There had been a little thaw in the middle of the day, and now it had turned cold again, and the sidewalks were a glare of ice. Matilda was afraid, and went cautiously; Maria and the others took the opportunity for a grand slide, and ran and slipped and slid and sailed away homewards, like mad things. One after another, they passed her and rushed along, till Matilda was left the last, slowly shuffling her little feet over the track the feet of the others had made doubly slippery. Matilda started, but lifted her eyes very contentedly then to the face of the speaker. They had a good way to go, for he was a tall young man. But he was looking down towards her with a bright face, and two good, clear blue eyes, and a smile; and his hand presently clasped hers. Matilda had no objection.