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: The early dusk of a December day was fast changing into darkness as three of the young people with whose adventures this story is concerned trudged briskly homeward. The day was a bright one, and Aleck, the oldest, who was a skilled workman in the brass foundry, although scarcely eighteen years of age, had given himself a half-holiday in order to take Kate and The Youngster on a long skating expedition down to the lighthouse. Kate was his sister, two years younger than he, and The Youngster was a brother whose twelfth birthday this was. The little fellow never had had so much fun in one afternoon, he thought, and maintained stoutly that he scarcely felt tired at all. The ice had been in splendid condition, the day calm, but cloudy, so that their eyes had not ached, and they had been able to go far out upon the solidly frozen surface of the lake.