The shrivelled figure was very light, as Trevna had found. It was only their repugnance at handling it that made their task a heavy one. One above and one below, they managed at last to get it up above ground, and then John Trevna slipped his belt to its middle, and carried it with one hand down the slope to the boat.
There they found Evan Morgan holding the approach to the landing-place against Peter, with a lump of rock, while Philip, in the boat below, stood shouting at them to know what was the matter.
At sight of the others and their burden, however, he had no eyes for anything else.
“What have you got there, John Drillot?”
“A dead man.”
“Aw, then! That’s not Gard.”
“It’s the only man here, anyway. Pull close up, Philip—”
“Not in my boat, John Drillot!” from Peter.
“We must take this to the Senechal,” said John angrily. “If you don’t want to come you can wait here. If you don’t make less noise, I will knock you on the head myself,” and he jumped down into the boat, and took the dead man from Trevna, and laid him carefully in the bows. The others jumped in, and Peter, sooner than be knocked on the head or left behind, sulkily followed, and sat himself on the extreme edge of the stern as far away from the dead man as he could get.
HOW JULIE MEDITATED EVIL
Nance had crouched all the morning, in the bracken above Breniere, on the knife-edge of expectancy. And behind her, at a safe distance, crouched Julie Hamon, watching Nance and L’Etat at the same time, as a cat in the shade watches a sparrow playing in the sunshine.
“What will be the end? What will be the end?” sighed Nance. They had all gone down out of sight, across there, and it was terrible to sit here waiting, waiting, waiting for what she feared.
If they had indeed run Gard to his hiding-place, as Philip Vaudin had said, there could be but one possible end to it; and she sat, sad-eyed and wistful, waiting for them to come up again.
It seemed as if they would never come, and she never took her eyes off the rock wall on L’Etat.
And then at last she sprang to her feet. One of them had come up again. She could not see which. Then the others appeared, and they seemed to stand talking. Then one went off round the slope and another ran after him, and the other two went back into the rock wall.
What could they be at? She stood gazing intently.
The two came up again, and—yes—they carried something, or one of them did, and they two went off round the corner also. And presently she saw the boat coming round, and saw by its head that it was for the Creux. She turned and sped across by the same way as yesterday, and Julie followed her at a safe distance. And it seemed to Nance, as she hurried through the familiar hedge-gaps and lanes and across the headlands, that the world had lost its brightness, and that life was desperately hard and trying.