A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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80                               PHANTASTES:
I walked on the whole day, with intervals of rest, but without food; for I could not have eaten, had any been offered me; till, in the afternoon, I seemed to approach the outskirts of the forest, and at length arrived at a farm-house. An unspeakable joy arose in my heart at beholding an abode of human beings once more, and I hastened up to the door, and knocked. A kind-looking, matronly woman, still handsome, made her appearance; who, as soon as she saw me, said kindly, " Ah, my poor boy, you have come from the wood ! Were you hi it last night? "
I should have ill endured, the day before, to be called boy; but now the motherly kindness of the word went to my heart; and, like a boy indeed, I burst into tears. She soothed me right gently ; and, leading me into a room, made me lie down on a settle, while she went to find me some refreshment. She soon returned with food, but I could not eat. She almost compelled me to swallow some wine, when I revived sufficiently to be able to answer some of her questions. I told her the whole story.
" It is just as I feared," she said; H but you are now for the night beyond the reach of any of these dread­ful creatures. It is no wonder they could delude a child like you. But I must beg you, when my hus-
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