Tis by a happy chance we are brought together,” Wesley said while he held her hand.

But Nelly Polwhele made haste to assure him that it was not by chance; she had been with her young ladies at the Court, she said, and from the high ground she had spied upon him on his walk, and had come to him through the sparse hedges of the park.

He smiled at the eagerness with which she disclaimed such an ally as chance. He had not had a wide experience of young women, but he had a shrewd conviction that the greater number of them would have hastened to acknowledge his suggestion rather than to repudiate it. She was innocent as a child.

“By whatsoever means we have been brought together, I for one must think it happy,” said he. “Do you go to your friends yonder every day?”

“Oh, no, sir; but they have charged me to keep them apprised of your preaching since you came hither, and thus I went to them yesterday—that was after your morning preaching—and to-day to tell them of the evening. Oh, sir, surely there was never aught seen that would compare with the happenings of yester eve! Even while I was rehearsing all to my young ladies, I had a feeling that I was telling them what I had seen in a dream. I do think that I have had a dream more than once that was strangely like all that was before my eyes—a dream of drowning and seeing in a blood-red light the mysteries of the sea-bed.”

“A strange thing, my child! I have never seen a stranger thing,” said he. “It did not seem a wonder to me that the people were so agitated.”

“They thought for sure that the end of the world had come,” said she. “And indeed I began to feel that poor Dick Pritchard had truly been sent to warn us.”

“And how was his warning taken by many?” he cried. “Worse than the Ninevites were some that I saw here. Of sackcloth there was none on their limbs—of repentance their hearts were empty. I hope, my child, that you did not see some of those whom I saw here—dancing—wild—pagan creatures of the woods! And their dance! Pagan of the worst—an orgy of the festival of the god Saturn—an abomination of Baal and Ashtoreth. And I asked myself, 'Is it possible that this is how a solemn warning of the coming of the Dreadful Day is taken by a Christian people? But you, I trust, did not see all that came before me?”

“I saw enough to tell me that Dick Pritchard's warning was not a true one,” said she. “I was by the side of father below the wreck. He had seen the Gloriana founder, and if Dick Pritchard had prophesied that he should live to look upon her hull again after all the years that have passed, he would have laughed. And some of the men about us on the beach that had never been bare of water since the world began, talked like wild men. If the world was to come to an end before another set o' sun they meant to enjoy themselves—the Court—they whispered of breaking through the doors of the Court and feasting for once and for the last time. One of them—David Cairns is his name—cried that at the Day of Judgment all men were equal, and he would head any band of fellows that had the spirit to face the Squire and call for the key of the cellar. Father called him a rascal, and he replied. Some were taking his part and some the part of father, when the cry went up that Mr. Wesley was nigh. That was the end of the strife, sir.”

“To tell me this last is to gladden my heart, my dear,” he said, and again he clasped one of her hands in both his own. But he did not do so with the fervour of a lover. His heart was not dwelling upon the purpose which he had been considering since he rose; the girl's story had absorbed him. “And now I hope that the good folk will settle down once more into their quiet and useful lives,” he added.

“They will not be able to do so for some time,” she replied, shaking her head. “All who were present at the preaching have already returned to their work; the boats that were idle for nearly a week put out to the fishing early in the morning; but there are other places where Dick Pritchard's talk was heard, and the miners made it a good excuse for quitting their labour.”

“Poor fellows, I shall go among them at once; I may be able to help them,” said he.

“Do you think of going at once, sir?” she asked quickly.

“At once,” he replied. “Is there any time to lose?”

“And you will not return to us?”

Her question came from her like a sigh—a sigh that is quickly followed by a sob.

He looked at her for some moments in silence. He had a thought that if he meant to tell her that he loved her, no better opportunity would be likely to present itself. This was for the first few moments, but his thought was succeeded by a feeling that it would be a cruelty to shock this innocent prattling child with his confession. She could not be otherwise than shocked were he to tell her that his desire was to get her promise to marry him. He would adhere to his resolution to wait. He would make another opportunity if one did not present itself.

“If it be God's will I shall return to you,” he said. “Yes, in good time—in good time.”

“I am glad,” she said. “It was because I feared that you would go away at once and not return for a long time, that I made haste to reach you when I saw you from the park.”

“Why should my going affect you, Nelly?” he asked. He wondered if the opportunity which he looked for, and yet was anxious to avoid, would persist in remaining within easy reach.

