WE ENTERTAIN A JAIL-BIRD
everything—rolling out the songs as if we had been so many classmates at a college supper. Charming, of course, had we not had a hole behind us and freedom within sight.
“Hints, yawns, even blunt proposals to let us go to bed, had no effect. Further than these we dared not go. We were afraid to turn him out bodily lest we should be suspected of trying to get rid of him for a purpose. To have let him into the secret was also out of the question. Better wait until he was gone.
“Would you believe it, he never left until broad daybreak, his confounded irritating cheerfulness keeping up to the last, even to his tossing his fingers to us in good-by, quite as he might have done to his sweetheart.
“At eight o’clock on that same morning, not more than two hours after he had left, there came a bang at the door with a sword-hilt, the bolts were drawn, and we were marched into the court-yard between five soldiers in command of a sergeant. Then came the orders to fall in, and we were pushed into the same room where, nearly a year before, we had been examined by the ruffian in shoulder-straps and sent back to our cell.