Page:Yule Logs.djvu/215

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199
A DANGEROUS GAME

"That we will, Master Lance," cried the lad eagerly.

"One as can sail too, so's we can hold a rope astern and offer to give t'others a tow. I say, think the old man will ever come back?"

"I hope so, Hezz."

"Ay, that's what I do—hopes. Sent over the sea, I s'pose, if they did."

"Oh, don't talk about it, Hezz!" cried Lance bitterly. "Why didn't they be content with getting a living with the fish?"

Hezz made no reply, but trudged off to the long whitewashed cottage on the cliff, where as Lance watched he saw Mother Poltree come out and Hezz hand her the big silver coin with King George's head on one side.

The result was that the brawny old woman threw her apron over her face, tore it down again and looked down below, caught sight of the giver, and began to descend.

But Lance was too quick for her: he took flight and ran below the cliff, scrambling over the rocks, for it was low tide, and had a toilsome climb up a dangerous part so as to get back home.

CHAPTER VII

It was one bright spring morning after getting well on with his Latin reading with the vicar, that Lance thought he would go down to the cliff and see what luck Hezz had had with the trammel overnight.

Suddenly he stopped short and stood staring down at the cliff shelf, hardly believing it was true, for there below him in a row stood four great pairs of stiff flannel trousers in four pairs of heavy fisherman's boots, just as if the men's wives had put them out in the sunshine against the old wooden rail to sweeten and dry out some of the damp salt, in case their wearers should come back.