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The Devil's Pool eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 115 pages of information about The Devil's Pool.

But Grise, who was thoroughly disgusted with the journey, jumped back, released the reins, broke the girths, and, kicking up her heels higher than her head some half-dozen times, by way of salutation, started off through the brush, showing very plainly that she needed no one’s assistance in finding her way.

“Well, well,” said Germain, after he had tried in vain to catch her, “here we are on foot, and it would do us no good if we should find the right road, for we should have to cross the river on foot; and when we see how full of water these roads are, we can be sure that the meadow is under water.  We don’t know the other fords.  So we must wait till the mist rises; it can’t last more than an hour or two.  When we can see, we will look for a house, the first one we can find on the edge of the wood; but at present we can’t stir from here; there’s a ditch and a pond and I don’t know what not in front of us; and I couldn’t undertake to say what there is behind us, for I don’t know which way we came.”

VIII

UNDER THE GREAT OAKS

“Oh! well, Germain, we must be patient,” said little Marie.  “We are not badly off on this little knoll.  The rain doesn’t come through the leaves of these great oaks, for I can feel some old broken branches that are dry enough to burn.  You have flint and steel, Germain?  You were smoking your pipe just now.”

“I had them.  My steel was in the bag on the saddle with the game I was carrying to my intended; but the cursed mare carried off everything, even my cloak, which she will lose or tear on all the branches.”  “Oh! no, Germain; the saddle and cloak and bag are all there on the ground, by your feet.  Grise broke the girths and threw everything off when she left.”

“Great God, that’s so!” said the ploughman; “and if we can feel round and find a little dead wood, we can succeed in drying and warming ourselves.”

“That’s not hard to do,” said little Marie; “the dead wood cracks under your feet wherever you step; but give me the saddle first.”

“What are you going to do with it?”

“Make a bed for the little one:  no, not like that; upside-down, so he won’t roll out; and it’s still warm from the mare’s back.  Prop it up on each side with those stones you see there.”

“I don’t see them!  Your eyes are like a cat’s, aren’t they?”

“There! now that’s done, Germain!  Give me your cloak to wrap up his little feet, and I’ll put mine over his body.  Look! isn’t he as comfortable there as he would be in his bed? and feel how warm he is!”

“Yes, indeed! you know how to take care of children, Marie!”

“That doesn’t take much magic.  Now look for your steel in your bag, and I’ll fix the wood.”

“That wood will never light, it’s too damp.”

“You doubt everything, Germain!  Why, can’t you remember taking care of sheep and making big fires in the fields when it was raining hard?”

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