Dick gave a hurried look behind him. He could see something shining in Smith's hand—something that the light from the torch glinted on.
"Keep on!" hoarsely whispered Tim. "He can't hit us down here. Keep on!"
Stumbling, almost falling, their candles showing but faint blue points of light as the flame flickered away from the wicks because of their speed, the boys ran toward the bottom of the shaft.
"If we reach the ladder I think we can get away," said Frank, panting from his exertion.
It seemed as if it was a mile back to the shaft, but it was only a few hundred feet. The boys expected every minute to hear the shot ring out. They caught the sounds of the footfalls of their pursuer and they sounded nearer and nearer. He was familiar with the gallery and his torch gave him better light to go by than did the candles give the boys.
Once more the angry miner's voice called: