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Here the secretary proved scholar and enthusiast, a liker especially of the byways of myth. He and Alexander voyaged here and there among them. "And you remember, too," said the secretary, "the Cranes of Ibycus " They rose at last from table. Secretary and physician must return to their patron. "I am going to hunt bed and sleep," said Glenfernie.

"Turn the world so, if you will, Glenfernie!" answered the other. "And yet there is June somewhere!" They left the field. Alexander, going home in a hired coach with Deschamps, sat in silence, looking out of the window. His arm was bandaged and held in a sling. "They breed determined foes in Scotland," said Deschamps. "That Scotland is in me," Glenfernie answered.

If there were two desert-traversers, or more than two, making for the well, friendship would not hold one back, push another forward. Race! and if the well was but to one, then let fate and Allah approve the swiftest! Under such circumstances would not Alexander outdo him if he might? He was willing to believe so. Glenfernie said himself that the girl did not know if she cared for him.

Head, shoulders, a supple figure, not so tall nor so largely made as was Glenfernie's heir, all came upon the purple hilltop. Alexander raised himself from his couch in the heather. "Good day!" said the new-comer. "Good day!" The youth stood beside him. "I am Ian Rullock." "I am Alexander Jardine." "Of Glenfernie?" "Aye, you've got it." "Then we're the neighbors that are to be friends."

The laird of Glenfernie sat looking down the mountain-sides and over to far hills and moving clouds, much as he used to sit in the crook of the old pine outside the broken wall at Glenfernie. There was a trick of posture when he was at certain levels within himself. Ian knew it well.

Alexander spread the missive that had been given him upon the table. "It's short!" He held it so that Strickland might read: GLENFERNIE, Perhaps the leaf is not yet wholly sere. Be that as it may be, I'm leaving Black Hill for a time. "That's a puzzling billet!" said Alexander. "'Glenfernie Ian Rullock!" "What does he mean by the leaf not dead?"

How many were the faults of the laird of Glenfernie! Faults! He looked at the dark old plains of the moon. That was a light word! He saw Alexander pitted and scarred. Pride! That had always been in the core of Glenfernie. That has been his old fortress, walled and moated against trespass.

They would so soon be independent of home discipline that that independence was to a degree already allowed. Black Hill did not often question Ian's comings and goings, nor Glenfernie Alexander's. The school-room saw the latter some part of each morning.

The old man failed, failed. Now he knew Glenfernie and spoke to him of to-day and of yesterday and now he addressed him as though he were his father, the old laird, or even his grandfather. And after a few minutes he said that he would go out to the fir-tree. Alexander helped him there. Gilian took the Bible and placed it beside him. "Open at eleventh Isaiah," he said.

The laird of Glenfernie stood still. A drooping birch hid him; his step had been upon moss and was not heard. The face and form upon the bank, the face in the water, showed no consciousness of any human neighbor. The face was that of a woman of perhaps twenty-four. The hair was brown, the eyes brown. The head was beautifully placed on a round, smooth throat.