314 At the Back of the North Wind
Really, what they do say of their superiors down there!' ' It's only because they don't know better,' I ventured to say. 'Of course, of course,' said the little man. ' Nobody ever does know better. Well, I forgive them, and that sets it all right, I hope.' ' It's very good of you,' I said. 'No!' said he, 'it's not in the least good of me. I couldn't be comfortable otherwise.' After this he said nothing for a while, and I laid myself on the floor of his garret, and stared up and around at the great blue beautifulness. 1 had forgotten him almost, when at last he said: 'Ain't you done yet?' 'Done what?' I asked. ' Done saying your prayers,' says he. ' 1 wasn't saying my prayers,' I answered. 'Oh yes, you were,' said he, 'though you didn't know it! And now I must show you something else.'
" He took my hand and led me down the stair again, and through a narrow passage, and through another, and another, and another. I don't know how there could be room for so many passages in such a little house. The heart of it must be ever so much farther from the sides than they are from each other. How could it have an inside that was so independent of its outside? There's the point. It was funnyŚwasn't it, Diamond?"
" No," said Diamond. He was going to say that that was very much the sort of thing at the back of the north wind; but he checked himself and only added, "All right. I don't see it. I don't see why the inside should depend on the outside. It ain't so with the crabs. They creep out of their outsides and make new ones. Mr. Raymond told me so."