At the Back of the North Wind Illustrated - online book

A Complete Illustrated children's fantasy book by George MacDonald.

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The East Window                 97
a tremendous wind in the night, for although all was quiet now, there lay the little summer-house crushed to the ground, and over it the great elm-tree, which the wind had broken across, being much decayed in the middle. Diamond almost cried to see the wilder­ness of green leaves, which used to be so far up in the blue air, tossing about in the breeze, and liking it best when the wind blew it most, now lying so near the ground, and without any hope of ever getting up into the deep air again.
"I wonder how old the tree is!" thought Diamond. " It must take a long time to get so near the sky as that poor tree was."
"Yes, indeed," said a voice beside him, for Diamond had spoken the last words aloud.
Diamond started, and looking round saw a clergy­man, a brother of Mrs. Coleman, who happened to be visiting her. He was a great scholar, and was in the habit of rising early.
" Who are you, my man?" he added.
" Little Diamond," answered the boy.
" Oh! I have heard of you. How do you come to be up so early?"
" Because the sham Apostles talked such nonsense, they waked me up."
The clergyman stared. Diamond saw that he had better have held his tongue, for he could not explain things.
"You must have been dreaming, my little man," said he. "Dear! dear!" he went on, looking at the tree, "there has been terrible work here. This is the
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