The doctor's was some three miles away across the moor. It was a bright starlit night, and Antony, who knew the moor well, had no difficulty in making his way at a good pace along the mossy tracks. Presently he gave a little cry of pain and stood still.
"O God," he cried, "it cannot be that. Oh, it cannot."
At that moment for the first time a dreadful thought had crossed his mind. Suddenly a memory of that afternoon when he had bade Wonder kiss Silencieux flashed upon him; and once more he heard himself saying: "Silencieux, I bring you my little child."
But he had never meant it so. It had all been a mad fancy. What was Silencieux herself but a wilful, selfish dream? He saw it all now. How could a lifeless image have power over the life of his child?
And yet again, was Silencieux a lifeless image?