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"You bet I would," laughed Victoria. "I'd go in a wheelbarrow

source:Follow the wavesedit:powertime:2023-12-06 01:35:52

Swinging his stick, he strode on rapidly. The road was neglected, broken and flinty and very soft. After he had gone about a mile it narrowed to pursue its way between two broad ditches lined with pollard willows and brimful of brown peaty water. By this time he judged, from his recollection of the map, that he must be on Morstead Fen. An interminable waste of sodden, emerald green fields, intersected by ditches, stretched away on either hand.

He had walked for half an hour when he made out in the distance a clump of trees standing apart and seemingly in the middle of the fields. Then in the foreground he descried a gate. A figure was standing by it.

As he approached the gate he saw it was a small boy. On remarking the stranger, the urchin opened the gate and without looking to right or left led off down the road towards the clump of trees: Desmond followed at his leisure.

As they neared the trees, the low red roof of a house detached itself. By this time the sun was sinking in a smear of red across a delicately tinted sky. Its dying rays held some glittering object high up on the side of the house.

At first Desmond thought it was a window, but presently the light went out, kindled again and once more vanished. It was too small for a window, Desmond decided, and then, turning the matter over in his mind, as observant people are accustomed to do even with trifles, he suddenly realized that the light he had seen was the reflection of the sun on a telescope or glasses.

They were now within a few hundred yards of the house. The road had made a right angle turn to the left, but the diminutive guide had quitted it and struck out along a very muddy cart track. Shading his eyes, Desmond gazed at the house and presently got a glimpse of a figure at a window surveying the road through a pair of field glasses. Even as he looked, the figure bobbed down and did not reappear.

"They want to be sure I'm alone," thought Desmond, and congratulated himself on having had the strength of mind to break his orders.

The cart-track led up to a little bridge over a ditch. By the bridge stood a tall pole, on the top of which was a blue and gold painted sign-board inscribed, "The Dyke Inn by J. Rass." The urchin led him across the bridge and up to the door of the inn.

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