This on hearing a hoarse panting, but a voice whispered—
"You, mother! Got up?"
"Yes, my son, with all the skin off my hands. Have they got away?"
"I think so, mother. What are you going to do?"
"Get home to tell the girls. And you?"
"See Master Lance safe, and then get hid somewheres till they're all gone. I shall be all right, and they won't hurt you. Come on, Master Lance."
No more was said, Lance having his work to do in climbing after his companion, who led him by what by daylight he would have considered to be an impossible path; but it ended at the stone wall which bordered the cliff part of the home grounds, and when he began to thank his companion he was gone, only a faint rustling as of a rabbit telling of which way.
Ten minutes later Lance had climbed back to his bedroom window, closed it, and after regaining his breath he stole out into the passage to make his way to his cousin's room.
But all was silent there. Alf had not returned.
Lance crept back to his own bedroom, undressed, and lay down to listen for his cousin's return, undecided as to what he should do.
Nature decided it for him, sending him off fast asleep, wearied out by his exertions; but before dawn his door was opened and a light step crossed the floor and paused by his bedside, a low ejaculation as of astonishment being heard, and then the steps were directed to the door, which was softly closed.