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SERGEANT JULIAN WYATT RECEIVES THE CROSS OF THE
LEGION OF HONOUR.
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS
A STORY OF
NAPOLEON'S RETREAT FROM MOSCOW
G. A. HENTY
Author of "Beric the Briton ", "One of the 28th", "Condemned as a Nihilist"
"For Name and Fame", "In the Heart of the Rockies", &c.
WITH EIGHT ILLUSTRATIONS BY IV. H. OVEREND
AND A MAP
BLACKIE & SON, LIMITED, 50 OLD BAILEY, E.C.
GLASGOW AND DUBLIN
There are few campaigns that, either in point of the
immense scale upon which it was undertaken, the complete-
ness of its failure, or the enormous loss of life entailed,
appeal to the imagination in so great a degree as that of
Napoleon against Russia. Fortunately, we have in the
narratives of Sir Robert Wilson, British commissioner with
the Russian army, and of Count Segur, who was upon
Napoleon's staff, minute descriptions of the events as seen
by eye-witnesses, and besides these the campaign has been
treated fully by various military writers. I have as usual
avoided going into details of horrors and of acts of cruelty
and ferocity on both sides, surpassing anything in modern
warfare, and have given a mere outline of the operations,
with a full account of the stern fight at Smolensk and the
terrible struggle at Borodino. I would warn those of my
readers who may turn to any of the military works for a
further history of the campaign, that the spelling of Russian
places and names varies so greatly in the accounts of different
writers, that sometimes it is difficult to believe that the
same person or town is meant, and even in the narratives
by Sir Robert Wilson, and by Lord Cathcart, our ambas-
sador at St. Petersburg, who was in constant communication
with him, scarcely a name will be found similarly spelt.
I mention this, as otherwise much confusion might be caused
by those who may compare my story with some of these
recognized authorities, or follow the incidents of the cam-
paign upon maps of Russia.
G. A. HENTY.
I. Two BROTHERS,.....
II. BEFORE THE JUSTICES, .
III. IN A FRESH SCRAPE, .
IV. THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE, .
V. FOLLOWING A TRAIL, .
VI. A COMMISSION .
VII. A FRENCH PRISON .
VIII. PISTOL PRACTICE, .
IX. A DUEL, ......
X. SMOLENSK, . ..
XI. WITH THE RUSSIAN ARMY, .
XII. BORODINO, . .
XIII. WITH THE REAR-GUARDn, .
XIV. NEY'S RETREAT . .
XV. IN COMFORTABLE QUARTERS, .
XVI. AN UNEXPECTED MEETING,
. . 11
. . 31
. . 49
. . 68
. . 86
. . 106
. . 163
. . 201
. . 250
. . 272
. . 302
. . 320
SERGEANT JULIAN WYATT RECEIVES THE CROSS OF THE LEGION
OF HONOUR, . . .. Frontis. 261
"MARK MY WORDS, YOU YOUNG SCOUNDREL, I WILL BE EVEN
WITH YOU YET, . . 58
JULIAN FINDS HIMSELF A PRISONER AMONG THE SMUGGLERS, 66
"CAPTAIN MARSHALL'S PISTOL FELL TO THE GROUND, AND HE
STAGGERED BACK A PACE," .. .. .. 166
"ON THE MARCH LITTLE STEPHANIE OFTEN CHOSE TO BE
CARRIED ON JULIAN'S SHOULDER," . 269
I AM THE COUNTESS STEPHANIE WORONSKI. I AM GLAD TO
SEE YOU ...... . . 287
THE LAST OF A VETERAN OF NAPOLEON'S GRANDE ARmiE, 322
JULIAN INTRODUCES STEPHANIE TO HIS BROTHER FRANK, 333
Map showing the Route of Napoleon's March to Moscow, 185
Plan of the Battle of Smolensk, . . .. .192
Plan of the Battle of Borodino, . . .. 221
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
HEN Colonel Wyatt died, all Weymouth agreed
that it was a most unfortunate thing for his sons
Julian and Frank. The loss of a father is always
a misfortune to lads, but it was more than
usually so in this case. They had lost their mother years
before, and Colonel Wyatt's sister had since kept house
for him. As a housekeeper she was an efficient substitute,
as a mother to the boys she was a complete failure. How
she ever came to be Colonel Wyatt's sister was a puzzle
to all their acquaintances. The Colonel was quick and
alert, sharp and decisive in speech, strong in his opinions,
peremptory in his manner, kindly at heart, but irascible
in temper. Mrs. Troutbeck was gentle and almost timid
in manner; report said that she had had a hard time of it
in her married life, and that Troutbeck had frightened out
of her any vestige of spirit that she had ever possessed.
Mrs. Troutbeck never argued, and was always in perfect
agreement with any opinion expressed, a habit that was
constantly exciting the wrath and indignation of her
12 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
The idea of controlling the boys never once entered her
mind. So long as the Colonel was alive there was no
occasion for such control, and in this respect she did not
attempt after his death to fill his place. It seemed, indeed,
that she simply transferred her allegiance from the Colonel
to them. Whatever they did was right in her eyes, and
they were allowed to do practically whatever they pleased.
There was a difference in age of three years and a half be-
tween the brothers; Julian at the time of his father's death
being sixteen, while Frank was still a few months short of
thirteen. Casual acquaintances often remarked that there
was a great likeness between them; and, indeed, both were
pleasant-looking lads with somewhat fair complexions, their
brown hair having a tendency to stand up in a tuft on the
forehead, while both had grey eyes, and square foreheads.
Mrs. Troutbeck was always ready to assent to the remark
as to their likeness, but would gently qualify it by saying
that it did not strike her so much as it did other people.
"Their dispositions are quite different," she said, "and
knowing them as I do, I see the same differences in their
Any close observer would, indeed, have recognized it at
once. Both faces were pleasant, but while Julian's wore an
expression of easy good temper, and a willingness to please
and to be pleased, there was a lack of power and will in the
lower part of the face; there was neither firmness in the
mouth nor determination in the chin. Upon the other hand,
except when smiling or talking, Frank's lips were closely
pressed together, and his square chin and jaw clearly indi-
cated firmness of will and tenacity of purpose. Julian was
his aunt's favourite, and was one of the most popular boys
at his school. He liked being popular, and as long as it did
not put him to any great personal trouble was always ready
to fall in with any proposal, to take part in every prank,
to lend or give money if he had it in his pocket, to sympa-
thize with any one in trouble.
"He has the most generous disposition of any boy I ever
saw!" his aunt would frequently declare. "He's always
ready to oblige. No matter what he is doing, he will throw
it aside in a moment if I want anything done, or ask him
to go on an errand into the town. Frank is very nice, he
is very kind and all that sort of thing, but he goes his own
way more, and I don't find him quite so willing to oblige
as Julian; but then, of course, he is much younger, and one
can't expect a boy of twelve to be as thoughtful to an old
woman as a young fellow of nearly seventeen."
As time went on, the difference in their characters became
still more marked. Julian had left school a year after his
father's death, and had since been doing nothing in particu-
lar. He had talked vaguely of going into the army, and
his father's long services would have given him a claim
for a commission had he decided upon writing to ask for
one, but Julian could never bring himself to decide upon
anything. Had there been an old friend of his -father's
at hand ready to settle the matter for him he would have
made no opposition whatever, but his aunt was altogether
opposed to the idea, and so far from urging him to move
in the matter she was always ready to say, whenever it
happened to be mentioned, "There is no hurry, my dear
Julian. We hear terrible stories of the hardships that the
soldiers suffer in Spain; and although, if you decide upon
going, of course I can't say no, still there can be no hurry
This was quite Julian's own opinion. He was very com-
fortable where he was. He was his own master, and could
do as he liked. He was i! Ii.! C- supplied with pocket-money
by his aunt; he was fond of sailing, fishing, and shooting;
and as lie was a general favourite among the boatmen and
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
fishermen he was able to indulge in his fondness for the sea
to as large an extent as he pleased, though it was but seldom
that he had a chance of a day's shooting. Julian had other
tastes of a less healthy character; he was fond of billiards
and of society, he had a fine voice and a taste for music,
and the society he chose was not that most calculated to do
him good. He spent less and less of his time at home, and
rarely returned of an evening until the other members of
the household were in bed. Whatever his aunt thought
of the matter she never remonstrated with him, and was
always ready to make the excuse to herself, "I can't expect
a fine young fellow like that to be tied to an old woman's
apron-strings. Young men will be young men, and it is only
natural that he should find it dull at home."
When Julian arrived at the age of nineteen it was tacitly
understood that the idea of his going into the army had
been altogether dropped, and that when a commission was
asked for, it would be for Frank. Although Julian was
still her favourite, Mrs. Troutbeck was more favourably
disposed towards Frank than of old. She knew from her
friends that he was quite as popular among his school-
mates as his brother had been, although in a different way.
He was a hard and steady worker, but he played as hard
as he worked, and was a leader in every game. He, how-
ever, could say "no" with a decision that was at once recog-
nized as being final, and was never to be persuaded into
joining in any forbidden amusement or to take share in
any mischievous adventure. When his own work was done
he was always willing to give a quarter of an hour to assist
any younger lad who found his lessons too hard for him,
and though he was the last boy to whom any one would
think of applying for a loan of money, he would give to
the extent of his power in any case where a subscription
was raised for a really meritorious purpose.
Thus when the school contributed a handsome sum to-
wards a fund that was being raised for the relief of the
families of the fishermen who had been lost, when four of
their boats were wrecked in a storm, no one except the
boys who got up the collection knew that nearly half the
amount for which the school gained credit came from the
pocket of Frank Wyatt.
The brothers, though differing so widely in disposition,
were very fond of each other. In his younger years Frank
had looked up to his big brother as a sort of hero, and
Julian's good-nature and easy-going temper led him to be
always kind to his young brother, and to give him what
he valued most-assistance at his lessons and a patient
attention to all his difficulties. As the years went on,
Frank came to perceive clearly enough the weak points in
his brother's character, and with his usual outspokenness
sometimes remonstrated with him strongly.
It is horrible to see a fellow like you wasting your life
as you do, Julian. If you don't care for the army, why
don't you do something else I should not care what it
was, so that it but gave you something to occupy yourself,
and if it took you out of here, all the better. You know
that you are not doing yourself any good."
"I am not doing myself any harm, you young beggar,"
Julian replied good-temperedly.
"I don't know, Julian," the boy said sturdily; "you are
not looking half as well as you used to do. I am sure late
hours don't suit you, and there is no good to be got out of
billiards. I know the sort of fellows you meet there are
not the kind to do you any good, or that father would have
liked to see you associate with if he had been alive. Just
ask yourself honestly if you think he would. If you can
say 'yes', I will shut up and say no more about it; but can
you say 'yes' "
16 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
Julian was silent. "I don't know that I can," he said
after a pause. "There is no harm in any of them that I
know of, but I suppose that in the way you put it, they are
not the set father would have fancied, with his strict notions.
I have thought of giving it up a good many times, but it
is an awkward thing, when you are mixed up with a lot of
fellows, to drop them without any reason."
You have only got to say that you find late hours don't
agree with you, and that you have made up your mind to
cut it altogether."
"That is all very well for you, Frank, and I will do you
justice to say that if you determined to do a thing, you
would do it without minding what any one said."
Without minding what any one I did not care for, said,"
Frank interrupted. "Certainly; why should I heed a bit
what people I do not care for say, so long as I feel that I
am doing what is right."
"I wish I were as strong-willed as you are, Frank," Julian
said rather ruefully, "then I should not have to put up with
being bullied by a young brother."
"You are too good-tempered, Julian," Frank said, almost
angrily. Here are you, six feet high and as strong as a
horse, and with plenty of brain for anything, just wasting
your life. Look at the position father held here, and ask
yourself how many of his old friends do you know. Why,
rather than go on as you are doing, I would enlist and
go out to the Peninsula and fight the French. That
would put an end to all this sort of thing, and you could
come back again and start afresh. You will have money
enough for anything you like. You come into half father's
16,000 when you come of age, and I have no doubt that
you will have Aunt's money."
"Why should I Julian asked in a more aggrieved tone
than he had hitherto used.
"Because you are her favourite, Julian, and quite right
that you should be. You have always been awfully good
to her, and that is one reason why I hate you to be out of
an evening; for although she never says a word against
you, and certainly would not hear any one else do so, I tell
you it gives me the blues to see her face as she sits there
listening for your footsteps."
"It is a beastly shame, and I will give it up, Frank;
honour bright, I will."
"That is right, old fellow; I knew you would if you
could only once peep in through the window of an evening
and see her face."
As for her money," Julian went on, if she does not
divide it equally between us, I shall, you may be sure."
"I sha'n't want it," Frank said decidedly. "You know
I mean to go into the army, and with the interest of my
own money I shall have as much as I shall possibly want,
and if I had more it would only bother me, and do me harm
in my profession. With you it is just the other way. You
are the head of the family, and as Father's son ought to take
a good place. You could buy an estate and settle down
on it, and what with its management, and with horses and
hunting and shooting, you would be just in your element."
"Well, we will see about it when the time comes. I am
sure I hope the old lady will be with us for a long time
yet. She is as kind-hearted a soul as ever lived, though it
would have been better for me, no doubt, if she held the
reins a little tighter. Well, anyhow, Frank, I will cut
the billiards altogether."
They exchanged a silent grip of the hand on the promise,
and Julian, looking more serious than usual, put on his hat
and went out. There was a curious reversal of the usual
relations between the brothers. Julian, although he always
laughed at his young brother's assumption of the part of
S(M 90) B
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
mentor, really leant upon his stronger will, and as often as
not, even if unconsciously, yielded to his influence, while
Frank's admiration for his brother was heightened by the
unfailing good temper with which the latter received his
remonstrances and advice. "He is an awfully good fellow,"
he said to himself when Julian left the room. Anyone else
would have got into a rage at my interference; but he has
only one fault; he can't say no, and that is at the root of
everything. I can't understand myself why a fellow finds
it more difficult to say no than to say yes. If it is right
to do a thing one does it, if it is not right one leaves it
alone, and the worst one has to stand, if you don't do what
other fellows want, is a certain amount of chaff, and that
hurts no one."
Frank, indeed, was just as good-tempered as Julian, al-
though in an entirely different way. He had never been
known to be in a passion, tut put remonstrance and chaff
aside quietly, and went his own way without being in the
slightest degree affected by them.
Julian kept his promise, and was seen no more in the
billiard saloon. Fortunately for him the young fellows
with whom he was in the habit of playing were all towns-
men, clerks, the sons of the richer tradesmen, or of men
who owned fishing-boats or trading vessels, and others of
that class-not, indeed, as Frank had said, the sort of men
whom Colonel Wyatt would have cared for his son to have
associated with-but harmless young fellows who frequented
the billiard-rooms as a source of amusement and not of
profit, and who therefore had no motive for urging Julian
to play. To Mrs. Troutbeck's delight he now spent four or
five evenings at home, only going out for an hour to smoke
a pipe and to have a chat with the fishermen. Once or
twice a week he would be absent all night, going out, as he
told his aunt, for a night's fishing, and generally returning
in the morning with half a dozen mackerel or other fish as
his share of the night's work.
Sometimes he would ask Frank to accompany him, and
the latter, when he had no particular work on hand, would
do so, and thoroughly enjoyed the sport.
Smuggling was at the time carried on extensively, and
nowhere more actively than between Weymouth and Ex-
mouth on the one hand, and Swanage on the other. Con-
sequently, in spite of the vigilance of the revenue men,
cargoes were frequently run. The long projection of Chesil
Beach and Portland afforded a great advantage to the
smugglers; and Lieutenant Downes, who commanded the
revenue cutter Boxer, had been heard to declare that he
would gladly subscribe a year's pay if a channel could be
cut through the beach. Even when he obtained informa-
tion that a cargo was likely to be run to the west, unless
the winds and tides were alike propitious, it took so long
a time to get round Portland Bill that he was certain to
arrive too late to interfere with the landing, while, at times,
an adverse wind and the terrors of the "race" with its
tremendous current and angry waves would keep the Boxer
lying for days to the west of the Island, returning to Wey-
mouth only to hear that during her absence a lugger had
landed her cargo somewhere to the east.
"Job himself would have lost his temper if he had been a
revenue officer at Weymouth," Lieutenant Downes would
exclaim angrily. Why, sir, I would rather lie for three
months off the mouth of an African river looking for
slavers, than be stationed at Weymouth in search of smug-
gling craft, for a months it is enough to wear a man to a
thread-paper. Half the coast population seem to me to be
in alliance with these rascals, and I am so accustomed to
false information now, that as a rule when one of my men
gets a hint that a cargo is going to be run near So.!t.-.. I
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
start at once for the west, knowing well enough that where-
ever the affair is to come off it certainly will not be within
ten miles of the point named. Even in Weymouth itself
the sympathy of the population lies rather with the smug-
glers than the revenue men."
