54 At the Back of the North Wind
"We'd better have a try anyhow," said Diamond. " Come along."
As he spoke Diamond thought he caught a glimpse of North Wind turning a corner in front of them; and when they turned the corner too, they found it quite quiet there, but he saw nothing of the lady.
"Now you lead me," he said, taking her hand, " and I'll take care of you."
The girl withdrew her hand, but only to dry her eyes with her frock, for the other had enough to do with her broom. She put it in his again, and led him, turning after turning, until they stopped at a cellar-door in a very dirty lane. There she knocked.
" I shouldn't like to live here," said Diamond.
"Oh yes, you would, if you had nowheres else to go to," answered the girl. "I only wish we may get in.
" I don't want to go in," said Diamond.
" Where do you mean to go, then?"
" Home to my home."
" I don't exactly know."
"Then you're worse off than I am."
"Oh no, for North Windó" began Diamond, and stopped he hardly knew why.
" What?" said the girl, as she held her ear to the door listening.
But Diamond did not reply. Neither did Old Sal.
"I told you so," said the girl. "She is wide awake hearkening. But we don't get in."
"What will you do, then?" asked Diamond.