T the cottage on the mountain everything for a time went on just as before. It was indeed dull without Curdie, but as often as they looked at the emerald it was gloriously ♦ green, and with nothing to fear or regret, and everything to hope, they required little comfortirg. One morning, however, at last, Peter, who had been consulting the gem, rather now from habit than anxiety, as a farmer his barometer in undoubtful weather, turned suddenly to his wife, the stone in his hand, and held it up with a look of ghastly dismay.
" Why, that's never the emerald !" said Joan. " It is," answered Peter ; " but it were small blame to any one that took it for a bit of bottle glass !"
For, all save one spot right in the centre, of intensest and most brilliant green, it looked as if the colour had been burnt out of it.