Page:A Leaf in the Storm.djvu/48

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41
A DOG OF FLANDERS.

"I will be great still," he said under his breath—"great still, or die, Alois."

"You do not love me, then!" said the little spoilt child, pushing him away; but the boy shook his head and smiled, and went on his way through the tall yellow corn, seeing as in a vision some day in a fair future when he should come into that old familiar land and ask Alois of her people, and be not refused nor denied, but received in honour, whilst the village folk should throng to look upon him, and say in one another's ears, "Dost see him? He is a king among men, for he is a great artist and the world speaks his name; and yet he was only our poor little Nello, who was a beggar, as one may say, and only got his bread by the help of his dog."

And he thought how he would fold his grandsire in furs and purples, and pourtray him as the old man is pourtrayed in the Family in the chapel of St Jacques; and of how he would hang the throat of Patrasche with a collar of gold, and place him on his right hand, and say to the people, "This was once my only friend;" and of how he would build himself a great white marble palace, and make to himself luxuriant gardens of pleasure, on the slope looking outward to where the cathedral-spire rose, and not dwell in it himself, but summon to it, as to a home, all men young and poor and friend-