Steering his course by a tapering spire notched in the eye of the sunset, a tramp slouched along the Heathton Road. From the western sky a flood of crimson light poured over the dusty white highway, which led straightly across the moor. To right and left, acres of sear coarse herbage rolled towards the distant hills, now black against the flaming horizon. In the quivering air gnats danced and flickered; the earth panted with the thirst of a lengthy drought, and the sky arched itself over the heat of a fiery furnace. For many hours the tramp had held on steadily in the pitiless glare of the mid-June sun, and now that he saw ahead of him the spire and house-roofs and encircling trees of the village whither he was bound, a sigh of relief burst from him. To ease his aching feet he sat down beside a moldering millstone and wiped his beaded brow with a red bandana. He did not swear, which was singular in a tramp. Apparently he had but recently joined the cadging profession, for about him there lingered an air of respectability and the marks of a prosperity not wholly decayed. He was stout, rubicund of countenance, and he wheezed like a sick grampus. Watery gray eyes and a strawberry nose revealed the seasoned toper; thick lips and a slack mouth the sensualist. As a begging friar of medæval times he would have been altogether admirable; as a modern tramp he was out of the picture. Clothed in a broadcloth frock-coat considerably the worse for wear, he wore--oddly enough for a tramp--gaiters over his gouty-looking boots. His black gloves were darned at the finger-tips, and his battered silk hat had been ironed and brushed with sedulous care. This rook-like plumage was now plentifully sprinkled with the white dust of travel. His gait, in spite of his blistered feet, was dignified, and his manners were imposing. The road was lonely, likewise the heath. There was no one in sight, not even a returning plowman; but the recumbent wayfarer could hear, mellowed by distance, the bells of homing cows. Beasts as they were, he envied them. They at least had a place to sleep in for the night; he was without a home, without even the necessary money to procure shelter. Luckily it was summer-time, dry and warm. Also the tramp affected the philosopher. "This," he remarked, eying a sixpence extracted from the knotted corner of his handkerchief, "is a drink--two drinks if I take beer, which is gouty. But it is not a meal nor a bed. No! one drink, and a morsel of bread-and-cheese. But the bed! Ah!" He stared at the coin with a sigh, as though he hoped it would swell into a shilling. It did not, and he sighed again. "Shall I have good luck in this place?" cried he. "Heads I shall, tails I shan't." The coin spun and fell heads. "Ha!" said the tramp, getting on to his feet, "this must be seen to. I fly to good fortune on willing feet," and he resumed his trudging. A quarter of an hour brought him to the encircling wood. He passed beyond pine and larch and elm into a cozy little village with one street. This was broken in the center by an expanse of green turf surrounded by red-roofed houses, amongst them--as he saw from the swinging sign--a public-house, called, quaintly enough, the Good Samaritan.