“I—I—the truth is, sir, that I wanted—I wished greatly—to ask your advice,” she said.

“I hope you will not find that you have placed overmuch dependence on me,” he said. “Let us walk along the cliffs and talk as we pursue our way. Not that I am anxious to leave this spot; it bears many happy memories to me. Was it not here that you came to me on the day of my first preaching, ministering to my needs?”

She flushed with pleasure.

“Ah, sir, all I did was as nothing compared with the good that has come to me through your words. I want your counsel now. I am sometimes very unhappy by reason of my doubts in a matter on which I should have none.”

“Tell me your grief, dear child. Have you not lived long enough to know that when the cause of your unhappiness is told to another, it weighs less heavily upon you? What, did you not confide in me on Saturday? 'Tis surely not from that man Bennet that——”

“Oh, no; he has naught to do with my trouble. It comes not from anyone but my own self—from my own foolishness. You have a mind to hear the story of a young girl's foolishness who knew not her own mind—her own heart?”

“If you are quite sure that you wish to tell it to me. You may be assured that you will find in me a sympathetic listener. Is there any one of us that can say in truth that his heart or hers has not some time been guilty of foolishness?”

“The worst of it is that what seems foolishness to-day had the semblance of wisdom yesterday. And who can say that to-morrow we may not go back to our former judgment?”

“That is the knowledge that has come to you from experience.”

“It has come to me as the conclusion of my story—such as it is.”

“'Tis sad to think that our best teacher must ever be experience, my child. But if you have learned your lesson you should be accounted fortunate. There are many to whom experience comes only to be neglected as a teacher.”

“I have had experience—a little—and all that it has taught to me is to doubt. A year ago I thought that I loved a man. To-day I do not know whether I love him or not—that is all my poor story, sir.” She had not spoken fluently, but faltering—with many pauses—a little wistfully, and with her eyes on the ground.

He stopped suddenly in his walk. He, too, had his eyes upon the ground. He had not at once appreciated the meaning of her words, but after a pause it came upon him: he understood what her words meant to him.

She loved another man.

How could he ever have been so foolish as to take it for granted that such a girl as this was free? That was the first thought which came to him. Had he not heard how every youth for miles round was in love with Nelly Polwhele? Had he not seen how one man had almost lost his senses through love of her?

And yet he had been considering the question of asking her to marry him, assuming from the very first that she must be free! He had been considering the matter from his own standpoint, asking himself if it would not be well to be assured of his own love for her before telling her that he loved her; and he came to the conclusion that he should not use any undue haste in saying the words which, he hoped, would link their lives together. He had never entertained a suspicion that he might be too late in making his appeal to her. It was now a shock to him to learn, as he had just done, that he was too late.

It took him some time to recover himself.

“I ask your pardon,” he said. “I pray you to tell to me again what you have just said.”

“I am well-nigh ashamed to say it, sir,” she murmured. “I am afraid that you may not think well of me. You may think that there is some truth in the reports that have gone abroad concerning me.”

“Reports? I have heard no reports. I thought of you as I found you, and all that I thought was good. I think nothing of you now that is not good. Ah, child, you do not know what direction my thoughts of you have taken! Alas! alas!”

It was her turn to be startled. He saw the effect that his words had produced upon her, and he hastened to modify it. He felt that he had no right to say a word that might even in a distant way suggest to her the direction in which his thoughts—his hopes—had so recently led him.

“Have I spoken too vaguely?” he said. “Surely not. But I will be explicit, and assure you that from the day we walked through the valley side by side I have thought of you as a good daughter—an honest and innocent young woman, thoughtful for the well-being of others.”

“Oh, sir, your good opinion is everything to me!” she cried. “But I feel that I have not earned it truly. Vanity has ever been my besetting sin—vanity and fickleness. That is what I have to confess to you now before asking you for your counsel.”

“God forbid that I should give you any counsel except that which I am assured must be for your own well-being. Tell me all that is weighing on your heart, and, God helping me, I will try to help you.”

“I will tell you all—all that I may tell, sir.'Tis not much to tell, but it means a great deal to me. In brief, Mr. Wesley, a year ago I was at Bristol and there I met a worthy man, who asked me to marry him. I felt then that I loved him so truly that 'twould be impossible for me ever to change, and so I gave him my promise. I had been ofttimes wooed before, but because my heart had never been touched the neighbours all affirmed that I had the hardest heart of any maiden in the Port. They may have been right; but, hard-hearted or not, I believed that I loved this man, and he sailed away satisfied that I would be true to him.”

