"No; leave it wide. I have no fancy for a walk in pitch-darkness with M. Lucas." "Do we fight here?" Lucas asked, facing us in the wide, square hall. "We can let in more light." "You seem anxious, my friend, to call attention to your whereabouts. As I am host, I designate the fighting-ground. Up-stairs, if you please." "I suppose you insist on my walking first," Lucas sneered.

I recognized the spot, and having tied up the cob we all three plunged into the pitch-darkness of the wood, keeping straight on in the direction of the glen, and halting every now and then to listen for the rippling of the stream.

Though he advanced very slowly, he tried always to take steps of about the same length; so that he knew that though considerable time had elapsed, yet he had really advanced no more than four hundred yards when ahead he saw a lessening of the pitch-darkness, and at the next turn of the stream his surroundings became vaguely discernible.

Outside in the pitch-darkness of the night the rain beat against the window-panes like some poor beggar imploring to come in; and inside it was so cosy and bright with the warmth and cheer of home-loves and home-lights that Joyce was not sure, after all, that she could leave such a shelter even to be a guest at the Little Colonel's house party.

I felt that I was bruised, and that the berth was unusually hard and cold; and, after groping about in the pitch-darkness, I found that I had been thrown out of it upon the floor, a fact soon made self-evident by my being rolled across the cabin, a peculiarly disagreeable course of locomotion.

Only one who has at some time passed where lengthened creeping was necessary, will know how Richard felt, with water under him, pitch-darkness about him, and the rock within an inch or two of his body all round. By and by the slope became steeper and the ascent more difficult. The air grew very close, and he began to fear he should be stifled.

In a little time, however, I took courage, and opened the door. The night-air floating in puffed out the candle. There was a thicket of holly and underwood, as dense as a jungle, close about the door. I should have been in pitch-darkness, were it not that through the topmost leaves there twinkled, here and there, a glimmer of moonshine.

What a long way I found it back through the dead! At first I was too angry to be afraid, but as I grew calm, the still shapes grew terrible. At last, with loud offence to the gracious silence, I ran, I fled wildly, and, bursting out, flung-to the door behind me. It closed with an awful silence. I stood in pitch-darkness.

At half-past ten Holmes and I retired for the night, having been assigned to one of the spacious guest-rooms on the third floor; and soon we were wrapped in slumber. Thud thud thud! Biff! Rattle! Bang! came a noise from below. I sat bolt upright in bed, and hollered through the pitch-darkness at the top of my voice: "Help! Police! Burglars! Robbers! Wake up, Holmes, and catch 'em!"

Only one who has at some time passed where lengthened creeping was necessary, will know how Richard felt, with water under him, pitch-darkness about him, and the rock within an inch or two of his body all round. By and by the slope became steeper and the ascent more difficult. The air grew very close, and he began to fear he should be stifled.