250 At the Back of the North Wind
and smile at it, and put it in again; and that is what keeps them from growing dark."
" How jolly!" thought Diamond. "I should like to see them at their work too.—When do you go to sleep?" he asked the captain.
"When we grow sleepy," answered the captain. " They do say—but mind I say they say—that it is when those others—what do you call them? I don't know if that is their name; I am only guessing that may be the sort you mean—when they are on their rounds and come near any troop of us we fall asleep. They live on the west side of the hill. None of us have ever been to the top of it yet."
Even as he spoke, he dropped his spade. He tumbled down beside it, and lay fast asleep. One after the other each of the troop dropped his pickaxe or shovel from his listless hands, and lay fast asleep by his work.
"Ah!" thought Diamond to himself, with delight, "now the girl-angels are coming, and I, not being an angel, shall not fall asleep like the rest, and I shall see the girl-angels."
But the same moment he felt himself growing sleepy. He struggled hard with the invading power. He put up his fingers to his eyelids and pulled them open. But it was of no use. He thought he saw a glimmer of pale rosy light far up the green hill, and ceased to know.
When he awoke, all the angels were starting up wide awake too. He expected to see them lift their tools, but no, the time for play had come. They looked happier than ever, and each began to sing where he stood. He had not heard them sing before.