The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and driving snow, walking from the railway station,
and carrying a little black bag in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot and the brim of his hat hid every inch of his face
except the shiny point of his nose. He staggered into the coach and horses more dead than alive and threw his bag down."A fire," he cried in the
name of human kindness, a roam and a fire. He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the base and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest room to
make his bargain. And with that and a couple of sovereigns, thrown upon the table he took his room in the inn.
Mrs. Hall lit the fire and left him there while she went to prepare him meal with her own hands. She was determined to show herself worthy of
her her good fortune.
When Mrs.Hall came into the room again, she was surprised to see that her visitor still wore his hat and coat, although the fire was burning up
brightly. He stood with his back to her, staring out of the window, at the falling snow in the yard. His gloved hands were held behind him and he
seemed to be lost in thought. She noticed that the melted snow that still covered his shoulders dripped upon the floor.