As the October days shortened he resumed long walks with the dogs. On his way down the hill, damp from a sudden shower, he paused to look at the sunset, changing fast as the clouds shifted. The sky to the north was a glowering grey, holding more rain, swathing the long shoulder of Bow Hill in darkness. But the lie of the land meant both valleys were in view and in the other direction the sinking sun illuminated all the land under the Edge right to the russet slopes of Clee Hill, picking out in gold and brown the ordered lines of a larch plantation four miles away. Sunlight glinted on the hilltop mast and flushed the fleeing clouds. He gazed transfixed at the skyscape altering to rays of deepening red as the sun sank below the horizon. This simple glory, if for nothing else, was why he loved the place. The landscape changing with the season was a constant consolation, the craggy hills were like friends. Their splendour under the sun massaged his very soul. He stayed until the colour faded into dusk and called his dogs for home.
Behind him the sound of hooves disturbed his reverie and he looked round as the spaniel barked and danced away. It was Kate and Harry. He waited for them to draw level, a spark of gladness springing in him as he called to control the dog. "Stop it, Bobbie, you'll scare him.”
She said: “It’s okay, he's used to dogs."
"Did you see the sunset?" he asked. “It lit the whole valley?"
"Yes," she smiled, shy and sweet. "I saw it from higher up — beautiful."
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