Title Page


                              E. W. P.

                                MY DEAR?"



      HOLY WATER . . Frontispiece

      ROL'S WORSHIP . . To face page 8


      THE RACE . . . 80

      THE FINISH . . . 100

      SWEYN'S FINDING . . 116


A square frame holds a capital letter T surrounded by scrolling vines with a pattern of open gourds or pomegranates. It makes up part of the first word of the text which is The.

 HE great farm hall was
ablaze with the fire-light, and noisy with
laughter and talk and many-sounding
work. None could be idle but the very
young and the very old: little Rol, who was
hugging a puppy, and old Trella, whose
palsied hand fumbled over her knitting.
The early evening had closed in, and
the farm-servants, come from their out-
door work, had assembled in the ample
hall, which gave space for a score or more
of workers. Several of the men were
engaged in carving, and to these were

yielded the best place and light; others
made or repaired fishing-tackle and
harness, and a great seine net occupied
three pairs of hands. Of the women
most were sorting and mixing eider
feather and chopping straw to add
to it. Looms were there, though not
in present use, but three wheels whirred
emulously, and the finest and swiftest
thread of the three ran between the
fingers of the house-mistress. Near her
were some children, busy too, plaiting
wicks for candles and lamps. Each
group of workers had a lamp in its
centre, and those farthest from the fire
had live heat from two braziers filled
with glowing wood embers, replenished
now and again from the generous hearth.
But the flicker of the great fire was mani-
fest to remotest corners, and prevailed
beyond the limits of the weaker lights.

Little Rol grew tired of his puppy,
dropped it incontinently, and made an

onslaught on Tyr, the old wolf-hound,
who basked dozing, whimpering and
twitching in his hunting dreams.
Prone went Rol beside Tyr, his young
arms round the shaggy neck, his curls
against the black jowl. Tyr gave a
perfunctory lick, and stretched with a
sleepy sigh. Rol growled and rolled
and shoved invitingly, but could only
gain from the old dog placid toleration
and a half-observant blink. "Take
that then!" said Rol, indignant at
this ignoring of his advances, and sent
the puppy sprawling against the dignity
that disdained him as playmate. The dog
took no notice, and the child wandered
off to find amusement elsewhere.

The baskets of white eider feathers
caught his eye far off in a distant corner.
He slipped under the table, and crept
along on all-fours, the ordinary common-
place custom of walking down a room
upright not being to his fancy. When

close to the women he lay still for a
moment watching, with his elbows on
the floor and his chin in his palms.
One of the women seeing him nodded
and smiled, and presently he crept out
behind her skirts and passed, hardly
noticed, from one to another, till he
found opportunity to possess himself of
a large handful of feathers. With these
he traversed the length of the room,
under the table again, and emerged near
the spinners. At the feet of the
youngest he curled himself round,
sheltered by her knees from the ob-
servation of the others, and disarmed her
of interference by secretly displaying his
handful with a confiding smile. A
dubious nod satisfied him, and pre-
sently he started on the play he had
devised. He took a tuft of the white
down, and gently shook it free of his
fingers close to the whirl of the wheel.
The wind of the swift motion took it,

spun it round and round in widening
circles, till it floated above like a slow
white moth. Little Rol's eyes danced,
and the row of his small teeth shone
in a silent laugh of delight. Another
and another of the white tufts was sent
whirling round like a winged thing in
a spider's web, and floating clear at last.
Presently the handful failed.

Rol sprawled forward to survey the
room, and contemplate another journey
under the table. His shoulder, thrusting
forward, checked the wheel for an in-
stant; he shifted hastily. The wheel
flew on with a jerk, and the thread
snapped. "Naughty Rol!" said the
girl. The swiftest wheel stopped also,
and the house-mistress, Rol's aunt, leaned
forward, and sighting the low curly head,
gave a warning against mischief, and sent
him off to old Trella's corner.

Rol obeyed, and after a discreet period
of obedience, sidled out again down the
length of the room farthest from his
aunt's eye. As he slipped in among the
men, they looked up to see that their
tools might be, as far as possible, out of
reach of Rol's hands, and close to their
own. Nevertheless, before long he man-
aged to secure a fine chisel and take off
its point on the leg of the table. The
carver's strong objections to this discon-
certed Rol, who for five minutes there-
after effaced himself under the table.

During this seclusion he contemplated
the many pairs of legs that surrounded
him, and almost shut out the light of
the fire. How very odd some of the
legs were: some were curved where they
should be straight, some were straight
where they should be curved, and, as
Rol said to himself, "they all seemed
screwed on differently." Some were
tucked away modestly under the benches,
others were thrust far out under the
table, encroaching on Rol's own par-
ticular domain. He stretched out his
own short legs and regarded them critic-
ally, and, after comparison, favourably.
Why were not all legs made like his, or
like his?

These legs approved by Rol were a
little apart from the rest. He crawled
opposite and again made comparison.
His face grew quite solemn as he thought
of the innumerable days to come before
his legs could be as long and strong. He
hoped they would be just like those, his
models, as straight as to bone, as curved
as to muscle.

A few moments later Sweyn of the
long legs felt a small hand caressing his
foot, and looking down, met the upturned
eyes of his little cousin Rol. Lying on
his back, still softly patting and stroking
the young man's foot, the child was quiet
and happy for a good while. He watched
the movement of the strong deft hands,
and the shifting of the bright tools. Now
and then, minute chips of wood, puffed
off by Sweyn, fell down upon his face.
At last he raised himself, very gently,
lest a jog should wake impatience in the
carver, and crossing his own legs round
Sweyn's ankle, clasping with his arms
too, laid his head against the knee. Such
act is evidence of a child's most wonder-
ful hero-worship. Quite content was
Rol, and more than content when Sweyn
paused a minute to joke, and pat his
head and pull his curls. Quiet he re-
mained, as long as quiescence is possible
to limbs young as his. Sweyn forgot he
was near, hardly noticed when his leg
was gently released, and never saw the
stealthy abstraction of one of his tools.

Ten minutes thereafter was a lament-
able wail from low on the floor, rising
to the full pitch of Rol's healthy lungs;
for his hand was gashed across, and the
copious bleeding terrified him. Then was
there soothing and comforting, washing

In a farm hall, brightly lite the background, sit several men at a table. One of them is Sweyn. Under the table, his little cousin Rol, is clutching Sewyn's leg.

and binding, and a modicum of scolding,
till the loud outcry sank into occasional
sobs, and the child, tear-stained and sub-
dued, was returned to the chimney-corner
settle, where Trella nodded.

In the reaction after pain and fright,
Rol found that the quiet of that fire-lit
corner was to his mind. Tyr, too, dis-
dained him no longer, but, roused by his
sobs, showed all the concern and sym-
pathy that a dog can by licking and wist-
ful watching. A little shame weighed
also upon his spirits. He wished he had
not cried quite so much. He remem-
bered how once Sweyn had come home
with his arm torn down from the shoulder,
and a dead bear; and how he had never
winced nor said a word, though his lips
turned white with pain. Poor little Rol
gave another sighing sob over his own
faint-hearted shortcomings.

The light and motion of the great fire
began to tell strange stories to the child,

and the wind in the chimney roared a
corroborative note now and then. The
great black mouth of the chimney,
impending high over the hearth, re-
ceived as into a mysterious gulf murky
coils of smoke and brightness of aspiring
sparks; and beyond, in the high darkness,
were muttering and wailing and strange
doings, so that sometimes the smoke
rushed back in panic, and curled out and
up to the roof, and condensed itself to
invisibility among the rafters. And then
the wind would rage after its lost prey,
and rush round the house, rattling and
shrieking at window and door.

In a lull, after one such loud gust, Rol
lifted his head in surprise and listened.
A lull had also come on the babel of talk,
and thus could be heard with strange
distinctness a sound outside the door—
the sound of a child's voice, a child's
hands. "Open, open; let me in!"
piped the little voice from low down,

lower than the handle, and the latch
rattled as though a tiptoe child reached
up to it, and soft small knocks were
struck. One near the door sprang up and
opened it. " No one is here," he said.
Tyr lifted his head and gave utterance to
a howl, loud, prolonged, most dismal.

Sweyn, not able to believe that his
ears had deceived him, got up and went
to the door. It was a dark night; the
clouds were heavy with snow, that had
fallen fitfully when the wind lulled.
Untrodden snow lay up to the porch;
there was no sight nor sound of any
human being. Sweyn strained his eyes
far and near, only to see dark sky, pure
snow, and a line of black fir trees on a
hill brow, bowing down before the wind.
"It must have been the wind," he said,
and closed the door.

Many faces looked scared. The sound
of a child's voice had been so distinct—
and the words "Open, open; let me

in!" The wind might creak the wood,
or rattle the latch, but could not speak
with a child's voice, nor knock with the
soft plain blows that a plump fist gives.
And the strange unusual howl of the
wolf-hound was an omen to be feared, be
the rest what it might. Strange things
were said by one and another, till the
rebuke of the house-mistress quelled them
into far-off whispers. For a time after
there was uneasiness, constraint, and si-
lence; then the chill fear thawed by
degrees, and the babble of talk flowed on

Yet half-an-hour later a very slight
noise outside the door sufficed to arrest
every hand, every tongue. Every head
was raised, every eye fixed in one direc-
tion." It is Christian; he is late," said

No, no; this is a feeble shuffie, not a
young man's tread. With the sound of
uncertain feet came the hard tap-tap of

a stick against the door, and the high-
pitched voice of eld, "Open, open; let
me in!" Again Tyr flung up his head
in a long doleful howl.

