Beyond the maples a brook tinkled and plashed over the stones on its way to the near-by Catawba; and its peaceful brawling, and the evensong of a pair of clear-throated warblers poised on the topmost twigs of one of the trees, should have been sweet music in the ears of a returned exile.
This perhaps accounted for the boldness wherewith he pursued his way towards the mysterious house, following in the airy wake of the clear-throated little hoopoe. The ground-plan of the house was like a capital H placed endwise towards the river.
Jane was renewing her friendship with the Pammenters' eldest girl, an apple-checked, red-haired, ungraceful, but good-natured lass of sixteen. Their voices sounded from all parts of the garden and the farm-yard, Jane's clear-throated laugh contrasting with the rougher utterance of her companion.