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six this time—caught a glimpse of a row of heads peering at them over a ridge of snow a long way off, but that was all. When he reached the cave the birds flew out in alarm, screaming and circling as if to protect their young.”

Herbert paused, moved his cup nearer the arm of his chair, and for a moment stirred it gently.

Lemois, whose grave eyes had never wandered from Herbert, broke the silence.

“I should have learned their language and have stayed on until they did understand,” he murmured softly. “It wouldn’t have taken very long.”

“The captain did try, Lemois,” returned Herbert, “first by signs and gentle approaches, and then by keeping perfectly still, to pacify them; but it was of no use. They had lost all confidence in human kind. The peace of the everlasting ages had come to an end. Fear had entered into their world!”