Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/287

This page needs to be proofread.


cautiously on my elbow and looked about me. The square of moonlight which had patterned the floor when I first entered the room was gone, although the moon was still shining. This showed me that I had slept some time. I noticed, too, that the wind had risen, although very little seemed to penetrate the apartment, the curtains only flopping gently in the draught.

“I lay motionless, hardly breathing. Had I heard aright—or was it a dream? Again came the stealthy tread, and then the shadow of a hand crept across the curtain. This sent me sitting bolt upright in bed. There was no question now—some deviltry was in the air.

“I slid from under the cover, dropped to the floor, flattened myself to the matting, worked my body to the window-sill, and stood listening. He must have heard me, for there came a sudden halt and a quick retreat. Then all was silent.

“I waited for some minutes, reached up with one hand and gently lowered the sash a foot or more, leaving room enough for me to throw it up and spring out, but not room enough for him to slide in without giving me warning. If the brute tried it again I would paste myself to the wall next the sash where I could see him,