The long war with France had rendered brandy, French
wines, lace, and silks fabulously dear, and the heavy duties
charged reduced to a minimum the legitimate traffic that
might otherwise have been carried on; therefore, even well-
to-do people favoured the men who brought these luxuries to
their doors, at a mere fraction of the price that they would
otherwise have had to pay for them. Then, too, there was
an element of romance in the career of a smuggler who risked
his life every day, and whose adventures, escapes, and fights
with the revenue men were told round every fireside. The
revenue officer was not far wrong when he said that the
greater portion of the population round the coast, including
all classes, were friendly to, if not in actual alliance with,
the smugglers. Julian was well aware that many of the
fishermen with whom he went out often lent a hand to
the smugglers in landing their goods and taking them in-
land, or in hiding them in caves in the cliffs known only to
the smugglers and themselves. He had heard many stories
from them of adventures in which theyhad been engaged, and
the manner in which, by showing signal lights from the sea,
they had induced the revenue men to hurry to the spot at
which they had seen a flash, and so to leave the coast clear
for the landing of the goods.
"It must be great fun," he said one day. "I must say I
should like to take part in running a cargo, for once."
"Well, Master Julian, there would not be much difficulty
about that, if so be you really mean it. We can put you
up to it easy enough, but you know, sir, it isn't all fun.
Sometimes the revenue men come down upon us in spite of
all the pains we take to throw them off the scent. Captain
Downes is getting that artful that one is never sure whether
he has been got safely away or not. A fortnight ago he
pretty nigh came down on a lugger that was landing a cargo
in Lulworth Cove. We thought that it had all been man-
aged well. Word had gone round that the cargo was to be
run there, and the morning before, a woman went on to the
cliffs and got in talk with one of the revenue men. She
let out, as how her husband had been beating her, and she
had made up her mind to pay him out. There was going,
she said, to be a cargo run that night at a point half-way
between Weymouth and Lyme Regis.
I know she did the part well, as she acted it on three or
four of us afterwards, and the way she pretended to be in a
passion and as spiteful as a cat, would have taken any fellow
in. In course the revenue chap asked her what her name
was and where she lived, and I expect they did not find her
when they looked for her afterwards in the place she told
him. He wanted her to go with him to the officer of the
station, but she said that she would never do that, for if it
got to be known that she had peached about it, it would
be as much as her life was worth. Well, a boy who was
watching saw the revenue chap go off, as soon as she was
out of sight, straight to the coast-guard station, and ten
minutes later the officer in charge there set off for Wey-
"The boy followed and he saw him go on board the
Boxer. Directly afterwards Captain Downes came ashore
with him and had a long talk with the chief of the coast-
guard there; then he went on board again, and we all
chuckled when we saw the Boxer get up her anchor, set
all sail, make out to Portland, and go round the end of
the rock. Two hours later a look-out on the hills saw her
bearing out to sea to the south-west, meaning, in course, to
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
run into the bay after it was dark. On shore the officer at
Weymouth got a horse and rode along the cliffs to the east-
ward. He stopped at each coast-guard station, right on
past Lulworth, and soon afterwards three parts of the men
at each of them turned out and marched away west.
"We thought that we had fooled them nicely, and that
evening half a dozen of our boats sailed into Lulworth
harbour and anchored there quiet. One of them rowed
ashore and landed two hands to look round. They brought
back news as there were only two or three revenue men left
at the station, and it would be easy enough to seize them
and tie them up till it was all over. In course, everything
worked for a bit just as we thought it would. The lugger
we were expecting showed her light in the offing and was
signalled that the coast was clear. It was a dark night,
and the two revenue men on duty in the cove were seized
and tied up by some of the shore band without a blow
being struck. Two or three chaps were placed at the door
of the station, so that if the two men left there turned
out they would be gagged at once. Everything was ready,
and a big lot of carts -came down to the water's edge.
The lugger anchored outside the cove; we got up our kedges
and rowed out to her, and a dozen shore-boats did the same.
As soon as we got alongside they began to bundle the kegs
in, when not three hundred yards away came a hail, 'What
craft is that?'
"It struck us all into a heap, and you could have heard a
pin drop. Then came the hail again, 'If you don't answer
I will sink you;' whereupon the skipper of the lugger
shouted out, 'The Jennie of Portsmouth.' 'Lend a hand,
lads, with the sails,' he whispered to us; 'slip the cable,
Tom.' We ran up the sails in a jiffy, you may be sure, and
all the sharper that, as they were half-way up, four guns
flashed out. One hulled the lugger, the others flew over-
head. Close as they were they could not have seen us, for
we could scarce see them and we were under the shadow
of the cliffs, but I suppose they fired at the voices. Sink
the tubs, lads,' the skipper said as the lugger glided away
from us. There was a nice little air blowing off shore, and
she shot away into the darkness in no time. We all rowed
into the mouth of the cove for shelter, and were only just
in time, for a shower of grape splashed the water up a few
yards behind us.
We talked it over for a minute or two, and settled that
the Boxer would be off after the lugger and would not pay
any more attention to us. Some of them were in favour of
taking the kegs that we had got ashore, but the most of us
were agin that, and the captain himself had told us to sink
them, so we rowed out of the cove again and tied sinkers
to the kegs and lowered them down three or four hundred
yards west of the mouth of the cove. We went on board
our boats and the other chaps went on shore, and you may
guess we were not long in getting up our sails and creeping
out of the cove. It was half an hour after the first shots
were fired before we heard the Boxer at it again. I reckon
that in the darkness they could not make out whether the
lugger had kept along east or west under the cliffs, and I
expect they went the wrong way at first, and only found
her at last with their night-glasses when she was running
out to sea.
"Well, next morning we heard that the shore men had
not landed five minutes when there was a rush of forty or
fifty revenue men into the village. There ain't no doubt
they had only gone west to throw us off our guard, and,
as soon as it was dark, turned and went eastward. They
could not have known that the job was to come off at Lul-
worth, but were on the look-out all along, and I reckon
that it was the same with the Boxer. She must have
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
beaten back as soon as it was dark enough for her not to be
seen from the hills, and had been crawling along on the
look-out close to the shore, when she may have caught sight
of the lugger's signal. Indeed, we heard afterwards that it
called back the coast-guard men, for they had passed Lul-
worth and were watching at a spot between that and St.
Alban's Head, where a cargo had been run a month or two
before, when they caught sight of the signal off Lulworth.
Well, you may guess they did not get much for their pains.
The carts had all made off as soon as they heard the
Boxer's guns, and knew that the game was up, for the night
anyhow, and they found every light out in Lulworth, and
everyone, as it seemed, fast asleep. I believe, from what I
have heard, that there was a great row afterwards between
Captain Downes and the revenue officer ashore. The chap
ashore would have it that it was all the captain's fault for
being in such a hurry, and that if he had waited an hour
they would have got all the carts with the cargo, even if
he had not caught the lugger.
"Well, that was true enough; but I don't see that Downes
was to blame, for until he came along he could not be sure
where the lugger was, and indeed she was so close in under
the cliff that it is like enough he would have missed her
altogether and have gone on another two or three miles, if
it had not been that they caught the noise of the boats
alongside her taking in the kegs. The lugger got away all
right; she is a fast craft, and though the Boxer can walk
along in a strong wind, in a light breeze the lugger had the
legs of her altogether. That shows you, Mr. 'Julian, that
Captain Downes has cut his eye-teeth, and that it is mighty
hard to fool him. He was never nearer making a good
capture than he was that night. The lugger ran her cargo
two nights afterwards at the very spot where the woman
had told the revenue man that she was going to do it.
There was a little bit of a fight, but the coast-guard were
not strong enough to do any good, and had to make off,
and before they could bring up anything like a strong force,
every bale and keg had been carried inland, and before
morning there was scarce a farmhouse within ten miles
that had not got some of it stowed away in their snug
hiding-places. Downes will be more vicious than ever after
that job, and you see, master, you are like to run a goodish
risk of getting your head broke and of being hauled off to
jail. Still, if you would like to join some night in a run
we can put you in the way."
Yes, I should like it very much," Julian said. "There
can't be much risk, for there has not been anything like a
regular fight anywhere along this part of the coast for the
last two years, and from what I have heard, there must
have been twenty cargoes run in that time."
"All that, sir, all that; nigher thirty, I should say.
There is three luggers at it regular."
"Are they French or English?"
Two of them is French and one English, but the
crews are all mixed. They carry strong crews all of
them, and a longish gun in their sterns, so that in case
they are chased they may have a chance of knocking away
a spar out of anything after them. They would not fight if
a cutter came up alongside them-that might make a hang-
ing matter of it, while if none of the revenue chaps are killed
it is only a case of long imprisonment, though the English
part of the crew generally have the offer of entering on a
king's ship instead, and most of them take it. Life on
board a man-of-war may not be a pleasant one, but after
all it is better than being boxed up in a prison for years.
Anyhow, that is the light in which I should look at it
"I should think so," Julian agreed. "However, you see
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
there is no great risk in landing the kegs, for it is very
seldom you get so nearly caught as you did at Lulworth.
Let me know when the next affair is coming off, Bill, and if it
is anywhere within a moderate distance of Weymouth I will
go with you if you will take me. Anyhow, whether I go
or not, you may be quite sure that I shall keep the matter
"The most active chap about here," Bill said after he had
hauled his nets, and the boat was making her way back to
Weymouth, "is that Faulkner. He is a bitter bad one, he
is. Most of the magistrates about here don't trouble their
heads about smuggling, and if they find a keg of first class
brandy quite accidental any morning on their doorstep, they
don't ask where it comes from, but just put it down into
their cellars. Sometimes information gets sworn before
them, and they has to let the revenue people know, but
somehow or other, I can't say how it is," and the fisherman
gave a portentous wink, our fellows generally get some
sort of an idea that things ain't right, and the landing
don't come off as expected; queer, ain't it? But that fel-
low Faulkner, he ain't like that. He worries hisself about
the smugglers just about as much as Captain Downes does.
He is just as hard on smugglers as he is on poachers, and
he is wonderful down on them, he is. Do you know him,
"I know him by sight. He is a big, pompous man; his
place is about two miles up the valley, and there are some
large woods round it."
"That is so, sir; and they say as they are choke-full of
pheasants. He has a lot of keepers, and four years ago
there was a desperate fight there. Two keepers and three
poachers got shot, and two others were caught; they were
tried at the 'sizes for murder, and hanged. He is a regular
bully, he is, but he ain't no coward. If he was he would
never stir out after sunset, but instead of that he is out
night after night on the cliffs, when there is any talk of a
cargo being run. He is known to carry pistols about with
him, and so, though his life has been threatened many
times, nothing has ever come of it. One thing is, he has
got a big black horse, about the best horse there is in this
part of the country, and he always rides mighty fast down
into the town or up on to the cliffs, where he gets among the
revenue men, and in course he is safe enough. He was
down with that lot at Lulworth that night, and they say he
cussed and swore loud enough to be heard all over the
village, when they found that they had got there too late.
He is a bitter, bad weed, is Faulkner."
"I know he is very unpopular even in the town," Julian
said. "He is the hardest magistrate on the bench, and if
it were not for the others not a man brought before him
would ever get off. I have heard that he is very much
disliked by the other magistrates, and that some time ago,
when he wanted to join the club, they would not have him
at any price. I can't make out why a fellow should go out
of his way to make himself disliked. I can understand
his being down on poachers; no one likes to be robbed,
but the smuggling cannot make any difference to him one
way or the other."
"No; that is what we says. It don't concern him, 'cept
that magistrates are bound in a sort of way to see that
the law is not broken. But why shouldn't he do like the
others and go on his way quiet, onless he gets an informa-
tion laid before him, or a warning from the revenue people
as he is wanted. You mark my words, Master Julian, some
night that chap will get a bullet or a charge of shot in his
After this Julian went on more than one occasion with
Bill and other fishermen to look on at the landing of con-
28 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
traband cargoes. If the distance was within a walk they
would start from Weymouth straight inland, and come
down by the road along which the carts were to fetch the
goods up, for it was only occasionally that the fishermen
would take their boats. At Lulworth, of course, there had
been no risk in their doing so, as boats, when fishing to the
east, would often make their way into the cove and drop
anchor there for a few hours. But when the run was to be
made at lonely spots, the sight of fishing boats making in to
anchor would have excited the suspicions of the coast-guard
on the cliffs. The number of fishermen who took part in
the smugglers' proceedings was but small. All of these had
either brothers or other relations on board the luggers, or
were connected with some of the smugglers' confederates on
shore. They received a handsome sum for their night's
work, which was at times very hard, as the kegs had often
to be carried up steep and dangerous paths to the top of the
cliffs, and then a considerable distance across the downs to
the nearest point the carts could come to.
It was the excitement of the adventure, however, rather
than the pay, and the satisfaction derived from outwitting
the revenue men, that was the main attraction to the fisher-
men. Julian took no share in the work. He went dressed
in the rough clothes he wore on the fishing excursions at
night, and heartily enjoyed the animated bustle of the scene,
as scores of men carrying kegs or bales on their backs, made
their way up some narrow ravine, silently laid down their
loads beside the carts and pack-horses, and then started back
again for another trip. He occasionally lent a hand to lash
the kegs on either side of the horses, or to lift a bale into
the cart. No one ever asked any question; it was assumed
that he was there with one of the carts, and he recognized
the wisdom of Bill's advice the first time he went out.
"It is best not to speak till you are spoken to, Master
Julian; there is more chaps there besides yourself, as are
thought to be sound asleep in their beds at Weymouth, and
it is just as well to keep yourself to yourself. There is
never no knowing when things may go wrong, and then it
is as likely as not that some one may peach, and the fewer
names as comes out the better. Now you mind, sir, if there
is an alarm, and the revenue chaps come down on us, you
just make a bolt at once. It ain't no business of yours, one
way or the other. You ain't there to make money or to
get hold of cheap brandy; you just go to look on and
amuse yourself, and all you have got to do is to make off
as hard as you can go directly there is an alarm. Everyone
else does the same as gets a chance, I can tell you. The
country people never fight; though the smugglers, if they
are cornered and can't get back to the lugger without it,
will use their weapons if they see a chance; but you have
got nothing to do with that. Don't you wait a minute
for me and my mates, for we shall bolt too. If we were
on the shore when they came on us we should embark
with the crew and get on board the lugger. In course, if
just a few of the revenue men were fools enough to come
on us, they would be tumbled over in double quick time,
and tied up till the goods were all taken inland, and be left
till some of their mates found them in the morning.
"That is how it is, you know, that we get most of our
cargoes run. One of the chaps on the cliff may make us
out, but you see it takes a long time to send along the
line and get enough of them together to interfere with us.
Unless they have got a pretty good strong force together,
they ain't such fools as to risk their lives by meddling
with a hundred men or more, with a lot of valuable goods
to land, and the knowledge that if they are caught it is a
long term in jail. The men know well enough that if there
is anything on, there will be a watch kept over them, and
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
that if they were to fire a pistol as a signal, there would be
news of it sent to the smugglers in no time. Sometimes,
too, the coast-guards nearest the point where the landing is
to be, are pounced on suddenly and tied up. I reckon, too,
that a good many of them keep an eye shut as long as they
can, and then go off pretty leisurely to pass the word along
that they have heard oars or have seen signals, especially
if they have got a hot-headed boatswain in charge of their
station, a sort of chap who would want to go down to
meddle with a hundred men, with only five or six at his
back. A man with a wife and some children, perhaps, don't
relish the thought of going into a bad scrimmage like that
if he can keep out of it; why should he? He gets a bit of
money if they make a good seizure, but he knows well
enough that he ain't going to make a seizure unless he has
got a pretty strong party; and you take my word for it,
four times out of five when we make a clear run, it is
because the coast-guard keep an eye closed as long as they
dare. They know well enough that it ain't such an un-
common thing for a man to be found at the bottom of the
cliff, without anything to show how he got there, and the
coroner's jury finds as it was a dark night and he tumbled
over, and they brings in a verdict according. But it ain't
every man as cares about taking the risk of accidents of
that kind, and, somehow or other, they happens to just
the chaps as is wonderful sharp and active. They have all
been sailors, you know, and are ready enough for a fight
when they are strong enough to have a chance, but that is
a very different thing from walking backwards and forwards
on a dark night close to the edge of a cliff, three or four
hundred feet high, without a comrade within a quarter of a
mile, and the idea that an accident of this kind might occur
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
ONE morning when Frank was dressing, the servant came
up and told him that a fisherman, who said his name
was Bill Bostock, wanted to speak to him. As he had often
been out with Julian in the man's boat, he put on his jacket
and ran to the door.
