Diamond's Dream 249
colour I care about myself. I suppose I shall some day."
Then they looked again at the star, put it carefully into its hole, danced round it and over it—but solemnly, and called it by the name of the finder.
" Will you know it again?" asked Diamond.
" Oh yes. We never forget a star that's been made a door of."
Then they went on with their searching and digging.
Diamond having neither pickaxe nor spade, had the more time to think.
" I don't see any little girls," he said at last.
The captain stopped his shovelling, leaned on his spade, rubbed his forehead thoughtfully with his left hand—the little angels were all left-handed—repeated the words " little girls", and then, as if a thought had struck him, resumed his work, saying—
" I think I know what you mean. I've never seen any of them, of course; but I suppose that's the sort you mean. I'm told—but mind I don't say it is so, for I don't know—that when we fall asleep, a troop of angels very like ourselves, only quite different, goes round to all the stars we have discovered, and discovers them after us. I suppose with our shovelling and handling we spoil them a bit; and I daresay the clouds that come up from below make them smoky and dull sometimes. They say—mind, I say they say —these other angels take them out one by one, and pass each round as we do, and breathe over it, and rub it with their white hands, which are softer than ours, because they don't do any pick-and-spade work,