At length, nigh dead, he reached the brink of the Stony Bottom. He looked up and he looked down, but nowhere in that blinding mist could he see the fallen thorn-tree. He took a step forward into the white morass, and 'sank up to his thigh. He struggled feebly to free himself, and sank deeper. The snow wreathed, twisting, round him like a white flame, and he collapsed, softly crying, on that soft bed.
Little Mrs. Moore, her face whiter and frailer than ever, stood at the window, lookiing out into the storm.
"I canna rest for thinkin' o' th' lad," she said. Then, turning, she saw ber husband, his fur cap down over his ears, buttoning his pilot-coat about his throat, while Owd Bob stood at his feet, waiting.
"Ye're no goin', James?" she asked, anx-. iously.
"But I am, lass," he answered; and she knew him too well to say more.
So those two went quietly out to save life or lose it, nor counted the cost.
Down a wind-shattered slope--over a spar of ice--up an eternal hill--a forlorn hope.
In a whirlwind chaos of snow, the tempest storming at them, the white earth lashing them, they fought a good fight. In front, Owd Bob, the snow clogging his shaggy coat, his hair cutting like lashes of steel across eyes, his head lowered as he followed the finger of God; and close behind, James Moore, his back stern against the storm, stalwart still, yet swaying like a tree before the wind.