"Good morning, Bill!" he said; "what is it ?"
"I will talk with you outside, sir, if you don't mind."
A good deal surprised, Frank put on his cap and went out
"There has been a bad business, Master Frank, a mighty
"What sort of a job, Bill?"
"A smuggling affair, Master Frank. There was a fight.
I hears one of the revenue men was killed. I don't know
as that is so, but some of them have been knocked about,
and have got some pistol wounds, no doubt. But that ain't
the worst part of the business. Mr. Julian is among those
as has been caught."
"Julian!" Frank exclaimed in astonishment. "Why,
what in the world had Julian got to do with it?"
"Well, sir," the sailor said apologetically, "you see it was
like this. Mr. Julian is a young gentleman as loves a bit
of a spree, and he has been out many a night with some of
us to see a cargo run."
Frank uttered an exclamation of surprise and consterna-
"I thought perhaps as you knowed it, sir."
"I never dreamt of such a thing, Bill. How could Julian
have been so mad as to mix himself up in such a business ?
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
I suppose this is your doing; you must have led him into
"No, sir," the sailor said in an aggrieved voice. "How
was I to lead a young gentleman like your brother into a
thing as he didn't choose to do? I don't say as I didn't
mention to him, promiscuous like, that I lent a hand some-
times in running a cargo; but how was I to know as he
would up and say, 'I will go with you some night, Bill'.
Well, I argues with him, and I points out to him as he
might get into a scrape; but, says he, 'I am not going to
take no share in it, but just want to look on and see the
fun', as he calls it. I points out to him as it was not always
fun, but he puts that aside, and, says he, it would not be
fun unless there was a little excitement about it. He pro-
mised me faithful that he would always cut and run as soon
as he heard there was any talk of the revenue men a-coming,
and what was I to do? I don't say, sir, as how if it had
been you I would have taken you with me, 'cause you are
young, you see, and I should have felt as I was 'sponsible
for you. But Mr. Julian is a man now, and when he says,
'I mean to go with you anyhow, Bill', it was not for me
to say, you sha'n't go. Mr. Julian, he is a sort of gent that
gets over one somehow, and there ain't no saying 'no' to
"Well, it is of no use talking about that now," Frank
said impatiently. "First tell me all about it, and then we
will see what had best be done."
"Well, Master Frank, it was eight miles to the west.
The chaps concerned in it thought they had managed to
throw dust into the eyes of Captain Downes, and to get the
Boxer away to Swanage, and how he got wind of the affair,
and where it was to be, is more nor I can tell. Everything
was going on smooth enough, and half the cargo was in the
carts, when all of a sudden there was a shout 'Surrender,
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
you scoundrels!' and that fellow Faulkner dashed up with a
pistol in his hand, and behind him came a score of revenue
men. I dodged under a cart and bolted. I heard some
pistol shots fired, for just at that time a lot of the smugglers
had come up to the carts with kegs. As if the firing on
shore had been a signal, I heard directly after some guns
down by the water, and knew that Downes and the Boxer
had come on the lugger. I made straight back, but I could
not sleep all night for wondering whether Mr. Julian had
got off too, and I was up afore it was light, and went round
to one or two of the other chaps as was there. One had
not come back; the other had only been in half an hour.
He had hid up, close to where we was surprised.
"After it was over the revenue chaps lit a lot of lanterns
and then made a big fire, and by its light my mate could
see pretty well what was going on. They had got about
twenty prisoners. Most of the country people and carts
had, luckily enough for them, gone off with their loads a few
minutes afore the revenue men came up. A dozen pack-
horses and three or four carts had been took, and, in course,
all the loads the men were carrying up. Among those who
was took was Mr. Julian. He was standing close to me
when they came up, and I expect he was collared immediate.
Faulkner, he sat down on a tub by the side of the fire and
takes out a book, and the prisoners was brought up one by
one and questions asked them. Mr. Julian was one of the
last. Faulkner got up from his seat and rowed him tre-
mendous. What he said my mate could not catch, but
he could hear his voice, and he was going on at him cruel;
then I suppose Mr. Julian lost his temper, and my mate
says he could see that he was giving it him back hot. I
expect it was something wonderful hard and nasty he said,
for Faulkner jumped at him and hit him in the face. Then
your brother threw himself on him. My mate says he would
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
have thrown him backwards into the fire, if some of the
revenue men had not seized him and dragged him off.
"After that there was a row between Faulkner and Captain
Downes, who had come up just before with half a dozen
sailors. I expect Downes was telling him that he ought to
be ashamed of himself. Anyhow they got to high words,
as was easy to be heard. Half an hour later most of them
started with the prisoners, leaving half a dozen of the
officers to look after the things they had taken. When they
had gone, my mate went down close to the water, and was
able to make out the cutter and the lugger anchored close
together-so she has been caught. There was nothing else
to wait for, so he tramped off home and had only been in
a few minutes before I came to him."
"This is awful," Frank said, in dismay. "The only thing
I see that can be done is for me to go and have a talk with
Captain Downes. He was a friend of my father's; and I
think he is a kind-hearted man, though, of course, he has to
be sharp in carrying out his duty of trying to put down
smuggling. Well, I will run in for breakfast now, or my
aunt will wonder what has become of me; then I will go
straight on board the Boxer."
"She is not in yet," Bill said. "She would not start
until daylight; and I don't suppose she will be round for
another two hours. You see she is not clear of Portland
"That is unfortunate. However, I hope I shall see him
before the magistrates sit. What time do they meet l"
"They generally sit at eleven o'clock; but it ain't their
day, and they will have to be summoned special. I should
not wonder if they don't meet till two o'clock; because they
could not be sure what tim= the Boxer will get round, and,
as he will have taken some prisoners in the lugger, they
would not begin until he arrived."
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
"Very well; I will go round to the court-house after
breakfast, and inquire what time the sitting will be. Any-
how, I hope to be able to see the lieutenant before they
meet. I don't know that any good can come of it; for, as
he had nothing to do with Julian's capture, he certainly
would not be able to save him from ip. ..'i ", especially
after that row with Faulkner."
He's a bad un that, Master Frank, and I wish your
brother had chucked himinto that fire. Abitof burning might
have done him good; and, if ever a chap deserved it, he did."
Frank went back into the house.
"My dear Frank," Mrs. Troutbeck exclaimed, "where
have you been? I have never known you keep breakfast
waiting before. Why, what is the matter, dear Nothing
about Julian, I hope; hasn't he come home yet 1"
"No, Aunt; and I am sorry to say that he has got into
an awkward scrape. It seems that he went out, for the fun
of the thing, to see a cargo run. The revenue people came
up, and he was one of those who were caught. Of course
he had nothing to do with the smuggling part of the busi-
ness, nor with a bit of a fight there was. Still, as he was
there, I am afraid there is no doubt that he will have to
appear before the magistrates with the others."
Mrs. Troutbeck sat in speechless consternation.
"Oh, dear! oh, dear!" she exclaimed at last. "How
could he have been so silly? It is dreadful, my dear, and
it will be such a disgrace. What shall we do?"
"There is nothing to do, Aunt, that I can see. As to
the disgrace, that is nothing very dreadful. No end of
people are mixed up in smuggling; and I have heard that
many of the gentry wink at it, and are glad enough to
buy a keg of brandy cheap without asking any questions
where it comes from. So the mere fact that Julian went to
have a look at a cargo being run is not anything very serious.
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
I suppose it was against the law even to be present, but
there was nothing disgraceful about it. It is lucky my
holidays began last week, and if there is anything to be
done I can do it."
"Could not Mr. Downes get him off? He used often to
be here in your father's time, though I have not seen much
of him since; but I am sure he would do anything he could."
"I have been thinking of that, Aunt. The Boxer was
there last night and captured the smuggler, but her crew
had nothing to do with the fight on shore; and, therefore,
I don't think there is any chance of his being able to inter-
fere in the matter. Still, I will see him as soon as the
cutter comes in."
On going down to the court-house, Frank found that
the magistrates would meet at two o'clock. Then, as the
Boxer had only just appeared round Portland, he went and
saw the chief officer of the coast-guard, to endeavour to
obtain permission to have an interview with Julian.
"I am sorry I can do nothing in the matter, lad," he re-
plied. It is out of my hands, owing to a magistrate being
present at the capture. It was, indeed, his business more
than ours; for it was he who obtained information of the
affair, and called upon us to aid him in the capture of men
engaged in unlawful practices. Therefore, you see, the
prisoners are in the hands of the civil authorities. I hear
he has given strict orders that no one is, on any pretence,
to speak to the prisoners."
"I hear that he struck my brother."
"I don't know how you heard it, lad, but it is true.
However, I do not feel at liberty to say anything about it.
I am very sorry for your brother, who is a fine young
fellow. However, I hope that as he was unarmed, and was
not, I suppose, actually concerned in the smuggling business,
the matter will be passed over lightly, even if he is not
BEFORE TIE JUSTICES.
discharged at once. At any rate, we shall in no way press
the case against him."
Frank, indeed, afterwards learned that the officer dropped
a hint to the men to make as little as possible of Julian's
capture, and of the vigorous resistance he had made when
The Boxer dropped anchor off the town at twelve o'clock,
and the lieutenant landed at once. The officer of the coast-
guard went down to meet him on the quay, and for half
an hour they walked up and down the parade together, in
earnest conversation. Frank remained on the opposite side
of the road until they stopped, and the commander of the
Boxer beckoned to him.
"Well, lad," he said, as Frank came up, "this is a nasty
scrape that your brother has got into; but I don't think
they can do anything to him. Mr. Moorsby has been
telling me that you have been to him; but neither he nor I
can do anything in the matter-it is in the civil hands. If it
had been anyone else but Faulkner who had been in charge,
I have no doubt it could have been managed. Of course,
your brother ought not to have been there, but as he was
only looking on, and taking no active part in the affair, he
might have been released without any difficulty. However,
I don't think you need worry yourself. Certainly, we shall
not press the case against him. It is unfortunate that he
used his tongue as sharply as he did to Mr. Faulkner, though
I don't say but that he had great provocation, or that what
he said was not perfectly true; still, it would have been much
better left unsaid. However, I question if before the hearing
is over Faulkner will not have cause to regret that he did
not let your brother go home as soon as they got back here."
He nodded, and Frank understood that there was no
more to say, and, thanking the officer, turned and walked
off home. The fisherman met him on the way.
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"You keep up your heart, Mr. Frank. Me and some of
the others have been having a talk with the coast-guards,
and they will be all right. Of course, there is not one of
them that does not know Mr. Julian, so they won't say
more than they can help against him; and every one of
them is glad to hear that he gave it to that Faulkner hot.
He ain't no more a favourite with them than he is with
other people, and it was not by their own will that they
ran in and pulled your brother off him. If they hadn't,
he would not have been sitting on the bench to-day, nor
for many a week, I reckon; for he would have been pretty
badly burned if he had fallen across that fire. So you
may be sure that they will make it easy for Mr. Julian,
and I expect you will have him back home this evening.
They would never have took him at all if they had known
who he was; but, of course, being dark, and he in his fish-
ing togs, they did not see it was him."
Frank returned home in much better spirits than he had
left. His aunt was standing at the window, and hurried to
the door to let him in.
"Well, Frank, have you got him outl? I hoped you
would have brought him home with you."
"There was no chance of that, Aunt. Of course, when
anyone is taken and locked up, he cannot be discharged
until the case has been gone into. But I have seen Mr.
Moorsby, the coast-guard officer on shore, and Captain
Downes, and they both say that the case will not be pressed
against him, and that, as he was not taking any part in the
affair, and merely looking on, they don't think anything
will be done to him. The coast-guardsmen who will have
to give evidence all know him, and will not say anything
against him if they can help it. So I should not be at all
surprised, Aunt, if we have him back here this afternoon."
Oh, I do wish," Mrs. Troutbeck said tearfully, "that it
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
could have been managed so that he would not have been
obliged to be placed in the dock with smugglers and all
sorts of people."
"It would, no doubt, have been better if it could have
been avoided, Aunt, but there is no helping it; and if he is
discharged it won't go for much against him-certainly not
here, where nobody regards smuggling as a crime."
At half-past one Frank went down to the court-house. It
was already crowded, but Captain Downes, who came up
at the same moment, took him in, and obtained a place for
him at the solicitors' table. The seizure had created quite a
sensation in Weymouth, not only because two or three Wey-
mouth men were among the prisoners, but because, owing
to the fight that had taken place, the matter was very much
more serious than a mere capture of contraband goods.
There was a general buzz of conversation until three magis-
trates came in and took their places, and there was a little
murmur of satisfaction as Colonel Chambers, the chairman,
took his seat; for, had he not been present, Mr. Faulkner,
who was next in seniority, would have taken the chair. A
minute later, twelve prisoners were brought in. Five
Frenchmen and two English were a portion of the crew of
the smuggler; two were farmers' men, the drivers of the
carts; one was a local fisherman; the eleventh was one of
the party that had gone from Weymouth; Julian Wyatt
made up the number.
Two or three of the party had their heads bandaged up;
one had his arm in a sling; several others had marks of
hard knocks, and Julian a pair of black eyes. When
the little murmur that followed the entry of the prisoners
had subsided, and the crier had called out "Silence in
court!" the inquiry began.
Mr. Moorsby was the first witness. He deposed that
having received information that a landing of contraband
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
goods was likely to take place, he, accompanied by Mr.
Faulkner, who represented the civil authorities, went to the
spot. They perceived that a landing of goods was taking
place; but, as it had been arranged that his party should
not show themselves until the revenue cutter came up and
seized the lugger, they remained in hiding until they heard
from a man placed down by the shore that the cutter was
coming in. Then they rushed out and seized the parties
engaged in the proceedings. Some of them resisted violently,
and a serious fray took place. Three of his men were
wounded with pistol shots, one of them very seriously. One
of the smugglers had been killed, and three were so seriously
injured that they could not at present be placed in the dock.
"Are any of the prisoners represented in court ?" the
A solicitor sitting next to Frank rose. "I represent Mr.
Julian Wyatt," he said. Frank looked up at him in sur-
prise. The idea of obtaining legal assistance for Julian
had not occurred to him, and he wondered how his brother
had been able to communicate with a solicitor. I would
suggest, your honour," the latter went on, "that the evi-
dence should be taken separately in the different charges,
as there is a considerable difference in the position of
Another solicitor rose. "I appear for John Turnbull
and William Sims," he said, "and I would support the
appeal of Mr. Probert. My clients, who are farming men,
took no part whatever in the fray, which is the serious
portion of the affair. While I am ready to admit that they
were engaged in the illegal operation of aiding in the land-
ing of contraband goods, I shall be able to prove that they
are innocent of the more serious charge of resisting by force
their capture by the revenue officers, and with using deadly
weapons against the representatives of the law, and that
BEFORE TIHE JUSTICES.
their case stands in an altogether different category to that
of the main body of the prisoners."
"You do not intend, I hope," Mr. Faulkner said, "to ex-
press a wish that we should have what would practically be
twelve investigations instead of one, or that the witnesses
should all be obliged to go that number of times into the box."
"By no means, your honour; I am only intimating my
intention of cross-examining each witness as to the share my
clients took in the affair, and pointing out beforehand that
their case stands on an entirely different footing to that of
the men who took part in the more serious charge of resist-
ing the officers."
One after another of the coast-guard men gave their evi-
dence, each identifying one or more of the prisoners in whose
capture they had taken a personal part. None of the first
five had anything to say regarding Julian. Then James
Wingfield entered the box. After stating that he was the
coxswain of the Weymouth coast-guard boat he proceeded:
"When Mr. Moorsby gave the order I ran forward. I
saw a biggish man standing with his hands in the pockets
of his pea-jacket. He seemed to be looking on, and was not
at work; but, thinking that he might be a leader, me and
Harry Wilkens ran at him and seized him. It was not
until afterwards we knew that he was Mr. Julian Wyatt.
After we had caught him I handed him over to Wilkens, and
that is all I know about him."
He then proceeded to testify against several of the other
prisoners in whose capture he had taken part. When he
had finished his evidence, Julian's solicitor rose.
"You say that the prisoner you first took, Mr. Wyatt,
was taking no active part in the affair "
"No, sir, he was just standing there looking on."
"And did he resist the capture?"
"Not to say resist, sir. When we first clapped hands on
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
him he gave a start, for we had come upon him sudden,
without noise. He just tried to shake us off, not knowing,
I reckon, who we were; but as soon as I said, 'In the King's
name, you are my prisoner', he was just as quiet as a lamb."