Before the echo of the tapping stick
and the high voice had fairly died away,
Sweyn had sprung across to the door
and flung it wide. "No one again," he
said in a steady voice, though his eyes
looked startled as he stared out. He saw
the lonely expanse of snow, the clouds
swagging low, and between the two the
ine of dark fir-trees bowing in the wind.
He closed the door without a word of
comment, and re-crossed the room.

A score of blanched faces were turned
to him as though he must be solver of
the enigma. He could not be uncon-
scious of this mute eye-questioning, and
it disturbed his resolute air of composure.
He hesitated, glanced towards his mother,
the house-mistress, then back at the
frightened folk, and gravely, before them

all, made the sign of the cross. There
was a flutter of hands as the sign was
repeated by all, and the dead silence was
stirred as by a huge sigh, for the held
breath of many was freed as though the
sign gave magic relief.

Even the house-mistress was per-
turbed. She left her wheel and crossed
the room to her son, and spoke with
him for a moment in a low tone that
none could overhear. But a moment
later her voice was high-pitched and
loud, so that all might benefit by her
rebuke of the "heathen chatter" of one
of the girls. Perhaps she essayed to
silence thus her own misgivings and

No other voice dared speak now with
its natural fulness. Low tones made
intermittent murmurs, and now and
then silence drifted over the whole
room. The handling of tools was as
noiseless as might be, and suspended on
the instant if the door rattled in a gust
of wind. After a time Sweyn left his
work, joined the group nearest the door,
and loitered there on the pretence of
giving advice and help to the unskilful.

A man's tread was heard outside in
the porch. "Christian!" said Sweyn
and his mother simultaneously, he con-
fidently, she authoritatively, to set the
checked wheels going again. But Tyr
flung up his head with an appalling howl.

"Open, open; let me in!"

It was a man's voice, and the door
shook and rattled as a man's strength
beat against it. Sweyn could feel the
planks quivering, as on the instant his
hand was upon the door, flinging it
open, to face the blank porch, and be-
yond only snow and sky, and firs aslant
in the wind.

He stood for a long minute with the
open door in his hand. The bitter
wind swept in with its icy chill, but a
deadlier chill of fear came swifter, and
seemed to freeze the beating of hearts.
Sweyn stepped back to snatch up a
great bearskin cloak

"Sweyn, where are you going?"

"No farther than the porch, mother,"
and he stepped out and closed the door.

He wrapped himself in the heavy fur,
and leaning against the most sheltered
wall of the porch, steeled his nerves
to face the devil and all his works.
No sound of voices came from within;
the most distinct sound was the crackle
and roar of the fire.

It was bitterly cold. His feet grew
numb, but he forbore stamping them
into warmth lest the sound should strike
panic within ; nor would he leave the
porch, nor print a footmark on the un-
trodden white that declared so absolutely
how no human voices and hands could
have approached the door since snow
fell two hours or more ago. "When
the wind drops there will be more
snow," thought Sweyn.

For the best part of an hour he kept
his watch, and saw no living thing—
heard no unwonted sound. "I will
freeze here no longer," he muttered,
and re-entered.

One woman gave a half-suppressed
scream as his hand was laid on the latch,
and then a gasp of relief as he came in.
No one questioned him, only his mother
said, in a tone of forced unconcern,
"Could you not see Christian coming?"
as though she were made anxious only
by the absence of her younger son.
Hardly had Sweyn stamped near to the
fire than clear knocking was heard at the
door. Tyr leapt from the hearth, his
eyes red as the fire, his fangs showing
white in the black jowl, his neck ridged
and bristling ; and overleaping Rol,
ramped at the door, barking furiously.

Outside the door a clear mellow voice
was calling. Tyr's bark made the words

No one offered to stir towards the door
before Sweyn.

He stalked down the room resolutely,
lifted the latch, and swung back the door.

A white-robed woman glided in.

No wraith! Living—beautiful—

Tyr leapt upon her.

Lithely she baulked the sharp fangs
with folds of her long fur robe, and
snatching from her girdle a small two-
edged axe, whirled it up for a blow of

Sweyn caught the dog by the collar,
and dragged him off yelling and struggling.

The stranger stood in the doorway
motionless, one foot set forward, one arm
flung up, till the house-mistress hurried
down the room; and Sweyn, relinquishing
to others the furious Tyr, turned
again to close the door, and offer excuse
for so fierce a greeting. Then she
lowered her arm, slung the axe in its
place at her waist, loosened the furs
about her face, and shook over her
shoulders the long white robe—all as it
were with the sway of one movement.

She was a maiden, tall and very fair.
The fashion of her dress was strange,
half masculine, yet not unwomanly. A
fine fur tunic, reaching but little below
the knee, was all the skirt she wore;
below were the cross-bound shoes and
leggings that a hunter wears. A white
fur cap was set low upon the brows, and
from its edge strips of fur fell lappet-wise
about her shoulders; two of these at her
entrance had been drawn forward and
crossed about her throat, but now,
loosened and thrust back, left unhidden
long plaits of fair hair that lay forward
on shoulder and breast,down to the ivory-
studded girdle where the axe gleamed.
Sweyn and his mother led the stranger
to the hearth without question or sign
of curiosity, till she voluntarily told her
tale of a long journey to distant kindred,
a promised guide unmet, and signals and
landmarks mistaken.

"Alone!" exclaimed Sweyn in astonish-
ment "Have you journeyed thus far,
a hundred leagues, alone?"

She answered "Yes" with a little smile.

"Over the hills and the wastes! Why,
the folk there are savage and wild as

She dropped her hand upon her axe
with a laugh of some scorn.

"I fear neither man nor beast; some
few fear me." And then she told strange
tales of fierce attack and defence, and
of the bold free huntress life she had

Her words came a little slowly and
deliberately, as though she spoke in a
scarce familiar tongue; now and then
she hesitated, and stopped in a phrase, as
though for lack of some word.

She became the centre of a group of
listeners. The interest she excited dissi-
pated, in some degree, the dread inspired
by the mysterious voices. There was
nothing ominous about this young, bright,
fair reality, though her aspect was strange.

Little Rol crept near, staring at the
stranger with all his might. Unnoticed,
he softly stroked and patted a corner of
her soft white robe that reached to the
floor in ample folds. He laid his cheek
against it caressingly, and then edged up
close to her knees.

"What is your name?" he asked.

The stranger's smile and ready answer,
as she looked down, saved Rol from the
rebuke merited by his unmannerly ques-

"My real name," she said, "would
be uncouth to your ears and tongue.
The folk of this country have given me
another name, and from this" (she laid
her hand on the fur robe) "they call
me 'White Fell.'"

Little Rol repeated it to himself,
stroking and patting as before. "White
Fell, White Fell."

The fair face, and soft, beautiful dress
pleased Rol. He knelt up, with his
eyes on her face and an air of uncertain
determination, like a robin's on a door-
step, and plumped his elbows into her
lap with a little gasp at his own

"Rol!" exclaimed his aunt; but,
"Oh, let him!" said White Fell, smiling
and stroking his head; and Rol

He advanced farther, and panting at
his own adventurousness in the face of
his aunt's authority, climbed up on to
her knees. Her welcoming arms hindered
any protest. He nestled happily,
fingering the axe head, the ivory studs
in her girdle, the ivory clasp at her
throat, the plaits of fair hair; rubbing
his head against the softness of her fur-
clad shoulder, with a child's full confid-
ence in the kindness of beauty.

White Fell had not uncovered her
head, only knotted the pendant fur
loosely behind her neck. Rol reached
up his hand towards it, whispering her
name to himself, "White Fell, White
Fell," then slid his arms round her neck,
and kissed her—once—twice. She
laughed delightedly, and kissed him

"The child plagues you?" said

"No,indeed," she answered, with an
earnestness so intense as to seem
disproportionate to the occasion.

Rol settled himself again on her lap,
and began to unwind the bandage bound
round his hand. He paused a little
when he saw where the blood had
soaked through; then went on till his
hand was bare and the cut displayed,
gaping and long, though only skin deep.
He held it up towards White Fell, de–
sirous of her pity and sympathy.

At sight of it, and the blood–stained
linen, she drew in her breath suddenly,
clasped Rol to her—hard, hard—till he
began to struggle. Her face was hidden
behind the boy, so that none could see
its expression. It had lighted up with
a most awful glee.

Afar, beyond the fir–grove, beyond
the low hill behind, the absent Chris–
tian was hastening his return. From
daybreak he had been afoot, carrying
notice of a bear hunt to all the
best hunters of the farms and hamlets
that lay within a radius of twelve miles.
Nevertheless, having been detained till
a late hour, he now broke into a run,
going with a long smooth stride of
apparent ease that fast made the miles

He entered the midnight blackness
of the fir–grove with scarcely slackened
pace, though the path was invisible;
and passing through into the open again,
sighted the farm lying a furlong off
down the slope. Then he sprang out
freely, and almost on the instant gave
one great sideways leap, and stood still.
There in the snow was the track of a
great wolf.

His hand went to his knife, his only
weapon. He stooped, knelt down, to
bring his eyes to the level of a beast, and
peered about; his teeth set, his heart
beat a little harder than the pace of his
running insisted on. A solitary wolf,
nearly always savage and of large size, is
a formidable beast that will not hesitate
to attack a single man. This wolf–track
was the largest Christian had ever seen,
and, so far as he could judge, recently
made. It led from under the fir–trees
down the slope. Well for him, he
thought, was the delay that had so vexed
him before: well for him that he had not
passed through the dark fir–grove when
that danger of jaws lurked there. Going
warily, he followed the track.

