Then game a gust of wind, the sun retreated, the soldiers gasped, and lo! before Mr. Inch or Mr. Corporal had realized that the picture was made of flesh and blood, horse and rider has disappeared, there, far out across the Heath, beyond the gorse and bramble and the budding heather, with not a handful of dusk to mark the way they went.
Only once from far, very far, almost from fairyland, there came, like the echo of a sliver bell, the sound of that mad, merry laugh.
"Beau Brocade, as I live!" murmured Mr. Inch, under his breath.
The Forge of John Stich
John Stich too had heard that laugh; for a moment he paused in his work, straightened his broad back and leant his heavy hammer upon the anvil, whilst a pleasant smile lit up his bronzed and rugged countenance.
"There goes the Captain," he said, "I wonder now what's tickling him. Ah!" he ad
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