After a thoroughly dismal weekend, Monday morning dawned bright and cold. It was wonderful to see the sun, but the bitter north-west wind was less welcome, and it felt very chilly. Although it had rarely dropped much below freezing, it had been persistently cold for many, many weeks. The spring flowers were late this year, but Algy could see that the snowdrops in his assistants’ garden had opened at last, and their heads were nodding prettily in the wind. So he crawled in among them, on the damp mossy ground under the dry, coppery leaves of the beech hedge, and stretched himself out happily in the sunshine, hoping that it would last for a wee while…

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