It led down the slope, across a broad
ice–bound stream, along the level be–
yond, making towards the farm. A less
precise knowledge had doubted, and
guessed that here might have come
straying big Tyr or his like; but
Christian was sure, knowing better
than to mistake between footmark of
dog and wolf.

Straight on—straight on towards the

Surprised and anxious grew Christian,
that a prowling wolf should dare so
near. He drew his knife and pressed
on, more hastily, more keen–eyed. Oh
that Tyr were with him!
Straight on, straight on, even to the
very door, where the snow failed. His
heart seemed to give a great leap and
then stop. There the track ended.

Nothing lurked in the porch, and there
was no sign of return. The firs stood
straight against the sky, the clouds lay
low; for the wind had fallen and a few
snowflakes came drifting down. In a
horror of surprise, Christian stood dazed
a moment: then he lifted the latch and
went in. His glance took in all the old
familiar forms and faces, and with them
that of the stranger, fur–clad and beauti-
ful. The awful truth flashed upon him:
he knew what she was.

Only a few were startled by the rattle
of the latch as he entered. The room
was filled with bustle and movement, for
it was the supper hour, when all tools
were laid aside, and trestles and tables
shifted. Christian had no knowledge of
what he said and did; he moved and spoke
mechanically, half thinking that soon he
must wake from this horrible dream.
Sweyn and his mother supposed him to
be cold and dead–tired, and spared all
unnecessary questions. And he found
himself seated beside the hearth, opposite
that dreadful Thing that looked like a
beautiful girl; watching her every move–
ment, curdling with horror to see her
fondle the child Rol.

Sweyn stood near them both, intent
upon White Fell also; but how differ–
ently! She seemed unconscious of the
gaze of both—neither aware of the chill
dread in the eyes of Christian, nor of
Sweyn's warm admiration.

These two brothers, who were twins,
contrasted greatly, despite their striking
likeness. They were alike in regular
profile, fair brown hair, and deep blue
eyes; but Sweyn's features were perfect
as a young god's, while Christian's showed
faulty details. Thus, the line of his
mouth was set too straight, the eyes
shelved too deeply back, and the contour
of the face flowed in less generous curves
than Sweyn's. Their height was the
same, but Christian was too slender for
perfect proportion, while Sweyn's well–
knit frame, broad shoulders, and muscular
arms, made him pre–eminent for manly
beauty as well as for strength. As a
hunter Sweyn was without rival; as a
fisher without rival. All the country–
side acknowledged him to be the best
wrestler, rider, dancer, singer. Only in
speed could he be surpassed, and in that
only by his younger brother. All others
Sweyn could distance fairly; but Chris–
tian could outrun him easily. Ay, he
could keep pace with Sweyn's most
breathless burst, and laugh and talk the
while. Christian took little pride in his
fleetness of foot, counting a man's legs to
be the least worthy of his members. He
had no envy of his brother's athletic
superiority, though to several feats he had
made a moderate second. He loved as
only a twin can love–proud of all that
Sweyn did, content with all that Sweyn
was; humbly content also that his own
great love should not be so exceedingly
returned, since he knew himself to be
so far less love–worthy.

Christian dared not, in the midst of
women and children, launch the horror
that he knew into words. He waited to
consult his brother; but Sweyn did not,
or would not, notice the signal he made,
and kept his face always turned towards
White Fell. Christian drew away from
the hearth, unable to remain passive with
that dread upon him.

"Where is Tyr?" he said suddenly.
Then, catching sight of the dog in a
distant corner, "Why is he chained

"He flew at the stranger," one an–
Christian's eyes glowed. "Yes?" he
said, interrogatively.

"He was within an ace of having his
brain knocked out."

"Tyr ?"

"Yes; she was nimbly up with that
little axe she has at her waist. It was
well for old Tyr that his master throttled
him off."

Christian went without a word to the
corner where Tyr was chained. The
dog rose up to meet him, as piteous and
indignant as a dumb beast can be. He
stroked the black head. "Good Tyr!
brave dog!"

They knew, they only; and the
man and the dumb dog had comfort
of each other.

Christian's eyes turned again towards
White Fell: Tyr's also, and he strained
against the length of the chain. Chris–
tian's hand lay on the dog's neck, and
he felt it ridge and bristle with the
quivering of impotent fury. Then he
began to quiver in like manner, with a
fury born of reason, not instinct; as im-
potent morally as was Tyr physically.
Oh! the woman's form that he dare not
touch! Anything but that, and he with
Tyr would be free to kill or be killed.

Then he returned to ask fresh ques–

"How long has the stranger been

"She came about half–an–hour before

Who opened the door to her?"

"Sweyn: no one else dared."

The tone of the answer was mysterious.

"Why?" queried Christian." Has
anything strange happened? Tell me."

For answer he was told in a low under–
tone of the summons at the door thrice
repeated without human agency; and of
Tyr's ominous howls; and of Sweyn's
fruitless watch outside.
Christian turned towards his brother
in a torment of impatience for a word
apart. The board was spread, and Sweyn
was leading White Fell to the guest's
place. This was more awful: she
would break bread with them under the

He started forward, and touching
Sweyn's arm, whispered an urgent en–
treaty. Sweyn stared, and shook his head
in angry impatience.

Thereupon Christian would take no
morsel of food.

His opportunity came at last. White
Fell questioned of the landmarks of
the country, and of one Cairn Hill,
which was an appointed meeting–place
at which she was due that night.
The house–mistress and Sweyn both

"It is three long miles away," said
Sweyn; "with no place for shelter but
a wretched hut. Stay with us this
night, and I will show you the way

White Fell seemed to hesitate. "Three
miles," she said; "then I should be able
to see or hear a signal."

"I will look out," said Sweyn; "then,
if there be no signal, you must not leave

He went to the door. Christian rose
silently, and followed him out.

"Sweyn, do you know what she is?"

Sweyn, surprised at the vehement
grasp, and low hoarse voice, made

"She? Who? White Fell? "


"She is the most beautiful girl I have
ever seen."

"She is a Were–Wolf"

Sweyn burst out laughing. "Are you
mad?" he asked.

"No; here, see for yourself."

Christian drew him out of the porch,
pointing to the snow where the footmarks
had been. Had been, for now they were
not. Snow was falling fast, and every
dint was blotted out.

"Well?" asked Sweyn.

"Had you come when I signed to you,
you would have seen for yourself."

"Seen what? "

"The footprints of a wolf leading up
to the door; none leading away."

It was impossible not to be startled
by the tone alone, though it was hardly
above a whisper. Sweyn eyed his brother
anxiously, but in the darkness could make
nothing of his face. Then he laid his
hands kindly and re–assuringly on Chris–
tian's shoulders and felt how he was
quivering with excitement and horror.

"One sees strange things," he said,
"when the cold has got into the brain
behind the eyes; you came in cold and
worn out."

"No," interrupted Christian. "I saw
the track first in the brow of the slope,
and followed it down right here to the
door. This is no delusion."

Sweyn in his heart felt positive that it
was. Christian was given to day–dreams
and strange fancies, though never had he
been possessed with so mad a notion

"Don't you believe me?" said Chris-
tian desperately. "You must. I swear
it is sane truth. Are you blind? Why,
even Tyr knows."

"You will be clearer headed to–morrow
after a night's rest. Then come too, if
you will, with White Fell, to the Hill
Cairn; and if you have doubts still, watch
and follow, and see what footprints she

Galled by Sweyn's evident contempt
Christian turned abruptly to the door.
Sweyn caught him back.

"What now, Christian? What are
you going to do?"
"You do not believe me; my mother

Sweyn's grasp tightened. "You shall
not tell her," he said authoritatively.

Customarily Christian was so docile to
his brother's mastery that it was now a
surprising thing when he wrenched him–
self free vigorously, and said as deter–
minedly as Sweyn, "She shall know!"
but Sweyn was nearer the door and would
not let him pass.

"There has been scare enough for one
night already. If this notion of yours
will keep, broach it to–morrow." Chris–
tian would not yield.

"Women are so easily scared," pursued
Sweyn, "and are ready to believe any folly
without shadow of proof. Be a man,
Christian, and fight this notion of a
Were–Wolf by yourself."

"If you would believe me," began

"I believe you to be a fool," said
Sweyn, losing patience. "Another, who
was not your brother, might believe you
to be a knave, and guess that you had
transformed White Fell into a Were–
Wolf because she smiled more readily
on me than on you."

The jest was not without foundation,
for the grace of White Fell's bright looks
had been bestowed on him, on Christian
never a whit. Sweyn's coxcombery was
always frank, and most forgiveable, and
not without fair colour.

"If you want an ally," continued
Sweyn, "confide in old Trella. Out of
her stores of wisdom, if her memory
holds good, she can instruct you in the
orthodox manner of tackling a Were–
Wolf. If I remember aright, you should
watch the suspected person till midnight,
when the beast's form must be resumed,
and retained ever after if a human eye
sees the change; or, better still, sprinkle
hands and feet with holy water, which is
certain death. Oh! never fear, but old
Trella will be equal to the occasion."

Sweyn's contempt was no longer good–
humoured; some touch of irritation or
resentment rose at this monstrous doubt
of White Fell. But Christian was too
deeply distressed to take offence.

"You speak of them as old wives'
tales; but if you had seen the proof I
have seen, you would be ready at least to
wish them true, if not also to put them
to the test."

"Well," said Sweyn, with a laugh that
had a little sneer in it, "put them to
the test! I will not object to that, if you
will only keep your notions to yourself.
Now, Christian, give me your word
for silence, and we will freeze here no

Christian remained silent.

