Pleasure Book for Boys - Chapter 9


By K. Netson Abbott

Chapter 9

Glancing behind from time to time, he was glad to see there was an increasing distance between them. The man must tire soon, and surely he could not be far from the mine now. The pain in his shoulder was getting worse, and the blood trickling down his arm frightened him. Lights flickered in front of his eyes, and with a startled cry he staggered and fell on his face as a dark form appeared in front, and the moonlight glanced on the point of a bayonet, while a sentry’s voice rang out in challenge.

Dick’s brain was in such a whirl that at first he did not realise that he had come upon one of the men guarding the approach to the mine, but when it dawned upon him he blurted out-” I’ve come-to warn-Mr. Hazeldean-brigands-his house."

The sentry did not understand much English, but, on recognising Dick, he had the sense to fire his rifle into the air, which brought Captain Harland and a small party up at the double.

Dick gave them the story as clearly as he could, but the ground seemed to be slipping away from under him, red hot needles were piercing his arm, as a dark mist gradually blotted out their eager faces …

When he opened his eyes, he was lying in one of the sheds outside the mine, and Mr. MacFarlane was binding up his wound.

“Puir laddie !” he murmured. ”He’s coming to, sir."

The millionaire bent over Dick. ”Was Paul taken?” he asked in a queer, husky voice. ”You said the house was attacked, but-“

“Oh, no, sir! We hid in a cave among the boulders on the mountain side - I’ll show you,” and Dick jumped up eagerly.

Mules were brought, and in spite of the burning throbs down his arm, Dick forced himself to ride up the track. Mr. Hazeldean and the engineer kept close beside him.

As soon as the boulders came in sight he yelled out to Paul, but there was no answer. Anxiously they rode up close to the cave, and Dick, trembling with suspense, peered in at the narrow opening. Paul was lying fast asleep on the pile of cushions.

On reaching the house, Captain Harland reported that he had found Dick’s captives lying drunk on the cellar floor, and leaving them under an armed guard, the rest of the household began to think of their beds.

As Dick, with Paul’s assistance, was wearily mounting the staircase Mr. Hazeldean called out to him from the hall.

"One moment, Forester” Then as Dick stopped and turned, We cannot retire to rest, gentlemen, without a hearty vote of thanks to the hero of the evening.


A Hearty Vote Of Thanks To The Hero Of The Evening.

But for him this house might have been smouldering ashes, and we should have no beds to go. We must not allow him to return to the flannel counter - an engineering job on the mine, do you think, Mr. MacFarlane?”

“We’ve always a job for a man with a head on his shoulders, and I’d be proud to teach him, sir,” said Mac.

The End