"It is, indeed; and I have been inoculated by an old inn-keeper at Conway with a love for its people, and history, and traditions. I have picked up enough of the language to understand many of their legends; and some are very fine and awe-inspiring, others very poetic and fanciful."
Ruth was too shy to keep up the conversation by any remark of her own, although his gentle, pensive manner was very winning.
"For instance," said he, touching a long bud-laden stem of foxglove in the hedge-aide, at the bottom of which one or two crimson-speckled flowers were bursting from their green sheaths, "I dare say, you don't know what makes this fox-glove bend and sway so gracefully. You think it is blown by the wind, don't you?" He looked at her with a grave smile, which did not enliven his thoughtful eyes, but gave an inexpressible sweetness to his face.
"I always thought it was the wind. What is it?" asked Ruth innocently.
"Oh, the Welsh tell you that this flower is sacred to the fairies, and that it has the power of recognising them, and all spiritual beings who pass by, and that it bows in deference to them as they waft along. Its Welsh name is Maneg Ellyllyn--the good people's glove; and hence, I imagine, our folk's-glove or fox-glove."
"It's a very pretty fancy," said Ruth, much interested, and wishing that he would go on, without expecting her to reply.
But they were already at the wooden bridge; he led her across, and then, bowing his adieu, he had taken a different path even before Ruth had thanked him for his attention.
It was an adventure to tell Mr. Bellingham, however; and it aroused and amused him till dinner-time came, after which he sauntered forth with a cigar.