The Astonishing History of Troy Town eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 198 pages of information about The Astonishing History of Troy Town.

The strange brilliance flickered to and fro, falling even on the further bank, and threading with a line of yellow the silver-grey of the moonlight.  Then it ceased suddenly.

Caleb and his master waited breathlessly.  Half a minute passed without further sign.  Then they heard a light splash or two, and Mr. Fogo pointed frantically at the line of the moon’s reflection on the creek.

“There!  Look—­the boat!”

Caleb whipped the blunderbuss up to his shoulder and shouted—­

“Who be ’ee?  Darn ’ee, here goes—­wan, two, dree, all to wanst!”

He pulled the trigger.  A tongue of flame leapt forth and burst upon the night with a terrific explosion; and as Caleb fell backwards with the shock, the clumsy engine slipped from his fingers and fell with a clatter upon Mr. Fogo’s instep.

When the pair recovered and looked forth again, the echoes had died away, and once more the night was tranquil.

Footnotes, Chapter XIX [1] A monotonous chant or burthen. [2] A fiddler. [3] Thick-set. [4] Stout. [5] Strength. [6] Kin. [7] A concealed compartment or drawer.

CHAPTER XX.

HOW CERTAIN CHARACTERS FOUND THEMSELVES, AT DEAD OF NIGHT, UPON THE FIVE LANES ROAD.

Panting, slipping, with aching sides, but terror at his heels, Sam Buzza tore up the hill.  Lights danced before him, imaginary voices shouted after; but he never glanced behind.  The portmanteau was monstrously heavy, and more than once he almost dropped it; but it was tightly packed, apparently, for nothing shook inside it.  Only the handles creaked in his grasp.

He gained the top, shifted the load to his left hand, and raced down the other side of the hill.  How he reached the bottom he cannot clearly call to mind; but he dug his heels well into the turf, and arrived without a fall.  At the foot of the slope a wire fence had to be crossed; next the railway line, then, across the embankment, another fence, which kept a shred of his clothing.  A meadow followed, and then he dropped over the hedge into the high road.

Here he stopped, set down the portmanteau, and looked about him.  All was quiet.  So vivid was the moonlight that as looking down the road he could mark every bush, every tuft of grass almost, on the illumined side.  Not a soul was in sight.

The night was warm, and his flight had heated him intolerably.  He felt for his handkerchief to mop his brow, but snatched his hand away.

His coat was burning.  It was the lantern.  Like a fool he had forgotten to blow it out, and an abominable smell of oil and burning cloth now arose from his pocket.  He stifled the smouldering fire, pulled out the lantern, and looked at his watch.

It wanted twenty minutes to eleven.

He had plenty of time; so, having extinguished the lantern, and bestowed it in another pocket, he caught up his burden and began to walk up the road at a leisurely pace.

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The Astonishing History of Troy Town from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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