Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/261

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with them. You can leave the door open; I will be responsible that none of them attempts to escape.’

“When the jailer was out of hearing, he passed around cigarettes, lighted his own, and started in to tell us the news of the day: what was going on in town and country; how the revolution had been put down; how many insurgents had been shot, exiled, or sent to horrible prisons—worse than ours, which, he informed us, was really only a sort of police station and unsafe except for the dogs and the guards, who were picked men and who had never been known to neglect their duty. Only the year before five men had attempted to dig their way out and had been shot as they were climbing the outside wall—rather dispiriting talk for us, to say the least, but it was talk, and that was what we hungered for, especially as his spirits never flagged.

“All this was more or less entertaining, and he would have had our entire confidence but for two things which followed, and which we could not understand. One was that he always chose rainy or stormy nights for his subsequent visits, dropping in on us at all hours, when we least expected him; and the other that he never re-