Sweyn put his hands on his shoulders
again and vainly tried to see his face in
the darkness.
"We have never quarrelled yet,

"I have never quarrelled," returned
the other, aware for the first time that his
dictatorial brother had sometimes offered
occasion for quarrel, had he been ready
to take it.

"Well," said Sweyn emphatically,
"if you speak against White Fell to any
other, as to–night you have spoken to
me—we shall."

He delivered the words like an ultim–
atum, turned sharp round, and re–entered
the house. Christian, more fearful and
wretched than before, followed.

"Snow is falling fast: not a single
light is to be seen."

White Fell's eyes passed over Christian
without apparent notice, and turned bright
and shining upon Sweyn.

"Nor any signal to be heard?" she
queried. "Did you not hear the sound
of a sea–horn?"
"I saw nothing, and heard nothing;
and signal or no signal, the heavy snow
would keep you here perforce."

She smiled her thanks beautifully.
And Christian's heart sank like lead
with a deadly foreboding, as he noted
what a light was kindled in Sweyn's
eyes by her smile.

That night, when all others slept,
Christian, the weariest of all, watched
outside the guest–chamber till midnight
was past. No sound, not the faintest,
could be heard. Could the old tale be
true of the midnight change? What
was on the other side of the door, a
woman or a beast? he would have given
his right hand to know. Instinctively
he laid his hand on the latch, and drew
it softly, though believing that bolts
fastened the inner side. The door yielded
to his hand; he stood on the threshold;
a keen gust of air cut at him; the win–
dow stood open; the room was empty.
So Christian could sleep with a some–
what lightened heart.

In the morning there was surprise and
conjecture when White Fell's absence
was discovered. Christian held his
peace. Not even to his brother did he
say how he knew that she had fled
before midnight; and Sweyn, though
evidently greatly chagrined, seemed to
disdain reference to the subject of Chris–
tian's fears.

The elder brother alone joined the
bear hunt; Christian found pretext to
stay behind. Sweyn, being out of
humour, manifested his contempt by
uttering not a single expostulation.

All that day, and for many a day after,
Christian would never go out of sight of
his home. Sweyn alone noticed how he
manœuvred for this, and was clearly
annoyed by it. White Fell's name was
never mentioned between them, though
not seldom was it heard in general talk.
Hardly a day passed but little Rol
asked when White Fell would come
again: pretty White Fell, who kissed
like a snowflake. And if Sweyn an–
swered, Christian would be quite sure
that the light in his eyes, kindled by
White Fell's smile, had not yet died

Little Rol! Naughty, merry, fair–
haired little Rol. A day came when his
feet raced over the threshold never to
return; when his chatter and laugh
were heard no more; when tears of
anguish were wept by eyes that never
would see his bright head again: never
again, living or dead.

He was seen at dusk for the last time,
escaping from the house with his puppy,
in freakish rebellion against old Trella.
Later, when his absence had begun to
cause anxiety, his puppy crept back to
the farm, cowed, whimpering and yelp–
ing, a pitiful, dumb lump of terror,
without intelligence or courage to guide
the frightened search.

Rol was never found, nor any trace of
him. Where he had perished was never
known; how he had perished was known
only by an awful guess—a wild beast
had devoured him.

Christian heard the conjecture "a
wolf"; and a horrible certainty flashed
upon him that he knew what wolf it
was. He tried to declare what he knew,
but Sweyn saw him start at the words
with white face and struggling lips; and,
guessing his purpose, pulled him back,
and kept him silent, hardly, by his
imperious grip and wrathful eyes, and
one low whisper.

That Christian should retain his most
irrational suspicion against beautiful
White Fell was, to Sweyn, evidence of a
weak obstinacy of mind that would but
thrive upon expostulation and argument.
But this evident intention to direct the
passions of grief and anguish to a hatred
and fear of the fair stranger, such as his
own, was intolerable, and Sweyn set his
will against it. Again Christian yielded
to his brother's stronger words and will,
and against his own judgment consented
to silence.

Repentance came before the new moon,
the first of the year, was old. White
Fell came again, smiling as she entered,
as though assured of a glad and kindly
welcome; and, in truth, there was only
one who saw again her fair face and
strange white garb without pleasure.
Sweyn's face glowed with delight, while
Christian's grew pale and rigid as death.
He had given his word to keep silence;
but he had not thought that she would
dare to come again. Silence was impos-
sible, face to face with that Thing,
impossible. Irrepressibly he cried out:

"Where is Rol?"

Not a quiver disturbed White Fell's
face. She heard, yet remained bright
and tranquil. Sweyn's eyes flashed round
at his brother dangerously. Among the
women some tears fell at the poor child's
name; but none caught alarm from its
sudden utterance, for the thought of Rol
rose naturally. Where was little Rol,
who had nestled in the stranger's arms,
kissing her; and watched for her since;
and prattled of her daily?

Christian went out silently. One only
thing there was that he could do, and he
must not delay. His horror overmastered
any curiosity to hear White Fell's smooth
excuses and smiling apologies for her
strange and uncourteous departure; or
her easy tale of the circumstances of her
return; or to watch her bearing as she
heard the sad tale of little Rol.

The swiftest runner of the country-side
had started on his hardest race: little
less than three leagues and back, which
he reckoned to accomplish in two hours,
though the night was moonless and the
way rugged. He rushed against the still
cold air till it felt like a wind upon his
face. The dim homestead sank below
the ridges at his back, and fresh ridges
of snow lands rose out of the obscure
horizon-level to drive past him as the
stirless air drove, and sink away behind
into obscure level again. He took no
conscious heed of landmarks, not even
when all sign of a path was gone under
depths of snow. His will was set to
reach his goal with unexampled speed;
and thither by instinct his physical forces
bore him, without one definite thought
to guide.

And the idle brain lay passive, inert,
receiving into its vacancy restless siftings
of past sights and sounds: Rol, weeping,
laughing, playing, coiled in the arms of
that dreadful Thing: Tyr—O Tyr!—
white fangs in the black jowl: the
women who wept on the foolish puppy,
precious for the child's last touch:
footprints from pine wood to door:
the smiling face among furs, of such
womanly beauty—smiling—smiling:
and Sweyn's face.

"Sweyn, Sweyn, O Sweyn, my

Sweyn's angry laugh possessed his ear
within the sound of the wind of his
speed; Sweyn's scorn assailed more quick
and keen than the biting cold at his
throat. And yet he was unimpressed
by any thought of how Sweyn's anger
and scorn would rise, if this errand
were known.

Sweyn was a sceptic. His utter dis-
belief in Christian's testimony regarding
the footprints was based upon positive
scepticism. His reason refused to bend
in accepting the possibility of the super-
natural materialised. That a living
beast could ever be other than palpably
bestial—pawed, toothed, shagged, and
eared as such, was to him incredible;
far more that a human presence could
be transformed from its god-like aspect,
upright, free-handed, with brows, and
speech, and laughter. The wild and
fearful legends that he had known from
childhood and then believed, he regarded
now as built upon facts distorted, over-
laid by imagination, and quickened by
superstition. Even the strange summons
at the threshold, that he himself had
vainly answered, was, after the first shock
of surprise, rationally explained by him
as malicious foolery on the part of some
clever trickster, who withheld the key
to the enigma.

To the younger brother all life was a
spiritual mystery, veiled from his clear
knowledge by the density of flesh. Since
he knew his own body to be linked
to the complex and antagonistic forces
that constitute one soul, it seemed to him
not impossibly strange that one spiritual
force should possess divers forms for
widely various manifestation. Nor, to
him, was it great effort to believe that
as pure water washes away all natural
foulness, so water, holy by consecration,
must needs cleanse God's world from
that supernatural evil Thing. Therefore,
faster than ever man's foot had covered
those leagues, he sped under the dark,
still night, over the waste, trackless snow-
ridges to the far-away church, where
salvation lay in the holy-water stoup at
the door. His faith was as firm as any
that wrought miracles in days past, simple
as a child's wish, strong as a man's will.

He was hardly missed during these
hours, every second of which was by him
fulfilled to its utmost extent by extremest
effort that sinews and nerves could attain.
Within the homestead the while, the
easy moments went bright with words
and looks of unwonted animation, for
the kindly, hospitable instincts of the
inmates were roused into cordial expres-
sion of welcome and interest by the grace
and beauty of the returned stranger.

But Sweyn was eager and earnest, with
more than a host's courteous warmth.
The impression that at her first coming
had charmed him, that had lived since
through memory, deepened now in her
actual presence. Sweyn, the matchless
among men, acknowledged in this fair
White Fell a spirit high and bold as his
own, and a frame so firm and capable
that only bulk was lacking for equal
strength. Yet the white skin was moulded
most smoothly, without such muscular
swelling as made his might evident. Such
love as his frank self-love could concede
was called forth by an ardent admiration
for this supreme stranger. More admir-
ation than love was in his passion, and
therefore he was free from a lover's hesi-
tancy and delicate reserve and doubts.
Frankly and boldly he courted her favour
by looks and tones, and an address that
came of natural ease, needless of skill
by practice.

