Page:Yule Logs.djvu/192

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176
A DANGEROUS GAME

looking quite cool and as if he had passed the morning reading in the shade.

There was another surprise for Lance before he left the table, the squire letting fall the announcement that Captain Barry was going to dine there at six o'clock that evening. "So you boys will have to put on your best manners."

"Who's Captain Barry, father?"

"To speak correctly, he is Lieutenant Barry, my boy, and is in command of the revenue cutter lying on and off. They are giving us all a good hunt up, for he tells me that there has been a great deal of smuggling carried on along this coast; but I told him the only smuggling about here is the smuggling of fish."

Lance felt that the tips of his ears turned hot, and thought that they must be red. He knew that this was the opportunity for telling all he had found out, but somehow the words would not come.

The officer was rowed ashore from the cutter that evening, and the squire had walked down to the tiny harbour, with the two boys, to meet him, and find him a frank, pleasant, middle-aged man, who, for some reason, had never been promoted.

He shook hands, and Lance turned scarlet, and then glanced shoreward, to see that Hezz was busy turning the clumsy boat half inside the cavern, and that the big trousers and boots were up on the shelf, while the men inside them seemed to be gazing out to sea in search of a coming shoal.

The officer was very pleasant and frank during his stay. He chatted with the boys and asked them if they would like to go to sea; but somehow he found Lance dull and glum, and the boy's father bantered him that night after the visitor had gone back to the cutter.