"Gahn! no. Haul him in fast as you can, 'fore he gets off."
The tackle was coarse and strong, and there was no scientific playing attempted. It was plain, straightforward pully-hauly work, and in a very short time the transparent water astern seemed to be cut into flashing streaks by something silvery which was drawn in hand over hand, till, just as Lance was leaning over to get his fingers close to the end of the snood where the hook was tied, the water was splashed up into his face, and he sat up with a cry of disappointment, seeing only a streak of silver flashing in the sunshine, for the fish had gone.
"Never mind: bait again," squeaked Hezz.
"Bait again," cried Lance, imitating him. "What! with that hook? Look at it. Nearly straightened out. I wish you wouldn't have such nasty soft-roed things. Why, that was a fifteen pounder."
"Take another hook, Master Lance. Look sharp; look at 'em playing."
Lance put on a fresh hook, baited again, and sent the sand-eel gliding off along the rushing tide, which played among the rocks like a mill-stream, and waited excitedly for another snatch, but waited in, vain.
"Don't pull," he said at last; "let the boat run out a bit."
Hezz obeyed, cleverly managing so that the boat glided slowly after the bait in the direction of the broken water where the shoal of bass could be seen feeding; but they got no nearer, for so sure as the boat went farther from land, so did the fish, and in spite of fresh and tempting baits being tried there was no seizure made.
"That there one as got away has told all the others to look out," said Hezz, with a chuckle. "You won't get another bite."
"Stuff and nonsense! Just as if fish could talk! Let's go out farther."