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to look for them and get their ships all in among the rocks.'

Mavis looked puzzled.

'I don't think that's mermaids,' she said. 'There's another name for those naughty, unkind creatures.'

'Syrens,' came Winfried's voice from the other end of the boat. And he looked up with a smile at the little girls' start of surprise. Don't be afraid,' he said, 'my friends are neither mermaids nor syrens; you're not going to be shipwrecked in this boat, I promise you.' Somehow the boy seemed to have gained a new kind of dignity now that the children were, so to say, his guests. Ruby said, 'Thank you,' quite meekly and submissively for her.

Then they were all quite silent for a while, only the plash of Winfried's oars broke the stillness. And somehow out there on the water it seemed to have grown warmer, at least the children felt conscious of neither cold nor heat, it was just perfectly pleasant. And the sun shone on mildly. There was a thorough feeling of 'afternoon,' with its quiet and mystery and yet faint expectation, such as one seldom has except in summer.

'It is lovely,' said Mavis presently; 'only I'm a little afraid I'm getting sleepy.'

'No, you needn't be afraid,' said Winfried; and just as he said the words, Mavis started, as something flitted against her cheek.

'Ruby, Ruby!' she exclaimed, 'did you see it? A butterfly-a blue butterfly-in November! Oh, where has it gone to?' and she gazed all round anxiously,



. . There are things which through the gazing eye Reach the full soul and thrill it into love.'—To my Child.

RUBY burst out laughing.

'You've been asleep and dreaming, you silly girl,' she said. 'Winfried, do you hear? Mavis says a blue butterfly flew past.'

'It kissed my cheek,' said Mavis.

Winfried smiled: 'It's quite possible,' he said. Ruby was just turning upon him with her laughter, when something made her jump in turn. Something cold and damp touched her hand: she had taken her glove off and was dabbling idly in the water.

'Ugh,' she said, 'I do believe that was a toad.' The laugh was against her now.

'A toad, Ruby, out at sea! What are you think

ing of?' said Mavis. 'You needn't make fun of my butterfly if you talk of toads.'

'Well, it was something slimy and horrid like a toad,' said Ruby. Perhaps it was only a fish. But whatever it was, I believe it was a trick of Winfried's. I'm sure, positive sure, you're a wizard, Winfried.'

She was half in fun and half in earnest. But the boy took it quite composedly.

'No, I'm not,' he said; and no more is gran. But -people don't understand, you see. If they see that one's a bit different from others they've no words for it but wizard and uncanny, and they get frightened when it should be just the other way.'

This was much more of a speech than the fisherboy was in the habit of making. Both the children listened with interest.

'How is your gran different from others?' asked Ruby.

'You'll see it in his face; at least, I think you will,' said Winfried. 'But now I mustn't talk, we're close to the little creek.'

He got the boat in most cleverly, to a very tiny creek, where was a little landing-place, and leading upwards from it a flight of steps cut in the rock.

'How funny, how very funny we never saw this

place before,' exclaimed the little girls. 'Do you keep the boat here, Winfried?'

Sometimes,' he replied, but not to-day. We won't need it again.'

He folded up the shawls and laid them neatly on the cushions, then he drew in the oars, and in another moment he had helped the children to get on shore, and all three had mounted several of the rock steps when Winfried called to them to stop for a moment.

'Look down,' he said; and as he spoke, the little girls saw something moving there below where they had just landed. It was the little boat; calmly and steadily it was moving out to sea, though it had no sails, and the oars were lying just as Winfried had drawn them in.

'Oh Winfried,' exclaimed Ruby; 'the dear little boat, it's drifting out, it will be lost. Can't you jump into the water and drag it back?'

'It's all right,' said the boy. 'It's going home till it's needed again. I only wanted you to see how quietly it goes off, once its business is done.'

And he turned and began to whistle softly as he went on up the steps.

'Now,' said Ruby, half triumphant and half

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