Placing the blank side of the sheet face-downwards upon the imprint he pressed down smartly. The result was a very fair impression of the footmark, which he immediately outlined in pencil. A strange ominous silence fell upon the group. Deep in wild, whirling conjecture, each man gazed about him. The desolate, sinister aspect of their surroundings struck them with a sudden chill.
It was Cyril who wrote the paper that told the carpet to take away the rats and bring milk, because there seemed to be no doubt in any breast that, however Persian cats may be, they must like milk. 'Let's hope it won't be musk-milk, said Anthea, in gloom, as she pinned the paper face-downwards on the carpet.
Parson Spettigew laid the book face-downwards on his knee while his lips murmured a part of the text he had chosen: "A place of broad rivers and streams . . . wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby. . . ." His pipe went out. The book slipped from his knee to the ground. He slumbered. The garden gate rattled, and he awoke with a start.
Instead, he let Sumpsi Din sleep for long hours at a time face-downwards on his arm in the sun, which was what Sumpsi Din liked best in the world, while he, Sonny Sahib, clapped his hands a hundred times at the little green thieves, abusing them roundly, and wondering always at the back of his head why so splendid a horseman should have stopped at his particular doorstep.
Whether from the fact that so often of an evening our drawing-room being reserved always as a show-room in case of chance visitors; Cowper's poems, open face-downwards on the wobbly loo table; the half-finished crochet work, suggestive of elegant leisure, thrown carelessly over the arm of the smaller easy-chair this office would become our sitting-room, its books and papers, as things of no account, being huddled out of sight; or whether from the readiness with which my father would come out of it at all times to play at something else at cricket in the back garden on dry days or ninepins in the passage on wet, charging back into it again whenever a knock sounded at the front door, I cannot say.
As the exclamation escaped him, Captain Branscome, who had casually picked up a corner of the parchment between finger and thumb, with a nervous jerk drew the whole chart from under my outspread palms and turned it over face-downwards. "Eh? But see here!"
Then, without waiting to see the effect of this shot, I snatched musket number three, and ran through the drifting smoke to where my first victim lay face-downwards in the grasses, his swine's mask bowed upon the forelegs crossed as a man crosses his arms inwards from the elbow. As I ran he lifted himself in agony on his knees a man's knees.
Where ten seconds before there had been nothing in view but the straight length of river and the snow-capped forest, dripping with icicles, there was now, hanging above the trees face-downwards, anchored to the sky by crimson threads, the inverted image of a portage, leading up from the right-hand bank of a river, hedged in on either side with a row of crosses which marked graves of bygone voyageurs.
A stream of blood welled out of the man's back, from between the shoulder-blades warm blood, that had not even started to coagulate. "They've been dead about three minutes!" commented Brown, rising, and wiping his hands in the road-dust to get the blood off them. "Pick 'em up. Carefully, now! Frog-march 'em, face-downwards. That's better! Now, forward. Quick, march!"
"Mechanically, almost without thinking, I levelled my gun and fired and saw my partner drop. When I came up with him, he was lying face-downwards, with his arms stretched out before him along the ground. I turned him over and called on him to rouse. I kicked him with the toe of my snowshoe, and tried to get angry, pretending to myself that he was shamming.