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hear something; it might bave I heard something move above, been a movement among the and cortainly there was a sharp rooks below or on the bank grating sound on the rook at ahead of us. She said nothing my baok- within an inob of more, but she seemed to be mo it seemed. I looked round peering down into the gloom quickly just in time to catch & that veiled the beach.
glimpso of something thin and “I'll go down and see what ourved and sinister passing it is," I said.
upwards against the night sky; For an instant I thought I did not see it descend again, she was going to demar; but but the next moment oame the she said nothing, and with a sharp grating, olose to my head bold air I stepped off the turf this time, and once more the and bogan to make my way long curved monace passed up, down - first through loose faintly visible against the sky. boulders, and then along & I did not wait for it to deledge below. I confess frankly soend again. That somebody that I felt & trifle less bold was striking at me from above, than I looked, especially when and that I had better get out I discovered the hazardous of the way, seemed so evident nature of the going. I re- that I spent no further time member that the sky began to in watobing the operation. I soom lighter by contrast, but started from the oliff, my feet that the rooks were sheer strook & patoh of 808weed, obaotio darkness.
and with a half - smothered I must have been feeling my “Damn!" I did the next fow way along for some minutes, yards sliding seawards on my with a growing sense of the side. A poouliarly hard ledge futility of the performance, stopped my career, and for a when I first heard the sharp moment I lay there wondering tinkle of a loose stone on what bones were brokon. By rook. I turned towards the the time I had found there sound and heard it again. were none and sorambled to Either three or four times I my feet the skyline above the had heard it distinctly when bank was clear. Whoever had I found myself close to the struok at me was gone, and grass again, only at this there was not even tho slightest place there was a steep little sound save the gurgling of the oliff, higher than my head, sea below. And then I gingerly between it and me, instead picked my way baok. of & slope of boulders, 80 I drew near the tarf bank that any one on the bank at the top, and now again I above would be looking stopped. Low voices reached
this I oan swear to.
I spied two vague forms stand. And then whon my shoulder ing close together. Before I was rubbing this low oliff face, moved again I had transferred I thought-indeed I am sure— something from my hip pooket to my oilskin jaoket, and I kept He turned, and his daughter my hand there too, closed upon took his arm. I walked behind it and ready. Then I advanced. them-it seemed on the whole
“Is that you, Mr Merton ?” safer—and I kept my hand in said a voice I knew.
my pooket all the while. “It is, Mr Rendall," I an. I had seen no one, it is swered drily.
true; I had heard no sound “Did you see anybody?” that could be sworn to as "No," I answered truthfully. made by a human being; the
“We thought we heard a thing I saw so dimly might ory," said Miss Jean.
possibly not have been a “I may have startled a sea- lethal weapon (and if it was gall,” I suggested ; and then I a weapon, what in heaven's asked with a sharpness in my name could it be? I won. voice I could not quite control, dered); it might conceivably “ Where did Mr Rendall spring have been a large bird some from?”
distance off, just as by a “I told you I thought we roverse illusion men are said should moet him,"she answered, to have fired at bumble-boes with a cool note in her voice when grouse - driving. Also, that countered mine.
it was within the bounds of “ What a ourious obanoe that possibility that the tinkling we should all moet here !” I stonos might not have been exolaimed.
thrown down by some ono “It is precisely what I ex- above in order to draw me peotod," said she.
under that face. Everything “Did you think, then, it was had been 80 vague that all Mr Rendall down among the these alternatives were conrooks?” I inquired.
ceivable. “No," she said, "and it But my own mind was quite wasn't."
and finally determined now “Oh," I replied in & tone that my adventure with the whioh (if I achieved my inten- stranger on the shore had tion) might have meant any. been no figmont of my fanoy, thing-or nothing
and I felt sure, moreover, that Her father had been stand. they had made up their minds ing perfootly silent during about me and decided to aot. this bout, a towering figure How and why they had come muffled in a heavy ulster and to such a dofinite conclusion, soarf, with the rim of his hat despite all my offorts to misturned down over his face. lead thom, boat me at first Now he spoke in his dry completely. And then I caustio way.
stopped short, and almost “ Have you had enough shouted “Idiot!" exeroise, Mr Merton ?.”.
