THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE 307
He was much disappointed.
It had seemed as if he was really coming to something, and, behold, it was only an old stone coffin !
However, he worked on till he had cleared the whole of the stone coffin-lid. It was a very large stone chest, and must have been made, Randal thought, for the body of a very big man.
With the point of his pickaxe he raised the lid.
In the moonlight he saw something of a strange shape.
He put down his hand, and pulled it out.
It was an image, in metal, about a foot high, and represented a beautiful woman, with wings on her shoulders, sitting on a wheel.
Randal had never seen an image like this; but in an old book, which belonged to the Monks of Melrose, he had seen, when he was a boy, a picture of such a woman.
The Monks had told him that she was Fortune, with her swift wings that carry her from one person to another, as luck changes, and with her wheel that she turns with the turning of chance in the world.
The image was very heavy. Randal rubbed some of the dirt and red clay off, and found that the metal was yellow. He cut it with his knife ; it was soft. He cleaned a piece, which shone bright and unrusted in the moonlight,