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If I could make a rope, by which to let myself down, I could, I thought, make use of this ladder to get back by, for it would cover nearly half the height to my window sill, a full thirty feet from the ground. If, by standing on the upper rungs, could reach within five yards of the window, I knew that I should be able to scramble up so far by a rope. There was no difficulty about a rope.

The ladder was fetched by Heritage and proved to be ancient and wanting many rungs, but sufficient in length. The three stood silent for a moment, listening like stags, and then ran across the intervening lawn to the foot of the verandah wall. Dougal went up first, then Heritage, and lastly Dickson, stiff and giddy from his long lie under the bushes.

This was a thin ladder of silken rope, having bamboo rungs, with two metal hooks for attaching it to any suitable object. The one thus engaged was, as Kâramanèh had declared, almost superhumanly thin. His loins were swathed in a sort of linen garment, and his head so bound about, turban fashion, that only his gleaming eyes remained visible.

These no-castes stand at the very foot of the social ladder of Hinduism, and in theory at least they can never hope to climb even on to its lowest rungs, though in practice the most stringent laws can be gradually circumvented with the help of needy Brahmans or will yield to the pressure of changing economic conditions.

To mount it was the next thing, and what was more difficult to lower herself safely through the window when it was reached. That was the only part of the proceeding of which she had any dread, but, as it turned out, she was not to attempt it, for before she had ascended two rungs of the ladder a voice called her sharply by name, and she turned to find Hector Darcy standing by her side.

One end remained in the hands of Sawkins and Dawson, who reeled backwards into the room, and the other end flew up into the air, writhing like the lash of a gigantic whip. For a moment the heavy ladder swayed from side to side: Barrington, standing underneath, with his hands raised above his head grasping one of the rungs, struggled desperately to hold it up.

"You might be civil in the first place," said Paul quietly, taking a chair. "You haven't behaved over well to Miss Norman and me." "Oh," said Pash, coolly, "have you come to reproach me with that?" "I never waste time," rejoined Paul, equally coolly. "I'll leave you to your conscience." Pash shrugged his shoulders and put his feet on the rungs of his chair.

"What's the matter with you, Jud?" And he fastened his keen glance on the boy. Vaguely, from the corner of his eye, he felt that Pop had taken the pipe from his mouth. There was a sort of breathless touch in the air of the room. "Nothin'," said Jud. "Only you know the rungs of that ladder ain't fit to be walked on, grandad!"

With such a reputation, with his knowledge of the world, and his eagerness to succeed, opportunities would not be wanting to put himself forward, to make himself known, to become useful, indispensable even. He saw himself already on the highest rungs of the official ladder. He was a judge in Bordeaux, in Lyons, in Paris itself! With such rose-colored dreams he fell asleep at night.

"While the people were saying this to themselves, one of the firemen stepped out of the window, set his right foot on the window-sill and his left on the ladder, and standing thus upright in the air, he grasped the lodgers, one after the other, as the other men handed them to him from within, passed them on to a comrade, who had climbed up from the street, and who, after securing a firm grasp for them on the rungs, sent them down, one after the other, with the assistance of more firemen.