shadowy smile that had humour in it as well as love and pity.
' We are in want of something to eat and drink, wife,' he said ; ' we have come a long way ! '
' You know, husband,' she answered, ' we can give only to him that asks.'
She turned her unchanging face and radiant eyes upon mine.
' Please give me something to eat, Mrs. Raven,' I said, ' and something—what you will—to quench my thirst.'
' Your thirst must be greater before you can have what will quench it,' she replied ; ' but what I can give you, I will gladly.'
She went to a cupboard in the wall, brought from it bread and wine, and set them on the table.
We sat down to the perfect meal; and as I ate, the bread and wine seemed to go deeper than the hunger and thirst. Anxiety and discomfort vanished ; expectation took their place.
I grew very sleepy, and now first felt weary.
'I have earned neither food nor sleep, Mrs. Baven,' I said, ' but you have given me the one freely, and now I hope you will give me the other, for I sorely need it.'
' Sleep is too fine a thing ever to be earned,' said the sexton ; ' it must be given and accepted, for it is a necessity. But it would be perilous to use this house as a half-way hostelry—for the repose of a night, that is, merely.'
A wild-looking little black cat jumped on his knee as he spoke. He patted it as one pats a child to make it go to sleep : he seemed to me patting down the sod upon a grave—patting it lovingly, with an inward lullaby.