Page:In the Roar of the Sea.djvu/98

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IN THE ROAR OF THE SEA.

torn up along with the leaf, and trailing it behind her, she followed her brother, reached the end of the rock, turned and went in the traces of Jamie and Tib in the sand parallel to her former course.

Suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, on the right hand there opened before her, in the face of the cliff, a cave, the entrance to which was completely masked by the ridge she had turned. Into this cave went Jamie with his dog.

"I am not obliged to follow you there!" protested Judith; but he made such vehement signs to her to follow him that she good-humoredly obeyed.

The cave ran in a long way, at first at no great incline, then it became low overhead, and immediately after the floor inclined rapidly upward, and the vault took a like direction. Moreover, light appeared in front. Here, to Judith's surprise, she saw a large boat, painted gray, furnished with oars and boat-hook. She was attached by a chain to a staple in the rock. Judith examined her with a little uneasiness. No name was on her.

The sides of the cave at this point formed shelves, not altogether natural, and that these were made use of was evident, because on them lay staves of broken casks, a four-flanged boat-anchor, and some oars. Out of the main trunk cave branched another that was quite dark, and smaller; in this, Judith, whose eyes were becoming accustomed to the twilight, thought she saw the bows of a smaller boat, also painted gray.

"Jamie!" said Judith, now in serious alarm; "we ought not to be here. It is not safe. Do—do come away at once."

"Why, what is there to harm us?"

"My dear, do come away." She turned to retrace her steps, but Jamie stopped her.

"Not that way, Ju! I have another by which to get out. Follow me still."

He led the way up the steep rubble slope, and the light fell fuller from above. The cave was one of those into which when the sea rolls and chokes the entrance, the compressed air is driven out by a second orifice.

They reached a sort of well or shaft, at the bottom of which they stood, but it did not open vertically but bent over somewhat, so that from below the sky could not be seen, though the light entered. A narrow path