North Wind 49
"The noise of my besom. I am the old woman that sweeps the cobwebs from the sky; only I'm busy with the floor now."
" What makes the houses look as if they were running away?"
" I am sweeping so fast over them."
" But, please, North Wind, I knew London was very big, but I didn't know it was so big as this. It seems as if we should never get away from it."
" We are going round and round, else we should have left it long ago."
" Is this the way you sweep, North Wind?"
" Yes; I go round and round with my great besom."
" Please, would you mind going a little slower, for I want to see the streets?"
" You won't see much now."
" Because I have nearly swept all the people home."
" Oh! I forgot," said Diamond, and was quiet after that, for he did not want to be troublesome.
But she dropped a little towards the roofs of the houses, and Diamond could see down into the streets. There were very few people about, though. The lamps flickered and flared again, but nobody seemed to want them.
Suddenly Diamond espied a little girl coming along a street. She was dreadfully blown by the wind, and a broom she was trailing behind her was very trouble≠some. It seemed as if the wind had a spite at heró it kept worrying her like a wild beast, and tearing at her rags. She was so lonely there!
( C 145 ) 4