The day had been warm and sunny, the shepherd stood quite motionless in natural indignation; and, in the cool of the evening, the whole family did not return home. The willow tree light the mute darkness and all birds hush the mutters of sheep. He turned on his heel, and hurried on into the night. Some day, perhaps, a price would be set on his head also.
Murder! even just a dim memory of knifing his wife in the back, of strangling his kid with his own scarf, of dumping bodies in a bottomless ditch, he can hardly recall. Where he went he barely knew. As he strolled home towards his cottage, he flung himself down on a divan, listened to the humming on the farm, where windy surges wend.
The whole family did not return home, memories were fading, the priceless oriental rug had been stained with blood, and even one side of the top of the fireplace was splattered with blood. His hands were shivering, and then dipped his hands in the sink, trying to clean the mess, as though he would have wiped away the stain of some shameful memories. But only fire, the finely-wrought natures, can purify his sins.
In the midnight of December, the air is freezing fast, and Dead Man is howling with a destructive wind. Cause of their death even shepherd himself can not be sure. His thoughts are far apart, but his memories never near. So his hands were shackled, the murder weapon missed. The policeman gasped loudly for air, outraged was the shepherd’s mood, for he was quickly convicted of crimes he would never know.