There was a brief lull while they gathered for the rush. Then they came all together full into my later defence.
I stabbed through it and hacked at one who tried to climb. But they were many and I was one. The barrier began to sag and give under their pressure. I stabbed wildly through and through, and got groans for payment. And then of a sudden I was aware of another fighting by my side. He had come unperceived by me, and he spoke no word, but thrust and smote wherever opportunity offered, and his coming gave me new strength.
And then, with a shout, others came pouring down the Creux Road, and I knew that all was well, and I fell spent in the roadway.
HOW WE RAN AGAINST THE LAW FOR THE SAKE OF A WOMAN
When I recovered sufficiently to take notice of things, I was sitting in the tunnel with my back against the wall, a big fire of broken wood was burning brightly, and men were carrying in others from the harbour. The carried men were bound, and the others were strangers to me.
A flask was put to my mouth, and I took a pull at it, and turned to find Krok smiling his content at my recovery.
“Was it you, Krok?” and I shook both his hands heartily, while he held the flask between his knees.
“And my grandfather?” I asked. “Is he hurt?” And Krok nodded and then shook his head.
“Hurt, but not badly?” and he nodded quickly.
“And these are Guernsey men?”
He nodded again, and one of them came up and asked, “Feeling better? You had a tough job here all alone. We came ashore on the other side, and were hurrying towards the firing lower down there when we heard the gun begin, and your friend here brought us down this road on the jump. He doesn’t speak much, but he’s got mighty good ears and sense.”
“You were just in time. I was about done.”
“Just in time is all right, but in fact it wouldn’t have done to be much later.”
“Can you tell me anything of my grandfather, Philip Carre?”
“Oh, you’re young Phil Carre, who started all this business, are you?”
“I’m Phil Carre. What about my grandfather?”
“We had some warm work over there, and he got a shot through the leg. Not serious, I think. But we got the schooner and a lot of the rascals, and when we found the rest had come this way we came after them. But Torode himself got away. Maybe we’ll find him here somewhere.”
I had not given the man in George Hamon’s cave a thought for hours past, but this sudden reminder brought my mind round to him, and me to my feet, with a jerk.
He was my father—I could not doubt it, though belief was horrible. He was a scoundrel beyond most. He lay there stricken by my hand. His life was sought by the law, and would certainly be forfeited if he was found. I must find George Hamon at once.