The animal skins which had adorned the walls had been torn down and lay in a tattered heap upon the floor. The shelves upon which had rested the professor's botanical specimens had been swept clean and their contents also were scattered about the floor.
Hats, torn cloaks, knives strewed the flagstones, and the dim light of the lamps, fastened high up on the walls, fell on the faces of three men stretched out on their backs. Another, lying huddled up in a heap, got up suddenly and rushed out.
So divers running on a heap together to fly upon Cæsar, he looking about him to have fled, saw Brutus with a sword drawn in his hand ready to strike at him: then he let Casca's hand go, and casting his gown over his face, suffered every man to strike at him that would.
The smallest heap which was also nearest to him, consisted of large metal canteens for water, such as soldiers of that day carried. His thirst suddenly made itself manifest again. Doubtless those canteens contained water, and his body which wanted water so badly cried aloud for it.
And now of all the King's subjects in that hour we were the most ill-fated, islanded on a sand heap with the tide of savage war hourly eating into our crazy shelter. Before the daylight came, as I stood with my cheek to my musket, I had come to a resolution.
"Never saw it before," Toby went on record as saying; "and it's an unusually fine piece of material, I should say, just such as a gentleman who cared a heap for his personal appearance and clothes would be likely to carry." "Well, you picked that up first of all, and it excited your suspicions; is that it, Steve?" queried Jack.
Starting at earliest dawn, and traversing formidably steep and rolling waves of sand, we at length reached the foot of the mountain we had been striving for, in twenty-three miles, forty-five from Wynbring. I could not help thinking it was the most desolate heap on the face of the earth, having no water or places that could hold it.
They showed me a few pieces they had saved, splinters and slugs of nacre, misshapen and of no luster, and sneered at the net results, worth, at most, not so much as the day's wages I was paying either. I cared nothing for the results, and smiled and nodded as I took them. Thus the day wore on till mid-afternoon, when, such had been the zeal of the clammers, the heap of bivalves was exhausted.
Monte-Cristo seized the bar, whirled it aside and flung open the door; then he sprang into the cell, calling wildly on his daughter. Zuleika was lying in a corner upon a heap of straw and moaning piteously. At the sound of her father's voice, however, she was on her feet in an instant and cast herself rapturously into his arms.
It struck me all of a heap that nothing had really begun to happen until I had unearthed it. As soon as Bryce had seen where I was sitting, he had started to run inshore, the other man had stationed himself behind the rocks, the curtain had been rung up and the play had begun. Now the question was what part did the piece of wood play in the game?