Nor was she a woman to be wooed
otherwise. Tender whispers and sighs
would never gain her ear; but her eyes
would brighten and shine if she heard
of a brave feat, and her prompt hand in
sympathy fall swiftly on the axe-haft and
clasp it hard. That movement ever fired
Sweyn's admiration anew; he watched
for it, strove to elicit it, and glowed
when it came. Wonderful and beautiful
was that wrist, slender and steel-strong;
also the smooth shapely hand, that curved
so fast and firm, ready to deal instant

Desiring to feel the pressure of these
hands, this bold lover schemed with
palpable directness, proposing that she
should hear how their hunting songs
were sung, with a chorus that signalled
hands to be clasped. So his splendid
voice gave the verses, and, as the chorus
was taken up, he claimed her hands, and,
even through the easy grip, felt, as he
desired, the strength that was latent, and
the vigour that quickened the very finger-
tips, as the song fired her, and her voice
was caught out of her by the rhythmic
swell, and rang clear on the top of the
closing surge.

Afterwards she sang alone. For con-
trast, or in the pride of swaying moods
by her voice, she chose a mournful song
that drifted along in a minor chant, sad
as a wind that dirges:

"Oh, let me go!
Around spin wreaths of snow;
The dark earth sleeps below.

Far up the plain
Moans on a voice of pain:
'Where shall my babe be lain?'

In my white breast
Lay the sweet life to rest!
Lay, where it can lie best!

'Hush! hush its cries!
Dense night is on the skies:
Two stars are in thine eyes.'
Come, babe, away!
But lie thou till dawn be grey,
Who must be dead by day.

This cannot last;
But, ere the sickening blast,
All sorrow shall be past;

And kings shall be
Low bending at thy knee,
Worshipping life from thee.

For men long sore
To hope of what's before,—
To leave the things of yore.

Mine, and not thine,
How deep their jewels shine!
Peace laps thy head, not mine."

Old Trella came tottering from her
corner, shaken to additional palsy by an
aroused memory. She strained her dim
eyes towards the singer, and then bent
her head, that the one ear yet sensible
to sound might avail of every note. At
the close, groping forward, she mur-
mured with the high-pitched quaver
of old age:

"So she sang, my Thora; my last and
brightest. What is she like, she whose
voice is like my dead Thora's? Are her
eyes blue?"

"Blue as the sky."

"So were my Thora's! Is her hair
fair, and in plaits to the waist?"

"Even so," answered White Fell her
self, and met the advancing hands with
her own, and guided them to corroborate
her words by touch.

"Like my dead Thora's,"repeated the
old woman; and then her trembling
hands rested on the fur-clad shoulders,
and she bent forward and kissed the
smooth fair face that White Fell up-
turned, nothing loth, to receive and
return the caress.

So Christian saw them as he entered.

He stood a moment. After the star-
less darkness and the icy night air, and
the fierce silent two hours' race, his
senses reeled on sudden entrance into
warmth, and light, and the cheery hum
of voices. A sudden unforeseen anguish
assailed him, as now first he entertained
the possibility of being overmatched by
her wiles and her daring, if at the ap-
proach of pure death she should start up
at bay transformed to a terrible beast,
and achieve a savage glut at the last.
He looked with horror and pity on the
harmless, helpless folk, so unwitting of
outrage to their comfort and security.
The dreadful Thing in their midst, that
was veiled from their knowledge by
womanly beauty, was a centre of pleasant
interest. There, before him, signally
impressive, was poor old Trella, weakest
and feeblest of all, in fond nearness. And
a moment might bring about the revela-
tion of a monstrous horror—a ghastly,
deadly danger, set loose and at bay, in a
circle of girls and women and careless
defenceless men: so hideous and terrible
a thing as might crack the brain, or
curdle the heart stone dead.

And he alone of the throng prepared!


There are several figures in a room. In the centre of the image White Fell is dressed in white furs and is leaving in a hurry.

For one breathing space he faltered, no
longer than that, while over him swept
the agony of compunction that yet could
not make him surrender his purpose.

He alone? Nay, but Tyr also; and
he crossed to the dumb sole sharer of
his knowledge.

So timeless is thought that a few
seconds only lay between his lifting of
the latch and his loosening of Tyr's
collar; but in those few seconds succeed-
ing his first glance, as lightning-swift had
been the impulses of others, their motion
as quick and sure. Sweyn's vigilant eye
had darted upon him, and instantly his
every fibre was alert with hostile instinct;
and, half divining, half incredulous, of
Christian's object in stooping to Tyr, he
came hastily, wary, wrathful, resolute to
oppose the malice of his wild-eyed

But beyond Sweyn rose White Fell,
blanching white as her furs, and with
eyes grown fierce and wild. She leapt
down the room to the door, whirling her
long robe closely to her. "Hark!" she
panted. "The signal horn! Hark, I
must go!" as she snatched at the latch
to be out and away.

For one precious moment Christian
had hesitated on the half-loosened collar;
for, except the womanly form were ex-
changed for the bestial, Tyr's jaws would
gnash to rags his honour of manhood.
Then he heard her voice, and turned—
too late.

As she tugged at the door, he sprang
across grasping his flask, but Sweyn
dashed between, and caught him back
irresistibly, so that a most frantic effort
only availed to wrench one arm free.
With that, on the impulse of sheer
despair, he cast at her with all his force.
The door swung behind her, and the flask
flew into fragments against it. Then, as
Sweyn's grasp slackened, and he met the
questioning astonishment of surrounding
faces, with a hoarse inarticulate cry:
"God help us all!" he said. "She is a

Sweyn turned upon him, "Liar, cow-
ard!" and his hands gripped his brother's
throat with deadly force, as though the
spoken word could be killed so; and as
Christian struggled, lifted him clear off
his feet and flung him crashing backward.
So furious was he, that, as his brother lay
motionless, he stirred him roughly with
his foot, till their mother came between,
crying shame; and yet then he stood by,
his teeth set, his brows knit, his hands
clenched, ready to enforce silence again
violently, as Christian rose staggering
and bewildered.

But utter silence and submission were
more than he expected, and turned his
anger into contempt for one so easily
cowed and held in subjection by mere
force. "He is mad!" he said, turning
on his heel as he spoke, so that he lost
his mother's look of pained reproach at
this sudden free utterance of what was a
lurking dread within her.

Christian was too spent for the effort
of speech. His hard – drawn breath
laboured in great sobs; his limbs were
powerless and unstrung in utter relax
after hard service. Failure in his en-
deavour induced a stupor of misery and
despair. In addition was the wretched
humiliation of open violence and strife
with his brother, and the distress of
hearing misjudging contempt expressed
without reserve; for he was aware that
Sweyn had turned to allay the scared
excitement half by imperious mastery,
half by explanation and argument, that
showed painful disregard of brotherly
consideration. All this unkindness of
his twin he charged upon the fell Thing
who had wrought this their first dissen-
sion, and, ah! most terrible thought,
interposed between them so effectually,
that Sweyn was wilfully blind and deaf
on her account, resentful of interference,
arbitrary beyond reason.

Dread and perplexity unfathomable
darkened upon him; unshared, the bur-
den was overwhelming: a foreboding of
unspeakable calamity, based upon his
ghastly discovery, bore down upon him,
crushing out hope of power to withstand
impending fate.

Sweyn the while was observant of his
brother, despite the continual check of
finding, turn and glance when he would,
Christian's eyes always upon him, with
a strange look of helpless distress, discom-
posing enough to the angry aggressor.
"Like a beaten dog!" he said to himself,
rallying contempt to withstand com-
punction. Observation set him wonder-
ing on Christian's exhausted condition.
The heavy labouring breath and the
slack inert fall of the limbs told surely
of unusual and prolonged exertion. And
then why had close upon two hours'
absence been followed by open hostility
against White Fell?

Suddenly, the fragments of the flask
giving a clue, he guessed all, and faced
about to stare at his brother in amaze.
He forgot that the motive scheme was
against White Fell, demanding derision
and resentment from him; that was swept
out of remembrance by astonishment
and admiration for the feat of speed and
endurance. In eagerness to question he
inclined to attempt a generous part and
frankly offer to heal the breach; but
Christian's depression and sad following
gaze provoked him to self-justification by
recalling the offence of that outrageous
utterance against White Fell; and the
impulse passed. Then other consider-
ations counselled silence; and afterwards
a humour possessed him to wait and see
how Christian would find opportunity
to proclaim his performance and establish
the fact, without exciting ridicule on
account of the absurdity of the errand.

This expectation remained unfulfilled.
Christian never attempted the proud
avowal that would have placed his feat
on record to be told to the next genera-

That night Sweyn and his mother
talked long and late together, shaping into
certainty the suspicion that Christian's
mind had lost its balance, and discussing
the evident cause. For Sweyn, declaring
his own love for White Fell, suggested
that his unfortunate brother, with a like
passion, they being twins in loves as in
birth, had through jealousy and despair
turned from love to hate, until reason
failed at the strain, and a craze developed,
which the malice and treachery of mad-
ness made a serious and dangerous force.

So Sweyn theorised, convincing him-
self as he spoke; convincing afterwards
others who advanced doubts against
White Fell; fettering his judgment by
his advocacy, and by his staunch defence
of her hurried flight silencing his own
inner consciousness of the unaccount-
ability of her action.

But a little time and Sweyn lost his
vantage in the shock of a fresh horror at
the homestead. Trella was no more, and
her end a mystery. The poor old woman
crawled out in a bright gleam to visit a
bed-ridden gossip living beyond the fir-
grove. Under the trees she was last seen,
halting for her companion, sent back for
a forgotten present. Quick alarm sprang,
calling every man to the search. Her
stick was found among the brushwood
only a few paces from the path, but no
track or stain, for a gusty wind was
sifting the snow from the branches, and
hid all sign of how she came by her

So panic-stricken were the farm folk
that none dared go singly on the search.
Known danger could be braced, but not
this stealthy Death that walked by day
invisible, that cut off alike the child in
his play and the aged woman so near to
her quiet grave.

