"I should think so," Julian agreed. "However, you see 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 to myself."
"I should so consider it."
"The work is somewhat hard," he said, "for when a ship comes in from Germany or Russia we are often at work all night, sometimes eight-and-forty hours at a stretch, but we are all paid overtime. The work is pleasant and interesting, and your officials are good enough to say that we get through a wonderful amount in the time, and the minister has twice expressed his approbation to me. Ah, Mr. Wyatt, how much do I owe to you and the good general?"
There was a strange hush in the dining-room until the cloth was removed. The guests, under one excuse or another, took their departure almost immediately after the king's health had been drunk; the officers talked in low tones together, and very soon rose from the table.
"You are right again, comrade," the old sergeant said to Julian, who had been promoted to the rank of sergeant after the battle of Borodino, as they stood together on the night of the 15th gazing at the terrible spectacle of the city enveloped in flames. "Peste! these Russians are terrible fellows. Who could have thought of such a thing? It is a bad look-out for us."
"I sincerely hope not," Colonel Chambers said; "but I own that I can see no other way for accounting for his absence. Well, if you will call the clerk in, he will take down your statement at once. What do you think, Harrington? It seems to me that when we have got the four statements we shall be fully justified in withdrawing the warrant against young Wyatt."
"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 discharged at once. At any rate, we shall in no way press the case against him."下载
"Half-past four will suit very well, Mr. Wyatt. It is four o'clock now, so if you like to take your first lesson to-day I will meet you at the shed in half an hour. You cannot miss the place, it is on the right side of the road and stands by itself, and there is my name over the door."
They found that the servant who had preceded them with the baggage had already made all the arrangements for their crossing the gulf. The extreme cold had everywhere so completely frozen the sea that there was no difficulty in crossing, which, they learned, was not often the case. Three sledges had been engaged for their transport. The distance was about 120 miles; but it was broken by the islands of the Aland Archipelago, and upon one or other of these they could take refuge in the event of any sudden change of weather. They were to start at midnight, and would reach Bomarsund, on the main island of Aland, on the following evening, wait there for twenty-four hours to rest the animals, and would reach the mainland the next day.