The solicitor sat down. Then the chairman asked the
witness if any arms were found on the prisoner.
"Not even a stick ?"
I won't say as he may not have had a bit of a stick,
your honour, though I did not notice it, his hands being in
his pockets; anyhow, he did not try to use it."
Wilkens was the next witness, and his evidence, as far as
Julian was concerned, was precisely similar to that of the
coxswain. Against the seven men of the lugger the evidence
was conclusive. All had resisted desperately, and this had
enabled several of their party to make their escape in the
darkness. The Weymouth fisherman had been caught
coming up from the beach with a keg on his shoulder, and
had thrown it down and attempted to run away, but had
made no resistance when he had been taken; the two farm
men had been captured at their horses' heads, and had at
once surrendered. When the evidence had been gone
through, Mr. Probert addressed the court on behalf of
Julian. He urged that there was no evidence whatever
to show that he was concerned either in the smuggling
operations or in the resistance to the revenue officers.
"I do not pretend," he said, "that he was there by acci-
dent; but I maintain that he was there simply in the capa-
city of a looker-on. He stands, in fact, precisely in the
same position that any member of the general public might
do, who had been present as a spectator at any sort of
riot. It is unquestionably a very unwise action on the part
of any individual to attend a meeting of any sort at which
it is possible that riotous proceedings may take place, but
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
I maintain that, however imprudent and foolish, there is
nothing criminal in his doing so, and I am sure that there
is no case on record in which a man has been punished for
his presence at a riot in which he did not participate. My
client acted foolishly, but I ask the court to say that his
foolishness was not criminal. He had accidentally learned
that there was to be a landing of contraband goods, and,
with the thoughtlessness of youth, he went to see what he
considered the fun. Even if there had been a shadow of
criminality in his being present, I should ask you to say
that the unpleasant experience that he has undergone-his
detention for twelve hours in a police cell, and his appear-
ance here-is ample punishment for his boyish escapade,
which might have been committed by any high-spirited
young fellow of nineteen."
After the other solicitor had addressed the court on behalf
of the two farmer's men, the magistrates consulted together.
The spectators, watching them attentively, saw that for a
time they seemed unanimous, then it was equally evident
that there was a difference of opinion on some point or other,
and they presently rose and left the court.
"It is Faulkner against the other two," Mr. Probert
whispered to Frank. "Of course they were unanimous
about the smugglers, but I expect they differed as to the
others. It is lucky that the Colonel is in the chair. Har-
rington is a mild little fellow, and Faulkner would be able
to twist him round his finger if there were only the two of
them, but there is no fear of that with the Colonel there
to keep him straight."
In ten minutes they returned, and by the flushed, angry
face of Mr. Faulkner, Frank judged at once that he had
been overruled. The chairman briefly announced the deci-
sion of the court, and committed the seven smugglers for
trial on the whole of the charges. The Weymouth fisher-
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
man was also committed, but only on the charge of being
engaged in the unlawful act of defrauding His Majesty's
revenue, and was allowed out on bail. The two farm
labourers were fined fifty pounds apiece, which their solicitor
at once paid.
"The majority of the bench are in favour of your imme-
diate discharge, Mr. Wyatt, being of opinion that the
evidence has failed .,lr .. i!.,' to prove any of the charges
against you, and, being of opinion that you have already
paid dearly enough for your reckless folly in attending an
unlawful operation of this kind, they trust that it will
be a lesson to you for life. The other and more serious
charge against you will now be taken."
Frank, who was in the act of rising from his seat in
delight at Julian's acquittal, sank down again in dismay
at the concluding words. H-e had no idea of any further
"What is it?" he whispered to Mr. Probert.
"Faulkner has charged him with an attempt to murder
him. Have you not heard of it? Don't be frightened. I
have seen the witnesses, and have no doubt that this case
will break down like the other."
After all the prisoners but Julian had been removed from
the dock, Mr. Faulkner left the bench and took his seat in
the body of the court. The charge was then read over by
the clerk, and Mr. Faulkner's name was called; as he stepped
into the witness-box, a low hiss ran through the fishermen
who formed a large proportion of the spectators.
"Silence!" the chairman said angrily. "If I hear any
repetition of this indecent demonstration, I will have the
court cleared at once."
Mr. Faulkner then proceeded to give his evidence. "He
had," he said, "spoken severely to the prisoner in his quality
as a magistrate, upon his taking part in smuggling trans-
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
actions. At this the prisoner became violently abusive and
uttered such murderous threats that he thought he would
have struck him, and in self-defence he (the witness) gave
him a blow, whereupon the prisoner had sprung upon him
like a tiger, had lifted him in his arms, and had carried
him bodily towards the fire, and would assuredly have thrown
him into it had he not been prevented from doing so by
some of the coast-guardsmen."
Mr. Probert rose quietly. "You are a magistrate, Mr.
Faulkner, I believe?" Mr. Faulkner gave no reply to the
question, and after a little pause the solicitor went on: "Do
you consider that, as a magistrate, Mr. Faulkner, it comes
within your province to abuse a prisoner unconvicted of
any crime ?"
"I deny that I abused him," Mr. Faulkner said hotly.
"There is no occasion for heat, sir," Mr. Probert said
quietly. "You are in the position of a witness at present
and not of a magistrate, and must reply like any other wit-
ness. Well, you deny having abused him. Do you consider
that calling a gentleman of good standing in this town, the
son of a distinguished officer, a loafing young scoundrel, not
abuse; or by telling him that six months in one of His
Majesty's jails would do him a world of good?"
"I deny that I used those words."
"Well, sir, that is a question of pure credibility. It is
possible that I may be in a position to prove to the satis-
faction of the bench that you did use them, and many
others of an equally offensive character. Mr. Wyatt natu-
rally resented such language, which you had no more right
to address to him than you would have to address to me.
If a magistrate forgets his position, and abuses a prisoner in
the language of a fish-fag, he must expect to be answered in
the same way by anyone of spirit. You say that, thereupon,
he became abusive and used murderous threats? Now we
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
should like to hear a little more about this. First of all, let
us hear the abuse, will you? Tell the court, if you please,
Mr. Faulkner, what were the abusive expressions," he added.
"He said, sir, that I was a disgrace to the bench."
There was a general laugh in the court, which was in
stantly repressed. Mr. Faulkner's eyes ran furiously over
the crowded benches.
"I must ask you to look at me, Mr. Faulkner," the solici-
tor said mildly. "Well, he said that you were a disgrace
to the bench. That is scarcely, perhaps, as much a matter
of abuse as one of private opinion. What did he say
"He said I was a curse to the whole neighbourhood."
"Again a mere matter of opinion."
"And after that, that I was a sneaking, meddlesome, in-
terfering old fox."
There was again a buzz of laughter, mingled with excla-
mations of "So you are," "He wasn't far wrong"; upon which
Colonel Chalmers directed the constable to turn all the
offending parties out of court. Some fishermen nearest to
the door were hustled out.
"Well, I am afraid that I must admit," Mr. Probert
said, "that to call you a meddlesome old fox was abusive,
although nothing like so abusive as to call a man a loafing
young scoundrel. Now as to the threats."
"He said that I would be brought home one of these days
with a bullet in my body."
"That is purely a matter of prophecy, Mr. Faulkner, and
not a threat, unless he intended you to understand that
it was he who would fire the bullet. Do you mean to tell
the court that you had any reason to suppose that this
young gentleman, whose reputation is untarnished, and
who has never had a charge brought against him except
the ridiculous one that has just been dismissed, intended
BEFORE THE JUSTICES.
to imply by those words that he himself had any idea of
taking your life?"
"It might bear that construction."
It might bear any construction in the mind of a man
determined to see everything in the worst possible light. It
is a matter of public notoriety, Mr. Faulkner, that you have
received several threatening letters, and that the active part
you have taken against poachers and smugglers has caused
some feeling against you. Do you not think it likely that
when Mr. Wyatt used the words you have repeated he re-
ferred to this circumstance ?"
"A magistrate who does his duty must necessarily be
unpopular with the criminal classes."
"Possibly, Mr. Faulkner, though I have known many
magistrates who did their duty and who were by no means
unpopular; but you have not answered my question. Do
you not think that in saying what he did Mr. Wyatt simply
alluded to the fact of your well-known unpopularity, and to
the threatening letters that you had received?"
"Possibly he did," Mr. Faulkner admitted reluctantly,
"although that was not my impression at the time."
"Well, then, unless there were further threats, as you call
them, I think we have disposed of the alleged abuse and the
alleged murderous threats. Now we come to the other
charge. You thought that he was about to strike you, and
in self-defence gave him a blow. What made you think that
he was going to strike you?"
"He made a step towards me with a threatening gesture."
Oh! I dare say that he was angry, but a gentleman who
has been called a loafing young scoundrel is somewhat apt
to lose his temper. You might even do so yourself, Mr.
Faulkner, if so addressed. Well, then, he made a step
towards you; thereupon you struck him in the face, and
judging from his appearance you struck him pretty hard,
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
and then you say he caught you up and carried you along.
It says a good deal for his strength that he was able to do so.
Now you say he carried you towards the fire, and would
have thrown you upon it had not some of the coast-guards-
men interfered in time. Now, how do you know that that
was his intention?"
"I firmly believe that it was so."
"It is not a question of belief. You might believe that
he was going to throw you up to the moon. You struggled,
I suppose-you would scarcely submit to be carried like
a baby-I imagine that is about the long and short of it.
But even if he had intended to throw you on the fire,
which certainly seems to be merely a matter of your im-
agination, you can hardly pretend that had he carried out
this intention that it would have been murder. Surely with
a score of your friends standing by, you would have been
hauled out immediately, none the worse except for a few
singes and a burn or two. This was not a burning fiery
furnace, Mr. Faulkner, but merely a bit of a bonfire from a
few sticks that had been set on fire in order to throw a little
light on the proceedings."
"I might have been very seriously burnt."
"Well, even supposing that you had been, that is not a
question of murder. I presume that you framed this indict-
ment. You have charged the prisoner, not with an intention
of committing grievous damage upon you, but with murder,
and if you now admit that, under the circumstances, death
could hardly have resulted by any possibility from this ima-
ginary intention of throwing you on the fire being carried
out, it is clear that the charge of murder must drop through.
I have no further questions to ask you, though I may have
some remarks to make after having heard your witnesses."
IN A FRESIi SCRAPE.
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
THE first witness called by Mr. Faulkner was Captain
"Will you tell us what you know about this affair?" the
"After having captured the smuggler, I took six men
and went up to see if I could be of any assistance to Mr.
Moorsby, and also to hear whether he had been as successful
with his capture as I had. I found that everything was
over, and that a fire had been lighted. I was talking to
Mr. Moorsby when my attention was excited by loud
words between Mr. Faulkner and Mr. Wyatt, with whom I
am acquainted. Mr. Faulkner struck him in the face, and
there was a scuffle, the prisoner lifting the magistrate,
although a much heavier man, completely off his feet. In
the course of the scuffle they approached the fire, and being
afraid that they might fall into it, I ran up with Mr.
M... .. ..- and some of the men, and pulled them away."
"Did it seem to you, Captain Downes, that the prisoner
was carrying Mr. Faulkner straight to the fire?"
"He was certainly going straight in that direction, but
whether intentionally or not I am unable to say."
"Do you think that if you and your men had not inter-
fered they would have fallen into the fire?"
"I think they certainly would have done so."
"Do you think that the prisoner intended to throw Mr.
Faulkner into the fire?"
"That I cannot say."
"Have you any questions to ask the witness, Mr.
Faulkner?" the chairman asked.
(M 90) D
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"You do not think it likely, I suppose, that the prisoner
could have intended himself to tumble into the fire?"
"I should think it very unlikely."
Mr. Faulkner sat down, and Mr. Probert rose.
"You think it very unlikely, Captain Downes, that Mr.
Wyatt would deliberately have walked into the fire, and I
quite share your opinion; but it has not yet been proved
that he was deliberately going towards the fire at all. You
say he lifted Mr. Faulkner in his arms. Now it seems to
me that, having done so, he would not be able to see at all
which way he was going, as Mr. Wyatt's eyes would both
be on a level with Mr. Faulkner's chest; moreover, it must
be evident that, judging from his present appearance, he
could scarcely have seen anything at all, after receiving
such a blow. Does it not strike you as being still more
likely that, partially blinded as he was, and being unwilling
to strike the magistrate in return, however much the latter
had forfeited all claim to respect, he closed with him, and
in the heat of passion lifted him up and carried him along
"I think that very likely," the Captain replied.
"Had you yourself been struck as the prisoner was struck,
Captain Downes, what course do you think it would have
been proper for you to pursue?"
"I don't know what would have been proper, but I know
what I should have done. Magistrate or no magistrate, I
should have knocked my assailant down, or at any rate I
should have tried to."
"As a naval man, Captain Downes, you have had some
experience of the conduct gentlemen generally observe to
their prisoners. I presume that it is not their custom to
strike them, even if they did make a somewhat free use of
"Certainly not," Captain Downes said emphatically.
IN A FRESH SCRAPE,
"Would you go so far as to say that you would consider
it to be a disgraceful and cowardly act?"
"I should so consider it."
There was again a murmur of applause in court, which
was instantly arrested when Mr. Probert held up his hand
deprecatingly. "Thank you, Captain Downes," he went
on. "Now we come to the question of the quarrel that
gave rise to this affair. Mr. Faulkner has not thought fit
to ask you any questions about it. Were you standing
close enough to hear what passed?"
"I was standing close by, and both Mr. Faulkner and the
prisoner spoke loudly enough to be heard at such a distance."
"The magistrate first began the conversation?"
"He used very strong language, did he not?"
"Did you think that he was justified in using such strong
"Certainly not; I thought that it was most improper."
"And do you think that a gentleman accosted so im-
properly is to be greatly blamed if he uses strong language
"It would no doubt have been better if he had held his
tongue at the time, and have called him to account after-
"Still the provocation was very strong, Captain Downes,
and you could not altogether blame him."
"I did not blame him at all," the witness said curtly.
"And what did you think when Mr. Faulkner suddenly
struck his prisoner in the face?"
"Am I to answer that question?" the witness asked the
"I do not think that it is an improper question," the
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"Very well, sir. Then, if I must say it, I thought it was
one of the most .! io..1.: ii and cowardly things I ever
"Thank you, Captain Downes. I do not think it neces-
sary to ask you any further questions."
"Have you any more witnesses to call, Mr. Faulkner?"
the chairman asked coldly.
Mr. Faulkner's face was white with rage. "I have a
dozen other witnesses," he said hoarsely, "but I have no
doubt they will all follow the lead their officer has set them.
I shall therefore call no more."
"I do not think, your worships," Mr. Probert said,
rising, "that it is necessary for me to address you. I would
only submit to you that there is not a shadow of evidence
to support the charge of an attempt to murder. As to the
abusive language, I cannot say that my client's words were
a retort courteous, but they were only a retort natural, and
were simply the consequence of the extraordinary conduct
of Mr. Faulkner, acting at the time in his capacity of magis-
trate. As to the charge of threatening language, it is alto-
gether absurd. My client simply asserted what is true by
common report-that Mr. Faulkner had been threatened,
and that it was possible that those threats might some day
or other be carried into effect. I have only, therefore, to
leave the case in the hands of your worships."
The two magistrates put their heads together for a short
time. Then the chairman said: "The bench is of opinion
that the charge of attempted murder is altogether without
foundation, and that of abusive language and the use of
threats should never have been brought, seeing that they
were the result of what we cannot but consider the very
ill-judged and improper conduct of the plaintiff. You are
therefore discharged, Mr. V. .-- but my colleague and
myself cannot but again express a hope that this and the
IN A PIESH SCIAPIE.
preceding charge may prove a lesson to you to avoid taking
part, even as a spectator, in such breaches of the law as
those which led to this very regrettable occurrence."
As the magistrate concluded, a roar of applause rose in
the court. In vain the constables shouted for silence. The
chairman at once ordered the room to be cleared, and at
the same time motioned to Julian not to leave the court,
as he was preparing to do. When the court was cleared,
he called Julian up to him.
"I think, Mr. Wyatt," he said, "it would be as well for
you to remain here for a time, and then go out by the
back way. It would be very unfortunate if any demon-
stration took place. Enough harm has been done already;
do not let us make it any worse."
"Certainly not, sir. I am heartily sorry for what has
occurred;" and beckoning to Frank, who was still seated at
the solicitors' table, he retired with him to a waiting-room.
