Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/164

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160
ON THE HOG'S BACK

must go and apologise to the owner. … I … I … I … absholutely … musht apologise. …Quite unpardonable … You can't go about country…knocking down gates. … Out of queshtion. …'

Half consciously Hugh listened, but, now that the moment for action had come, every faculty was concentrated on his own job. He saw half a dozen men go rushing out into the garden through a side door, and then two more ran out and came straight towards him. They crashed past him and went on into the darkness, and for an instant he wondered what they were doing. A little later he was destined to find out.…

Then came a peal at the front-door bell, and he determined to wait no longer. He darted through the garden door, to find a flight of back stairs in front of him, and in another moment he was on the first floor. He walked rapidly along the landing, trying to find his bearings, and, turning a corner, he found himself at the top of the main staircase—the spot where he had fought Peterson two nights previously.

From below Jerry Seymour's voice came clearly.

'Are you the pro-propri-tor, ole friend? Because there's been…acchident.…'

He waited to hear no more, but walked quickly on to the room which he calculated was the one where he had seen the shadow on the blind. Without a second's hesitation he flung the door open and walked in. There, lying in the bed, was the American, while crouched beside him, with a revolver in his hand, was a man…

For a few seconds they watched one another in silence, and then the man straightened up.