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John Oxenham
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 244 pages of information about A Maid of the Silver Sea.

“If we thought you’d done it of course we wouldn’t trouble.  But we know you couldn’t have.”

“Nothing fresh has turned up?”

“Nothing yet.  But Nance says it will, sure.  Truth must out, she says.”

“It’s a weary while of coming out sometimes, Bernel.  And I can’t spend the rest of my life here, you know.”

“She said you were to keep your heart up.  You never know what may happen.”

“Tell her I can stand it because of all her goodness to me.  If I hadn’t her to think of I might go mad in time.”

“I’ve brought you a rabbit I snared.  Nance cooked it.”

“That was good of her.  Can you eat puffins’ eggs?”

“They want a bit of getting used to,” laughed the boy.  “But they’re better cooked than raw.”

“I can cook them.  I found part of an old boat, and I’ve plugged up all the holes in the shelter, and I only light a fire at night.  Could I fish here?”

“Too big a sea close in.  I’ve got some in the boat.  I put out a line as I came across.  I’ll leave you some.”

“And have you a bottle—­or a bailing-tin?  Anything I could bring home some water from the pools in?  I have to go over there every time I need a drink, and in the dark it’s not possible.”

“You can have the bailer.  It’s a new one and sound.”

“Now tell me, Bernel, if they find out I’m here what will they do?”

“They might come across and try and take you, unless they cool down; and that won’t be so long as that Julie and Peter talk as they do.  She makes him do everything she tells him.  He’s a sheep.”

“And if they come across, what do you and Nance expect me to do?”

“You’ve got my gun,” said the boy simply.

“Yes, I’ve got your gun.  But do you expect me to kill some of them?”

“They’d kill you,” said Bernel, conclusively.  On second thoughts, however, he added, “But you needn’t kill them.  Wing one or two, and the rest will let you be.  With a gun I could keep all Sark from landing on L’Etat.”

“Suppose they come in the night?  How many landing-places are there?”

“There’s another at the end nighest Guernsey, but it’s not easy.  And it’s only low tide and half-ebb that lets you ashore here at all.”

“How about your boat?”

“She’s riding to a line.  Tide’s running up that way, but I’d better be off.”

They stumbled through the darkness and the sleeping gulls, which woke in fright, and volubly accused one another of nightmares and riotous behaviour—­and Bernel hauled in his boat, and handed Gard the tin dipper and three good-sized bream.

“If you can’t eat them all at once, split them open and dry them in the sun,” he said.  “They’ll keep for a week that way.”

“Tell Nance I think of her every hour of the day, and I pray God the truth may come out soon.”

“I’ll tell her.  It’ll come out.  She says so,” and he pulled out into the darkness and was gone.

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