A fantasy novel by George MacDonald

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The son, an ill-looking youth, who had entered during the conversation, joined in his father's laugh ; but his laugh was very different from the old man's: it was polluted with a sneer. I watched him, and saw that, as soon as it was over, he looked scared, as if he dreaded some evil consequences to follow his presumption. The woman stood near, waiting till we should seat ourselves at the table, and listening to it all with an amused air, which had something in it of the look with which one listens to the sententious remarks of a pompous child. We sat down to supper, and I ate heartily. My bygone distresses began already to look far off.
"In what direction are you going?" asked the old man.
" Eastward," I replied; nor could I have given a more definite answer. "Does the forest extend much further in that direction?"
" Oh! for miles and miles; I do not know how far. For although I have lived on the borders of it all my life, I have been too busy to make journeys of discovery into it Nor do I see what I could discover. It is only trees and trees, till one is sick of them. By the way, if you follow the east­ward track from here, you will pass close to what
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