"What frightened you?" he asked, when they were standing on a grassgrown road that wound through a rank pasturage browsed on by a solitary black cow and turned the corner by a clump of cedars toward a large building, the presence of which was felt rather than seen beyond the trees. "I was bored by the brambles," Esther offered for explanation. "This must be the driving road," Mark proclaimed.

Halfway to Wychford and close to the boundary of the two parishes an infirm signpost managed with the aid of a stunted hawthorn to keep itself partially upright and direct the wayfarer to Wych Maries. Without the signpost nobody would have suspected that the grassgrown track thus indicated led anywhere except over the top of the wold.

A solitary sentinel paced the grassgrown pavement before that door which had once been too narrow for the opposite streams of entering and departing courtiers. The services which the metropolis had rendered to the King were great and recent; and it was thought that he might have requited those services better than by treating it as Lewis had treated Paris.

Never was such a show of <i>wasted</i> art, of pomp for pomp's sake, as where all the chapels bulge and all the windows, each one a separate constructional masterpiece, tower above almost grassgrown vacancy; with the full and immediate effect, of course, of reading us a lesson on the value of lawful pride.

"Aren't you ever coming?" the voice of Esther called across the field, and Mark hurried away to rejoin her on the grassgrown drive that led round the cedar grove to Rushbrooke Grange. "It's too late now to go inside," he objected. They were standing before the house. "It's not too late at all," she contradicted eagerly. "Down here it seems later than it really is."

Two or three times during the summer the sisters always went quietly and alone to the Baxter burying-lot, where three grassgrown graves lay beside one another, unmarked save by narrow wooden slabs so short that the initials painted on them were almost hidden by the tufts of clover.

"Heavy doors opened in front of me as I passed the sallyport and the grassgrown courtyard. At the entrance a majordomo in shabby but fairly regal livery greeted me and conducted me through empty corridors and up a massive staircase. The castle was indeed dismantled apparently had been in that condition from all time.

Daylight could see that it had been a stiff struggle, and that wild nature showed fresh signs of winning chaparral that had invaded the clearings; patches and parts of patches of vineyard, unpruned, grassgrown, and abandoned; and everywhere old stake-and-rider fences vainly striving to remain intact. Here, at a small farm-house surrounded by large outbuildings, the road ended.