I half expected to see the whole troop of wriggling, twisting, forked-tailed smoke-worms coming up the harbour with the last of the flood; but though I looked out till the tide had done, they didn't come, and it's my belief that they knocked themselves about so much against the Needle rocks, that they put about and went down Channel; and all I can say is that I hope that every one of 'em was drowned or came to some other bad end out at sea, and that I may never as long as I live have such a night as the one I spent after taking Doctor Gulliman's physic.
Now the passage was too narrow, you see, for the forked-tailed beasts to get through, and they had a good chance of hurting themselves on the rocks if they attempted it; so, if they had been as wise as I took them for, I knew that they would go all the way round the outer Needle rock, and that this would give me a great start.
When they saw me coming with my train of forked-tailed brutes after me, they sung out that I must sheer off, or they would let fly at me. So there I was fairly at sea, followed by as disagreeable a set of customers as a man ever had astern of him. "I didn't bless Doctor Gulliman exactly, for I could not help thinking that somehow or other he had had a hand in the mystification.