The young man is on a quest to find the elusive white heron, and has enjoyed hunting for various bird specimens in the forest. The stranger has been engrossed in his hunt, and has lost his way in the forest as a result.
Speak up and tell me what your name is, and whether you think I can spend the night at your house, and go out gunning early in the morning.
It is fortuitous for him that he meets Sylvia, as her grandmother, Mrs.Tilley, is welcoming to the stranger. He is surprised at the pleasing condition of their modest country home, described as-
clean and comfortable little dwelling.
The stranger is also intrigued to hear of Sylvia’s skill and knowledge with the animals. When Mrs Tilley tells him-
the wild creaturs counts her one o’ themselves.
He realizes her potential in being able to help him track the mysterious white heron, so he spends several nights at her cottage.
So Sylvy knows all about birds, does she?