The clouded sky permitted only a cold gray light, in which everything stood out with wonderful distinctness. Even the dried weeds with their shrivelled seed-vessels were sharply defined against the snow. The beech leaves which still clung to the trees were bleached and white, but the foliage on the lower branches of the oaks was almost black against the hillside. Not a breath of air rustled them. At times Leonard would stop his horse, and when the jingle of the sleigh-bells ceased the silence was profound. Every vestige of life had disappeared in the still woods, or was hidden by the snow.