262 At the Back of the North Wind
When Diamond followed Mr. Raymond into the room where those children who had got over the worst of their illness and were growing better lay, he saw a number of little iron bedsteads, with their heads to the walls, and in every one of them a child, whose face was a story in itself. In some, health had begun to appear in a tinge upon the cheeks, and a doubtful brightness in the eyes, just as out of the cold dreary winter the spring comes in blushing buds and bright crocuses. In others there were more of the signs of winter left. Their faces reminded you of snow and keen cutting winds, more than of sunshine and soft breezes and butterflies; but even in them the signs of suffering told that the suffering was less, and that if the spring-time had but arrived, it had yet arrived.
Diamond looked all round, but could see no Nanny. He turned to Mr. Raymond with a question in his eyes.
" Well?" said Mr. Raymond.
" Nanny's not here," said Diamond.
" Oh, yes, she is."
"I don't see her."
'" I do, though. There she is."
He pointed to a bed right in front of where Diamond was standing.
" That's not Nanny," he said.
" It is Nanny. I have seen her many times since you have. Illness makes a great difference."
" Why, that girl must have been to the back of the north wind!" thought Diamond, but he said nothing, only stared; and as he stared, something of the old Nanny began to dawn through the face of the new