Page:Yule Logs.djvu/158

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
142
THE BADGE OF THE FOURTH FOOT

before he retired to bed. As he lay wakeful on his pillow, he reflected upon the story that had been revealed to him. The men had come to the conclusion that Neil Leslie, the Jacobite, had murdered his own brother. "Could this really be so?" thought Colin. The boy wondered where and in what exact circumstances the tragedy had taken place. He wondered in which room the guns and swords and all those thousands of golden guineas had been hidden. Colonel Ossington had suggested a secret chamber as the probable receptacle; but Colin knew every nook and cranny about the building, and he was forced to acknowledge to himself that his grandfather's words were true when he said, "There is no such secret place in all the castle."


III


But on the following morning, when Colin accompanied Colonel Ossington in a walk round the garden, a new light seemed to come to him.

They were passing the little postern of which so much had been said—the postern through which, as the boy declared, he had himself seen the apparition of Neil Leslie disappear on the previous night. Here Colin now stood. He stamped his feet upon the ground.

"Listen!" he said. "Do you hear anything?" He stamped once again. "I've often thought, as I have passed this spot, that the ground seems to give back a hollow sound."

"And if it does, what of it?" asked Colonel Ossington.

"Well," said Colin, with a curious lift of his eyebrows, "I was thinking that it is just possible there may be some cave, or passage, or cellar under here; and that perhaps it was down there that the guns and things you were telling us of last night were stored."

"You may be right," smiled the colonel, "but I