At the Back of the North Wind - George MacDonald - Страница 1 из 310


AT THE BACK OF THE NORTH WIND
By George Mac Donald
Author of "Dealings with Fairies," "Ranald Bannerman," etc., etc.
CHAPTER I. THE HAY-LOFT
I HAVE been asked to tell you about the back of the north wind. An old
Greek writer mentions a people who lived there, and were so comfortable
that they could not bear it any longer, and drowned themselves. My
story is not the same as his. I do not think Herodotus had got the right
account of the place. I am going to tell you how it fared with a boy who
went there.
He lived in a low room over a coach-house; and that was not by any means
at the back of the north wind, as his mother very well knew. For one
side of the room was built only of boards, and the boards were so old
that you might run a penknife through into the north wind. And then let
them settle between them which was the sharper! I know that when you
pulled it out again the wind would be after it like a cat after a mouse,
and you would know soon enough you were not at the back of the north
wind. Still, this room was not very cold, except when the north wind
blew stronger than usual: the room I have to do with now was always
cold, except in summer, when the sun took the matter into his own hands.
Indeed, I am not sure whether I ought to call it a room at all; for it
was just a loft where they kept hay and straw and oats for the horses.
And when little Diamond--but stop: I must tell you that his father, who
was a coachman, had named him after a favourite horse, and his mother
had had no objection:--when little Diamond, then, lay there in bed, he


-10     пред. Страница 1 из 310 след.     +10