« AnteriorContinuar »
A Datoh merchant Lahore, of murders at Kasur,
had hidden all day, and had come out at nightfall, disguised in a "burka," the all-enveloping white cloth used by purdah women. An English lady doctor had managed to conceal herself in her hospital while the orowd tried to find her, and she also had escaped in the evening. Two Indian ladies, sohool-teachers, who had driven out of the city in a closed carriage, told us of the Sikh peasants who were pouring into the city with their iron-bound sticks. The booty from the National Bank had been carried out into the distriot as proof that the British rule was over, and all the riffraff for miles round hurried in to be early on the spot if looting began again. The residents of the railway quarters came on to us from the railway station, in which they had taken refuge. They brought news of how the orewd had swept through the station, leaving behind them burning trucks and the hardly recognisable body of Guard Robinson. Everything was done to stop false reports: under the conditions I have described, moral was of paramount importance. But the real truth was so often worse than anything rumour could invent that one realised the uses of censorship. It is not surprising that there was a certain amount of hysteria, but our people as a whole showed both courage and good sense.
During the first three days every hour brought in some news from outside: of firing at
An office was established in the oanteen hall, and all the civilian inhabitants of the Fort and their servants were registered. After a few days passes were issued for going out of the Fort, but this was not allowed without an armed escort, and everybody had to be back before sunset. The
time at which the pass-holder trains were run, packed with was due to return was registered, so that if he or she failed to report at the office at the hour named a search-party could be sent out immediately. The days were monotonous, and we had to keep very quiet for the sake of Miss Sherwood, who was lying between life and death. Seizing her as she was bicycling from house to house in the city, the crowd had beaten her down with iron-bound sticks and left her for dead in the gutter, and for many days her life was in danger.
After about a week it was considered safe for us to travel, and arrangements were made to remove all the women and children to the hills. Special
refugees from Lahore and Amritsar. It was considered better by the authorities that no women should be left behind, and they decided that Eurasians as well as Europeans should reside in hill stations for a time. The sight of these trains must have given residents in anaffected districts some idea of what the riots meant. And yet it has been stated that there was no real insecurity and no more trouble than the police could have dealt with. No European who was in Amritsar or Lahore doubts that for some days there was a very real danger of the entire European population being massacred, and that General Dyer's action alone saved them.
FOLLOW THE LITTLE PICTURES!
BY ALAN GRAHAM.
NOTHING happened during finish. I was going to say the next few days in fulfilment that the Squire has agreed of my doleful prognostications. to my engagement to Marigold There were comings and goings as soon as I find the treasure. between the two households, Of course we are bound to and consultations galore on the find it, but I don't like the one burning topic-the little delay." pictures. Roy's wife did not come again to Hopeton, nor did Marigold visit her at Blackdykes, but Roy was over each day, and Morgan and the Laird on more than one occasion went to the farm.
"What does Marigold say to it?" I asked.
"She is so afraid of her father that she is thankful for small mercies."
"At the least, I can congratulate you on working wonders in a very short time,' I said.
"Thanks. I have been fairly successful. Roy gets more friendly with his father every day, and the old man himself is certainly_turning over & new leaf. You will have to retract a lot of your prophecies yet, Seaton."
"I hope I shall," I answered. It was that same day that possibly spurred on by the obvious happiness of Morgan
I summoned up pluck to make a proposal of my own. It is impossible for me to keep my own feelings and actions out of this history of the Hopeton treasure, because, as will be seen, this resolution of mine had a direct bearing upon the solution of the eryptogram.
"I hope you are right," he said, smiling merrily with twinkling glasses, "for I have got to get something else before the engagement is complete. You didn't let me It happened, then, that I
Copyrighted in the United States of America by Messrs Little, Brown, & Co.
had arranged to meet Betty Forbes that afternoon by the fox-cover, in order to make an excursion to the top of the hill on whose lower slope the house of the Tanishes was built. There was a cairn on this hill, and although we had visited several of the hill-tops without finding a vestige of a olue, Betty was still as keen as before. To me it mattered little where we went, provided we went together.
