It moved its head, and then first I saw that its back was toward me.
' Will you not come with me ? ' said a sweet, mellow voice, unmistakably a woman's.
Wishing to learn more of my hostess,
11 thank you,' I replied, ' but I am not uncomfortable here. Where would you have me go ? I like sleeping in the open air.'
I There is no hurt in the air,' she returned ; but the creatures that roam the night in these parts are not such as a man would willingly have about him while he sleeps.'
I have not been disturbed,' I said.
I No ; I have been sitting by you ever since you lay down.'
' That is very kind of you ! How came you to know I was here ? Why do you show me such favour ? '
'I saw you,' she answered, still with her back to me, ' in the light of the moon, just as she went down. I see badly in the day, but at night perfectly. The shadow of my house would have hidden you, but both its doors were open. I was out on the waste, and saw you go into this hollow. You were asleep, however, before I could reach you, and I was not willing to disturb you. People are frightened if I come on them suddenly. They call me the Cat-woman. It is not my name.'
I remembered what the children had told me—that she was very ugly, and scratched. But her voice was gentle, and its tone a little apologetic: she could not be a bad giantess !
' You shall not hear it from me,' I answered. ' Please tell me what I may call you !'