“He was a mariner?”

“He is a master-mariner, and his ship is a fine one. He sailed for the China Seas, and 'twas agreed that after his long voyage we were to be married. That was, I say, a year ago, and I was true to him until——”

She faltered, she gave him a look that he could not understand, and then all at once she flung herself down on the short coarse herbage of the cliff, and began to weep with her hands over her face.

He strove to soothe her and comfort her, saying she had done naught that was wrong—giving her assurance that a way out of her trouble would surely he found if she told him all.

“What am I to do?” she cried, looking piteously up to him, with shining eyes. “What am I to do? I got a letter from him only on Friday last, telling me that he had had a prosperous voyage and had just brought his ship safe to Bristol, and that he meant to come to me without delay. Oh, sir, 'twas only when I had that letter I found that I no longer loved him as I did a year ago.”

“Is there another man who has come between you, my child?” he asked gravely.

“Heaven help me! there is another,” she faltered.

“And does he know that you are bound by a promise to someone else? If so, believe me he is a dishonourable man, and you must dismiss him from your thought,” said he.

She shook her head.

“He is an honourable man; he has never said a word of love to me. He knows nothing of my love for him. He at least is innocent.”

“If he be indeed a true man he would, I know, give you counsel which I now offer to you; even if he suspected—and I cannot but think that if he sees you and converses with you, no matter how seldom, he will suspect—the sad truth—he will leave your side and so give you an opportunity of forgetting him, and all may be well.”

“Ah, sir, think you that 'tis so easy to forget?”

“Have you not just given me an instance of it, Nelly? But no; I will not think that you have forgotten the one to whom you gave your promise. I like rather to believe that that affection remains unchanged in your heart, although it be for a while obscured. You remember how we lost our way on the morning of yesterday? We saw not the shore; 'twas wreathed in mist; but the solid shore was here all the same, and in another hour a break dispersed the mist which up till then had been much more real to us than the shore; the mist once gone, we saw the substance where we had seen the shadow. Ah, dear child, how often is not the shadow of a love taken for the true—the abiding love itself. Now dry your tears and tell me when you expect your true lover to come to you.”

“He may arrive at any time. He will come by the first vessel that leaves Bristol river. He must have left already. Oh, that sail out there may be carrying him hither—that sail——”

She stopped suddenly, and made a shade of one hand over her eyes while she gazed seaward. After a few moments of gazing she sprang to her feet crying:

“The boats—you see them out there? What has happened that they are flying for the shore? They should not be returning until the night.”

He looked out across the waters and saw the whole fleet of fishing smacks making for the shore with every sail spread.

“Perhaps the boats have been unusually successful and thus have no need to tarry on the fishing ground,” he suggested.

She remained with her eyes upon them for a long time. A look of bewilderment was upon her face while she cried:

“Oh, everything is topsy-turvy in these days! Never have I known all the boats to make for the shore in such fashion, unless a great storm was to windward, and yet now——”

She caught him by the arm suddenly after she had remained peering out to the southern horizon with an arched hand over her eyes.

“Look there—there!” she said in a whisper, pointing seaward. “Tell me what you see there. I misdoubt my own eyes. Is there a line of white just under the sky?”

He followed the direction of her finger. For some moments he failed to see anything out of the common; the sea horizon was somewhat blurred—that was all. But suddenly there came a gleam as of the sun quivering upon a thin sword blade of white steel out there—it quivered as might a feather in the wind.

“'Tis a white wave,” he said. “See, it has already widened. A great wave rolling shoreward.”

“List, list,” she whispered.

He put his hand behind his ear. There came through the air the hollow boom of distant thunder, or was it the breaking of a heavy sea upon a rocky coast? The sound of many waters came fitfully landward, and at the same moment a fierce gust of wind rushed over the water—they marked its footsteps—it was stamping with the hoofs of a war-horse on the surface of the deep as it charged down upon the coast.

Before the two persons on the cliff felt it on their faces, bending their bodies against its force, a wisp of mist had come over the sun. Far away there was a black cloud—small, but it looked to be dense as a cannon ball. She pointed it out, and these were her words:

“A cannon ball!—a cannon ball!”

