A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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48                               PHANTASTES:
the sweetest kiss of winds and odours. There was a cool faithfulness in the kiss that revived mv heart wonderfully. I felt that I feared the dreadful Ash no more.
What did the horrible Ash want with me? " I said. " I am not quite sure, but I think he wants to bury
you at the foot of his tree. But he shall not touch you, my child."
" Are all the ash-trees as dreadful as he ? "
" Oh, no. They are all disagreeable selfish crea­tures—(what horrid men they will make, if it be true!) but this one has a hole in his heart that nobody knows of but one or two ; and he is always trying to fill it up, but he cannot That must be what he wanted you for. I wonder if he will ever be a man. If he is, I hope they will kill him."
" How kind of you to save me from him ! "
" I will take care that he shall not come near vou again. But there are some in the wood more like me, from whom, alas! I cannot protect you. Only if you see any of them very beautiful, try to walk round them."
"What then?"
"I cannot tell you more. But now I must tie some of my hair about you, and then the Ash will
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