"Thank goodness, Julian, you have got out of that
"Thank goodness, indeed, Frank! I behaved like an
awful fool, but I never dreamt that anything like this
would come of it. I have been to see cargoes run several
times. It was very good fun. I never helped in any way,
and had always made up my mind that I would make
myself scarce if the revenue people should turn up, but it
all happened so suddenly that I was a prisoner before I
knew what was going on. As to the other affair, no doubt
it would have been better for me to have said nothing, but
of course I knew that he had no right to say what he
did, and I had not the least idea that he would hit me;
when he did, I went at him in a fury, and I don't mind
acknowledging that I did intend to chuck him in the fire-
not with any idea of killing him, you know, though I did
think he would be burnt a bit."
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"It was lucky you sent for Probert, Julian; I had never
thought of it."
"No more did I, Frank. I was perfectly astonished when
he got up and said that he appeared for me, but I supposed
that Aunt or you had sent for him."
"I am sure Aunt didn't, or she would have told me."
"I should not be surprised, Frank, if it were Captain
Downes. In the first place, he was a friend of Father's,
and in the next place, because he is heartily sick of Faulk-
ner's constant interference and the way he goes on. I
expect that if Mr. Moorsby had got up he would have said
just the same things."
"I will leave you here for a few minutes, Julian. I must
run round and tell Aunt; she is in a fearful stew about
Frank ran out at the main entrance. A number of
fishermen were hanging about outside. Bill came up to
"Isn't Mr. Julian coming out, Master Frank?"
"Not at present. The magistrates don't want any fuss
in the streets, no more does my brother, and he will stay
there till everyone has cleared off, so the best thing you can
do, Bill, is to persuade the others to go off home. Julian
knows well enough that you are all pleased that he has
got off, but you see if there were a fuss got up about it in
the streets it would do him harm and not good."
"All right, sir, I will get them off. They just wanted to
give him a cheer."
"Well, they did that in Court, Bill, and you know that
he appreciates their good intentions. Well, I must be off."
Mrs. Troutbeck was still on the watch. However, she
did not come to the door. Frank opened it, and ran into
the parlour. His Aunt had dropped into a chair, with her
handkerchief to her eyes.
IN A FRESH SCRAPE. 00
"So he has not come back with you, Frank. It is
dreadful. What are they going to do with him?"
"They are not going to do anything, Aunt. He has been
acquitted. Only he did not come home with me because
there are a lot of sailors waiting outside to cheer him, and
the magistrates did not want a row over him, nor did Julian
either. I have just run home to tell you that it is all right,
and now I am going back for him. I expect by the time I
get there they will all have gone, and we may be home in
a quarter of an hour, so I think, Aunt, the best thing you
can do is to get tea ready, for I don't expect he has had
much to eat there, or any appetite to eat it."
It was good advice, for Mrs. Troutbeck was on the point
of going into hysterics from joy and relief. However,
the thought of the necessity for getting a good meal to
welcome Julian on his arrival turned her thoughts into
another channel, and, wiping her eyes hastily, she rose and
gave directions, while Frank started again for the court-
house. The fishermen had left, but there were still a
number of boys about the place. The private entrance was,
however, free from observers, and the brothers started at
once, keeping to the back streets until they neared the
"My dear Julian," Mrs. Troutbeck exclaimed as she
threw her arms round his neck, "what a relief it is to have
you back again! It has been terrible for you."
"It hasn't been very pleasant, Aunt," he replied cheer-
fully, "but it is all right now, and certainly I ought not to
grumble. I have had better luck than I deserved. I was
a fool to go there, but I did not think that there was any
real chance of the revenue people coming down upon us.
It was thought they had been thrown off the scent alto-
"What a dreadful face you have got, Julian!"
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"Oh, that is nothing, Aunt! it will go off in a few days,
and until it has I must either stay indoors or keep out of
the town altogether."
"I am afraid tea won't be ready for a few minutes,
Julian. You see I have had such a very short notice."
"I can hold on comfortably, Aunt; besides, I have got to
have a change and a wash. That is of more importance than
tea just at present."
After the meal was over, Frank gave the details of the
examination, the narrative being very frequently stopped
by exclamations and questions on the part of Mrs. Trout-
"I have never heard of such a wicked thing. The idea of
that man charging you with attempting to murder him!
Julian, he ought to be punished for it."
"I fancy he has been punished, Aunt. I don't see how
he is to keep his commission as a justice after what was
said in court. Still, it is a bad thing for me. I was dis-
charged, but it will always be against me. If I ever get
into any sort of trouble again, people will say: 'Ah! yes; he
was charged with attempting murder when he was a young
fellow, and although he was lucky enough to get off then,
there must have been something in it. He is evidently a
man of ungovernable temper.'"
"But, my dear Julian, everyone knows that you have a
very sweet temper."
"I was not in a sweet temper then at any rate, Aunt."
"Of course not, Julian. I should not have been so my-
self if anyone had hit me such a terrible blow as that in
Her nephews both laughed, for they had never seen her
ruffled out of her usual serenity.
"Well, Aunt, don't let us talk any more about it," Julian
said. "I would give a good deal if it hadn't happened. As
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
it is, one must make the best of it, and I hope that it will
be forgotten in time. I wish now that I had gone into the
army, but it is too late for that. I shall think over what I
had best take to. I should certainly like to get away from
here until it has blown over altogether."
On the f. .11. ,o morning Frank met Captain Downes,
and learned that he was right in his conjecture, and that it
was he who had retained Mr. Probert's services in Julian's
behalf before the magistrates.
For the next few days Julian kept in the house, except
that after nightfall he went out for a long walk. The report
of the proceedings in the court had caused a great sensation
in Weymouth, and the feeling was so strong against Mr.
Faulkner that he was hooted in the streets when he rode
into the town. The general expectation was that he would
resign his position on the bench; and when at the end of a
week he did not do so, a private meeting of the other magis-
trates was held, and it was whispered in the town that a
report of the proceedings at the court had been sent to the
Home Secretary, with an expression of opinion that Mr.
Faulkner's brother magistrates felt that they could not sit
again with him on the bench after what had taken place.
Ten days after the affair Julian started early one morning
for a day's rabbit-shooting at the house of a friend who
lived some six miles up the valley. Some snow fell in the
course of the afternoon and put a stop to shooting, and he
started to walk home. When he was within a few hundred
yards of Mr. Faulkner's place he heard a horse coming along
behind him. The snow that had fallen had deadened the
sounds of the hoofs on the road, and, looking round, he saw
Mr. Faulkner riding fast, at a distance of but fifty yards
away. Had he caught sight of him sooner Julian would
have left the road and entered the wood to avoid him,
but it was too late now, and he hoped that at any rate
58 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
the man would pass on without speaking. The horseman
had apparently not recognized Julian until he came abreast
of him, when, with a sudden exclamation, he reined in his
"So it is you, Julian Wyatt?" he said, in a tone of sup-
"It is I, Mr. Faulkner," Julian replied quietly; "and as
I don't want to have anything to say to you, I think that
you had better go on your way without interfering with
"Mark my words, you young scoundrel, I will be even
with you yet."
"The debt is not all on your side, Mr. Faulkner. I, too,
have got a debt to pay; and perhaps some day we may square
matters up, when you have not got a score of coast-guards-
men at your back. However, I am content to leave matters
as they are so long as you do the same. As to your owing
a debt to me, it is yourself you have to thank for the
trouble you have got into; it was no doing of mine. How-
ever, I warn you that you had better abstain from insulting
me again. I did not strike you back when you hit me last
time, but if you call me scoundrel again you shall see that
I can hit as hard as you can, and I will teach you to keep
a civil tongue in your head."
"You mark my words," Mr. Faulkner repeated. "I will
have you watched, and I will hunt you down, and if I am
not mistaken I will put a rope round your neck one of these
days." So saying, he struck spurs into his horse and galloped
Julian stood looking after him until he saw him turn in
at his gate. The drive to the house led, as he knew,
diagonally through the wood, and as he walked forward he
heard the horse's galloping hoofs grow louder and louder.
Suddenly there was the report of a gun some seventy or
"MARK MY WORDS, YOU YOUNG SCOUNDREL, I WILL BE EVEN
WITH YOU YET."
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
eighty yards away. It was mingled with that of a sudden
cry, and Julian heard the horse galloping on even faster
than before. With an exclamation of "Good heavens!
something has happened!" he broke through the hedge and
ran in the direction of the sound. As he approached it
he thought that he caught sight of a man running through
the trees, but he kept straight on until he came upon the
drive. Twenty yards away Mr. Faulkner lay stretched on
the ground. He went up to him, and stooped over him.
His eyes were closed, and as he lay on his back Julian saw
blood oozing through a bullet-hole in his coat high up on
the left side of the chest.
Feeling sure that Mr. Faulkner was dead he started up,
and without a moment's hesitation ran into the wood again,
in the direction where he had thought that he had seen a
figure. A minute later he came upon some footprints on
a bare spot between the trees, where the snow had fallen
lightly. Noting the direction they took, he followed at once.
He saw no more signs of footprints, but followed the direc-
tion as nearly as he could until he came to the farthest side
of the wood; then he leaped out into the field beyond, and
followed the edge of the wood until he again reached the
road. He then turned and went back again, and fifty yards
from the point where he had first run out he came upon
the footprints again.
"He was going to take to the hills," he muttered, as he
set off along the track. He ran at a trot, and as he went,
loaded both barrels of his gun. "Very likely the villain
will show fight," he said to himself; "I must take him by
surprise if I can."
After a quarter of a mile's run he reached the foot of the
hill, and near its crest, three quarters of a mile away, caught
sight of the figure of a man. A moment later he had passed
over the crest. Julian started at full speed up the hill.
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
There was no need to t.!.1.... the footprints now; indeed the
strong wind that was blowing had swept the snow into the
hollows, and the face of the hill was bare. When he reached
the top of the hill he had decreased his distance consider-
ably. He saw to his surprise that the man was bearing to
the right, a course that would ere long bring him to the
edge of the cliff. The run up the hill had left him breath-
less, and for some time the man, who was also running,
fully maintained his lead. Then Julian began to gain upon
him. The man had again changed his course, and was now
going parallel with the line of cliffs. Three miles from the
point where he had reached the top Julian was within a
quarter of a mile of him. He would have caught him
before this, had he not been obliged at times to make de-
tours so as to avoid passing high ground, where the man,
if he looked back, would have perceived him. By this
time he was almost sure that the fugitive was a poacher,
who had been recently released from a term of two years
in prison for poaching in Mr. Faulkner's preserves. At last
he saw him turn sharp to the right again. Where on
earth is he going?" Julian said to himself. The cliffs are
not many hundred yards away."
Hitherto he had supposed that the man was keeping away
from the cliff to avoid meeting any of the coast-guards who
would be on duty there, but this change of direction
puzzled him completely. Keeping his eye on the poacher,
he saw him enter a small clump of bushes, from which he
did not emerge. Julian at once slackened his pace down to
a walk. It was likely enough that the man had noticed
that he was being pursued, and had determined to rid him-
self of the pursuer. It was not a pleasant idea, that the
fellow might now be kneeling among the bushes with his
gun at his shoulder.
"It could hardly be that either," he said to himself, "for
IN A FRESH SCRAPE. 61
if he intended to shoot me he would have turned the other
way; for the sound of his gun would be probably heard by
some of the coast-guard, and they could not fail to see him
running away. At any rate," he muttered, "I am not going
to turn back after such a chase as I have had."
Standing still and looking at the spot, he saw that the
clump of bushes grew in a slight hollow, and that by turn-
ing to the right he would be able to approach within
twenty or thirty yards of it without exposing himself to
view. This he did, and in a short time lost sight of the
bushes. Moving with great caution, he made his way to-
wards them, and when he approached the slope into the
hollow, lay down and crawled along, keeping his gun in front
of him. As he neared the spot he lay down on his stomach
in the short turf and wound himself along until he could
see down into the bushes. With his gun at his shoulder,
and his finger on the trigger, he gazed down into the hollow.
To his surprise he could see no signs of the fugitive. The
leafless boughs afforded but slight shelter, and after gazing
I;.:. ii;- at them for two or three minutes, he became con-
vinced that the man was no longer there. As soon as he
came to this conclusion he stood up and looked over the
surrounding country. It was bleak and bare, and entirely
destitute of hedges or any other shelter.
It was but for five or six minutes at the utmost that he
had lost sight of the bushes, and in that time the man
could not have got far. "Where on earth has he hidden
himself ?" Julian muttered.
He went down to the clump of bushes, still holding
his gun in readiness for instant use. The patch was but
some thirty feet long by half as wide. He walked back-
wards and forwards among the low bushes, but the fugitive
was certainly not there. Going to the end of the patch he
could see plainly enough the track where the man had
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
entered, for although there was little snow on the top of
the ground it lay among the tufts of grass. He walked
round the clump, but there were no signs of any footsteps
leaving it. "This is the rummest thing I ever saw," he
muttered; "the fellow can't have flown away; yet, he
certainly has not walked off."
Thinking it over, an idea suddenly occurred to him.
When sailing along the coast with Bill, the latter had one
day pointed out to him a hole in the cliff some twenty feet
above high-water mark. "Do you see that hole, Mr. Julian ?"
"Yes, I see it plain enough. What of it?"
"Well, sir, if I owned all the goods that have been taken
into that hole on dark still nights I should be a rich man."
"Do you mean to say that they run cargoes there, Bill?"
"Not kegs-they are too heavy and too awkward to get
away-but laces, and silks, and such like. Many a lugger
when she comes from abroad lands all them sorts of things
here, and then sails away and takes her chance of running
the rest of the cargo somewhere else."
"But how can anyone get up there ? I see nothing like
"There ain't no path, sir. The revenue men would have
found it out long ago if there had been. The boat
comes along, as I said, of a dark night, when there is no
swell on, and the chaps inside show a tiny light to guide
them to the spot. When the boat comes, they lower a rope
down and haul the bales up; and then the boat goes back
to the lugger, and she ups sail, and no one is the wiser."
"But what do they do with the stuff? I don't mean,
where do they stow it, but how do they get it ., ',
"There is a passage somewhere," Bill replied. "I don't
know where it goes out. I reckon there ain't half a dozen
men in Weymouth who do know. I should say, except the
men whose business it is to take the goods inland and for-
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
ward them to London, there is only one chap who is in the
secret; and he is not in Weymouth now-he is in jail.
That is Joe Markham. He is in for poaching. But for a
good many years he sailed in one of those French luggers.
Then, as I have heard, he was keeper of the cave for a bit;
but he had to give it up-he was too well known to the
coast-guard, and they kept too sharp an eye on him for him
to venture to go out. He had had enough of the sea, and
no doubt he had got some money laid by; anyhow, he took
a cottage by the river, and took to poaching, more for devil-
ment, I should say, than because he wanted the money.
I expect he was well paid by the smugglers, for he used
to get up half the stories to put them off the scent, and
never missed being present when a run was made."
This conversation came back to Julian's memory, as he
stood by the clump of bushes wondering what had become
of the man that he had pursued, and it flashed upon him
that the spot where he was standing could not be far from
the smugglers' cavern, and that the entrance to this might
very well be among these bushes. The man knew where
that entrance was, and nothing was more likely than that he
should make for it as a place of concealment until an oppor-
tunity occurred to get on board a lugger and cross the
channel. It was a very likely place; men could come and
go at night without risk of being seen or heard by any of
the coast-guardsmen on the cliff, and would not be likely to
encounter anyone within two or three miles of it. Years
might pass without anyone happening to enter the bushes.
Laying down his gun, Julian began to search in earnest.
It was half an hour before, feeling about in the coarse
grass, he came upon a handle. He pulled at it, gently at
first, then as it did not yield, he exerted his strength, and
it gave way, and a section of the rough herbage rose, while
three feet away it sank in the same porportion. Raising it
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
higher, he saw that the trap-door-for such it was-was
two feet wide by about five feet long and eighteen inches
deep; it was, in fact, a deep tray pivoted on the centre and
filled with earth, on which grass grew as freely as in the
The greater portion of the trap was overhung by bushes,
which grew so thickly round the part which sank that the
probability was small indeed that anyone would tread upon
it. Julian saw, too, that under the handle was a bolt that,
when fastened, would hold the trap firmly down. No
doubt the man in his haste had forgotten to fasten it before
he descended. Looking down, Julian saw a circular hole
like a well, evidently artificially made in the chalk; a ladder
was fastened against one side.
