For a long time the girl in the willows watched them. Then as they came near she rose and caught El Rey's bridle. He was no gentleman, this big blue-silver king. He was savage and wild and imperious. He hated other horses with a quick hatred sometimes and had been known to wreak this sudden rage upon them in sickening fury.

This was at 07 hours 40 minutes ship time. Outside the sedately rotating metal hulls the one a polished blue-silver and the other a glittering golden bronze the cosmos continued to be as always. The haze from explosive fumes and rocket-fuel was, perhaps, a little thinner. The brighter stars shone through it.

The dark barge, towed against the steamer's blue-silver wash of foam, was cleaving it like a plough, while under the moon the lights of the barge showed white, and the hull and the prisoners' cage stood raised high out of the water as to our right the black, indentated bank glided past in sinuous convolutions.

"See! it's just like a great, soft, lovely, blue-silver bed!" Poppy gave a gentle purr of acquiescence. Missy was sure it was acquiescence. She was convinced that Poppy had a fine, appreciative, discriminating mind. Aunt Nettie scouted at this; she denied that she disliked Poppy, but said she "liked cats in their place."

Into the dim glow of light at the open door came El Rey at last, great blue-silver stallion, his big eyes shining like phosphorus, his nostrils wide with horror of the pungent crimson wash that painted his right shoulder. He stopped at the door-stone, his duty done.