386 At the Back of the North Wind
"No," she answered; "you shall stay as long as you like."
"Oh, how jolly!" cried Diamond, as North Wind sailed over the house with him, and set him down on the lawn at the back.
Diamond ran about the lawn for a little while in the moonlight. He found part of it cut up into flowerbeds, and the little summer-house with the coloured glass and the great elm-tree gone. He did not like this, and ran into the stable. There were no horses there at all. He ran upstairs. The rooms were empty. The only thing left that he cared about was the hole in the wall where his little bed had stood; and that was not enough to make him wish to stop. He ran down the stair again, and out upon the lawn. There he threw himself down and began to cry. It was all so dreary and lost!
" I thought I liked the place so much," said Diamond to himself, " but I find I don't care about it. I suppose it's only the people in it that make you like a place, and when they're gone, it's dead, and you don't care a bit about it. North Wind told me I might stop as long as I liked, and I've stopped longer already.— North Wind!" he cried aloud, turning his face towards the sky.
The moon was under a cloud, and all was looking dull and dismal. A star shot from the sky, and fell in the grass beside him. The moment it lighted, there stood North Wind.
"Oh!" cried Diamond, joyfully, "were you the shooting star?"