Julian hesitated. Should he return to Weymouth, in-
form the authorities that he had traced the murderer of
Mr. Faulkner to a place of concealment, and bring them
there to arrest him, or should he go down and encounter
him single-handed? Although of a fearless disposition, he
would have decided on the more prudent course had it not
been that to have done so, would have let the authorities
into the knowledge of the smugglers' cave. Although he
had determined to have nothing more to do with them, this
he felt would be an act of treachery, for it was only because
he had been believed by Bill to be absolutely trustworthy,
that the latter had told him of the existence of this cavern
and of the secret exit, and without that information he
would never have searched for and discovered the trap-
door. Then, too, the thought that the credit he would gain
by the capture of the murderer single-handed would go far
to efface the memory of the disgrace that had befallen him,
helped to decide him.
He fetched his gun and slung it over his shoulder, got
upon the ladder, and pulled the trap-door down behind him.
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
As he did so he found that it moved easily, and that he
could push it up again without any difficulty, and feeling
the bolt, discovered that it had been partially shot, but not
sufficiently to catch fairly, although containing so far a hold
of the frame, that it had torn a groove in the somewhat
rotten wood with the force that he had used to raise it. He
went down the ladder very cautiously, until, after descend-
ing for some thirty steps, his foot encountered solid ground.
After a moment's consideration he knelt down and proceeded
on his hands and knees. Almost immediately he felt the
ground slope away in front of him. He got on to his feet
again. Holding out his arms he found that the passage was
about four feet wide, and he began to descend with extreme
care, feeling his way along both walls. He had gone, he
thought, about fifty yards when the passage made a sharp
turn, still descending, and at a considerable distance ahead
the light streamed in through a rugged hole. He walked
more confidently now, and soon the light was -il1.i. It. to
enable him to see the path he was following.
On arriving at the aperture, he saw that, as he expected,
he was looking over the sea. On one side of the hole there
was a shelf cut in the chalk. This was stained as if by
oil, and he guessed at once that it was a look-out and a
spot for signalling a craft in the offing. The path here
turned again and ran parallel with the face of the cliff.
There was no occasion to exercise care in walking now, as
here and there the light streamed in through openings a
few inches long. He now unslung his gun, stooped and
took off his boots, and then proceeded noiselessly. The
descent was considerable, and in some places steps had been
cut. At last he arrived at a door. It was roughly but
very solidly made, and would doubtless sustain an attack for
some time before it yielded, and so would give time to the
occupants, in case the trap-door was discovered, to make
(rM 90) E
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
their escape by the lower entrance on to the beach. There
was a latch to it. Lifting this quietly, he found the door
yielded, and, holding his gun in his right hand ready to
cover the fugitive the moment he entered, Julian threw
the door wide open and sprang forward.
He had not calculated on a further descent, but the floor
of the cave was five feet below him, and he fell heavily
upon it, the gun going off as it struck the floor. Instant-
aneous as the fall had been, his eyes had taken in the scene.
Several lanterns faintly lit up the cave; while in the centre
a table, at which several figures were sitting, was illumi-
nated by three or four candles. He was partly stunned by
the heaviness of his fall, but vaguely heard shouts of sur-
prise and alarm, and was, a minute later, roughly seized and
dragged along. Then he felt that he was being tightly
bound. For some minutes he was left to himself, but he
could see three men with guns in their hands standing near
the door by which he had entered, listening attentively.
Presently he heard steps coming down the passage and two
other men came through the door, shut and bolted it care-
fully, and then came down the steps into the cabin.
They spoke to their comrades as they came in, and the
news was evidently satisfactory, for the men leaned their
guns against the wall and came to the table. There was
some talk for a few minutes, and then Julian was raised
and placed in a sitting position on the head of a cask by
the table. One of the men then addressed him in French.
Julian, who by this time had recovered from the effects of
his fall, shook his head. The other then spoke to the
poacher, who had seated himself opposite Julian, and the
latter then said:
"You are the young fellow who was tried in court three
weeks ago, are you not?"
"Yes, I am."
1-91 e:~?E b.r.~
;i'~ap r~ 7'i~ '- r ik
~r. ~ ~ 'r k I u
ULIAN FINDS HIMSELF A PRISONER AMONG THE SMUGGLES.90
JULIAN FINDS HIMSELF A PRISONER AMONG THE SMUGGLERS.
IN A FRESH SCRAPE.
"I thought so; I was there. It was the very day I got
to Weymouth. Well, what the deuce are you doing here?
You are the chap who has followed me all the way up the
What did you follow me for ?"
"Because I was in the road when you shot Faulkner. I
heard the gun, and ran in and found him dead. I caught
sight of you in the wood, and went in chase of you."
"What did you intend to do, you.young fool?"
"I intended to capture you," Juliari said fearlessly.
What for? I have done you a good service as well as
myself. You had no reason to bear him any good-will, and
some of the men who were there told me that though
Downes got you off, it was true that you were going to
throw Faulkner into the fire."
"So I was; but he had just struck me and I was in a
furious passion; but that was a different thing altogether to
shooting a man in cold blood."
"He got me two years' imprisonment," the man said,
"which to my mind was a good reason for shooting him
when I got the chance; and another thing was, he would
never leave us alone, but was always on our heels. There
are two or three men in prison now that he got sent there,
and eight more are waiting their trial. He made war on us,
and I have turned the tables on him.
"I heard that you had been at several of the runs, and
of course you are in with some of our fellows. How did
you get to know about the entrance to this place?"
"I only knew that there was a cave here, that it was
used by the smugglers, and that it had an entrance some-
where. The man who told me knew well that I was to be
trusted, but it was only because you disappeared among
those bushes, and that there were no footprints to show
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
that you had left them, that it appeared to me that the
passage might be there, and so I looked about until I found
a handle to the trap-door."
"Why didn't you go and call the coast-guardl There
was a station not a quarter of a mile away."
"Because I could not have done that without betraying
the secret of the cavern. I found the entrance myself, but
I should never have done so, if I had not been told about
the cave and the secret passage, and I felt that it would
be an act of treachery to betray it."
"And you were really fool enough to think that if you
captured me single-handed I should walk with you like a
lamb to the gallows?"
"I didn't intend to give you a chance of making a fight.
I intended to rush straight in and cover you with my
"Well, you have plenty of pluck, young fellow, if you
haven't much wisdom; but if you think that after getting in
here, I shall let you go out again to bring the constables
down on me you are mistaken altogether."
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
OE MARKHAM had, as soon as he arrived, told the
French smugglers that he had shot the magistrate who
had for the last five or six years given them so much trouble
and caused them so much loss, and who had, as the last affair
showed, become more dangerous than ever, as he could only
have obtained information as to the exact point of landing
by having bribed someone connected with them.
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
"It was a case of his life or our business," he said. "If
he had not been got out of the way we must have given up
the trade altogether on this part of the coast; besides, he
has been the cause, not only of several seizures of cargoes,
but of the death of eight or ten of our comrades and of the
imprisonment of many others. Now that he is out of the
way we shall find things a great deal easier."
"It served him right," the leader of the party said, "and
you have rendered good service; but what are you going
to do? Do you think that any suspicion will fall upon
"Yes; I have put myself in an awkward position, I am
afraid. I thought that the job had been so well managed
that it could never be traced to me, but when I got up to
the top of the hill I saw a fellow just starting from the
bottom. I did not think much of it at the time, but he
came up so quickly after me that he must have run all the
way up. He has chased me hard, and as he got nearer I
could see that he had a gun too. He was not more than
a quarter of a mile away when I got to the trap-door."
Why didn't you hide yourself in the bushes and put a
bullet into him, Markham?"
"For several reasons. In the first place, the gun might
have been heard by some of those cussed revenue men.
Then there would be an inquiry and a search. They would
have seen by the direction he had been going, that he must
have been shot from the bushes, and as no one would have
been in sight when they ran up, the thing would have been
such a puzzle to them that you may be sure they would
have suspected there must be some hidden way out of the
clump. Besides, they would probably have hunted every
inch of the ground to see if they could find anything that
would give them a clue as to who had fired the shot. That
is one reason."
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
"And quite good enough without any others," the
"Well, there was another one that went for almost as
much with me. I shot down Faulkner because he was a
curse to us all. He had imprisoned several of my pals, and
done a lot of damage to the trade, and was likely to break
it up altogether, besides which I had a big grudge against
him on my own account. But I should not have liked to
shoot down this fellow in cold blood. I had no feeling against
him; he has done me no harm; I did not even know who he
was. If he had overtaken me in the open, you may be sure
that I should have made a fight of it, for it would have
been my life against his. I don't pretend to be soft; there
is little enough of that about me, and I have fought hard
several times in the old days when we were surprised; but I
could not have shot down that fellow without giving him a
chance of his life. If there had not been the trap-door to
escape by I should have stood up, given him fair warning,
and fought it out man to man. As it was-" at this point
the conversation had been arrested by the sudden entrance
"Who is he?" the chief of the smugglers asked Joe when
he had finished his conversation with the prisoner. "Is he
a spy "
"No; he is a young chap as lives down in the town. He
is a pal of some of our friends there, and has been with
them at the landings of goods. He was caught in that last
affair, but got off because they could not prove that he was
actually engaged in the business. He is an enemy of Faulk-
ner's too; they had a row there, and Faulkner hit him in
the face. You can see the mark still; and he would have
thrown Faulkner on to the bonfire they had lit if he had not
been prevented by some of the coast-guards. It is through
what he had heard from our friends of this cavern, and
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE. 71
there being an entrance to it somewhere, that he came to
look for the trap-door. I certainly pushed the bolt forward
when I came down, but I was in a hurry, so I suppose it
could not have caught rightly."
"Well, what is to be done, Joe ?"
"I don't know. You see he knows about my shooting
Faulkner. I would trust him not to peach about this
cavern or the trap-door, but I don't know as I would about
the other thing. It seems to me that he is just as likely to
be suspected of having a hand in it as I am. His row with
Faulkner is the talk of the place, and when Faulkner is
found with a bullet in him, he will be the first fellow to be
suspected. Well, if that was so, and you see he would not
be able to account for himself for three or four hours after-
wards, he might be driven to peach on me to save his own
life, and he would be obliged to give all the story about
following me and coming down here. There would be an
end of the best hiding-place in the country, and I should not
be able to show my face on this side of the Channel again."
"I should say the safest plan would be to cut his throat
and chuck him into the sea, and have done with it."
"No, I won't have that," the poacher said positively.
"Your lugger will be in to-night, and we will take him
across with us to France."
"That is all very well," one of the men said; "but what
is to prevent his coming back again?"
We could prevent it somehow or other. We could get
up a tale that he was an English sailor we had picked up
at sea, and hand him over to the authorities, and tell them
his story was, that he had fallen overboard from an English
ship of war. Then they would send him away to some place
in the interior where they keep English prisoners of war,
and there he might lie for years; perhaps never get back
again. He does not know a word of French, as you saw
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
when you spoke to him, so he can't contradict any story
we may tell, and if by chance any questions should be asked,
I can just say what suits us."
"He might ruin us all if he came back," the smuggler
"It ain't likely that he will come back," the poacher
said. "I have heard that they die off like flies in those
prisons of yours; and, besides, I will guarantee, if he does,
he will never split about this place. He is a gentleman,
and I will get him to swear to me, and you may be sure he
will not break his oath."
"But how about yourself l"
"Well, as he won't come back for some years, I will take
my chance of that. He has got no evidence against me; it
would be his word against mine. He would tell his story
and I should tell mine, and mine would be the most likely.
I should say I met him on the hills with his gun, and, know-
ing who I was, and what cause I had got to hate Faulkner,
he told me that he had shot him, and asked me to get him
on board a smuggler craft and across the Channel, and that
I had done so: and that is all I should know about it. No,
I am not afraid of anything he might say when he comes
Julian had watched the speakers anxiously during this
conversation. He was wholly ignorant of French, but from
the tone and manner of the speakers, he gathered that the
poacher was speaking in his favour. He had expected no
mercy; his life was nothing to these French smugglers; and
he was surprised to find the man, whose life he thought he
held in his hand if released, apparently pleading his cause.
"Look here, young fellow!" the poacher said, turning
towards him. In the first place, these men are afraid that
you may betray the existence of this place, and their opinion
is that the best thing to make us safe would be to cut your
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
throat and throw you out of the mouth of the cave into
the sea. I told them that you knew of the cave from one
of our friends, and could be trusted to keep the secret; at
any rate they demand, in the first place, that you shall take
an oath never to split about it."
"I will do that willingly enough," Julian said, with a
great feeling of relief.
Joe Markham then dictated a terrible oath, which had
been always taken by all those made acquainted with the
existence of the cave, and this Julian repeated after him.
The poacher then told the smugglers what Julian had sworn
"Now, young fellow, I may tell you that we are going
to take you over to France to-night. You may think I
shall be asking you to take another oath, like that, not to
say anything against me, but I ain't going to. I shot the
man, and I don't pretend to be sorry for it. He was a
hard, bad chap, and he got what he deserved. I owed him
a long score, not only for myself, but for others, and if I
had not shot him, someone else would have done so sooner
or later. I shall do what I can to prevent you coming back
here, though I don't think you will say anything against me
when you do come back. In the first place, like enough I
shall take to the sea again, and may be settled in France
before you return. In the next place, I may be dead; and,
most of all, you have got no evidence against me. If I were
here, and you told the story, of course I should say that it
was a lie, and that you had shot the man yourself, and I had
got you out of the way by sending you across to France in
a lugger, so I think you will see that it is best to keep a
quiet-tongue in your head; anyhow I am ready to take my
chance of it."
"They will be horribly alarmed when I don't get home
to-night," Julian said.
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
Well, they must be alarmed," the poacher said carelessly.
"You have interfered in this business, which was none of
yours, and you have got to take the consequences; you may
think yourself a lucky fellow that you are not by this time
drifting about on the tideway."
"I feel that," Julian said; "and though I did not under-
stand a word of what you said, I am sure that it was owing
to you that I am not there. I could not have promised that
I would never say a word to anyone about you, because one
can never tell how one may be placed; but, after what you
have done, I think that I can safely promise that I will
never go out of my way to denounce you."
"I don't want any promise about it," the poacher replied.
"I had made up my mind to leave Weymouth, for, after
having been in jail two years, I shall always have the con-
stables as well as the revenue men keeping their eye on me,
so I had intended all along to take to the lugger again, and
live on board her as I did before, and I only stayed here
until I could settle accounts with Faulkner. I have no
doubt that they will suspect me of this business. There
are plenty of men who know that I had sworn to be even
with him, and my disappearance is sure to be put down to
that. Now, in the next place, will you promise not to try to
escape, because if you do, I will get them to take these
ropes off you I dare say you have been thinking that if
you could get free you would make a run for the mouth of
the cave and dive in, for it is about high-water now."
Julian had, in fact, been thinking so, but as he saw that
unless he gave his promise he would have to remain in the
cords that were cutting into his wrists, he at once took the
required oath. Joe told the Frenchmen, and they then
unfastened Julian's cords.
"We may as well carry up the bales at once," their
leader said, before it gets dark. It it no use giving any-
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
one at sea a chance of seeing a light. Tell him to take one
and come up with us. I am not going to leave him here by
himself, promise or no promise."
The poacher translated the order to Julian. Some bales
were taken out from beneath a tarpaulin at the end of the
cave, and, each shouldering one, they proceeded up the pass-
age until they reached the foot of the ladder. Here they
laid the bales down, and then returned to the cave.
"Is that all ?" Julian asked.
"Yes, those bales are worth a lot of money. There is
fifteen hundred pounds worth of lace in one of them. The
others are silks and satins, and worth another five hundred.
To-night, when we hear the signal, I and three of the
Frenchmen will go up. We shall find two men there, and
shall carry the bales to a place a mile and a half away, where
they will be hidden until it is convenient to send them up
to London, or wherever they are going to dispose of them-
that is their business; ours is finished when they hand us
over the money for them. They will come at eight o'clock,
and at ten the lugger will be off the coast here and send a
boat ashore for us. So you have got five or six hours yet,
and I should say the best thing you can do is to turn in
and sleep till then. There are plenty of blankets in that
corner and a pile of sheep-skins that you can sleep on."
Julian nodded, threw two or three of the sheep-skins
down in a corner, rolled another up for a pillow, drew a
blanket over him, and for the first time looked round the
cave. It was lighted only by a small hole used as a look-
out; at present a blanket hung before this. There was a
door similar to that by which he had entered from above
leading to the lower cave. How far that lower entrance
might be below them Julian had no means of knowing, but
from the view he had obtained of the sea through a large
loophole he had passed in his descent, he did not think
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
that the cavern he was in could be less than seventy or
eighty feet above the water. The sole ventilation, as far as
he could see, was the current of air that found its way in
through the door from below, and passed up through that
above, and what could come in through the loop-hole sea-
wards. Doubtless in warmer weather both the doors stood
open, but were now closed more for warmth than for any
other purpose, although he had noticed that the lower one
had been bolted and locked after he had been first captured.