"Rol she kissed; Trella she kissed!"
So rang Christian's frantic cry again and
again, till Sweyn dragged him away and
strove to keep him apart, albeit in his
agony of grief and remorse he accused
himself wildly as answerable for the
tragedy, and gave clear proof that the
charge of madness was well founded, if
strange looks and desperate, incoherent
words were evidence enough.

But thenceforward all Sweyn's reason-
ing and mastery could not uphold White
Fell above suspicion. He was not called
upon to defend her from accusation when
Christian had been brought to silence
again; but he well knew the significance
of this fact, that her name, formerly
uttered freely and often, he never heard
now: it was huddled away into whispers
that he could not catch.

The passing of time did not sweep
away the superstitious fears that Sweyn
despised. He was angry and anxious;
eager that White Fell should return, and,
merely by her bright gracious presence,
reinstate herself in favour; but doubtful
if all his authority and example could
keep from her notice an altered aspect of
welcome; and he foresaw clearly that
Christian would prove unmanageable,
and might be capable of some dangerous

For a time the twins' variance was
marked, on Sweyn's part by an air of
rigid indifference, on Christian's by
heavy downcast silence, and a nervous
apprehensive observation of his brother.
Superadded to his remorse and forebod-
ing, Sweyn's displeasure weighed upon
him intolerably, and the remembrance of
their violent rupture was a ceaseless
misery. The elder brother, self-sufficient
and insensitive, could little know how
deeply his unkindness stabbed. A depth
and force of affection such as Christian's
was unknown to him. The loyal sub-
servience that he could not appreciate
had encouraged him to domineer; this
strenuous opposition to his reason and
will was accounted as furious malice, if
not sheer insanity.

Christian's surveillance galled him in-
cessantly, and embarrassment and danger
he foresaw as the outcome. There-
fore, that suspicion might be lulled,
he judged it wise to make overtures for
peace. Most easily done. A little kind-
liness, a few evidences of consideration,
a slight return of the old brotherly im-
periousness, and Christian replied by a
gratefulness and relief that might have
touched him had he understood all, but
instead, increased his secret contempt.
So successful was this finesse, that when,
late on a day, a message summoning
Christian to a distance was transmitted
by Sweyn, no doubt of its genuineness
occurred. When, his errand proved use-
less, he set out to return, mistake or
misapprehension was all that he surmised.
Not till he sighted the homestead, lying
low between the night-grey snow ridges,
did vivid recollection of the time when
he had tracked that horror to the door
rouse an intense dread, and with it a
hardly-defined suspicion.

His grasp tightened on the bear-spear
that he carried as a staff; every sense
was alert, every muscle strung; excite-
ment urged him on, caution checked
him, and the two governed his long
stride, swiftly, noiselessly, to the climax
he felt was at hand.

As he drew near to the outer gates,
a light shadow stirred and went, as
though the grey of the snow had
taken detached motion. A darker
shadow stayed and faced Christian,
striking his life-blood chill with ut-
most despair.

Sweyn stood before him, and surely,
the shadow that went was White Fell.

They had been together — close. Had
she not been in his arms, near enough
for lips to meet?

There was no moon, but the stars gave
light enough to show that Sweyn's face
was flushed and elate. The flush re-
mained, though the expression changed
quickly at sight of his brother. How,
if Christian had seen all, should one of
his frenzied outbursts be met and man-
aged: by resolution? by indifference?
He halted between the two, and as a
result, he swaggered.

"White Fell?" questioned Christian,
hoarse and breathless.


Sweyn's answer was a query, with an
intonation that implied he was clearing
the ground for action.

From Christian came: "Have you
kissed her?" like a bolt direct, stagger-
ing Sweyn by its sheer prompt temerity.

He flushed yet darker, and yet half-
smiled over this earnest of success he had
won. Had there been really between
himself and Christian the rivalry that he
imagined, his face had enough of the
insolence of triumph to exasperate jealous

"You dare ask this!"

"Sweyn, O Sweyn, I must know!
You have!"

The ring of despair and anguish in his
tone angered Sweyn, misconstruing it.
Jealousy urging to such presumption was

"Mad fool!" he said, constraining
himself no longer. "Win for yourself
a woman to kiss. Leave mine without
question. Such an one as I should desire
to kiss is such an one as shall never allow
a kiss to you."

Then Christian fully understood his

"I—I!" he cried. "White Fell—
that deadly Thing! Sweyn, are you
blind, mad? I would save you from
her: a Were-Wolf!"

Sweyn maddened again at the accusa-
tion—a dastardly way of revenge, as he
conceived; and instantly, for the second
time, the brothers were at strife violently.

But Christian was now too desperate
to be scrupulous; for a dim glimpse had
shot a possibility into his mind, and to
be free to follow it the striking of his
brother was a necessity. Thank God!
he was armed, and so Sweyn's equal.

Facing his assailant with the bear-
spear, he struck up his arms, and with
the butt end hit hard so that he fell.
The matchless runner leapt away on the
instant, to follow a forlorn hope.
Sweyn, on regaining his feet, was as
amazed as angry at this unaccountable
flight. He knew in his heart that his
brother was no coward, and that it was
unlike him to shrink from an encounter
because defeat was certain, and cruel
humiliation from a vindictive victor
probable. Of the uselessness of pursuit
he was well aware: he must abide his
chagrin, content to know that his time
for advantage would come. Since White
Fell had parted to the right, Christian to
the left, the event of a sequent encounter
did not occur to him.

And now Christian, acting on the dim
glimpse he had had, just as Sweyn turned
upon him, of something that moved
against the sky along the ridge behind
the homestead, was staking his only hope
on a chance, and his own superlative
speed. If what he saw was really White
Fell, he guessed she was bending her
steps towards the open wastes; and there


Two figures are strenuously leaning forward as they race in a snowy landscape. Christian is predominately dressed in black and White Fell is mostly dressed in white.
was just a possibility that, by a straight
dash, and a desperate perilous leap over
a sheer bluff, he might yet meet her or
head her. And then: he had no further

It was past, the quick, fierce race, and
the chance of death at the leap; and he
halted in a hollow to fetch his breath and
to look: did she come? had she gone?

She came.

She came with a smooth, gliding,
noiseless speed, that was neither walking
nor running; her arms were folded in
her furs that were drawn tight about her
body; the white lappets from her head
were wrapped and knotted closely be-
neath her face; her eyes were set on a
far distance. So she went till the even
sway of her going was startled to a pause
by Christian.


She drew a quick, sharp breath at the
sound of her name thus mutilated, and
faced Sweyn's brother. Her eyes glit-
tered; her upper lip was lifted, and
shewed the teeth. The half of her
name, impressed with an ominous sense
as uttered by him, warned her of the
aspect of a deadly foe. Yet she cast loose
her robes till they trailed ample, and
spoke as a mild woman.

"What would you?"

Then Christian answered with his
solemn dreadful accusation:

"You kissed Rol—and Rol is dead!
You kissed Trella: she is dead! You
have kissed Sweyn, my brother; but he
shall not die!"

He added: "You may live till mid-

The edge of the teeth and the glitter
of the eyes stayed a moment, and her
right hand also slid down to the axe haft.
Then, without a word, she swerved from
him, and sprang out and away swiftly
over the snow.
And Christian sprang out and away,
and followed her swiftly over the snow,
keeping behind, but half-a-stride's length
from her side.

So they went running together, silent,
towards the vast wastes of snow, where
no living thing but they two moved
under the stars of night.

Never before had Christian so rejoiced
in his powers. The gift of speed, and
the training of use and endurance were
priceless to him now. Though midnight
was hours away, he was confident that, go
where that Fell Thing would, hasten as
she would, she could not outstrip him nor
escape from him. Then, when came the
time fortransformation, when the woman's
form made no longer a shield against a
man's hand, he could slay or be slain to
save Sweyn. He had struck his dear
brother in dire extremity, but he could
not, though reason urged, strike a woman.

For one mile, for two miles they ran:
White Fell ever foremost, Christian ever
at equal distance from her side, so near
that, now and again, her out–flying furs
touched him. She spoke no word; nor
he. She never turned her head to look
at him, nor swerved to evade him; but,
with set face looking forward, sped
straight on, over rough, over smooth,
aware of his nearness by the regular
beat of his feet, and the sound of his
breath behind.

In a while she quickened her pace.
From the first, Christian had judged of
her speed as admirable, yet with exulting
security in his own excelling and endur–
ing whatever her efforts. But, when the
pace increased, he found himself put to
the test as never had he been before in
any race. Her feet, indeed, fiew faster
than his; it was only by his length of
stride that he kept his place at her side.
But his heart was high and resolute, and
he did not fear failure yet.
So the desperate race flew on. Their
feet struck up the powdery snow, their
breath smoked into the sharp clear air,
and they were gone before the air was
cleared of snow and vapour. Now and
then Christian glanced up to judge, by
the rising of the stars, of the coming of
midnight. So long—so long!

White Fell held on without slack.
She, it was evident, with confidence in
her speed proving matchless, as resolute
to outrun her pursuer as he to endure
till midnight and fulfil his purpose. And
Christian held on, still self–assured. He
could not fail; he would not fail. To
avenge Rol and Trella was motive enough
for him to do what man could do; but
for Sweyn more. She had kissed Sweyn,
but he should not die too: with Sweyn
to save he could not fail.

Never before was such a race as this;
no, not when in old Greece man and
maid raced together with two fates at
stake; for the hard running was sustained
unabated, while star after star rose and
went wheeling up towards midnight, for
one hour, for two hours.

