“You’re in a hurry, it seems!”
“If we had wings,” Boleskey answered, “we would use them.”
“Wings!” muttered Swithin thickly; “legs are good enough for me.”
Arrived at the inn where they were to pass the night, Swithin waited, hoping to get into the house without a “scene,” but when at last he alighted the girls were in the doorway, and Margit greeted him with an admiring murmur, in which, however, he seemed to detect irony. Rozsi, pale and tremulous, with a half-scared look, gave him her hand, and, quickly withdrawing it, shrank behind her sister. When they had gone up to their room Swithin sought Boleskey. His spirits had risen remarkably. “Tell the landlord to get us supper,” he said; “we’ll crack a bottle to our luck.” He hurried on the landlord’s preparations. The window of the, room faced a wood, so near that he could almost touch the trees. The scent from the pines blew in on him. He turned away from that scented darkness, and began to draw the corks of winebottles. The sound seemed to conjure up Boleskey. He came in, splashed all over, smelling slightly of stables; soon after, Margit appeared, fresh and serene, but Rozsi did not come.
“Where is your sister?” Swithin said. Rozsi, it seemed, was tired. “It will do her good to eat,” said Swithin. And Boleskey, murmuring, “She must drink to our country,” went out to summon her, Margit followed him, while Swithin cut up a chicken. They came back without her. She had “a megrim of the spirit.”
Swithin’s face fell. “Look here!” he said, “I’ll go and try. Don’t wait for me.”
“Yes,” answered Boleskey, sinking mournfully into a chair; “try, brother, try-by all means, try.”
Swithin walked down the corridor with an odd, sweet, sinking sensation in his chest; and tapped on Rozsi’s door. In a minute, she peeped forth, with her hair loose, and wondering eyes.
“Rozsi,” he stammered, “what makes you afraid of me, now?”
She stared at him, but did not answer.
“Why won’t you come?”
Still she did not speak, but suddenly stretched out
to him her bare arm.
Swithin pressed his face to it. With a shiver, she whispered above him,
“I will come,” and gently shut the door.
Swithin stealthily retraced his steps, and paused a minute outside the sitting-room to regain his self-control.
The sight of Boleskey with a bottle in his hand steadied him.
“She is coming,” he said. And very soon she did come, her thick hair roughly twisted in a plait.
Swithin sat between the girls; but did not talk, for he was really hungry. Boleskey too was silent, plunged in gloom; Rozsi was dumb; Margit alone chattered.
“You will come to our Father-town? We shall have things to show you. Rozsi, what things we will show him!” Rozsi, with a little appealing movement of her hands, repeated, “What things we will show you!” She seemed suddenly to find her voice, and with glowing cheeks, mouths full, and eyes bright as squirrels’, they chattered reminiscences of the “dear Father-town,” of “dear friends,” of the “dear home.”