“Hands up!” was the hoarse order.
Granet calmly flashed his own electric torch. There were at least a dozen soldiers standing around, and a little company were hurrying down from the gates. He switched off his light almost immediately.
“Is any one hurt?” he asked.
There was a dead silence. He felt his arms seized on either side.
“The captain’s coming down the road,” one of the men said. “Lay on to him, Tim!”
Granet sauntered in to breakfast a few minutes late on the following morning. A little volley of questions and exclamations reached him as he stood by the sideboard.
“Heard about the Zeppelin raid?”
“They say there’s a bomb on the ninth green!”
“Market Burnham Hall is burnt to the ground!”
Granet sighed as he crossed the room and took his seat at the table.
“If you fellows hadn’t slept like oxen last night,” he remarked, “you’d have known a lot more about it. I saw the whole show.”
“Nonsense!” Major Harrison exclaimed.
“Tell us all about it?” young Anselman begged.
“I heard the thing just as I was beginning to undress,” Granet explained. “I rushed downstairs and found Collins out in the garden. . . . Where the devil is Collins, by-the-bye?”
They glanced at his vacant place.
“Not down yet. Go on.”
“Well, we could hear the vibration like anything, coming from over the marsh there. I got the car out and we were no sooner on the road than I could see it distinctly, right above us—a huge, cigar-shaped thing. We raced along after it, along the road towards Market Burnham. Just before it reached the Hall it seemed to turn inland and then come back again. We pulled up to watch it and Collins jumped out. He said he’d go as far as the Hall and warn them. I sat in the car, watching. She came right round and seemed to hover over those queer sort of outbuildings there are at Market Burnham. All at once the bombs began to drop.”
“What are they like?” Geoffrey Anselman exclaimed.
Granet poured out his coffee carefully.