her gay valentines together, “there needn’t be any end to the remembering of it. I’ve had such a good time, Mrs. MacIntyre.”
It was so late when the last carriage rolled down the avenue, bearing away the last smiling little guest, that the children were almost too sleepy to undress. It was not long until the last light was put out in every room, and a deep stillness settled over the entire house. One by one the lights went out in every home in the valley, and only the stars were left shining, in the cold wintry sky. No, there was one lamp that still burned. It was in the little cottage where old Professor Heinrich sat bowed over his books.
A FIRE AND A PLAN.
Some people said that old Johann Heinrich never slept, for no matter what hour of the night one passed his lonely little house, a lamp was always burning. He was a queer old German naturalist, living by himself in a cottage adjoining the MacIntyre place. He had been a professor in a large university until he grew too old to keep his position. Why he should have chosen Lloydsborough Valley as the place to settle for the remainder of his life, no one could tell.
He kept kimself away from his neighbours, and spent so much time roaming around the woods by himself that people called him queer. They did not know that he had written two big books about the birds and insects he loved so well, or that he could tell them facts more wonderful than fairy tales about these little wild creatures of the woodland.
To-night he had read later than usual, and his fire was nearly out. He was too poor to keep a servant, so when he found that the coal-hod was empty he had to go out to the kitchen to fill it himself. That is why he saw something that happened soon after midnight, while everybody else in the valley was sound asleep.