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us all else we wanted; nor was it niggardliness, for their

time:2023-12-07 05:06:43 source:check net author:music read:401次

Foot by foot they dropped down the river, and soon came into the thick mist that lay beyond the point. It was impossible to see more than a yard or two ahead, but the same dense obscurity would prevent any further range of vision from the other boat, and, if it was still at its work, the sound of its oars or of voices, Michael reflected, might guide him to it. From the lisp of little wavelets lapping on the shore below the woods, he knew he was quite close in to the bank, and close also to the place where the invisible boat had been ten minutes before. Then, in the bewildering, unlocalised manner in which sound without the corrective guidance of sight comes to the ears, he heard as before the creaking of invisible oars, somewhere quite close at hand. Next moment the dark prow of a rowing-boat suddenly loomed into sight on their starboard, and he took a rapid stroke with his right-hand scull to bring them up to it. But at the same moment, while yet the occupants of the other boat were but shadows in the mist, they saw him, and a quick word of command rang out.

us all else we wanted; nor was it niggardliness, for their

"Row--row hard!" it cried, and with a frenzied churning of oars in the water, the other boat shot by them, making down the estuary. Next moment it had quite vanished in the mist, leaving behind it knots of swirling water from its oar-blades.

us all else we wanted; nor was it niggardliness, for their

Michael started in vain pursuit; his craft was heavy and clumsy, and from the retreating and faint-growing sound of the other, it was clear that he could get no pace to match, still less to overtake them. Soon he pantingly desisted.

us all else we wanted; nor was it niggardliness, for their

"But an Admiralty boat wouldn't have run away," he said. "They'd have asked us who the devil we were."

"But who else was it?" asked Francis.

"Aunt Barbara would tell you," he said. "She would tell you that they were German spies."

"Or Timbuctoo niggers," he remarked.

"And that would be an odd thing, too," said Michael.


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