THE STORY OF OSCAR
Oscar wagged his tail gratefully. Then in a sudden flash it came upon him that he had killed the pigeons. Now he saw the birds were pigeons, not gulls, and, worse than killing them, he had, all unknowingly, told his master a lie; and he could not undo it. He whined a little as if in pain, and moved slowly out of the room. The minister sat on, deep in thought, and then went outside the house to see the sunset. Great bands of thick grey cloud wrapped the hill-tops in their folds, and lay in long bands across the slopes, while here and there in the rifts were patches of pale lemon-coloured sky. The loch waters heaved sullenly against the shore. The minister looked away from the sunset, and his eye fell on a little mound in the bed by the cottage.
' What did I plant there ?' he thought, and began poking it with his stick.
' Oscar, Oscar!'
Oscar was bounding down the path. He had just determined to unbury the pigeons and bring them to his master, and, even if he received a beating, his master would know he had not meant to deceive.
But now, hearing the call, and the tone of the minister's voice, he knew it was too late. He stopped, and then crept slowly towards that tall black figure standing in the twilight, with the two white pigeons lying at his feet.
' Oh, Oscar, Oscar lad, what have you done ? '
At that moment a boy came running to the gate.
' Ye'll be the minister that Sandy Johnston is speiring after. He says, " Fetch the minister, and bid him come quick."'
The minister gave a few directions to Jean, and in a moment or two was ready to go with the boy. It was a long row to the head of the loch, and a long walk to reach the cottage where Sandy Johnston lay dying. The minister stayed with him for two nights, till he seemed to need his help no more, and then started off to come home. But while he was being rowed along the loch, a