The gust of wind had passed; they could hear the trees of the park complaining at first and then roaring, with the creaking of branches as it clove its way through them. Flocks of sea birds filled the air—all were flying inland. Their fitful cries came in all notes, from the plaintive whistle of the curlew and the hoarse shriek of the gull to the bass boom of a bittern.

Then the cannon ball cloud seemed to break into pieces in a flame of blue fire, more dazzling than any lightning that ever flashed from heaven to earth, and at the same instant the sun was blotted out, though no cloud had been seen approaching it; the pall seemed to have dropped over the disc, not to have crept up to it.

“A storm is on us,” he said. “Whither can we fly for shelter?”

“The stones of Red Tor,” she replied; “that is the nearest place. There is plenty of shelter among the stones.”

“Come,” he cried, “there is no moment to be lost. Never have I known a storm fall so quickly.”

She was tarrying on the cliff brow watching the progress of the fishing boats.

“They will be in safety before disaster can overtake them,” she said.

Then she turned to hasten inland with him; but a sound that seemed to wedge its way, so to speak, through the long low boom, with scarcely a quiver in it, of the distant thunder, made her look round.

She cried out, her finger pointing to a white splash under the very blackness of the cloud that now covered half the hollow of the sky dome with lead.

“Never have I seen the like save only once, while the great gale was upon us returning from Georgia,” said he. “'Tis a waterspout.”

It was a small spiral that came whirling along the surface of the water whence it had sprung, and it made a loud hissing sound, with the swish of broken water in it. It varied in height from three feet to twenty, until it had become a thick pillar of molten glass, with branching capitals that broke into flakes of sea-foam spinning into the drift. Its path through the sea was like the scythe-sweep of a hurricane on the shore. Its wake was churned up like white curd, and great waves fled from beneath its feet.

Wesley and his companion stood in astonishment, watching that wonder. Its course was not directly for the cliff where they were standing; but they saw that if it reached the shore it would do so a hundred yards or thereabouts to the westward.

They were not wrong. It reached the shore not farther away from them. It struck the sand where the sun had dried it, and in a moment it had scooped out a hollow eight or ten feet deep; then it whirled on to the shingle. They heard the noise as of the relapse of a great wave among the pebbles, sweeping them down beneath the scoop of its talons; only now it seemed as if the prow of a frigate had dashed into the ridge of pebbles and was pounding its way through them. It was a moving pillar of stones that struck furiously against the stones of the cliff—an avalanche in the air that thundered against the brow, breaking away a ton of rock, and turning it into an avalanche that slid down to the enormous gap made in the shingle. At the same instant there was the roar of a cataract as the whirling flood of the waterspout broke high in the air and dropped upon the land. It was as if a lake had fallen from the skies in a solid mass, carrying everything before it.

It was the girl who had grasped Wesley by the arm, forcing him to rush with her to the higher ground. Together they ran; but before they reached it they were wading and slipping and surging through a torrent that overflowed the cliff, and poured in the wave of a waterfall over the brink and thundered upon the rocks beneath.

They only paused to take breath when they reached the highest ledge of the irregular ground beyond the cliff pathway. There was a tangle of lightning in the air—it fell from a cloud that had black flowing fringes, like a horse's tail trailing behind it, and it was approaching the shore. They fled for the rocks of the Bed Tor.

If he had been alone he never would have reached the place. The air was black with rain, and he and his companion seemed to be rushing through a cloud that had the density of velvet. It was a blind flight; but this girl of the coast needed not the lightning torch that flared on every side of them to guide her. She held his arm, and he suffered himself to be led by her. She even knew where the sheltering rocks were to be found; they had not to search for them. At the back of the slight eminence that had formed his pulpit, half a dozen basalt boulders of unequal size lay tumbled together. Two of them were on end and three others lay over them, the remaining one lying diagonally across the arched entrance to what had the appearance of the ruin of a doorway four feet high. The high coarse herbage of the place, with here and there a bramble branch, was thick at this place, and if the girl and the companions of her childhood had not been accustomed to play their games here, calling the hollow between the stones their cave sometimes, their palace when it suited them, it would have escaped notice.

