THE house in the hollow was "a mile from anywhere"-so Maywood people said. It was situated in a grassy little dale, looking as if it had never been built like other houses but had grown up there like a big, brown mushroom. It was reached by a long, green lane and almost hidden from view by an encircling growth of young birches. No other house could be seen from it although the village was just over the hill. Ellen Greene said it was the lonesomest place in the world and vowed that she wouldn't stay there a day if it wasn't that she pitied the child. Emily didn't know she was being pitied and didn't know what lonesomeness meant. She had plenty of company. There was Father-and Mike-and Saucy Sal. The Wind Woman was always around; and there were the trees-Adam-and-Eve, and the Rooster Pine, and all the friendly ladybirches. And there was "the flash," too. She never knew when it might come, and the possibility of it kept her a-thrill and expectant. Emily had slipped away in the chilly twilight for a walk. She remembered that walk very vividly all her life-perhaps because of a certain eerie beauty that was in it-perhaps because "the flash" came for the first time in weeks-more likely because of what happened after she came back from it. It had been a dull, cold day in early May, threatening to rain but never raining. Father had lain on the sitting-room lounge all day. He had coughed a good deal and he had not talked much to Emily, which was a very unusual thing for him. Most of the time he lay with his hands clasped under his head and his large, sunken, dark-blue eyes fixed dreamily and unseeingly on the cloudy sky that was visible between the boughs of the two big spruces in the front yard-Adam-and-Eve, they always called those spruces, because of a whimsical resemblance Emily had traced between their position, with reference to a small apple-tree between them, and that of Adam and Eve and the Tree of Knowledge in an old-fashioned picture in one of Ellen Greene's books. The Tree of Knowledge looked exactly like the squat little apple-tree, and Adam and Eve stood up on either side as stiffly and rigidly as did the spruces.