And so the long winter passed. Until—at last, at last!—came the first intimations of spring. And (for all the characters concerned) a strange spring it turned out to be . . .
- Mary Norton, The Borrowers Avenged
Arietty was silent…. Three human beans at least, perhaps four—perhaps even more—knew they had been here, knew they had departed, but (unless they gave the game away) there was no one, as yet, who knew they had returned.
It was for this reason Pod had forbidden them the use of light or fire, had kept them away from the windows, and throughout the daylight hours had confined them to the miniature house. Such days, with Pod and Spiller away, could sometimes seem very long. It was late March, and three days had passed…. And still Pod and Spiller had not come.
Pod, from where he stood, leaned forwards, placing two tired hands on the shelf above the fireplace. He bowed his head. Then, after a moment, he slowly raised it. “Homily,” he said, “I don’t want to scare you. Nor you neither, Arietty. But you got to realize that every minute we’re here, we’re in grave danger.”