The sign

In the silence sounded the passing of feet.
Staves and sabots rang on the cobbles. Halt-
ing, limping, uncertain of foot, maimed and old
and blind, bobbing unevenly, pausing yet press-
ing on, the Beggars took to the road.

Samuel Sturd, seeing them trail out along the
way that he must go, rose and followed them.
It was the sort of thing that Samuel Sturd would
do.

Arriving by a slow train, he had missed the
diligence to Le Kloar, and having neither the
money to spare for a special vehicle to drive
ten miles, nor the energy to start at once on the
long walk, he had taken a table outside an inn
and there had seen the sun go down upon his lazy
indecision. Not that laziness and indecision were
characteristic of Sturd — one look at his big square
figure, at his steady grey eyes and determined
jaw, contradicted that idea — but he was recover-
ing from an illness and was tired by the long
journey to this corner of Brittany. Besides, to
sit at the small iron table under the stunted plane
trees this June evening, drinking cider poured

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