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Dead Men Tell No Tales E. W. Hornung

Chapter XIV In the Garden

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"We have more time than you think," were Eva's first words. "We can do nothing for half-an-hour."

"Why not?"

"I'll tell you in a minute. How did you manage to get over?"

"Brought boulders from the beck, and piled 'em up till I could reach the top."

I thought her eyes glistened.

"What patience!" she cried softly. "We must find a simpler way of getting out - and I think I have. They've all gone, you know, but Jose."

"All three?"

"The captain has been gone all day."

Then the other two must have been my horse-men, very probably in some disguise; and my head swam with the thought of the risk that I had run at the very moment when I thought myself safest. Well, I would have finished them both! But I did not say so to Eva. I did not mention the incident, I was so fearful of destroying her confidence in me. Apologizing, therefore, for my interruption, without explaining it, I begged her to let me hear her plan.

It was simple enough. There was no fear of the others returning before midnight; the chances were that they would be very much later; and now it was barely eleven, and Eva had promised not to stay out above half-an-hour. When it was up Jose would come and call her.

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"It is horrid to have to be so cunning!" cried little Eva, with an angry shudder; "but it's no use thinking of that," she was quick enough to add, "when you have such dreadful men to deal with, such fiends! And I have had all day to prepare, and have suffered till I am so desperate I would rather die to-night than spend another in that house. No; let me finish! Jose will come round here to look for me. But you and I will be hiding n the other side of these rhododendrons. And when we hear him here we'll make a dash for it across the long grass. Once let us get the door shut and locked in his face, and he'll be in a trap. It will take him some time to break in; time enough to give us a start; what's more, when he finds us gone, he'll do what they all used to do in any doubt."

"What's that?"

"Say nothing till it's found out; then lie for their lives; and it was their lives, poor creatures on the Zambesi!" She was silent a moment, her determined little face hard - set upon some unforgotten horror. "Once we get away, I shall be surprised if it's found out till morning," concluded Eva, without a word as to what I was to do with her; neither, indeed, had I myself given that question a moment's consideration.

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Dead Men Tell No Tales
E. W. Hornung

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