Page:Yule Logs.djvu/196

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180
A DANGEROUS GAME

"and the sun upset him. By the way, Lance, your cousin complains about your being given to avoiding him. Do, pray, put aside all sulkiness and be more brotherly."

"Why, it is Alf, mother, who never will come out with me."

"There, there, say no more about it," said Mrs. Penwith gently. "You know I wish you to be brotherly, so do try."

Lance felt too much aggrieved to say anything, and sat in moody silence till it was bed-time, when he said "good-night" and went to his own room, thinking the while about those lights.

There he lay, thinking and listening for above an hour, during which he heard the various sounds in the house of the servants shutting up and going to bed, and soon after his father and mother's room door closed, and he settled down to go to sleep.

He might as well have settled down to keep awake, for he turned and twisted, and got out of bed to drink water, and got in again. Then he turned the pillow and tried that. Next he threw off the quilt because he was too hot. And so on, and so on, till he sat up to try and face the question which haunted his brain: What did those lights in the little upper window mean?

"It's of no use," said the boy at last. "I shall never go to sleep till I know." He sprang out of bed and dressed himself, and then stood thinking. Did he dare go up in the dark to that little room in the roof and see whether he could find out anything?

Yes; and while the exaltation of brain was upon him, he softly opened his door, went out into the broad passage, and along it to the end where the little oak staircase led up to the three attic-like places in the three gables, rooms that were only used for lumber and stores.

The boy's heart beat heavily as he went up in his stockings, and twice over when a board cracked he was