Having just about concluded that it was nothing more than the wind and the storm that was upsetting the horses -- and now they were all leaping and snorting more furiously than ever, as if they were not three ordinary nags but a trio of high-strung thoroughbreds -- I turned toward the door and quite accidentally caught sight of the light which glowed eerily just beyond the only window in the entire building. There were two lights, actually, both a warm amber shade and of dim wattage. They appeared to pulse and to shimmer -- and then they were gone, as if they had never been: blink!
I hurried to the barn door, slid it open, and stepped into the snow-filled night. The arctic wind struck me like a mallet swung by a blacksmith who was angry with his wife, and it almost blew me back into the stable row. Switching on the nearly useless flashlight, I bent against the wind and pulled the door shut behind me. Laboriously, cautiously, I inched around the side of the barn in the direction of the window, peering anxiously at the ground ahead of me.
I stopped before I reached the window, for I found precisely what I had been afraid that I would find: those odd, eight-pointed tracks which Toby and I had seen on the slope earlier in the day. There were a great many of them, as if the animal had been standing there, moving back and forth as I searched for better vantage points, for a long while -- at least all of the time that I had been inside with the horses.
It had been watching me.