72 HOW BRAVE WALTER HUNTED WOLVES
the more he thought about it the uglier and grayer the old kiln looked, and the more horrible and dreadful it seemed to become the food of wolves.
' Shall I go back and say that I struck one wolf and it escaped ? ' thought Walter. ' Fie ! ' said his conscience, ' Do you not remember that a lie is one of the worst sins, both in the sight of God and man ? If you tell a lie to-day and say you struck a wolf, to-morrow surely it will eat you up.'
' No, I will go to the kiln,' thought Walter, and so he went. But he did not go quite near. He went only so near that he could see the ram's blood which coloured the grass red, and some tufts of wool which the wolves had torn from the back of the poor animal.
It looked so dreadful.
' I wonder what the ram thought when they ate him up,' thought Walter to himself ; and just then a cold shiver ran through him from his collar right down to his boots.
' It is better for me to beat the drum,' he thought to himself again, and so he began to beat it. But it sounded horrid, and an echo came out from the kiln that seemed almost like the howl of a wolf. The drumsticks stiffened in Walter's hands, and he thought now they are coming. . . .!
Yes, sure enough, just then a shaggy, reddish-brown wolf's head looked out from under the kiln !
What did Walter do now ? Yes, the brave Walter who alone could manage four, threw his drum far away, took to his heels and ran, and ran as fast as he could back to the mill.
But, alas ! the wolf ran after him. Walter looked back ; the wolf was quicker than he and only a few steps behind him. Then Walter ran faster. But fear got the better of him, he neither heard nor saw anything more. He ran over sticks, stones and ditches ;. he lost drum-sticks, sabre, bow, and air-pistol, and in his terrible