It was a lovely summer day, with hardly a breath of wind, and a deep blue sky broken only by a few small fleecy olouds.
I waited by the stile on the margin of the wood, and watched the dainty form of Betty olimbing towards me between the broken dykes on the old Roman Road. She was dressed in some light creamy material covered with dainty small sprigs of flowers, and wore a wide straw hat, beneath which glimpses of her rich hair shone as she looked up towards the wood where I awaited her. She had the light springy step of the country girl used to rough roads and rougher hillsides, It was a joy to sit there idly on the stile and see her coming towards me.
"Have I kept you long?" she called as she drew near. "Never mind, you are not really a busy person. I am! I stopped at Newgate's farm to inspect the new babymost interesting produc
"You don't look to be dressed for hill climbing," I
remarked, with my admiring eyes upon her.
"Don't call these things hills," she said, pointing to the green and purple knolls all around us. "Over there, on Arran, it is different. Goatfell would finish a frock like this, and I should be barefoot before I was half-way to the top. But this is just a gentle stroll up a heather-clad slope."
The hill we had chosen for our investigation lay, as I have said, behind Hopeton, and from where we met we had to cross the shoulders of two lower knolls before we started the actual climb. At two hillside burns that lay across our track I offered my hand to Betty, but she scorned my assistance, and jumped
from stone to stone with an ease and grace born of long custom.
It took us under an hour to reach our destination. We threw ourselves down upon the springy heather to rest after the climb. The cairn that we had come to see was like all the others in the distriot-just a pile of loose stones gathered from the billside. What we expected to discover merely by looking at it I do not know to this day. Perhaps some rude inseription on a stone may have been in our minds, but we were quite vague in our expectations.
"I am afraid we have drawn another blank," said Betty. She had discarded her hat, and lay upon the slope with her hands behind her head, her back resting on a weather
worn boulder. "You are a broken reed, Bob. You don't seem to be as full of brilliant ideas as you ought to be."
"I have never professed to be one of the brainy ones," I said laughingly. "You expect too much from me, It is you who are the treasure-finder, Betty. You are far more enthusiastie than I am."
"Of course if you are tired of these expeditions you have only to say so!" Betty replied provokingly. "I have my own copy of the little pictures, and I can hobble about by myself somehow or other!"
"Betty, you are a cat!" I declared solemnly.
"Of course I am. Have you only just discovered it? All girls are eats, only some are more catty than others. But what particular trait of the feline race are you referring to at the moment?"
"The mouse triok," I answered. "You ought not to play with a poor chap. You know jolly well that it is not the Hopeton treasure that I run about all over the countryside after. It is another treasure, in my eyes thousands of times more valuable!"
"If you are going to be sentimental, Bob, I shall go home," said Betty lightly; but there was a new colour and a half-frightened expression growing upon her face, that told me she knew that we were getting down to essentials.
"I am going to be sentimental, and I shan't let you go home," I said firmly; but my heart was beating like a steam-hammer, and there was
a buzzing in my head that spoke of strong excitement.
"Hark to the man-thing, with his masterful ways!" exclaimed Betty to the bare hillside; but her long red lashes drooped over her honest brown eyes.
"You know what treasure I want, Betty?" I said, and I found that my throat was so dry and husky all of a sudden that my voice sounded quite unlike itself.
"How can I know until you tell me?" said Betty in a low voice and without looking up.
I remember she was plucking the little purple flowers from a spray of heather as she spoke. It seemed to me that the warm summer air had become suddenly electrified. I felt a drumming in my ears and a vibration of the air upon my skin.
Betty's preoccupation with her spray of heather annoyed me. I wanted her full attention. I stretched out my hand and swallowed up both of hers
heather and all-in my grip.
"You are the only treasure for me, Betty," I said hoarsely. "I want you, and the little piotures can go hang for all I