it may have the honour to die in agony to grace a rich
man's table. You see ? "
She mused a moment; her brain was rapid in intuitive
perception, but barren of all culture ; it took her many
moments to follow the filmy track of a metaphorical utter¬
ance. But by degrees she saAv his meaning, and the
shadow settled over her face again,
"The possible, then, is only—the worse?" she said
The old man smiled still grimly,
" Nay ; our friends the priests say there is a ' possible'
which wOl give—one day—the fowler who kills the lark the
wings of the lark, and the lark's power to sing Laus Deo in
heaven. / do not say—they do."
" The priests ! "
All the scorn of which her curved lips were capable
curled on them, and a deep hate gathered in her eyes—a
hate that was unfathomable and mute.
" Then there is no ' possible ' for me," she said bitterly,
" if so be that priests hold the gifts of it ? "
Marcellin looked up at her from under his bushy Avhite
eyebrows; a glance fleet and keen as the gleam of blue
" Yes, there is," he said curtly. " You are a woman
child, and have beauty : the devil Avill give you one."
" Always the devil ! " she muttered. There was impa¬
tience in her echo of the words, and yet there was an awe
also as of one Avho uses a name that is mighty and full of
majesty, although familiar,
" Always the devil I" repeated Marcellin. " For tha
Avorld is always of men,"
His meaning this time lay too deep for her, and passed
her; she stood leaning against the poplar, with her head
bent and her form motionless in tne sunlight like a statue
" If men be devils they are my brethren," she said sud¬
denly : " why do they then so hate me ? "
The old man stroked his beard,
" Because Fraternity is Hate. Cain said so; but God
would not believe him,"
She mused over the saying ; silent stiU.
The lark dropped down from heaven, suddenly falling