He went a snail's pace, and at last dismounted, and groped his way. He got more than one fall in the snow, and thought himself very fortunate, when, at last, something black towered before him, and it was the old church.
The scene was truly dismal: the church was already overburdened with snow, and still the huge flakes fell fast and silently, and the little mountain stream, now swollen to a broad and foaming torrent, went roaring by, behind the churchyard wall.
Henry shivered, and made for the shelter.
The horse, to whom this church was merely a well-ventilated stable, went in and clattered up the aisle, saddle-bags and all.
Henry locked the door inside, and soon blew the coals to a white heat. The bellows seemed to pant unnaturally loud, all was so deadly still.
The windows were curtained with snow, that increased the general gloom, though some of the layers shone ghostly white and crystalline, in the light of the forge, and of two little grates he had set in a monument.
Two heaps of snow lay in the center aisle, just under two open places in the roof, and, on these, flakes as big as a pennypiece kept falling through the air, and glittered like diamonds as they passed through the weird light of the white coals.
Oh! it was an appalling place, that night; youth and life seemed intruders. Henry found it more than he could bear. He took a couple of candles, placed them in bottles, and carried them to the western window, and there lighted them. This one window was protected by the remains of iron-work outside, and the whole figure of one female saint in colored glass survived.