He had not calculated on a further descent, but the floor of the cave was five feet below him, and he fell heavily upon it, the gun going off as it struck the floor. Instantaneous as the fall had been, his eyes had taken in the scene. Several lanterns faintly lit up the cave; while in the centre a table, at which several figures were sitting, was illuminated by three or four candles. He was partly stunned by the heaviness of his fall, but vaguely heard shouts of surprise and alarm, and was, a minute later, roughly seized and dragged along. Then he felt that he was being tightly bound. For some minutes he was left to himself, but he could see three men with guns in their hands standing near the door by which he had entered, listening attentively. Presently he heard steps coming down the passage and two other men came through the door, shut and bolted it carefully, and then came down the steps into the cabin.
She now, for the most part, trotted beside him, and it was only when very tired that the child would allow him to take her up. She herself had never been short of food, for however small the portion obtained, enough for her was always set aside before it was touched. One day Julian had, with some of his comrades, entered a village. The others had insisted on lying down for a sleep, after devouring a little food they were fortunate enough to find in one of the houses. Julian's efforts to induce them to continue the march were in vain. They lighted a huge fire on a hearth with wood obtained by breaking up some of the doors, and declared that they would be warm for once, whatever came of it. The column was already some distance off, and night was closing in. Julian therefore started alone. He was carrying the child now, and for an hour he kept on his way. Still there were no signs of a road, and he at last became convinced that he must have gone in the wrong direction. He walked for half an hour longer, and then coming upon a small hut, he at once determined to pass the night there.
"Don't you worry yourself, Aunt," Frank said, as they laid her down upon the bed; "it will all come out right, just as the last did. It will all be cleared up, no doubt, in a very short time."
"I don't know. You see he knows about my shooting Faulkner. I would trust him not to peach about this cavern or the trap-door, but I don't know as I would about the other thing. It seems to me that he is just as likely to be suspected of having a hand in it as I am. His row with Faulkner is the talk of the place, and when Faulkner is found with a bullet in him, he will be the first fellow to be suspected. Well, if that was so, and you see he would not be able to account for himself for three or four hours afterwards, he might be driven to peach on me to save his own life, and he would be obliged to give all the story about following me and coming down here. There would be an end of the best hiding-place in the country, and I should not be able to show my face on this side of the Channel again."