She bent her head and crept under the stones of the roof, and he followed her. They had a depth of scarcely three feet behind them, for the bank of the mound against which the stones lay sloped naturally outward, and the height was not more than four feet; but it was a shelter, although they had to kneel upon its hard floor. It was a shelter, and they had need of one just then. The cloud had burst over them just as they reached their hospitable cleft in the rocks, and the seventh plague of Egypt had fallen upon the rude amphitheatre of the Red Tor—it was hail mingled with fire; and when a pause came, as it did with a suddenness that was more appalling than the violence of the storm, the ninth plague was upon them. The darkness might have been felt. They could see nothing outside. They knew that only ten yards away there was another pile of rocks with a few stunted trees springing from their crevices; but they could not even see this landmark. Farther away, on a small plateau, was the celebrated rocking-stone of Red Tor; but it seemed to have been blotted out. They could hear the sound of the wind shrieking over the land, making many strange whistlings and moanings through the hollows among the stones—they could hear the sound of thousands of runnels down the banks, but they could see nothing.

In that awful black pause Wesley began to repeat the words of the eighteenth Psalm:

“The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and my high tower....

“In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry before him, even into his ears.

“Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

“There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

“He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

“And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

“He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

“At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

“The Lord also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

“Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

“Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils....

“For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”

Before he had come to the last stanza the battle of the elements had followed the brief truce.

The first flash was blinding, but before they had instinctively put their hands up to their eyes they had seen every twig of the skeleton trees outlined against the background of fire—they had seen the black bulk of the rocking-stone, and for the first time they noticed that it had the semblance of a huge hungry beast crouching for a leap. The thunder that followed seemed to set the world shaking with the sway of the rocking-stone when someone had put it in motion.

“Is it true?—is it, indeed, true?” cried the girl between the peals of thunder. He felt her hands tighten upon his arm.

“The Rock of Ages is true,” he said; but the second peal swallowed up his words.

He heard her voice when the next flash made a cleft in the cloud:

“Is it true—the prophecy—has it come?”

Then he knew what was in her mind.

“Do you fear it?” he cried, and he turned his face toward her. Another flaring sword made its stroke from the heavens, and by its blaze he saw that she was smiling while she shook her head.

He knew that she had no fear. Across his own mind there had flashed the same thought that had come to her, taking the form of the question which she had put to him: “Is the prophecy about to be realised?”

He felt perfectly tranquil in the midst of the storm; and the reflection that the tranquillity of the girl was due to his influence was sweet to him. The roar of the thunder had become almost continuous. They seemed to be the centre of a circle of livid flame. The intervals of darkness were less numerous than those during which the whole sky became illuminated. The floods came rather more fitfully. For a few minutes at a time it seemed as if an ocean had been displaced, as if an ocean had been suspended above them, and then suddenly dropped with the crash of a waterfall. Immediately afterward there would be a complete cessation of rain and the crash of waters. The thunder sounded very lonely.

More than once there were intervals of sudden clearness in the air. For minutes at a time they could see, even after the blinding flash of a javelin of lightning, every object outside their sheltering place; then suddenly all would be blotted out. At such moments it seemed as if the blackness above them was solid—a vast mountain of unhewn marble falling down upon them. They had the impression of feeling the awful weight of its mass beginning to crush them. They became breathless—gasping.

Once a flash fell close to them, and there was a noise of splintering wood and the hiss of water into which a red-hot bar has been dipped. A second afterward a blazing brand was flung in front of them, and the smoke hung dense in the heavy air. By the light that was cast around they saw that one of the trees growing on the little mound close to them had been struck and hurled where it lay.

It blazed high for a few minutes, and then the girl cried out. She had got upon her feet, though forced to keep her head bent. He thought that she was pointing out to him the thing that had happened; but in a moment he perceived that her eyes were fixed upon some object beyond the mound that had been struck. It was, however, only when the next flash came that he saw out there the figure of a man—he recognised him: it was Pritchard.

He stood bareheaded with his sackcloth garment clinging to him—the lightning was reflected from it as if it had been made of steel, for the water was streaming down its folds—on the summit of the rocks that were piled together on the slope of the bank not twenty yards away. He was gesticulating, but his bare arms were above his head.

So much Wesley saw in the single glimpse that was allowed to him. After the flash the darkness swallowed him up once more; but even before the next flash came he was visible, though faintly, by the light of the blazing tree, for the trunk had not fallen directly between where he was standing and the shelter. The red light flickered over his body, and showed his attitude—his hands were now clasped over his head, and he was facing the quarter whence the storm was coming. Then there fell another torrent of rain and hail, and he was hidden by that watery sheet for some minutes. Suddenly, as before, the rain ceased, and there was another interval of clearness, that showed him standing with his arms extended. And when the thunder peal rolled away his voice was heard calling out passionately, though his words were indistinct; they were smothered in the noise of the thousand torrents of the Tor.

