"Go on, sir," he said, gazing curiously at Craven. "I have heard a little about it. Let me see, it was the night of the great match, was it not?"
"Did you know about that? Who told you about the match, sir?"
"I hear a great many things, and in curious ways. But go on, sir, go on."
Craven sat silent, and from the look in his eyes his thoughts were far away.
"Well, sir, it's a thing I have never spoken about. It seems to me, if I may say so, something quite too sacred to speak of lightly."
Again Craven paused, while the professor waited.
"It was Hughie sent me there. There was a jubilation supper at the manse, you understand. Thomas Finch, the goal-keeper, you know-- magnificent fellow, too--was not at the supper. A messenger had come for him, saying that his mother had taken a bad turn. Hughie was much disappointed, and they were all evidently anxious. I offered to drive over and inquire, and of course the minister's wife, though she had been on the go all day long, must needs go with me. I can never forget that night. I suppose you have noticed, sir, there are times when one is more sensitive to impressions from one's surroundings than others. There are times with me, too, when I seem to have a very vital kinship with nature. At any rate, during that drive nature seemed to get close to me. The dark, still forest, the crisp air, the frost sparkling in the starlight on the trees--it all seemed to be part of me. I fear I am not explaining myself."
Craven paused again, and his eyes began to glow. The professor still waited.