FURTHER FORWARD

The search outside the house proved as barren of results as had been that within. The undercliff was so broken as to offer many places in which with ingenuity and some labour recesses might be formed in which much could be concealed. But to a hiding-place of this description there must be a track; and the fallen elder-twigs, and scattered leaves, the straggling binds of bramble armed with terrible hooks,…

A FIRST STEP

The funeral of Captain Rattenbury was conducted with that pomp and circumstance so dear to the West Country heart. The entire neighbourhood attended from both sides of the estuary of the Axe. Indeed, the village of Beer was for the afternoon denuded of its inhabitants; for, although only men were invited to the interment, yet the women flocked to it as well, to express their sympathy with the bereaved and…

EXIT JOB

When the doctor arrived he gave no hope of permanent improvement. The captain, said he, must be kept quiet; supposing that nothing were allowed to agitate him, he might in part recover his faculties, but this was rather to be desired than to be anticipated. Mrs. Jose carried off Winefred. It was advisable that the girl should not be in the house, and Jack and Mrs. Marley undertook to sit…

DECLARATION OF WAR

As soon as Winefred had eaten something, had changed her dress, and cleaned her face and hands of the soil that had adhered to them, Mrs. Marley despatched her to Bindon to inform Mrs. Jose of what had occurred. The farmer’s wife was so kind-hearted that Jane knew that she might calculate on receiving prompt assistance from her. When the girl had departed on her errand, Jane sat brooding with…

J. H.

At the same moment, as Jane was on the threshold and about to shut the door behind her, Winefred appeared, but Winefred so covered with soil, so be-chalked, as to be hardly recognisable. Yet Jane knew her at once. In the conflict of emotion in her heart the shock was too great. She reeled and caught the doorposts, and stood speechless, her mouth open—staring. ‘Mother! have you missed me?’ Jane…

JOB’S SECRET

The frantic woman lay in a heap at the door, crouching against it, in such a tumult of brain and heart, of distress at the loss of her child, and rage against the captain, that she was incapable of rising. She remained panting, biting her fingers, beating her head, and sobbing. But the very violence of her emotions exhausted their force, and presently she rose to her feet and reeled…

CAST FORTH

Jane Marley was roused from her sleep before dawn by the sound of some one entering the house. Then she heard the door being locked and barred, and a heavy tread was on the stair. She knew at once that Captain Rattenbury had returned, earlier than he had proposed, and she had been prepared to expect, and at ease in her mind she laid her head again on the pillow…

BURIED ALIVE

‘You cannot stay here alone,’ said Jack; ‘I will remain with you.’ ‘You must rejoin your men. Leave me. Your way is to the mouth of the Axe, and mine—I will go along the beach till I reach the path to the station—no, I dare not go that way. Some of the angry and disappointed men might meet and question me—Why out at night? I would confess nothing, but they…

OUT OF THE SNARE

In a moment Winefred was surrounded by men. There was something alarming in their appearance, with blackened faces. One, a tall, vigorous fellow, apparently young, stood forward and questioned her. ‘What! Winefred Marley?’ ‘Yes—I want to speak to Captain Rattenbury. Where is he?’ ‘He is not here. I am his son.’ ‘Jack!—You! Your father has been betrayed. I overheard the officer from Lyme arranging to take you all. He has…

A PROPOSAL

Jane Marley was at the kneading trough, with her sleeves tucked up, and her hands in the dough, when a shadow thrown upon her made her look up, and she saw Olver Dench at the window. He nodded to her through the window, came to the door, opened and entered without ceremony. ‘How do you find yourself this morning, mistress?’ asked the ferryman, seating himself. Jane made a gesture indicative…