A low growl came rumbling from the hills, as the wind god rushed along, encouraging his legions, threatening, coaxing, pleading, commanding them to fight, and so to overcome this figure who now boldly faced his great army.
The advance guard of the storm broke upon him in wild desperation, rushing and thundering, howling and yelling, sputtering and hissing, spitting and hitting at him, and then the main body struck him full in the face, all the bulk and the force of it hurled upon him with terrible impetuous abandon, and Robert’s foot striking a tuft at the moment, he went down, down into a bog-pool among the slush and moss, and decaying heather-roots, down before the mad rush of the wind-god’s army, who roared and shouted in glee, with a voice that shook the hills and called upon the elements to laugh and rejoice.
And the widowed partridge out upon the moor, creeping closer to the lee side of his tuft of moss, cried out in his pain, not because of the fury of the blast, but because of the heart that was breaking under the little shivering body for the dead mate, who had meant so much of life and happiness to him—cried with an ache in every cry, and the heart of the man responded in his great, overpowering grief.
PETER MAKES A DECISION
Peter Rundell often wondered what had become of Mysie. For a day or two after the evening of the day of the games, he had shunned the possibility of meeting her, because of the shame that filled his heart.
His face burned when his thoughts went back to the evening in the grove on the moor. He wondered how it had all happened. He had not meant anything wrong when he suggested the walk. He could not account for what had occurred, and so he pondered and his shame rankled.
Then an uneasy feeling took possession of him and he felt he would like to see Mysie.
A week slipped away and he tried to find a way of coming in contact with her, but no real chance ever presented itself.
A fortnight passed and he grew still more uneasy. He grew anxious and there was a hot fear pricking at his heart. Then at last, one day he caught a glimpse of her, and his heart was smitten with dread.
She was changed. Her appearance was altered. She was thinner, much thinner and very white and listless. The old air of gayety and bubbling spirits was gone. Her step seemed to drag, instead of the bright patter her feet used to make; and his anxiety increased and finally he decided that he must talk with her.
There was something wrong and he wanted to know what it was. He tried to make an excuse for seeing her alone but no chance presented itself, and another week went past and he grew desperate. Then luck almost threw her into his arms one day in the hall.
“Mysie,” he whispered, “there is something I want to discuss with you. Meet me in the grove to-night about ten. I must see you. Will you come?”