"She well knew the sounds. They were those of heavy carts or waggons, their wheels groaning and lurching along the uneven ruts of the lane, and with them came, from time to time, the crack of a whip, and men's voices urging and encouraging the horses. The barking of a dog too, and fainter shriller tones, women's and children's, laughing and chattering as they came slowly along.
"Sybil lost no time. She hurried to the steppingstones, crossing them without hesitation, for the water was low and they were almost dry; then she pushed her way through the greenery to the place by the bank, which she used as her look-out.
" 'It may be only farm waggons or the big brewer's dray, which comes along the lane as far as the keeper's cottage,' she thought. 'But I'm almost certain by the sounds that it's gipsies. How glad I am that I came down here!'" - from The Ruby Ring, by Mrs. Molesworth, MacMillan and Co. Ltd, London, 1908.
Like young Sybil in this beloved old novel, how glad I am I came down here! The fire blazes and lights our eager faces as we gather round and share the warmth of this moment. I gather my skirts, kick off my shoes, and get ready to dance! Fiddler, strike up a tune!