As he lay down he wondered how it was all going to end.
His position was at once perilous and uncertain. He had,
so far, escaped better than he could have expected, for from
the looks the Frenchmen had given him, he had no doubt
what his fate would have been had not the man he had been
chasing spoken in his favour. His life therefore seemed
for the present safe, but the future was very dark. The
poacher had spoken as if he was not likely to return for
some years. They surely could not intend to keep him on
board ship all that time. Could they mean to put him upon
some vessel sailing abroad ? What a way Frank and his
aunt would be in! They would learn that he had started
for home early in the afternoon, and it would be absolutely
certain that he could not have strayed from the road nor
met with any accident coming along the valley. It would
certainly be awkward his being missed on the same day
Faulkner had been shot, especially as, according to the time
he had started for home, he would have come along the road
somewhere about the time the magistrate was shot.
It was a horrible thought that suspicion might fall upon
him. Those who knew him would be sure that he could
have had nothing whatever to do with the murder; still,
the more he thought of it the more he felt that suspicions
were certain to rise, and that he would find it extremely
difficult to explain matters on his return. The memory of
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
his quarrel with the magistrate was fresh in everybody's
mind, and even his friends might well consider it singular
that his words to Faulkner should so soon have been carried
into effect. It is true that Joe Markham would be missing
too, and that the man's own acquaintances would have
no great difficulty in guessing that he had carried out his
threats against Faulkner, but they would certainly not com-
municate their opinion to the constables, and the latter
might not think of the man in connection with the murder,
nor notice that he was no longer to be seen about the town.
Even were he himself free to leave the cave now and
return to Weymouth, he would find himself in a most awk-
ward position. There was, of course, no shadow of evidence
against him save that he was known to have quarrelled with
Faulkner, and must have been very near the spot the moment
he was killed, but how could he explain six or seven hours'
absence ? He could but say that he had caught sight of a
man in the plantation and followed him for miles among
the hills, and had lost sight of him at last. He had not a
shadow of evidence to produce in confirmation of his story;
in fact there was no direct evidence either way. There
could be no doubt he would have to remain under a cloud
of suspicion. It was bad enough before, but this would be
altogether intolerable, and it was perhaps best, after all,
that he was to be taken away, and his future decided for
He should have gone anyhow, and no doubt he would be
able to get some opportunity of writing to Frank and setting
his mind at rest as to his safety, and telling him something
about what had happened, and that he had been kidnapped
and carried over to France. He had acted like a fool, no
doubt, but Frank would understand why he had followed
his first impulse and gone alone after the man who com-
mitted the murder, instead of going to the constables and
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
telling them that some unknown man had killed the magis-
trate. One thing seemed certain, he should never be able
to go back to Weymouth again unless the affair was cleared
up, and he did not see how that ever could be.
At this point Julian's thoughts became confused. The
voices of the men talking at the table seemed to get further
and further away, and then he was conscious of nothing
more until he heard a bell tinkle faintly somewhere over-
head. There was a movement in the cave, and he sat up.
All the men went out by the upper door. When they had
left he got up and went to see if the lower door was so
fastened that he could not open it. He had no idea of
breaking his word, but did so out of curiosity rather than
from any other feeling. He found that the bolts could be
pulled back, but that the lock was a very strong one, and
the jamb was, at the point where the bolt shot into it,
covered with a piece of iron, so that no instrument could be
used for forcing back the bolt.
"It may be," he thought, "that some other prisoner has
been confined here at some time or other, or possibly this
has been done in order that if the trap-door above should
be found, and the revenue men come down that way, the
smugglers in their flight might lock the door behind them
and so have time to get away in a boat or along at the foot
of the cliffs before their pursuers could get down to the
lower entrance and open fire upon them."
Then he lay down again. He wondered whether the pull
of the bell he had heard could be hidden in the grass like
the handle of the trap. It might only be a very small knob,
but he had looked so closely among the bushes that he won-
dered it had escaped him. In three or four minutes the
French captain came down again, and walked across to
where he was lying:
Pauvre diable! he muttered, and then went back to the
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
table, filled himself a glass of spirits and water, and lit his
pipe. A moment later a thought seemed to strike him, and
he came across to Julian again and touched him. He at
once sat up. The Frenchman motioned him to come to
the table, went to a cupboard, brought out a wooden
platter with a large lump of cold beef and a loaf of bread
and some cheese, poured him out a horn of brandy and
water, and motioned him to eat. Julian attacked the food
vigorously. He had had some lunch with his friends before
starting for his walk back to Weymouth, but that had been
nearly seven hours before, and his run across the hills in
the keen air had given him a sharp appetite, so he did
full justice to the food.
"This is not a bad fellow after all," he said to himself, as
the smuggler, when he had finished, brought out a box of
cigars and placed it before him. He would have knocked
me on the head without compunction, in the way of busi-
ness; but now when he has concluded that I am not
dangerous, he comes out as a good fellow." He nodded
pleasantly to the Frenchman as he lit the cigar, which was
an excellent one, and far better than any Julian had been
accustomed to smoke with his associates in the billiard-room.
The Frenchman's thoughts were not dissimilar to his own.
"He is a brave garcon," he said to himself, "and makes the
best of things. He is a fine-looking fellow, too, and will
be a big man in another year or two. It is a misfortune
that we have got to take him and shut him up in prison.
Why did he mix himself up in this affair of Markham?
That is the way with boys. Instead of being grateful to the
man that had killed his enemy, he must needs run after
him as if he had done him an injury. Well, it can't be
helped now; but, at least, I will make him as comfortable
as I can as long as he is on board the lugger."
In another half-hour Joe Markham returned with the
80 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
French sailors. "There is a big stir down in Weymouth,"
he said to Julian. "I heard from our friend that the place
is like a hive of bees. I tell you, Mr. Wyatt, that it is a
lucky thing for you that you found the trap-door and came
down here. You mayn't like being our prisoner; but it is a
lot better than being in a cell down in Weymouth with a
charge of murder hanging over you, which you would have
been if you had gone straight back again."
"A charge of murder!" Julian repeated, springing to his
feet. "How could such a charge be brought ? It could
not have been known so soon that I was missing. I must
go back and face it. If I run away, now I have been openly
accused, everyone will make sure of my guilt."
"Well, sir, I should say it is a sight better that they
should suspect you, and you safely over in France, than
that they should suspect you with you in their hands; but
at any rate, you see you have no choice in the matter. You
could only clear yourself by bringing me into it; though I
doubt, as things have turned out, that that would help you
"I warn you that I shall make my escape, and come
back again as soon as I can," Julian said passionately.
"Well, sir, if you have a fancy for hanging, of course you
can do so; but from what I hear, hanging it would be, as
sure as you stand there. There is a warrant out against
you, and the constables are scouring all the country."
"But what possible ground can they have to go upon
except that smuggling affair ?"
Well, if what our friend told me is true, they have very
good grounds, as they think, to go on. He was talking
with one of the constables, and he told him that Faulkner
is not dead yet, though he ain't expected to last till morning.
His servants came out to look for him when the horse came
back to the house without him. A man rode into Wey-
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
mouth for the doctor, and another went to Colonel Chambers
and Mr. Harrington. By the time they got there Faulkner
was conscious, and they took his dying deposition. He said
that he had had a row with you a short distance before
he had got to his gate, and that you said you would be
even with him. As he was riding up through the wood
to his house, he suddenly heard a gun and at the same
moment fell from his horse. A minute later you came
out from the wood at the point where the shot had been
fired. You had a gun in your hand. Feeling sure that your
intention was to ascertain if he was done for, and to finish
him off if you found that he was not, he shut his eyes and
pretended to be dead. You stooped over him, and then
made off at full speed. Now, sir, that will be awkward
evidence to get over, and you must see that you will be a
long way safer in France than you would in Weymouth."
Julian sank down, crushed by the blow. He saw that
what the poacher said was true. What would his un-
supported assertion go for as against the dying man's de-
position 1 No doubt Faulkner had stated what he believed
to be the truth, though he might not have given quite a
fair account of what had taken place in the road; still, there
would be no cross-examining him as to what had passed
there, and his statement would stand unchallenged. As
things now stood, Julian's own story that he had pursued a
man over the hills, and had lost him, would, wholly unsup-
ported as it was, be received with absolute incredulity. He
had been at the spot certainly at the time. He had had
words with Faulkner; he had had a gun in his hands; he
had come out and leaned over the wounded man within
less than a minute of the shot being fired. The chain of
evidence against him seemed to be complete, and he sat
appalled at the position in which he found himself.
"Look here, youngster," the poacher said, it is a bad
(Mx 90) F
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
job, and I don't say it isn't. I am sorry. for you, but I
ain't so sorry as to go and give myself up and get hung
in your place; but I'll tell you what I will do. When
I get across to France I will draw up a statement and swear
it before a magistrate, giving an account of the whole
affair, and I will put it in a tin case and always carry it
about with me. I will direct it to Colonel ('h ,i ..h-,i -, and
whenever anything happens to me it shall be sent to him.
I am five-and-twenty years older than you are, and the life
I lead ain't likely to give me old age. To make matters
safer, I will have two copies made of my statement-one I
will leave in the hands of one of our friends here. The
craft I am in i ..-- be wrecked some day, or sunk by one of
the cutters; anyhow, whichever way it comes, he is certain
to hear of my death, and I shall tell him that when he
hears of it he is to send that letter to Chambers."
"Thank you," Julian said earnestly. "It may not come
for a long time, but it will be something for me to know
that some day or other my name will be cleared of this
horrible accusation; but I would rather have gone and faced
it out now."
"It would be just suicide," the man said. "Weymouth
ain't the only place in the world; and it is better for you to
live out of it, and know you will get cleared some day, than
to get hung, with only the consolation that perhaps twenty
years hence they may find out they have made a mistake."
"It isn't so much myself I am thinking of as my
brother and aunt. My going away and never sending them
a word will be like confessing my guilt. It will ruin my
brother's life, and kill my aunt."
"Well, I'll tell you what I will do," Markham said. "You
shall write a letter to your brother, and tell him your story,
except, of course, about this cave. You can say you followed
me, and that I and some smugglers sprang on you and
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
captured you, and have carried you across to France. All
the rest you can tell just as it happened. I don't know as
it will do me any harm. Your folks may believe it, but no
one else is likely to do so. I don't mean to go back to
Weymouth again, and if I did, that letter would not be
evidence that anyone would send me to trial on. Anyhow,
I will risk that."
"Thank you, with all my heart," Julian said gratefully.
"I shall not so much mind, if Frank and Aunt get my story.
I know that they will believe it if no one else does, and they
can move away from Weymouth to some place where it will
not follow them. It won't be so hard for me to bear then,
especially if some day the truth gets to be known. Only
please direct your letters to 'Colonel Chambers, or the
Chairman of the Weymouth magistrates', because he is at
least ten years older than you are, and might die long
before you, and the letter might never be opened if directed
only to him."
"Right you are, lad! I will see to that."
Just at this moment one of the sailors came down from
the look-out above, and said that the signal had just been
made from the offing, and that the lugger's boat would be
below in a quarter of an hour. All prepared for departure;
the lower door was unbolted, the lights extinguished, and
they went down to the lower entrance. It was reached by
a staircase cut in the chalk, and coming down into a long
and narrow passage, at the further end of which was the
opening Julian had seen from the sea. The party gathered
at the entrance. In a few minutes a boat with muffled oars
approached silently; a rope was lowered, a noose at its upper
end being placed over a short iron bar projecting three or
four inches from the chalk a foot or two inside the en-
The French captain went down first. Julian was told to
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
follow. The sailors and Markham then descended. A sharp
jerk shook the rope off the bar, and the boat then rowed
out to the smuggler, which was lying half a mile from shore.
As soon as they were on board the sails were sheeted home,
and the craft began to steal quietly through the water,
towing the boat behind it. The whole operation had been
conducted in perfect silence. The men were accustomed
to their work; there was no occasion for orders, and it
was not until they were another mile out that a word was
"All has gone off well," the captain then said. We got
the laces and silks safely away, and the money has been paid
for them. The revenue cutter started early this morning,
and was off Lyme Regis this afternoon, so we shall have a
clear run out. We will keep on the course we are laying
till we are well beyond the race, and then make for the
west. We have sent word for them to be on the look-out
for us at the old place near Dartmouth to-morrow night,
and if we are not there then, the night after; if there is
danger, they are to send up a rocket from the hill inland."
The wind was but light, and keeping a smart look-out for
British cruisers, and lowering their sails down once or twice
when a suspicious sail was seen in the distance, they ap-
proached the rocky shore some two miles east of the
entrance to the bay at ten o'clock on the second evening
after starting. A lantern was raised twice above the
bulwark, kept there for an instant, and then lowered.
"I expect it is all right," the captain said, or they would
have sent up a rocket before this. Half-past eight is the
time arranged, and I think we are about off the landing-
place. Ah, yes, there is the signal!" he broke off as a light
was shown for a moment close down to the water's edge.
"Yes, there it is again! Lower the anchor gently; don't
let it splash."
THE SMUGGLER'S CAVE.
A light anchor attached to a hawser was silently let down
into the water.
"Now, off with the hatches; get up the kegs."
While some of the men were engaged at this work, others
lowered the second boat, and this, and the one towing
behind, were brought round to the side. Julian saw that
all the men were armed with cutlasses, and had pistols in
their belts. Rapidly the kegs were brought up on deck
and lowered into the boat.
"Ah, here comes Thompson!" the captain said, as a very
small boat rowed up silently out of the darkness. "Well,
my friend, is all safe?" he asked in broken English as the
boat came alongside.
"Safe enough, captain. Most of the revenue men have
gone round from here to the other side of the bay, where
they got news, as they thought, that a cargo was going to be
run. The man on duty here has been squared, and will be
away at the other end of his beat. The carts are ready, a
quarter of a mile ... ;. I made you out with my glass
just before sunset, and sent round word at once to our
friends to be in readiness."
The boats started as soon as their cargoes were on board,
and the work went on uninterruptedly for the next two
hours, by which time the last keg was on shore, and the
boats returned to the lugger. The men were in high
spirits. The cargo had been a valuable one, and the whole
had been got rid of without interruption. The boats were
at once hoisted up, the anchor weighed, and the lugger
made her way out to sea.
What port do you land at." Julian asked Markham.
"We shall go up the Loire to Nantes," he replied; "she
hails from there. To-morrow morning you had best put on
that sailor suit I gave you to-day. Unless the wind freshens
a good deal we sha'n't be there for three or four days, but
86 THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
I fancy, from the look of the sky, that it will blow up before
morning, and, as likely as not, we shall get more than we
want by evening. There is generally a cruiser or two off
the mouth of the river. In a light wind we can show them
our heels easily enough, but if it is blowing at all their
weight tells. I am glad to be at sea again, lad, after being
cooped up in that cursed prison for two years. It seems
to make a new man of one. I don't know but that I am
sorry I shot that fellow. I don't say that he didn't deserve
it, for he did; but I don't see it quite so strongly as I did
when I was living on bread and water, and with nothing
to do but to think of how I could get even with him when
I got out; besides, I never calculated upon getting anyone
else into a mess, and I am downright sorry that I got you
into one, Mr. Wyatt. However, the job is done, and it is
no use crying over spilt milk."
Markham's prediction turned out correct. A fresh wind
was blowing by the morning, and two days later the lugger
was running along, close under the coast, fifteen miles south
of the mouth of the Loire, having kept that course in order
to avoid any British cruisers that might be off the mouth
of the river. Before morning they had passed St. Nazaire,
and were running up the Loire.
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
FRANK had started early for a walk with one of his
school friends. Returning through the town at three
in the afternoon, he saw people talking in groups. They
presently met one of their chums.
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
"What is going on, Vincent?"
Why, have you not heard ? Faulkner, the magistrate,
has been shot."
"Shot!" the two boys exclaimed. "Do you mean on
purpose or accidentally?"
On purpose. The servants heard a gun fired close by,
and a minute later his horse galloped up to the door. Two
men ran along the drive, and, not a hundred yards from
the house, found him lying shot through the body. Three
of the doctors went off at once. Thompson came back ten
minutes ago, for some instruments, I believe. He stopped
his gig for a moment to speak -to the Rector, and I hear he
told him that it might be as well for him to go up at once,
as there was very little probability of Faulkner's living
through the night."
"Well, I can't say that I am surprised," Frank said.
"He has made himself so disliked, there are so many men
who have a grudge against him, and he has been threatened
so often, that I have heard fellows say dozens of times
he would be shot some day. And yet I suppose no one
ever really thought that it would come true; anyhow it is
a very bad affair."
Leaving the other two talking together, Frank went on
home. Mrs. Troutbeck was greatly shocked at the news.