Then Christian saw and heard what
shot him through with fear. Where a
fringe of trees hung round a slope he
saw something dark moving, and heard
a yelp, followed by a full horrid cry, and
the dark spread out upon the snow, a
pack of wolves in pursuit.

Of the beasts alone he had little cause
for fear; at the pace he held he could
distance them, four–footed though they
were. But of White Fell's wiles he had
infinite apprehension, for how might she
not avail herself of the savage jaws of
these wolves, akin as they were to half
her nature. She vouchsafed to them nor
look nor sign; but Christian, on an im–
pulse to assure himself that she should
not escape him, caught and held the
back–flung edge of her furs, running still.
She turned like a flash with a beastly
snarl, teeth and eyes gleaming again.
Her axe shone, on the upstroke, on the
downstroke, as she hacked at his hand.
She had lopped it off at the wrist, but
that he parried with the bear–spear. Even
then, she shore through the shaft and
shattered the bones of the hand at the
same blow, so that he loosed perforce.

Then again they raced on as before,
Christian not losing a pace, though his
left hand swung useless, bleeding and

The snarl, indubitable, though modi–
fied from a woman's organs, the vicious
fury revealed in teeth and eyes, the
sharp arrogant pain of her maiming blow,
caught away Christian's heed of the beasts
behind, by striking into him close vivid
realisation of the infinitely greater danger
that ran before him in that deadly Thing.

When he bethought him to look be–
hind, lo! the pack had but reached their
tracks, and instantly slunk aside, cowed;
the yell of pursuit changing to yelps
and whines. So abhorrent was that fell
creature to beast as to man.

She had drawn her furs more closely
to her, disposing them so that, instead of
flying loose to her heels, no drapery hung
lower than her knees, and this without
a check to her wonderful speed, nor
embarrassment by the cumbering of
the folds. She held her head as before;
her lips were firmly set, only the tense
nostrils gave her breath; not a sign of
distress witnessed to the long sustaining
of that terrible speed.

But on Christian by now the strain
was telling palpably. His head weighed
heavy, and his breath came labouring in
great sobs; the bear spear would have
been a burden now. His heart was
beating like a hammer, but such a dul–
ness oppressed his brain, that it was only
by degrees he could realise his helpless
state; wounded and weaponless, chasing
that terrible Thing, that was a fierce,
desperate, axe–armed woman, except she
should assume the beast with fangs yet
more formidable.

And still the far slow stars went linger–
ing nearly an hour from midnight.

So far was his brain astray that an
impression took him that she was fleeing
from the midnight stars, whose gain was
by such slow degrees that a time equal–
ling days and days had gone in the race
round the northern circle of the world,
and days and days as long might last
before the end—except she slackened,
or except he failed.

But he would not fail yet.

How long had he been praying so?
He had started with a self–confidence and
reliance that had felt no need for that
aid; and now it seemed the only means
by which to restrain his heart from
swelling beyond the compass of his
body, by which to cherish his brain
from dwindling and shrivelling quite
away. Some sharp–toothed creature kept
tearing and dragging on his maimed left
hand; he never could see it, he could
not shake it off; but he prayed it off
at times.

The clear stars before him took to
shuddering, and he knew why: they
shuddered at sight of what was behind
him. He had never divined before that
strange things hid themselves from men
under pretence of being snow–clad mounds
or swaying trees; but now they came
slipping out from their harmless covers
to follow him, and mock at his impotence
to make a kindred Thing resolve to truer
form. He knew the air behind him was
thronged; he heard the hum of innum–
erable murmurings together; but his
eyes could never catch them, they were
too swift and nimble. Yet he knew they
were there, because, on a backward
glance, he saw the snow mounds surge
as they grovelled flatlings out of sight;
he saw the trees reel as they screwed
themselves rigid past recognition among
the boughs.

And after such glance the stars for
awhile returned to steadfastness, and an
infinite stretch of silence froze upon the
chill grey world, only deranged by the
swift even beat of the flying feet, and his
own–slower from the longer stride, and
the sound of his breath. And for some
clear moments he knew that his only
concern was, to sustain his speed regard–
less of pain and distress, to deny with
every nerve he had her power to outstrip
him or to widen the space between them,
till the stars crept up to midnight. Then
out again would come that crowd in–
visible, humming and hustling behind,
dense and dark enough, he knew, to
blot out the stars at his back, yet ever
skipping and jerking from his sight.
A hideous check came to the race.
White Fell swirled about and leapt to
the right, and Christian, unprepared for
so prompt a lurch, found close at his feet
a deep pit yawning, and his own impetus
past control. But he snatched at her as
he bore past, clasping her right arm with
his one whole hand, and the two swung
together upon the brink.

And her straining away in self preserv–
ation was vigorous enough to counter–
balance his headlong impulse, and
brought them reeling together to safety.

Then, before he was verily sure that
they were not to perish so, crashing
down, he saw her gnashing in wild pale
fury as she wrenched to be free; and
since her right hand was in his grasp,
used her axe left–handed, striking back
at him.

The blow was effectual enough even
so; his right arm dropped powerless,
gashed, and with the lesser bone broken,
that jarred with horrid pain when he let
it swing as he leaped out again, and ran
to recover the few feet she had gained
from his pause at the shock.

The near escape and this new quick
pain made again every faculty alive and
intense. He knew that what he followed
was most surely Death animate: wounded
and helpless, he was utterly at her mercy
if so she should realise and take action.
Hopeless to avenge, hopeless to save, his
very despair for Sweyn swept him on to
follow, and follow, and precede the kiss–
doomed to death. Could he yet fail to
hunt that Thing past midnight, out of
the womanly form alluring and treacher–
ous, into lasting restraint of the bestial,
which was the last shred of hope left
from the confident purpose of the outset?

"Sweyn, Sweyn, 0 Sweyn!" He
thought he was praying, though his heart
wrung out nothing but this: "Sweyn,
Sweyn, 0 Sweyn!"
The last hour from midnight had lost
half its quarters, and the stars went lift-
ing up the great minutes; and again his
greatening heart, and his shrinking brain,
and the sickening agony that swung at
either side, conspired to appal the will
that had only seeming empire over his

Now White Fell's body was so closely
enveloped that not a lap nor an edge flew
free. She stretched forward strangely
aslant, leaning from the upright poise of
a runner. She cleared the ground at
times by long bounds, gaining an in-
crease of speed that Christian agonised
to equal.

Because the stars pointed that the end
was nearing, the black brood came behind
again, and followed, noising. Ah! if
they could but be kept quiet and still,
nor slip their usual harmless masks to
encourage with their interest the last
speed of their most deadly congener.
What shape had they? Should he ever
know? If it were not that he was bound
to compel the fell Thing that ran before
him into her truer form, he might face
about and follow them. No-no-not
so; if he might do anything but what
he did-race, race, and racing bear this
agony, he would just stand still and die,
to be quit of the pain of breathing.

He grew bewildered, uncertain of his
own identity, doubting of his own true
form. He could not be really a man, no
more than that running Thing was really
a woman; his real form was only hidden
under embodiment of a man, but what
it was he did not know. And Sweyn's
real form he did not know. Sweyn lay
fallen at his feet, where he had struck
him down-his own brother-he: he
stumbled over him, and had to overleap
him and race harder because she who
had kissed Sweyn leapt so fast. "Sweyn,
Sweyn, O Sweyn! "
Why did the stars stop to shudder?
Midnight else had surely come!

The leaning, leaping Thing looked
back at him with a wild, fierce look, and
laughed in savage scorn and triumph.
He saw in a flash why, for within a time
measurable by seconds she would have
escaped him utterly. As the land lay, a
slope of ice sunk on the one hand; on
the other hand a steep rose, shouldering
forwards; between the two was space
for a foot to be planted, but none for
a body to stand; yet a juniper bough,
thrusting out, gave a handhold secure
enough for one with a resolute grasp
to swing past the perilous place, and
pass on safe.

Though the first seconds of the last
moment were going, she dared to flash
back a wicked look, and laugh at the
pursuer who was impotent to grasp.

The crisis struck convulsive life into
his last supreme effort; his will surged

Christian has fallen on the ground and White Fell is forcefully pushing him down from above.
up indomitable, his speed proved match-
less yet. He leapt with a rush, passed
her before her laugh had time to go out,
and turned short, barring the way, and
braced to withstand her.

She came hurling desperate, with a
feint to the right hand, and then launched
herself upon him with a spring like a
wild beast when it leaps to kill. And
he, with one strong arm and a hand that
could not hold, with one strong hand
and an arm that could not guide and
sustain, he caught and held her even so.
And they fell together. And because
he felt his whole arm slipping, and his
whole hand loosing, to slack the dreadful
agony of the wrenched bone above, he
caught and held with his teeth the tunic
at her knee, as she struggled up and
wrung off his hands to overleap him

Like lightning she snatched her axe,
and struck him on the neck, deep—
once, twice—his life-blood gushed out,
staining her feet.

The stars touched midnight.

The death scream he heard was not
his, for his set teeth had hardly yet
relaxed when it rang out; and the
dreadful cry began with a woman's
shriek, and changed and ended as the
yell of a beast. And before the final
blank overtook his dying eyes, he saw
that She gave place to It; he saw more,
that Life gave place to Death-cause-
lessly, incomprehensibly.

For he did not presume that no holy
water could be more holy, more potent
to destroy an evil thing than the life-
blood of a pure heart poured out for
another in free willing devotion.

His own true hidden reality that he
had desired to know grew palpable,
recognisable. It seemed to him just
this: a great glad abounding hope that
he had saved his brother; too expansive

to be contained by the limited form of a
sole man, it yearned for a new embodi-
ment infinite as the stars.

