248 At the Back of the North Wind
if he had not cried, he did not know what would have become of him.
As soon as all had looked, the star was carefully fitted in again, a little mould was strewn over it, and the rest of the heap left as a sign that that star had been discovered.
At length one dug up a small star of a most lovely colour—a colour Diamond had never seen before. The moment the angel saw what it was, instead of showing it about, he handed it to one of his neighbours, and seated himself on the edge of the hole, saying:
"This will do for me. Good-bye. I'm off."
They crowded about him, hugging and kissing him; then stood back with a solemn stillness, their wings lying close to their shoulders. The little fellow looked round on them once with a smile, and then shot himself headlong through the star-hole. Diamond, as privileged, threw himself on the ground to peep after him, but he saw nothing.
"It's no use," said the captain. " I never saw anything more of one that went that way."
"His wings can't be much use," said Diamond, concerned and fearful, yet comforted by the calm looks of the rest.
"That's true," said the captain. "He's lost them by this time. They all do that go that way. You haven't got any, you see."
" No," said Diamond. " I never did have any."
" Oh! didn't you?" said the captain.
"Some people say," he added, after a pause, "that they come again. I don't know. I've never found the