He came up and dropped down beside her on the moss. "A dead airman in Les Errues," he said quietly, "a Britisher. I put away what remained of him. The Huns may dig him up: some animals do such things." "Where did you find him, Kay?" she asked quietly. "A quarter of a mile down-stream. He lay on the west slope. He had fallen clear, but there was not much left of his machine."
Then the aviator planes down, sweeps through the canyon, and alights on the plateau called Thusis's Garden. But now he must return; the cable must be lifted and stretched taut; and he must embark across the gulf in the little car which runs on grooved wheels to Les Errues. "This is all we are likely to learn. Our retreat is cut off.
The swine seem to know it's the only way out. I go every day, every night. Always the way is blocked; always I discover one or more of their riflemen there in ambush while the rest of the pack are ranging Les Errues." "And yet," said McKay, "we've got to go that way, sooner or later." There was a silence: then Gray nodded. "Yes," he said, "but it is a question of waiting."
Of course, down there in Les Errues, some Hun guarding some secret chamois trail into the forbidden wilderness may hear our shots." "We shall have to take that chance," she remarked. He said in the low, quiet voice which always thrilled her a little: "You poor child you are hungry." "So are you, Kay." "Hungry?
"Their presence in the forest of Les Errues is the most serious menace to the Fatherland that has yet confronted it. "Upon the apprehension and destruction of these two spies depends the safety of Germany and her allies.
It had happened a year ago when Von Dresslin, patrolling the north Swiss border, had discovered a British flyer planing low over Swiss territory in the air-region between Mount Terrible and the forest of Les Errues. Instantly the Hun, too, crossed the line: and the air-battle was joined above the forest.
"Well, then! And let me add also that it is a physical impossibility for any man to reach the plateau below us from the forest of Les Errues!" "That," said McKay, coldly, "is a lie!" "What! You offer a Swiss officer such an injury " "Yes; and I may add an insulting bullet to the injury in another minute. You've lied to me. I have already done what you say is an impossibility.
Presently, in the same disagreeable, distinct, nasal, and measured voice, the speaker resumed the message: "Until last evening it has been taken for granted that the American Intelligence Officer, McKay, and his companion, Miss Erith, made insane through suffering after having drunk at a spring the water of which we had prepared for them according to plan, had either jumped or fallen from the eastward cliffs of Les Errues into the gulf through which flows the Staubbach.
"And that," shouted one, stifling with laughter, "I should like to have seen. It is all I have to regret of this jagd-that I did not see the wilde die!" The other Hun was less cheerful: "But what a pity to leave that roe-deer lying there. Such good meat poisoned! Schade, immer schade! to leave good meat like that in the forest of Les Errues!"
"You know damned well I can't leave with Les Errues woods crawling alive with Huns." "Will you leave the canton of Les Ernies, McKay, if I show you a safe route out?" And, as the other made no reply: "You have no right to be here on neutral territory," he added, "and my Government desires you to leave at once!" "I have as much right here as the Huns have," said McKay in his pleasant voice.