20 At the Back of the North Wind
I am sorry I was forced to be so rough with you," said the lady.
"I will; yes, I will," answered Diamond, holding out both his arms. "But," he added, dropping them, " how shall I get my clothes? They are in mother's room, and the door is locked."
" Oh, never mind your clothes. You will not be cold. I shall take care of that. Nobody is cold with the North Wind."
" I thought everybody was," said Diamond
"That is a great mistake. Most people make it, however. They are cold because they are not with the North Wind, but without it."
If Diamond had been a little older, and had supposed himself a good deal wiser, he would have thought the lady was joking. But he was not older, and did not fancy himself wiser, and therefore understood her well enough. Again he stretched out his arms. The lady's face drew back a little.
" Follow me, Diamond," she said.
" Yes," said Diamond, only a little ruefully.
"You're not afraid?" said the North Wind.
"No, ma'am; but mother never would let me go without shoes: she never said anything about clothes, so I dare say she wouldn't mind that."
"I know your mother very well," said the lady. "She is a good woman. I have visited her often. 1 was with her when you were born. I saw her laugh and cry both at once. I love your mother, Diamond."
"How was it you did not know my name, then, ma'am? Please am I to say ma'am to you, ma'am?"