The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees. The sky was a midnight blue. The stars were scattered among the evening folds like shells on a beach. I rode up the dusty track with clouds of powder streaming up behind me. I saw its windows gleaming with candle light. The old oak door was locked and the shutters were shut as if they were trying to keep out a terrible beast. I cracked my whip on the window and whistled a note but it did not break the still night air.
I wore my burgundy velvet coat and lace like bunches of flowers at my throat and wrists. Soft leather gloves covered my hands. Sturdy boots covered three quarters of my legs. A foreign black hat perched lopsided on my head.
Bess stood at the window, suddenly braiding a scarlet ribbon into her jet black hair. Little did I know that Tim was eavesdropping with an ashen face and a heavy heart. For he loved Bess more than anything else in all the world.
“I’m going for a prize of yellow gold tonight before the morning light. Yet if they press me sharply and harry me through the day I’ll be with you in the moonlight though hell should bar the way,” I announced proudly with my head held up high. On that I rose up on the stirrups so I could hardly touch her hand. I galloped away to the west.