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|The Scarlet Pimpernel||Baroness Emmuska Orczy|
|Page 1 of 3||
She did not know how long she was thus carried along, she had lost all notion of time and space, and for a few seconds tired nature, mercifully, deprived her of consciousness.
When she once more realised her state, she felt that she was placed with some degree of comfort upon a man's coat, with her back resting against a fragment of rock. The moon was hidden again behind some clouds, and the darkness seemed in comparison more intense. The sea was roaring some two hundred feet below her, and on looking all round she could no longer see any vestige of the tiny glimmer of red light.
That the end of the journey had been reached, she gathered from the fact that she heard rapid questions and answers spoken in a whisper quite close to her.
"There are four men in there, citoyen; they are sitting by the fire, and seem to be waiting quietly."
"Nearly two o'clock."
"Coming in quickly."
"Obviously an English one, lying some three kilometers out. But we cannot see her boat."
"Have the men taken cover?"
"They will not blunder?"
"They will not stir until the tall Englishman comes, then they will surround and overpower the five men."
"Right. And the lady?"
"Still dazed, I fancy. She's close beside you, citoyen."
"And the Jew?"
"He's gagged, and his legs strapped together. He cannot move or scream."
"Good. Then have your gun ready, in case you want it. Get close to the hut and leave me to look after the lady."
Desgas evidently obeyed, for Marguerite heard him creeping away along the stony cliff, then she felt that a pair of warm, thin, talon-like hands took hold of both her own, and held them in a grip of steel.
"Before that handkerchief is removed from your pretty mouth, fair lady," whispered Chauvelin close to her ear, "I think it right to give you one small word of warning. What has procured me the honour of being followed across the Channel by so charming a companion, I cannot, of course, conceive, but, if I mistake it not, the purpose of this flattering attention is not one that would commend itself to my vanity and I think that I am right in surmising, moreover, that the first sound which your pretty lips would utter, as soon as the cruel gag is removed, would be one that would prove a warning to the cunning fox, which I have been at such pains to track to his lair."
He paused a moment, while the steel-like grasp seemed to tighten round her waist; then he resumed in the same hurried whisper:--
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|The Scarlet Pimpernel
Baroness Emmuska Orczy
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