He gave her arm a vicious twist, but happily her bones were in better condition than his. She stretched her other hand toward the broken branch.
' That's right: reach me the stick !' he grinned.
She brought it round with such a swing that one of the bones of the sounder leg snapped. He fell, choking with curses. The lady laughed.
' Now you will have to wear splints always!' she said ; c such dry bones never mend !
' You devil! ' he cried.
' At your service, my lord! Shall I fetch you a couple of wheel-spokes ? Neatóbut heavy, I fear ! '
He turned his bone-face aside, and did not answer, but lay and groaned. I marvelled he had not gone to pieces when he fell. The lady rose and walked away ónot all ungracefully, I thought.
' What can come of it ? ' I said to myself. ' These are too wretched for any world, and this cannot be hell, for the Little Ones are in it, and the sleepers too ! What can it all mean ? Can things ever come right for skeletons ? '
' There are words too big for you and me : all is one of them, and ever is another,' said a voice near me which I knew.
I looked about, but could not see the speaker.
' You are not in hell,' it resumed. ' Neither am I in hell. But those skeletons are in hell!'
Ere he ended I caught sight of the raven on the bough of a beech, right over my head. The same moment he left it, and alighting on the ground, stood there, the thin old man of the library, with long nose and long coat.
' The male was never a gentleman,' he went on,