shunned and was shunned by aU his kind, was almost
" Come to my hut," he said to her. " I knoAv a herb that
will take the fret and the ache out of your bruises."
The child followed him passively, half stupidly ; he was
the first creature that had ever bidden her go with him, and
this rough pity of his was sweet to her, with an amazing
incredible balm in it which only those can know who see
raised against them every man's hand, and hear on their ears
the mockery of all the voices of their world.
Under reviling, and contempt, and constant rejection, she
had become savage as a trapped haAvk, wild as an escaped
panther ; but to him she was obedient and passive, because
h" had spoken to her without a taunt and without a curse,
which until now had been the sole two forms of human
speech that she had heard.
His little hut was in the midst of those spreading corn¬
fields, set where two pathways crossed each other, and
stretched down the gentle slope of the cultured lands to join
the great highway—a hut of stones and plaited rushes,
with a roof of thatch, where the old republican, hardy oif
frame and born of a toiling race, dAvelt in solitude, and
broke his scanty bitter bread without lament, if without
He took some leaves of a simple herb that he knew,
soaked them with water, and bound them on her shoulders,
not ungently, though his hand was so rough with labour,
and, as men said, had been so often red with carnage.
Then he gave her a draught of goat's milk, SAveet and
fresh, from a AA'Ooden bowl; shared with her the dry black
crusts that formed his only evening meal; bestowed on her
a gift of a rare old scarlet scarf of Avoven wools and eastern
broideries, one of the few relics of his buried life ; lifted
the faggots on her back, so that she could carry them with
greater ease; and set her on her homeward way.
" Come to me again," he said, briefly, as she went across
The chUd bent her head in sUence, and kissed his hand
quickly and timidly, like a grateful dog that is amazed to
have a caress, and not a blow.
" After a forty years' vow I have broken it ; I have pitied
B human thing.""the old man muttered as he stood in hia