ha had told him to stay? What was this key in his blouse pocket, where his little telescope - given him by his father on his ninth birthday, two months before - ought to be? Had he found it in the attic at home? Would it unlock the mystic pylon which his sharp eye had traced amidst the jagged rocks at the back of that inner cave behind the Snake Den on the hill? That was the place they always coupled with old Edmund Carter the wizard. People wouldn't go there, and nobody but him had ever noticed or squirmed through the root-choked fissure to that great black inner chamber with the pylon. Whose hands had carved that hint of a pylon out of the living rock? Old Wizard Edmund's - or others that he had conjured up and commanded?
That evening little Randolph ate supper with Uncle Chris and Aunt Martha in the old gambrel-roofed farm-house.
Next morning he was up early and out through the twisted-boughed apple orchard to the upper timber lot where the mouth of the Snake Den lurked black and forbidding a