In a moment Wesley had pushed himself through the opening of his shelter and hurried to his side. He caught him by the arm.

“Come!” he cried. “Have you not read, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God'? Man! is this a time to seek destruction?”

The man turned upon him.

“It has come—it has come—the great and terrible Day, and I am its prophet!” he shouted. “You did not believe me. I was mocked more than any prophet; but it has come. All has been fulfilled, except calling to the rocks and the mountains. No voice has called to them but mine. I have called to the rocks to cover me and the hills to hide, but none else. But you will join me—you will add your voice to mine that the Scriptures may be fulfilled, John Wesley. Call upon them as I do. Fall upon us, O rocks—cover us, O hills!”

He stretched out his arms once more and bowed his head on every side, shouting out his words, amid the blaze of the lightning and the rattle of the thunder.

“Wretch!” cried Wesley, but then he checked himself. He had now no doubt that the man had become a maniac. “My poor friend—brother—let me be your guide at this time. Let us talk over the matter together. There is a place of safety at hand.”

“What, you, John Wesley, talk of safety; know you not in this dread hour that the Scripture must be fulfilled?” shouted the man. “What will your judgment be who would make the Holy Writ to be a vain thing? I tell you, sir, that it will be a lie if you do not join with me in calling upon the rocks to fall upon us? This is the place that was prophesied of—these are the very rocks—yonder are the very hills. They will not move—they must be stubborn until another voice be joined with mine. O rocks, fall—fall—fall!”

Wesley grasped one of the frantic arms that were outstretched. He could not temporise with the wretch again.

“You shall not dare!” he cried. “I may not stand by and hear such a mockery.”

The man wrenched his arm free.

“The mockery is yours, sir,” he shouted. “You will not save the truth of the Scriptures when it is left for you to do so. Think of your own condemnation, man—think that there are only two of us here, and if we remain silent we are guilty of blasphemy, for we are preventing the fulfilment of this prophecy.”

A discharge of lightning that had the semblance of a pair of fiery fetters went from hill to hill, and when Wesley recovered the use of his eyes he saw that the man was pointing to the slight eminence on which the rocking-stone was poised.

“It has been shown to me—thank God that it has been shown to me before 'tis too late,” he cried. “If you, John Wesley, refuse to aid me, power shall be given me alone to fulfil the Scriptures. The rocks shall obey me. I am the chosen vessel.”

A torrent of rain swept between them, with the sound of a huge wave striking upon the flat face of a cliff. Wesley spread out his arms. One of them was grasped by the girl, who had crept to his side, and he felt himself guided back to the shelter.

He lay back upon the sloping rock thoroughly exhausted, and closed his eyes.

A minute had passed before he opened them again, hearing the girl cry out.

Another of the comparatively clear intervals had come, and it was sufficient to show the great rocking-stone in motion and the figure that was swaying it. To and fro it went on its heels' keel, the man making frantic efforts to increase the depth to which it rose and fell. To and fro, to and fro it swayed, and every fall was deeper than the last, until at last it was swinging so that the side almost touched the rock beyond. The man thrust his shoulder beneath the shoulder of the moving mass of stone, pushing it back every time it bowed toward him. Never before had it swung like this. At last it staggered on to the edge of the cup on which it was poised—staggered, but recovered itself and slipped into its place again. It swung back and jerked out of the cup as before. One more swing, with the man flinging his whole weight upon it; for a second it trembled on the edge of the hollow fulcrum, and then—it failed to return. It toppled slowly over upon the granite rock. For a moment its descent was retarded by the man, who was crushed like a walnut beneath it, then with a crash of broken crags it fell over the brink of the height to the ground, fifteen feet beneath.

Wesley left the girl with her hands pressed against her eyes and hurried to the fallen mass. A man's hand projected from beneath it—nothing more. But for this it would have been impossible to say that a body was beneath it. The mighty stone did not even lie flat on the ground; it had made a hollow for itself in the soft earth. It had buried itself to the depth of a foot, and beneath its base Pritchard lay buried.

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