I had addressed Miss Ren“Quito, thank you."
dall at her own door in & “Then we oan all go baok German accent. Then I had together."
abruptly dropped it, and through all my deliberate sort, and murderous traitors mystifications one fact had too. been clear— that I spoke in “Hang it, I may be wrong the accents of an ordinary after all !” I said to myself. more or less educated English. “I know I'm young: I am man. The Rendalls clearly told I'm rash; I have made had the material for coming a fool of myself periodioally to a conolusion, and now in as long as I've known mytheir company I had all but self. I'll give them the benefit ended my days on earth of the doubt a little longer."
Yet somehow or other, now At the door Mr Rondall that I saw all this so clearly, left us to resume his conI found myself singularly re- soientious patrol. I said a luotant to accept the logioal brief and cool good - night to conclusion that this gentle- Jean, went up to my room, man of good lineage and and tumbled straight into standing, and this attractive bed. high-spirited girl, were aotu- “In the morning I'll think ally traitors of the basest things over,” I decided.
(To be continued.)
“USQUE AB ovo."
REMINISCENCES of those days tion unhinging enough to more “in the distance enobanted” matured souls than those of his never come in an orderly pro- charges. cession according to the origi. How he succeeded in oonnal sequence of events. Some, veying within the space of the for reasons quite inexplioable, first ovening the exceedingly jostle their way to the fore unfamiliar routine of trainingreadily enough. Others, dim ship life, the art of turning and elusive, hover in the back into a hammook, the necessity ground, and only respond to for keeping their chests looked, the lure of firelight and tobacco the majesty of the term lieusmoke ascending incengewise tenant, and the omnipotence of from the depths of the arm- the chief oadet captains, to ohair.
sixty bewildered fifteen-yearSooner or later, though, they olds, only he knows. can all be caught and hold for Yet he harried none; they the moment needed to record were consoious of him as a them. The diffioulty is to know flook of disoonoerted sheep are where to start. ...
aware of & wise collie. His Harker is foremost among voice was never still: it was the “ thrusters” in the surging to be presumed that he slept orowd of memories of the old at some mysterious time durBritannia days. Harker, with ing the twenty-four hours, and his piercing, rather melancholy get his square oom paot form eyes, his black beard and tat- seemed to be always drifting toood wrists, and his air of about at all hours of the day implaoable ferooity that for and night. Even when a hapmonths succeeded in conceal. less wight (in the throes of ing from his term a heart as nightmare) tipped bodily out tender as a woman's.
of his hammook on to the dook His name was not actually during the first night, it was Harker, of course; but he is Harker who appeared noiseprobably still alive, and even lessly out of the shadows to retired chief petty officers of took him in again. the Royal Navy have their Their names he had pat susceptibilities. He was a term within twenty-four hours; this C.P.O. - mentor, wet - nurse, tightened his grip of the term "sea-daddy," the outward and instantly, but it also caused visible embodiment of Naval him to be regarded as soarcely Disoipline to sixty-odd Naval oanny. Indeed it was disCadots who yesterday were concerting enough to regard raw schoolboys and to-day yourself one moment as an wear the King's uniform and insignifioant and unknown unit oke brass buttons— transi. among 250 others, and in this through all my deliberate sort, and murderous traitors mystifioations one faot had too. been clear— that I spoke in “Hang it, I may be wrong the accents of an ordinary after all !” I said to myself. more or less educated English. “I know I'm young: I am man. The Rondalls olearly told I'm rash; I have made had the material for coming a fool of myself periodically to & conolusion, and now in as long as I've known mytheir company I had all but self. I'll give them the benefit ended my days on earth. of the doubt a little longer.”
Yet somehow or other, now At the door Mr Rondall that I saw all this so clearly, left us to resume his conI found myself singularly re- soientious patrol. I said & luotant to accept the logical brief and cool good - night to conclusion that this gentle- Jean, went up to my room, man of good lineage and and tumbled straight into standing, and this attraotive bed. high-spirited girl, were aotu. “In the morning I'll think ally traitors of the basest things over," I decided.