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HUGH opened his eyes in the early morning. The sun was just getting up: it looked at him through his open window, sending a ray of light across his bed, as if to teil him that last night's trouble had all vanished. Starlings were chattering among the apple-trees; which would have been an unwelcome sound if the apples had been any good, but as it was, Hugh merely hoped they liked codlin-moth grubs.

It was too good a morning to remain in bed. He peeped into his father's room, seeing him fast asleep: so he dressed quietly, cleared out the fireplace and laid a new fire, and tidied the room. Then there was nothing more to do, so he went outside.

On the veranda he halted in amazement. There was a sound of creaking wheels and slow hoofs; and through the trees he could catch glimpses of strange things on the road—flashes of red and blue and yellow, in a long procession, toiling up the road beyond the eastern fence