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staunch little cob right at the men. ] s...

staunch little cob right at the men. ] s... image
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staunch little cob right at the men. ] sftw one of them roll over on the sand while the other juinped aside shouting to us to stop, but we never paused until we were gome distance down the lane leadjng from the beach. Then Tom pulled up. " We must part now," said he.- " Keep to the right and ride hard, for they will cut you off if they can whore the land winds towards the coast ; but give the nag whip and spur and you will be thero before them. Off with you !" and so we parted. After Tom had lei't me I began to remeuiber how awkwardly close to the shore the windings of the lane brought it, and how easy it would bo for swift runners to take a sh jrt cut across some fields and cotne up with me. Bitterly I regretted being led into such a dangerous affair; and telling myself with clenched teeth that for Mary's sake I wouldn't be taken, I rode on more furiously than before. The nearer I got to the sea, Ilie more I dreaded a surprise, and it seemed as if I were so long threading the ins and outs of my road, that they must be the first to spot where I anticipated danger. Sud denly I was seized with the idea that if I could leap the hedge I might evade them, and quick as thought, I put Bob at the dark line of thorn bushes that loomed ahead, just whero the lane made the last sharp turn towards the beach. I remember the rising in air, the crash through the top of the hedge, and my own fall, which was followed by the most unearthly yell it is imagine - a shriek that seemed to dio away into the bowels of the earth. Then a hundred stars danced before my eyes - there was a strange dizziness in my houd - all grew dark and I knew no more. How long I lay before coming to myself I oould not teil ; nor could I rf-col[ect for a considerable time after my senr ses returned, what it was that had happened. Numbed with the intense cold, I was lvins' on mv back with the wind was ïying on my duv.k witu me wmu shrieking above me, but where was thf horse? and what nieant that avvful yell I aeard after taking the leap? I found that I was lying on a slope, and turning over on my right side, I reached out one hand, intending to lean upon it and raise myself. To my horror [ graspednothing, for - it makes nieshudder to think of it- I had turned over into ;he niouth of a disused pit. Already I was hanging half within it, and while struggling to recover my balance, I could :eel myself slowly but Burely slipping further into the hideous gulf yawning to reoeive me. I gave one cry for mercy, and jrasped wildly about till I succeeded in lutohing one of the boards with which ;he shaft was lined. In another seoond my body had slid down with a jerk that nearly wrenched my hands from their olutcb, and I held one. Then a deathly aintness crept over me as I thought of he deptbs below, and imagined myself 'alling, falling helplessly into them. - Phe strain upon my arms became intolerable, and to ease it I tried to insert my ;oe8 between the crevices of the boards, crying franticaily but faintly for help all he while, though the sound of my own voice startled me, it was so strangely holow. As I raised myself a little, a piece of rotten wood broke off, and for a dread?ul moment I was hanging by one hand ; ut ere my quailing heart could give an other fluttering throb I had regained my rip anii found foothold, more than this I iared not venture in that profound darkness, but I told myself that I was comjaratively safe as long as my aching imbs would sustain mo. When they failed I knew that I should go down - down - down until I lay a mangled corpse by ;he side of the poor beast whose dying cry still rings in my ears. Those were minutes of horror, and I elieve I must have gone out of my head a bit, for I fancied that fearful sound came wailing up from the pit, and that ome invisible power was trying to drag me down into it. Then a temptation as ailed me to let go, to end at once the anxieties of my life and the pain and teror I was endurmg. But the pale face of Hary - Mary who was witcliing for me t home - rose before my eyes, and with enfiwed strength I held on, and prayed o b.eaven to save me. As if in answer to the prayer, a gleam f the moon's light broke through the murky clouds - vanished and then shone ut again so clearly, that I was able to jerceive a ladder not many feet away. is cautiously as my cramped limbs would ermit, I worked my way toward it ; and efore the clouds gathered again, I was cneeling on the bank above the pit, saved. Cold, weary, and sad, I made my way lome without interruption, and told May what had happened. As she hung bout my neck, shiveriug and sobbing, he made me promise that I would never gain be drawn into anytbing that my onscience told me wasn't just right ; and ;hank God I am able to say that - come a 1 1 nrao ri q fv Tjii 1 .1 Vi q tra Kfjnn tq i ri 'ui to my


Old News
Michigan Argus