What did it matter to that true reality
that the man's brain shrank, shrank, till
it was nothing; that the man's body
could not retain the huge pain of his
heart, and heaved it out through the red
exit riven at the neck; that the black
noise came again hurtling from behind,
reinforced by that dissolved shape, and
blotted out for ever the man's sight,
hearing, sense.
In the early grey of day Sweyn
chanced upon the footprints of a man-
of a runner, as he saw by the shifted
snow; and the direction they had taken
aroused curiosity, since a little farther
their line must be crossed by the edge
of a sheer height. He turned to trace
them. And so doing, the length of the
stride struck his attention—a stride
long as his own if he ran. He knew
he was following Christian.

In his anger he had hardened himself
to be indifferent to the night-long
absence of his brother; but now, seeing
where the footsteps went, he was seized
with compunction and dread. He had
failed to give thought and care to his
poor frantic twin, who might—was it
possible?—have rushed to a frantic

His heart stood still when he came
to the place where the leap had been
taken. A piled edge of snow had fallen
too, and nothing but snow lay below
when he peered. Along the upper edge
he ran for a furlong, till he came to a
dip where he could slip and climb down,
and then back again on the lower level
to the pile of fallen snow. There he
saw that the vigorous running had
started afresh.
He stood pondering; vexed that any
man should have taken that leap where
he had not ventured to follow; vexed
that he had been beguiled to such pain-
ful emotions; guessing vainly at Chris-
tian's object in this mad freak. He
began sauntering along, half uncon-
sciously following his brother's track;
and so in a while he came to the place
where the footprints were doubled.

Small prints were these others, small
as a woman's, though the pace from one
to another was longer than that which
the skirts of women allow.

Did not White Fell tread so?

A dreadful guess appalled him, so
dreadful that he recoiled from belief.
Yet his face grew ashy white, and he
gasped to fetch back motion to his
checked heart. Unbelievable? Closer
attention showed how the smaller foot-
fall had altered for greater speed, striking
into the snow with a deeper onset and
a lighter pressure on the heels. Unbe-
lievable? Could any woman but White
Fell run so? Could any man but Chris-
tian run so? The guess became a cer-
tainty. He was following where alone
in the dark night White Fell had fled
from Christian pursuing.

Such villainy set heart and brain on
fire with rage and indignation: such
villainy in his own brother, till lately
love-worthy, praiseworthy, though a fool
for meekness. He would kill Christian;
had he lives many as the footprints
he had trodden, vengeance should de-
mand them all. In a tempest of mur-
derous hate he followed on in haste, for
the track was plain enough, starting with
such a burst of speed as could not be
maintained, but brought him back soon
to a plod for the spent, sobbing breath
to be regulated. He cursed Christian
aloud and called White Fell's name on
high in a frenzied expense of passion.
His grief itself was a rage, being such
an intolerable anguish of pity and shame
at the thought of his love, White Fell,
who had parted from his kiss free and
radiant, to be hounded straightway by
his brother mad with jealousy, fleeing
for more than life while her lover was
housed at his ease. If he had but known,
he raved, in impotent rebellion at the
cruelty of events, if he had but known
that his strength and love might have
availed in her defence; now the only
service to her that he could render was
to kill Christian.

As a woman he knew she was match-
less in speed, matchless in strength; but
Christian was matchless in speed among
men, nor easily to be matched in strength.
Brave and swift and strong though she
were, what chance had she against a man
of his strength and inches, frantic, too,
and intent on horrid revenge against his
brother, his successful rival?
Mile after mile he followed with a
bursting heart; more piteous, more
tragic, seemed the case at this evidence
of White Fell's splendid supremacy, hold-
ing her own so long against Christian's
famous speed. So long, so long that his
love and admiration grew more and more
boundless, and his grief and indignation
therewith also. Whenever the track lay
clear he ran, with such reckless prodi-
gality of strength, that it soon was spent,
and he dragged on heavily, till, some-
times on the ice of a mere, sometimes
on a wind-swept place, all signs were
lost; but, so undeviating had been their
line that a course straight on, and then
short questing to either hand, recovered
them again.

Hour after hour had gone by through
more than half that winter day, before
ever he came to the place where the
trampled snow showed that a scurry of
feet had come—and gone! Wolves' feet
—and gone most amazingly! Only a
little beyond he came to the lopped
point of Christian's bear-spear; farther
on he would see where the remnant of
the useless shaft had been dropped. The
snow here was dashed with blood, and
the footsteps of the two had fallen closer
together. Some hoarse sound of exulta-
tion came from him that might have
been a laugh had breath sufficed. "O
White Fell, my poor, brave love! Well
struck!" he groaned, torn by his pity
and great admiration, as he guessed surely
how she had turned and dealt a blow.

The sight of the blood inflamed him
as it might a beast that ravens. He grew
mad with a desire to have Christian by
the throat once again, not to loose this
time till he had crushed out his life, or
beat out his life, or stabbed out his life;
or all these, and torn him piecemeal
likewise: and ah! then, not till then,
bleed his heart with weeping, like a child,
like a girl, over the piteous fate of his
poor lost love.

On—on—on—through the aching
time, toiling and straining in the track
of those two superb runners, aware of
the marvel of their endurance, but un-
aware of the marvel of their speed, that,
in the three hours before midnight had
overpassed all that vast distance that he
could only traverse from twilight to twi-
light. For clear daylight was passing
when he came to the edge of an old
marl-pit, and saw how the two who had
gone before had stamped and trampled
together in desperate peril on the verge.
And here fresh blood stains spoke to him
of a valiant defence against his infamous
brother; and he followed where the
blood had dripped till the cold had
staunched its flow, taking a savage grati-
fication from this evidence that Christian
had been gashed deeply, maddening afresh
with desire to do likewise more excel-
lently, and so slake his murderous hate.
And he began to know that through all
his despair he had entertained a germ of
hope, that grew apace, rained upon by
his brother's blood.

He strove on as best he might, wrung
now by an access of hope, now of de-
spair, in agony to reach the end, however
terrible, sick with the aching of the toiled
miles that deferred it.

And the light went lingering out of
the sky, giving place to uncertain stars.

He came to the finish.

Two bodies lay in a narrow place.
Christian's was one, but the other beyond
not White Fell's. There where the
footsteps ended lay a great white wolf.

At the sight Sweyn's strength was
blasted; body and soul he was struck
down grovelling.

The stars had grown sure and intense
before he stirred from where he had
dropped prone. Very feebly he crawled
to his dead brother, and laid his hands
upon him, and crouched so, afraid to look
or stir farther.

Cold, stiff, hours dead. Yet the
dead body was his only shelter and stay
in that most dreadful hour. His soul,
stripped bare of all sceptic comfort,
cowered, shivering, naked, abject; and
the living clung to the dead out of piteous
need for grace from the soul that had
passed away.

He rose to his knees, lifting the body.
Christian had fallen face forward in the
snow, with his arms flung up and wide,
and so had the frost made him rigid:
strange, ghastly, unyielding to Sweyn's
lifting, so that he laid him down again
and crouched above, with his arms fast
round him, and a low heart-wrung groan.

When at last he found force to raise
his brother's body and gather it in his
arms, tight clasped to his breast, he tried
to face the Thing that lay beyond. The

In a bleak winter landscape Sweyn is cradling his dead brother Christian while a dead white wolf lies in the foreground.

sight set his limbs in a palsy with horror
and dread. His senses had failed and
fainted in utter cowardice, but for the
strength that came from holding dead
Christian in his arms, enabling him to
compel his eyes to endure the sight, and
take into the brain the complete aspect
of the Thing. No wound, only blood
stains on the feet. The great grim jaws
had a savage grin, though dead-stiff.
And his kiss: he could bear it no longer,
and turned away, nor ever looked again.

And the dead man in his arms, know-
ing the full horror, had followed and
faced it for his sake; had suffered agony
and death for his sake; in the neck was
the deep death gash, one arm and both
hands were dark with frozen blood, for
his sake! Dead he knew him, as in
life he had not known him, to give the
right meed of love and worship. Because
the outward man lacked perfection and
strength equal to his, he had taken the
love and worship of that great pure heart
as his due; he, so unworthy in the inner
reality, so mean, so despicable, callous,
and contemptuous towards the brother
who had laid down his life to save him.
He longed for utter annihilation, that so
he might lose the agony of knowing
himself so unworthy of such perfect love.
The frozen calm of death on the face
appalled him. He dared not touch it
with lips that had cursed so lately, with
lips fouled by kiss of the horror that
had been death.

He struggled to his feet, still clasping
Christian. The dead man stood upright
within his arm, frozen rigid. The eyes
were not quite closed; the head had
stiffened, bowed slightly to one side;
the arms stayed straight and wide. It
was the figure of one crucified, the
blood-stained hands also conforming.

So living and dead went back along
the track that one had passed in the
deepest passion of love, and one in the
deepest passion of hate. All that night
Sweyn toiled through the snow, bearing
the weight of dead Christian, treading
back along the steps he before had
trodden, when he was wronging with
vilest thoughts, and cursing with mur-
derous hatred, the brother who all the
while lay dead for his sake.

Cold, silence, darkness encompassed
the strong man bowed with the dolorous
burden; and yet he knew surely that
that night he entered hell, and trod
hell-fire along the homeward road, and
endured through it only because Chris-
tian was with him. And he knew surely
that to him Christian had been as Christ,
and had suffered and died to save him
from his sins.

Acknowledgement and colophon