THE house in the hollow was "a mile from anywhere"-so Maywood people said. It wassituated in a grassy little dale, looking as if it had never been built like other houses but hadgrown up there like a big, brown mushroom. It was reached by a long, green lane andalmost hidden from view by an encircling growth of young birches. No other house couldbe seen from it although the village was just over the hill. Ellen Greene said it was thelonesomest place in the world and vowed that she wouldn't stay there a day if it wasn't thatshe pitied the child.Emily didn't know she was being pitied and didn't know what lonesomeness meant. Shehad plenty of company. There was Father-and Mike-and Saucy Sal. The Wind Womanwas always around; and there were the trees-Adam-and-Eve, and the Rooster Pine, andall the friendly lady-birches.And there was "the flash," too. She never knew when it might come, and the possibility ofit kept her a-thrill and expectant.Emily had slipped away in the chilly twilight for a walk. She remembered that walk veryvividly all her life-perhaps because of a certain eerie beauty that was in it-perhapsbecause "the flash" came for the first time in weeks-more likely because of whathappened after she came back from it.