BEN WEATHERSTAFF 277
when everything stills itself, and they really had had a busy and exciting afternoon. Colin looked as if he were resting luxuriously. Even the creatures had ceased moving about and had drawn together and were resting near them. Soot had perched on a low branch and drawn up one leg and dropped the gray film drowsily over his eyes. Mary privately thought he looked as if he might snore in a minute.
In the midst of this stillness it was rather startling when Colin half lifted his head and exclaimed in a loud suddenly alarmed whisper:
"Who is that man? "
Dickon and Mary scrambled to their feet.
" Man! " they both cried in low quick voices.
Colin pointed to the high wall.
"Look!" he whispered excitedly. "Just look!"
Mary and Dickon wheeled about and looked. There was Ben Weatherstaff's indignant face glaring at them over the wall from the top of a ladder! He actually shook his fist at Mary.
" If I wasn't a bachelder, an' tha' was a wench 0' mine," he cried, " I'd give thee a hidin'! "
He mounted another step threateningly as if it were his energetic intention to jump down and deal with her; but as she came toward him he evidently thought better of it and stood on the