The workmen were not yet upon the building, so I had the whole place to myself. My first act was to look for another ladder as a line of escape in case of being chased. It is always well to have a back door to your hiding place; that is one of the essentials in scouting.
Presently I found a short ladder leading from my platform to the stage below, but it did not go to the ground. Peering quietly over the scaffolding, I saw my friend the policeman below, still at fault. I blessed my stars that he was no tracker, and therefore had not seen my footmarks leading to the foot of the ladder.
Then I proceeded to take note of my surroundings and to gather information. Judging from the design of the building, its great chimneys, etc., I was actually on the new power-house. From my post I had an excellent view over the dockyard, and within 100 feet of me were the excavation works of the new dock, whose dimensions I could easily estimate.
I whipped out my prismatic compass and quickly took the bearings of two conspicuous points on the neighbouring hills, and so fixed the position which could be marked on a large scale map for purposes of shelling the place, if desired.
Meantime my pursuer had called the other policeman to him, and they were in close confabulation immediately below me, where I could watch them through a crack between two of the foot-boards. They had evidently come to the conclusion that I was not in the power-house as the interior was fully open to view, and they had had a good look into it. Their next step was to examine the goods shed close by, which was evidently full of building lumber, etc.
One man went into it while the other remained outside on the line that I should probably take for escaping, that is, between it and the boundary wall leading to the gateway. By accident rather than by design he stood close to the foot of my ladder, and thus cut off my retreat in that direction. While they were thus busy they were leaving the gate unguarded, and I thought it was too good a chance to be missed, so, returning along the scaffolding until I reached the small ladder, I climbed down this on to the lower story, and, seeing no one about, I quickly swarmed down one of the scaffolding poles and landed safely on the ground close behind the big chimney of the building.
Here I was out of sight, although not far from the policeman guarding the ladder; and, taking care to keep the corner of the building between us, I made my way round to the back of the lodge, and then slipped out of the gate without being seen.