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it spanned two continents and an ocean to rest upon the

source:Follow the wavesedit:birdtime:2023-12-06 01:59:37

Presently, the sound of Nur-el-Din's voice raised high in anger struck on his ears. He stole softly to the door and opened it. Before him lay the staircase deserted. He tiptoed down the stairs to the first landing and listened. The murmur of voices reached him indistinctly from the room below. Then he heard Nur-el-Din crying out again in anger.

it spanned two continents and an ocean to rest upon the

He craned his ear over the well of the staircase, turning his face to the window which stood on the landing. The window gave on a small yard with a gate over which a lamp was suspended and beyond it the fen now swathed in fog. The dancer's maid stood beneath the lamp in earnest conversation with a man in rough shooting clothes who held a gun under his arm. As Desmond looked the man turned his head so that the rays of the lamp fell full upon his face. To his unspeakable consternation and amazement, Desmond recognized Strangwise.

it spanned two continents and an ocean to rest upon the


it spanned two continents and an ocean to rest upon the

Oblivious of the voices in the room below, Desmond stood with his face pressed against the glass of the window. Was Strangwise staying at "The Dyke Inn"? Nothing was more probable; for the latter had told him that he was going to spend his leave shooting in Essex, and Morstead Fen must abound in snipe and duck.

But he and Strangwise must not meet. Desmond was chary of submitting his disguise to the other's keen, shrewd eyes. Strangwise knew Nur-el-Din: indeed, the dancer might have come to the inn to be with him. If he recognized Desmond and imparted his suspicions to the dancer, the game world be up; on the other hand, Desmond could not take him aside and disclose his identity; for that would be breaking faith with the Chief. There was nothing for it, he decided, but flight.

Yet how could he get away unobserved? There was no exit from the staircase by the door into the tap-room where Nur-el-Din was, and to go through the tap-room was to risk coming face to face with Strangwise.

So Desmond remained where he was by the window and watched. Presently, the woman turned and began to cross the yard, Strangwise, carrying his gun, following her. Desmond waited until he heard a door open somewhere below and then he acted.

Beside the window ran an old lead water-pipe which drained the roof above his head. On a level with the sill of the landing below, this pipe took a sharp turn to the left and ran diagonally down to a tall covered-in water-butt that stood on the fiat roof of an outhouse in the little yard.

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