There was a large, brilliant evening star in the early twilight, and underfoot the earth was half frozen. It was Christmas Eve. Also the War was over, and there was a sense of relief that was almost a new menace. A man felt the violence of the nightmare released now into the general air. Also there had been another wrangle among the men on the pitbank that evening. A aron Sisson was the last man on the little black railwayline climbing the hill home from work. He was late because he had attended a meeting of the men on the bank. He was secretary to the Miners Union for his colliery, and had heard a good deal of silly wrangling that left him nettled. He strode over a stile, crossed two fields, strode another stile, and was in the long road of colliers dwellings. Just across was his own house: he had built it himself. He went through the little gate, up past the side of the house to the back. There he hung a moment, glancing down the dark, wintry garden. My father my fathers come! cried a childs excited voice, and two little girls in white pinafores ran out in front of his legs. Father, shall you set the Christmas Tree? they cried. We ve got onel A fore I have my dinner? he answered amiably. Set it now. Set it now. We got it through Fred A lton. Wheer is it? The little girls were dragging a rough, dark object out of a corner of the passage into the light of the kitchen door. It sa beauty! exclaimed Millicent. Yes, it is, said Marjory.
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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