16 At the Back of the North Wind
"Well, mother says I shouldn't be disobliging; but it's rather hard. You see the north wind will blow right in my face if I do."
"lam the North Wind."
"O-o-oh!" said Diamond, thoughtfully. " Then will you promise not to blow on my face if I open your window?"
"1 can't promise that."
"But you'll give me the toothache. Mother's got it already."
" But what's to become of me without a window?"
" I'm sure I don't know. All I say is, it will be worse for me than for you."
" No; it will not. You shall not be the worse for it— I promise you that. You will be much the better for it. Just you believe what I say, and do as I tell you."
" Well, I can pull the clothes over my head," said Diamond, and feeling with his little sharp nails, he got hold of the open edge of the paper and tore it off at once.
In came a long whistling spear of cold, and struck his little naked chest. He scrambled and tumbled in under the bed-clothes, and covered himself up: there was no paper now between him and the voice, and he felt a little—not frightened exactly—I told you he had not learned that yet—but rather queer; for what a strange person this North Wind must be that lived in the great house—"called Out-of-Doors, I suppose," thought Diamond—and made windows into people's beds! But the voice began again; and he could hear it quite plainly; even with his head under the bed-clothes. It was a still
( C 145 )