All this time, Grace Carden was kneeling on the snow, and was, literally a heap of snow. She was patient and composed now, and felt a gentle sleep stealing over.
That sleep would have been her death.
But, all of a sudden something heavy touched her clothes, and startled her, and two dark objects passed her.
In a moment it darted through her mind that animals are wiser than man in some things. She got up with difficulty, for her limbs were stiffened, and followed them.
The dark forms struggled on before. They knew the ground, and soon took her to the edge of that very stream into which Coventry had fallen.
They all three went within a yard of Mr. Coventry, and still they pursued their way; and Grace hoped they were making for some shelter. She now called aloud to Mr. Coventry, thinking he must be on before her. But he had not recovered his senses.
Unfortunately, the cry startled the sheep, and they made a rush, and she could not keep up with them: she toiled, she called, she prayed for strength; but they left her behind, and she could see their very forms no more. Then she cried out in agony, and still, with that power of self-excitement, which her sex possess in an eminent degree, she struggled on and on, beyond her strength till, at last, she fell down from sheer exhaustion, and the snow fell fast upon her body.
But, even as she lay, she heard a tinkling. She took it for sheep- bells, and started up once more, and once more cried to Mr. Coventry; and this time he heard her, and shook off his deadly lethargy, and tried to hobble toward her voice.