Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/258

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could see the daylight through the loose earth on the other side. Then we waited for a storm, the rainy season being on and thunder showers frequent. Two, three, four nights went by without a cloud; then it began to pour. We determined to try it just before the guards were changed. This was at 2 a. m. by the church clock. The outgoing sentry would be tired then and the new man not thoroughly awake.

“When the hour came I crawled in head first, worked myself to the end of the tunnel, and, putting out my hands to break away the remaining clods of earth, came bump up against a piece of heavy board. There I lay trembling. The board could never have rolled down from anywhere, nor could our opening have been detected from the outside.

“Somebody had placed it there on purpose!

“I wriggled back feet foremost, whispered in my companions’ ears what I had found, and we all three sat up the rest of the night wondering what the devil it meant. When morning broke, the head jailer came in. I noticed instantly a change in his manner. Instead of a few perfunctory questions, he gave a cursory glance around the cell, his eyes resting on the pile of