" ROSELLA ! "
"Yes, Mother?" And a dark-eyed little girl looked down over the banisters into the hall.
" I want you to get ready quickly and go to the Moat House, and persuade Grandfather to come back with you this afternoon instead of waiting until the evening."
" But if he invites me to tea with him ?"
"Don't stay, dearie. I want you back before dusk, and it gets dark so soon now; and you must help me to tie the crackers on the Christmas-tree. It's still sunny, so make haste."
In a few minutes the child was tripping downstairs, smart and cosy in her red coat, hat, and muff, with all the importance of her nine years.
" Go the shortest way—you know; keep to the path across the moor," continued her mother, " or you might fall over bits of rock under the snow."
"Do you know, Mother, I always wonder, when there's snow, where all the grass is and what's underneath ? All killed by the freeze ? "