"Dear, dear!" she said, "what dreadful doings one does
hear of. Who would have thought that a gentleman, and
a magistrate too, could have been shot in broad daylight
within a mile or two of us. I did not know him myself, but
I have always heard that he was very much disliked, and it
is awful to think that he has been taken away like this."
"Well, Aunt, I don't pretend to be either surprised or
shocked. If a man spends his life in going out of his way
to hunt others down, he must not be surprised if at last
one of them turns on him. On the bench he was hated; it
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
was not only because he was severe, but because of his
bullying way. See how he behaved in that affair with
Julian. I can't say I feel any pity for him at all, he has
sent many a man to the gallows, and now his time has
At five o'clock it was already dusk, the shutters had
been closed, and the lamp lighted. Presently the servant
"There is someone wants to speak to you, Master
Frank went out into the hall. The head of the con-
stabulary and two of his men were standing there. Much
surprised, Frank asked the officer into the other sitting-
What is it, Mr. Henderson?" he said.
"It is a very sad business, a very sad business, Mr.
Wyatt. Your brother is not at home, I hear?"
"No. Julian went over this morning to have a day's
rabbit-shooting with Dick Merryweather. I expect it
won't be long before he is back. There is nothing the
matter with him?" he asked, with a vague feeling of alarm
at the gravity of the officer's face.
It is a very painful matter, Mr. Wyatt; but it is useless
trying to hide the truth from you, for you must know it
shortly. I hold a warrant for your brother's arrest on the
charge of attempted wilful murder."
Frank's eyes dilated with surprise and horror.
You don't mean-" he gasped, and then his faith in his
brother came to his aid, and he broke off indignantly: "it
is monstrous, perfectly monstrous, Mr. Henderson. I sup-
pose it is Faulkner, and it is because of that wretched
smuggling business that suspicions fall on him, as if there
were not a hundred others who owe the man a much deeper
grudge than my brother did; indeed he had no animosity
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
against him at all, for Julian got the best of it altogether,
and Faulkner has been hissed and hooted every time he
has been in the town since. If there was any ill-feeling
left over that matter, it would be on his part and not on
Julian's. Who signed the warrant? Faulkner himself?"
"No; it is signed by the Colonel and Mr. Harrington.
They took the dying deposition of Mr. Faulkner. There
is no harm in my telling you that, because it must be gener-
ally known when your brother is brought up, but till then
please do not let it go further. He has sworn that he over-
took Mr. Wyatt two or three hundred yards before he got
to his own gate. There was an altercation between them,
and he swears that your brother used threats. He had a
double-barrelled gun in his hand, and as Faulkner was riding
up the drive to the house he was fired at from the trees on
his left, and fell from his horse. Almost directly afterwards
Mr. Wyatt ran out from the spot where the gun had been
fired. Thinking he would finish him if he thought he was
still alive, Mr. Faulkner closed his eyes and held his breath.
Your brother came up and stood over him, and.having
satisfied himself that he was dead, ran off through the
"I believe it is a lie from beginning to end," Frank said
passionately. "Julian had brought him into disgrace here,
and the fellow invented this charge out of revenge. If it
had been in the road, and Faulkner had struck Julian as he
did before, and Julian had had his loaded gun in his hand, I
don't say but that in his passion he might have shot him;
still, I don't believe he would, even then. Julian is one of
the best-tempered fellows in the world; still, I would admit
that, in the heat of the moment, he might raise his gun
and fire; but to say that he loaded his gun after Faulkner
had gone on-for I am sure it was empty as he came along,
as I have never known him to bring home his gun loaded-
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
and that he then went and hid behind a tree and shot
a man down, why, I would not believe it if fifty honest
men swore to it, much less on the oath of a fellow like
"I can't say anything about that, Mr. Wyatt; I have
only my duty to do."
"Yes, I understand that, Mr. Henderson. Of course he
must be arrested, but I am sure no one will believe the
accusation for a minute. Oh!" he exclaimed, as a fresh
idea struck him, "what was Faulkner shot with?"
"It is a bullet wound."
"Well, that is quite enough," Frank exclaimed trium-
phantly. "Julian had his double-barrelled gun with him,
and had been rabbit-shooting; and if it had been he who
fired it would have been with a charge of shot. You don't
suppose he went about with a bullet in his pocket to use in
case he happened to meet Faulkner, and have another row
with him. Julian never fired a bullet in his life, as far as I
know. There is not such a thing as a bullet-mould in the
The officer's look of gravity relaxed. "That is important,
certainly," he said, "very important. I own that after
hearing the deposition read it did seem to me that, as the
result of this unfortunate quarrel, your brother might have
been so goaded by something Mr. Faulkner said or did, that
he had hastily loaded his gun, and in his passion ran across
the wood and shot him down. But now it is clear, from
what you say, that it is most improbable he would have a
bullet about him, and unless it can be proved that he obtained
one from a gunmaker or otherwise, it is a very strong point
in his favour. I suppose your brother has not returned this
"No. I asked the servant, when I got home at three,
whether he had returned, though I did not expect him
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
back so soon, and she said that he had not come in, and I
am sure he has not done so since."
"Then I will not intrude any longer. I shall place one
of my men in front of the house and one behind, and if he
comes home his arrest will be managed quietly, and we will
not bring him in here at all. It will save a painful scene."
When the officer had left, Frank returned to his aunt.
"What is it, Frank?" she asked.
"Well, Aunt, it is a more absurd affair than the other;
but, absurd as it is, it is very painful. There is a warrant
out for the arrest of Julian on the charge of attempting to
murder Mr. Faulkner."
Mrs. Troutbeck gave a cry, and then burst into a fit of
hysterical laughter. After vainly trying to pacify her,
Frank went out for the servant, but as her wild screams of
laughter continued he put on his hat and ran for the family
doctor, who lived but a few doors away. He briefly related
the circumstances of the case to him, and then brought him
back to the house. It was a long time before the violence
of the paroxysm passed, leaving Mrs. Troutbeck so weak
that she had to be carried by Frank and the doctor up to
"Don't you worry yourself, Aunt," Frank said, as they
laid her down upon the bed; "it will all come out right,
just as the last did. It will all be cleared up, no doubt, in
a very short time."
As soon as the maid had undressed Mrs. Troutbeck, and
had got her into bed, the doctor went up and gave her an
opiate, and then went down into the parlour to Frank, who
told him the story in full, warning him that he must say
nothing about the deposition of Mr. Faulkner until it had
been read in court.
"It is a very grave affair, Frank," the old doctor said.
"Having known your brother from his childhood, I am as
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
convinced as you are that, however much of this deposition
be true or false, Julian never fired the shot; and what you
say about the bullet makes it still more conclusive, if that
were needed-which it certainly is not with me. Your
brother had an exceedingly sweet and even temper. Your
father has often spoken to me of it, almost with regret,
saying that it would be much better if he had a little more
will of his own and a little spice more of temper. Still, it
is most unfortunate that he hasn't returned. Of course, he
may have met some friend in the town and gone home
with him, or he may have stayed at Mr. Merryweather's."
"I don't think he can have stopped in the town anyhow,"
Frank said; "for the first thing he would have heard when
he got back would have been of the shooting of Faulkner,
and he would have been sure to have come home to talk
it over with me. Of course, he may have stopped with
the Merryweathers, but I am afraid he has not. I fancy
that part of Faulkner's story must be true; he could never
have accused Julian if he had not met him near his gate
--for Julian in that case could have easily proved where he
was at the time. No, I think they did meet, and very
likely had a row. You know what Faulkner is; and I
can understand that if he met Julian he would most likely
say something to him, and there might then be a quarrel;
but I think that his story about Julian coming out and
looking at him is either pure fancy or a lie. No doubt he
was thinking of him as he rode along; and, badly wounded
as he was, perhaps altogether insensible, he may have im-
agined the rest."
"That is all quite possible," the doctor agreed; "but in
that case Julian's not coming home is all the more extraordi-
nary. If he met Faulkner between two and three o'clock,
what can he have been doing since?"
This was a question Frank could not answer.
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
"I can't tell, sir," he said after a long pause; I really
can't imagine. Still, nothing in the world would make me
believe that Julian did what he is charged with."
Several times Frank went outside the door, but the con-
stable was still there. At last, after sitting and looking at
the fire for some time he put on his cap and went to the
residence of the chief constable.
"Excuse me, Mr. Henderson, but I have been thinking
it over ever since you left. Whoever did this murder
did not ..1. ,1, return to the road, but struck off some-
where across the fields. There was snow enough in the
middle of the day to cover the ground; it stopped falling
at two o'clock, and has not snowed since. Might I suggest
that in the morning a search should be made round the edge
of the wood. If there are footprints found it might be of
"You are quite right, Mr. Wyatt, and I had already
determined to go myself, with a couple of constables, at
"May I go with you, sir?"
"If you please. But you must remember that the evi-
dence of footprints which we may find may be unfavourable
to your brother."
"I have not the slightest fear of that," Frank said con-
Very well, then, Mr. Wyatt. The two constables will be
here at half-past seven, and I shall be ready to start with
them at once. Should you by any chance be late, you will,
no doubt, be able to overtake us before we get there."
The next morning Frank was at the office half an hour
before the appointed time. Fortunately no snow had fallen
in the night. The chief constable looked grave and anxious
when the search began; Frank was excited rather than
anxious. He had no fear whatever as to the result of the
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
investigation; it would disclose nothing, he felt certain, to
Julian's disadvantage. The continued absence of the latter
was unaccountable to him, but he felt absolutely certain that
it would be explained satisfactorily on his return.
The moment they got across the hedge into the fields
skirting the wood the chief constable exclaimed:
"Stay, men; here are footprints by the edge of the trees!
Do not come out until I have carefully examined them.
Do you not think," he went on, turning to Frank, "that it
would be much better that you should not go further with
me, for you see I might have to call you as a witness "
"Not at all, Mr. Henderson; whatever we find, I shall
have no objection to being a witness, for I am certain that
we shall find nothing that will tend to incriminate my
brother. I see what you are thinking of-that these foot-
prints were Julian's. That is my own idea too. At any
rate, they are the marks of a well-made boot of large size,
without heavy nails."
The constable nodded. "There are two sets," he said,
"one going each way; and by the distance they are apart,
and the fact that the heel is not as deeply marked as the
rest of the print, whoever made them was running."
Certainly," Frank agreed; "he ran up to the hedge and
then turned. Why should he have done that?"
"Probably because he saw some vehicle or some persons
walking along the road, and did not wish to be seen."
"Possibly so, Mr. Henderson; but in that case, why did
he not keep among the trees both coming and going, instead
of exposing himself, as he must have done running here; for
the hedge is thin, and any one walking along, much less
driving, could have seen him."
Mr. Henderson looked at Frank with a closer scrutiny
than he had before given him.
"You are an acute observer, Mr. Wyatt. The point is
FOLLOWING A TRAIL. 95
an important one. A man wishing to avoid observation
would certainly have kept among the trees. Now, let
us follow these footprints along; we may learn something
Presently they came to the point where Julian had come
out from the wood.
"You see he was in the wood, Mr. Wyatt," the constable
"I quite see that," Frank said. "If these are the marks
of Julian's boots-and I think they are-we have now
found out that he came out of the wood at this point, ran
for some purpose or other, and without an attempt at
concealment, as far as the hedge; then turned and ran back
again, past the point where he had left the wood. Now
let us see what he did afterwards-it may give us a clue to
the whole matter."
Fifty yards further they came on the spot where Julian
had turned off on the poacher's track.
"There it is, Mr. Henderson!" Frank exclaimed triumph-
antly. "Another man came out of the wood here-a man
with roughly-made boots with hob-nails. That man came
out first; that is quite evident. The tracks are all in a line,
and Julian's are in many places on the top of the other's.
They were both running fast. But if you look you will see
that Julian's strides are the longest, and, therefore, he was
probably running the fastest."
"It is as you say, Mr. Wyatt. The lighter footprints
obliterate those of the heavier boots in several places.
What can be the meaning of this, and what can the second
man have been doing in the wood ?"
"The whole thing is perfectly plain to me," Frank said
excitedly. "Julian was in the road, he heard the report of
the gun close by in the wood, and perhaps heard a cry; he
jumped over the hedge and made for the spot, and possibly,
THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
as Mr. Faulkner said, ran into the drive and stooped
over him; then he started in pursuit of the murderer, of
whom he may possibly have obtained a sight. There was
not enough snow under the trees for him to follow the foot-
prints, he therefore ran to the edge of the wood, and then
to the road, in search of the man's track. Then he turned
and ran back again till he came upon them leaving the
wood, and then set off in pursuit.
"By Jove! Mr. Wyatt," the officer said, "I do think that
your explanation is the right one. Give me your hand, lad;
I had no more doubt five minutes ago that your brother had,
in a fit of passion, shot Mr. Faulkner than I have that I am
standing here now. But I declare I think now that he
acted as you say. How you have struck upon it beats me
"I have been thinking of nothing else all the night, Mr.
Henderson. I put myself in Julian's position, and it seemed
to me that, hearing a gun fired so close at hand, even if he
did not hear a cry, Julian, knowing how often the man had
been threatened, might at once have run to the spot, and
might have behaved just as Faulkner says he did. All
that seemed to me simple enough; Julian's absence was the
only difficulty, and the only way I could possibly account
for it, was that he had followed the murderer."
"It was very imprudent," Mr. Henderson said gravely.
"Very; but it was just the sort of thing Julian would
"But, however far he went, he ought to be back before
"That is what I am anxious about, Mr. Henderson. Of
course he ought to be back. I am terribly afraid that
something has happened to him. This man, whoever he
was, must have been a desperate character, and having
taken one life from revenge, he would not hesitate to take
FOLLOWING A TRAIL.
another to secure his own safety. He had a great advantage
over Julian, for, as we know, his gun carried bullets, while
Julian had nothing but small shot. Which way shall we
go next, Mr. Henderson-shall we follow the track or go
into the wood?"
"We will go into the wood; that will take us a compar-
atively short time, and there is no saying how far the other
may lead us. But, before we do so, I will call up my two
men, take them over the ground, and show them the dis-
coveries we have made. It is as well to have as many
witnesses as possible."
The two constables were called up and taken along the
line of track, and the chief constable pointed out.to them
that the man with well-made boots was evidently running
after the other. Then they entered the wood. Carefully
searching, they found here and there prints of both the
boots. They went out into the drive, and, starting from
the spot where Mr. Faulkner had been found, made for a
large tree some thirty yards to the left.
"Just as I thought," Mr. Henderson said. "Someone
has been standing here, and, I should think, for some little
time. You can see that the ground is kicked up a bit,
and, though it was too hard to show the marks of the
boots plainly, there are many scratches and grooves, such
as would be made by hob-nails. Now, lads, search about
closely; if we can find the wad it will be a material point."
After five minutes' search one of the men picked up a
piece of half-burned paper. Frank uttered an exclamation
of satisfaction as he held it up.
"Julian always used wads. This never came from his
gun. Now let us go back to the tree, Mr. Henderson, and
see which way the man went after firing the shot."
After careful search they found the heavy footprints at
several spots where the snow lay, and near them also found
'THROUGH RUSSIAN SNOWS.
traces of the lighter boots. The trees then grew thicker,
but following the line indicated by the footprints, they
came to the spot where he had left the wood.
"You see, Mr. Henderson," Frank said, "Julian lost the
footprints just where we did, and bore a little more to the
left, striking the edge of the wood between where the
man had left it and the road. Now, sir, we have only to
find the spot where Julian first left the road, and try to
trace his footsteps from there to the spot where Mr.
Faulkner was lying. We know that the shot was fired
from behind that tree-and if my brother's footsteps miss
this spot altogether, I think the case will be absolutely
They went back into the road, and found where Julian
had crossed the untrodden snow between it and the hedge,
and had pushed his way through the latter. It was
only here and there that footprints could be found; but,
fortunately, some ten yards to the right of the tree there
was an open space, and across this he had evidently run.
"You have proved your case, Mr. Wyatt," the chief con-
stable said, shaking Frank cordially by the hand. "I am
indeed glad. Whoever the man was who shot Mr. Faulkner,
it was certainly not your brother. Now let us start at once
on the tracks."
Frank's face became more serious than it had been during
the previous search, as soon as they took up the double track
across the fields. Before, he had felt absolutely confident
that whatever they might find it could only tend to clear
Julian from this terrible accusation; now, upon the contrary,
he feared that any discovery they might make would confirm
his suspicions that evil had befallen him. Scarcely a word
was spoken as they passed along the fields.
"The man with the hob-nailed boots is taking to the
hills," the chief constable remarked.