THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE 241
they rode the ford, was all red and gold and brown.
Then time went on ; that seemed a long time to Randal. Only the women were left in the house, and Randal played with the shepherd's children. They sailed boats in the mill-pond, and they went down to the boat-pool and watched to see the big copper-coloured salmon splashing in the still water. One evening Randal looked up suddenly from his play. It was growing dark. He had been building a house with the round stones and wet sand by the river. He looked up, and there was his own father ! He was riding all alone, and his horse, Sir Hugh, was very lean and lame, and scarred with the spurs. The spear in his father's hand was broken, and he had no sword; and he looked neither to right nor to left. His eyes were wide open, but he seemed to see nothing.
Randal cried out to him, "Father! Father!" but he never glanced at Randal. He did not look as if he heard him, or knew he was there, and suddenly he seemed to go away, Randal did not know how or where.
Randal was frightened.
He ran into the house, and went to his mother.
"Oh, mother," he said, " I have seen father! He was riding all alone, and he would not look at me. Sir Hugh was lame ! "