Page:Yule Logs.djvu/204

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188
A DANGEROUS GAME

the boats of the revenue cutter were waiting for them her safety was assured. The danger was from the shore for those who had been breaking the laws.

"This your doing, young gen'leman?" growled Old Poltree fiercely, approaching Lance.

"No!" cried the boy eagerly.

"Nay, no lies, my lad. The French skipper saw three lights, and he thought it was our doing. You did it to bring 'em on."

"Indeed, no!" cried Lance. "I saw them too, and as soon as I guessed what it meant I ran down to warn you; didn't I, Mother Poltree?"

"Iss, my son.—You're wrong, old man, it was t'other youngster. I told you he was after no good."

"Then it warn't you, Master Lance?" squeaked a voice. "Hooroar!"

"You hold your row, Hezzerer," growled his father; and then quickly, "Look, they've found the way down. Someun's showing 'em with a light."

His gruff voice was evidently heard, for from where the dull yellow light of a horn lantern shone at the top of the gash in the massive cliff a stern voice shouted—

"Surrender, in the King's name, or we fire."

"Fire away, then," muttered Old Poltree. "Tide'll be up soon. In with you, my lads. In with you, missus, for you can't get back now."

"Come along, Master Lance," whispered Hezz, who had crept close to his old companion.

"No, no!" cried Lance, aghast. "I'm not coming with you; I must go back."

"Nay, my son; you can't now," growled Old Poltree. "In with you;" and he dragged the boy down into the water and gave him a thrust, while as Lance indignantly raised his head again to rush back, he saw by the light of a single lantern held by one of the men that he was in a spacious water-floored cavern which evidently extended