“Come, enough of that!” he cried surlily. “One of you take him, and let me hear 杭州不正规养生按摩推荐 what you have settled. I’d like my say as well as 杭州夜桑拿 another.”

“Ay, ay, Baptist,” one of the four answered. “In a minute, my lad.”

Baptist swore under his breath. Still he waited, and by-and-by one of the men came grudgingly back, took over the prisoner, and suffered Baptist to join the council. But Villeneuve, whose attention was now roused, noted that this man also, after an interval, became restless. He watched his comrades with jealous eyes, and from time to time he pressed nearer, as if he would fain surprise their talk. Things were in this position when the party arrived at a brook, bordered on either side by willow beds and rushes, and passable at a tiny ford. Beyond the brook the hill rose suddenly and steeply. Charles knew the place as he knew his hand, and that from the brook the track wound up through the brushwood to a nick 杭州上门足浴按摩 in the summit of the hill, whence Vlaye could be 杭州高端全身spa seen a league below.

The four troopers paused at the ford, and letting their horses drink, permitted the prisoner and his guard to come up. The man they called Baptist approached the latter. “If you will wait here,” he said, with a look of meaning, “we’ll look to the–you know what.”

“I? No, cursed if I do!” the man answered plumply, his swarthy face growing dark. “I’m not a fool!”

“Then how in the devil’s name are we to do it?” Baptist retorted with irritation.

“Stay yourself and take care of him!”

“And let you find the stuff!” with


an ugly look. “A nice reckoning I should get afterwards.”

“Well, I won’t stay, that’s flat!”

The men looked at one another, and their lowering glances disclosed their embarrassment. The prisoner could make no guess at the subject of discussion, but 杭州哪里有特殊洗浴 he saw that they were verging on a quarrel, and 杭州哪个会所好玩 his heart beat fast. Given the slightest chance he was resolved to take it. But, that his thoughts might not be read, he kept his eyes on the ground, and feigned a sullenness which he no longer felt.

Suddenly, “Tie him to a tree!” muttered one of the men with a sidelong look at him.

“And leave him?”

“Ay, why not?”

“Why not?” Baptist, the eldest of the men, rejoined with an oath. “Because if harm happen to him, it will be I will pay for it, and not you! That is why not!”

“Tie him well and what can happen?” the other retorted. And then, “Must risk something, Baptist,” he added with a grin, which showed that he saw his advantage, “since you are in charge.”

The secret was simple. The men had got wind that morning of a saddle and saddle-bags–and a dead horse, but that counted for 杭州养生会所哪家服务好 nothing–that in the search after the attack on the 杭州水疗机 Countess’s party had been overlooked in the scrub. Detached to guard the prisoner to Vlaye they had grinned at the chance of forestalling their comrades and gaining what there was to gain; which fancy, ever sanguine, painted in the richest colours. But the five could neither trust one another nor their prisoner; for Charles might inform Vlaye, and in that case they would not only lose the spoil but taste the strapado–the Captain of Vlaye permitting but one robber in his band. Hence they stood in the position of the ass between two bundles of hay, and dared not leave their prisoner, nor would leave the spoil.

At length, after some debate, made up in the main of oaths, “Draw lots who stays!” one suggested.

“We have no cards.”

“There are other ways.”

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