'Hold up his head, so that if there is any breath it may come on the glass.'
'He's dead, right enough. You see, dear, there's not a trace of breath on the glass.'
'I'd like to say a prayer. Will you say a prayer with me?'
'Yes, I feel as if I should like to myself; it eases the heart wonderful.'
SHE stood on the platform watching the receding train. The white steam curled above the few bushes that hid the curve of the line, evaporating in the pale evening. A moment more and the last carriage would pass out of sight, the white gates at the crossing swinging slowly forward to let through the impatient passengers.
An oblong box painted reddish brown lay on the seat beside a woman of seven or eight and thirty, stout and strongly built, short arms and hard-worked hands, dressed in dingy black skirt and a threadbare jacket too thin for the dampness of a November day. Her face was a blunt outline, and the grey eyes reflected all the natural prose of the Saxon.
The porter told her that he would try to send her box up to Woodview to-morrow. That was the way to Woodview, right up the lane. She could not miss it. She would find the lodge gate behind that clump of trees. And thinking how she could get her box to Woodview that evening, she looked at the barren strip of country lying between the downs and the shingle beach. The little town clamped about its deserted harbour seemed more than ever like falling to pieces like a derelict vessel, and when Esther passed over the level crossing she noticed that the line of little villas had not increased; they were as she had left them eighteen years