Then suddenly the desert is left behind! Past the greenest of fields now, dotted with sleek, grazing cattle; past groves of pine; past snug Norman farms with low-thatched roofs half-smothered in yellow roses. Again the dunes, as the toy train swings nearer the sea.

Here and there, nestling against the gentle slopes of the hillside clearing, was a low-thatched farmhouse among its orchards. As we walked, Nick's escapade, instead of angering Monsieur Gratiot, seemed to present itself to him in a more and more ridiculous aspect, and twice he nudged me to call my attention to the two vengefully triumphant figures silhouetted against the moon ahead of us.

In the southern part of the island especially, each village has its cock-pit and its gambling-den; while hard by is the drinking-cabin, where for a few pennies a native can get very drunk on arrack. At some of the low-thatched cabins in the Pettah, or Black Town, we see a tame parrot or a pet monkey confined within certain bounds by a small chain.

With ample firearms and enough brandy half a dozen Russians could control a thousand Aleuts. Swaggering and bullying and loud-voiced and pot-valiant, Drusenin and two Cossacks stooped to enter a low-thatched Aleut hut. The entrance step pitched down into a sort of pit; and as Drusenin stumbled in face foremost a cudgel clubbed down on his skull.

The friendly altercation seemed to be about to result in a struggle for the bucket, when Dick, who had been in one of the back rooms, came running out of the house shouting: "The stable the stable is on fire!" This caused a rush in the direction of the long low-thatched building on the other side of the house, one of a range about a yard.

I could feel the little rock of his body on the springs of the car. A figure came suddenly out of the darkness and silently took the mare by the head. The car moved on across the vague back meadow. Patch Keetly was piloting us to a light that shone in the north. People were standing about the front of the long, low-thatched house. Lights shone in all the windows, the door stood open.

Here and there, nestling against the gentle slopes of the hillside clearing, was a low-thatched farmhouse among its orchards. As we walked, Nick's escapade, instead of angering Monsieur Gratiot, seemed to present itself to him in a more and more ridiculous aspect, and twice he nudged me to call my attention to the two vengefully triumphant figures silhouetted against the moon ahead of us.

Rude and unfashioned did this low-thatched cabin pass to them; it was their own hands, with very little help from their light purse, which made of a mere hovel the prettiest of rural dwellings her own hands, indeed; for Sister Anne alone was the working-bee. Sister Catherine helped by hints and smiles, and by her nimble needle; but for out-of-doors labour she had not strength.

When Caterina reached the pretty arched wooden bridge which formed the only entrance to the Mosslands for any but webbed feet, the sun had mastered the clouds, and was shining through the boughs of the tall elms that made a deep nest for the gardener's cottage turning the raindrops into diamonds, and inviting the nasturtium flowers creeping over the porch and low-thatched roof to lift up their flame-coloured heads once more.