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Meantime the enemy's cavalry had wheeled about as fast as the narrowness of the road would permit them, and came charging down upon us to attempt to recapture the guns; but our infantry, who had now come up, poured in a hot fire, by which a third of their saddles was emptied.
Suddenly he gave a smothered explanation; tore the sheet once, and started up, took a step toward the fire. "Stop!" The voice was John Steele's; he stood now next to the partly-opened drawer, in his hand that which had been concealed there, something bright, shining. Lord Ronsdale wheeled, looked at the weapon and into the eyes behind it.
She called your father an' he took a look, with his gun, of course. He saw a man in a mask tryin' t' open th' strong box, and your dad gave th' usual countersign. "But th' burglar wheeled, an' popped one at your dad, not hittin' him I'm glad t' say, an' out th' winder he jumped, th' burglar, I mean. Then the rest of th' gang, which was waitin', rode off, shootin' some, as your dad was doin'.
At last we drove into a great avenue filled with the most luxuriant tropical vegetation, very carefully tended, for there were men at work everywhere. The escort wheeled away into line as we swept under a great glass-roofed portiere, and came to a halt at a fine flight of marble steps, where Sir Rupert left us and drove away with the soldiers clattering around him.
I confess this rather took me by surprise, and, as the common saying is, made the fire fly out of my eyes in tremendous sparkling brilliancy, but, collecting my best judgment, I caught her by the arms near her shoulders and wheeled her to the right about, moved her forward to the door, and said, 'Gentlemen, please open the door; the devil in this Universalist lady has got fighting hot, and I want to set her outside to cool. The door was opened, and I landed her out."
The three strangers made a halt, as if in conference; their decision was prompt. Two wheeled round from their comrade, and darted at full gallop by the carriage. Meanwhile Smoothson had leaped from his station in the front; and having fired, though without effect, at the third robber, who approached menacingly towards him, he gained the time to open the carriage door and extricate his master.
On this he was wheeled to his adjoining bedroom, and when Wallis had made him comfortable there, he left him mysteriously for a while. It was growing dark by now, and the lights were on. They were rose-shaded, Allan noticed, as the others had been at home. Allan watched the details of his room with that vivid interest in little changes which only invalids can know.
"Any proof?" inquired Doctor Bartholomew suddenly, stroking his beard, and arching his bushy eyebrows, as if trying to sympathize with his host's obvious half belief in the story. Nigel wheeled and faced him in the dim light. The pupils of his eyes were a trifle dilated. "Yes, so I understand. Short time back a chap went out fellow called Myers Will Myers.
On came the maddened myriads, nearer and nearer; I could see their wild eyes glaring; they wheeled not, opened not a passage, but came on like messengers of death nearer nearer nearer still. My brain reeled, my eyes grew dim; it was horrible, most horrible! I dashed down, with my face covered, to meet my fate.
She only thought: "Oh, what fun!" and that they were playing a delicious game this strange man and she. Very gently she turned the door-handle, screwing up her face and biting her lip as the lock snapped back. Of course, there he was leaning against the banister rail. He wheeled round as she slipped into the passage.