Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/326

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318
IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA.

knew in which wing of the mansion was Judith's room, and also which was Judith's window. The pure white light shone on the face of the house and glittered in the window-panes.

As Oliver looked, thinking and wondering-, he saw the casement opened, and Judith appeared at it, leaned with her elbow on the sill, and rested her face in her hand, looking up at the moon. The light air just lifted her fine hair. Oliver noticed how delicately pale and fragile she seemed—white as a gull, fragile as porcelain. He would not disturb her for a moment or two; he stood watching, with an oppression on his heart, and with a film forming over his eyes. Could nothing be done for the little creature? She was moped up in her room. She was imprisoned in this house, and she was wasting, dying in confinement.

And now he stole noiselessly nearer. There was an old cattle-shed adjoining the house, that had lost its roof. Coppinger concerned himself little about agriculture, and the shed that had once housed cows had been suffered to fall to ruin, the slates had been blown off, then the rain had wetted and rotted the rafters, and finally the decayed rafters had fallen with their remaining load of slates, leaving the walls alone standing.

Up one of the sides of this ruinous shed Oliver climbed, and then mounted to the gable, whence he could speak to Judith. But she must have heard him, and been alarmed, for she hastily closed the casement. Oliver, however, did not abandon his purpose. He broke off particles of mortar from the gable of the cow-house and threw them cautiously against the window. No notice was taken of the first or the second particle that dickered against a pane; but at the third a shadow appeared at the window, as though Judith had come to the casement to look out. Oliver was convinced that he could be seen, as he was on the very summit of the gable, and he raised his hands and arms to ensure attention.

Suddenly the shadow was withdrawn. Then hastily he drew forth a scrap of paper, on which he had written a few words before he left his father's house, in the hopes of obtaining a chance of passing it to Judith, through Jamie, or by bribing a servant. This he now wrapped round a bit of stone and fastened it with a