Colour (A Sketch) – Christmas Term 1917

It was almost dark as he climbed the hill, the clouds overhead were black and threatening, the boulders stood out black and ghostly against the grey of the hills.
He wrapped his plaid shawl closer round his shoulders to keep the biting wind from chilling him to the bone. His boots were worn almost to the round, and here and there a white patch on his leg showed where the stocking no longer held to-ether.
As he reached the top, he straightened himself, and stood still gazing down into the valley below; the white mist was beginning to rise from the river, and the lights in the cottage windows twinkled cheerily, and shone out into the greyness of the evening; lie turned and with a sigh proceeded on his way, there was no cheerful fire or hot meal waiting for him, only the night, and darkness. Suddenly he night descended upon him, thick and black, it seemed to envelope and shut him in or every side, it had come so quickly, as it does sometimes in Scotland, that he seemed to have no time to find his bearings, and he plodded on through the darkness, his eager eyes searching for some gleam of light to show him the way.
Then suddenly out of the stillness came a rumble, low and threaten­ing at first, then louder and deafening thunder-a flash of lightning brilliant and vivid, illuminated thee scene, and was gone, leaving it blacker than before.
There was no shelter on that wide bare moor, and he stood still, lost, what use to go further? The lightning flashed again across the sky, seeking something to strike, and found him. Without a cry or a struggle, he fell.
The storm rolled on, the rain beat down on that white upturned face, and then ceased as suddenly as it had come, and a pale water moon came out from behind a cloud and shone over the floor, making the rocks, glistening with the rain, look ghostly and unreal in its light.
The night wore on and the first faint rays of the dawn appeared in the east, a pale pink, gradually deepening into scarlet and crimson, orange and gold, the edges softening into mauve, pale yellow, and pink again, and from the centre, strong and glorious, rose the sun in all its splendour, flashing on the rocks, glinting on the pools, and setting a thousand dewdrops sparkling on the grass; higher it rose, and rested at last on that huddled form, which had about it the dignity of death, it lit up the old plaid shawl, the white face and glassy eyes.
There is nothing in this brilliant day, so full of love and colour, to recall the night and its handiwork, nothing save that lone figure, waiting for someone to find and carry it away, nothing to show that the struggling soul has reached its goal. He was only a lonely man who would hardly be missed in this world.
Was it an accident that he fell with his feet towards the Dawn?

M. TRAFFORD. Lower Vb,