268 THE STORY OF OSCAR
In a moment he was wide awake, and made a rush at the two birds who were gazing at him inquiringly with their heads on one side. But after two or three rushes, ' What stupid gulls these are ! ' thought Oscar. ' They can scarcely fly.'
And, indeed, the birds seemed to have great difficulty in lifting themselves off the ground, and appeared to grow more and more feeble after each of Oscar's onslaughts. At last one of them fell.
' Lazy creature ! you have had too much dinner! Up you get!'
But the gull lay down gasping.
Oscar made for the other. Why, that was lying down too! He went to the first one. It was quite still and motionless, and after one or two more gasps its companion was the same.
Oscar felt rather frightened. Was it possible that he had killed them? What would his master say? How was he to tell him it was quite a mistake? That he had only been in fun? He must put the gulls out of sight.
He dragged them to one side of the cottage where the minister used to try every year to grow a few cherished plants, and there in the loose earth he dug a grave for the birds.
Then he went back to his old place, and waited for his master's return.
When the minister came back, for the first time in his life, Oscar longed to be able to speak and tell him all that had happened. How could he without speech explain that the death of the birds was an accident — an unfortunate accident?
He felt that without an explanation it was no use unearthing the white forms in the border.
' Sir, sir!' cried Jean, putting her head in at the door. ' Here's Widow Mclnnes come to see you. She's in sore trouble.'
The minister rose and went to the door.