Page:Korolenko - Makar's Dream and Other Stories.djvu/233

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209
THE DAY OF ATONEMENT

a quart measure, a wine-glass, and a tin mug. Meanwhile the miller descended the hill, and walked down the road in his long white overcoat, with his coal-black shadow running beside him as before.

But the miller was not thinking of his shadow now. His thoughts were of something far different.


II


The miller had not gone more than a hundred yards when he heard a rustling and fluttering that sounded like two large birds taking flight from behind the hedge. But it was not a pair of birds; it was only a lad and a lass, startled by the miller's sudden appearance out of the darkness. The lad, it seemed, was not to be frightened. Creeping into the shadows so that the two white figures were barely visible under the cherry trees, he put his arm firmly around the girl, and continued his low-toned discourse. A few yards farther on the miller heard something that halted him with annoyance.

"Hey, you there! I don't know what your name is——" he cried. "But you might wait until I had gone by to do your kissing. Your smacks can be heard all over the village."

And he walked right up to the hedge.

"You cur you, what do you mean by poking your nose into other people's affairs?" a lad an-