Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/290

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chest across the door, as a girl would have done, put the basin and pitcher on top, and shoved the head-board of the bed against the window-sash—but this I was ashamed to do; and then, again, the whole thing might be a blooming farce—one I would laugh over in the morning.

“The question now arose whether I should get into my clothes, walk boldly down the corridor, and make a break through the kitchen and square room, with the risk of being stabbed in the garden, or whether I should stick it out until morning. Inside, I could choose my fighting ground; outside was a different thing. Then, again, daylight was not far off.

“I decided to hold the fort; slipped into my clothes—all but my coat—packed my knapsack, laid the basin within striking distance of the pitcher, placed the candle and matches close to my hand, stretched myself on the bed, and, strange as it may seem to you, again dropped off to sleep; only to find myself again sitting bolt upright in bed, my heart pounding away like a trip-hammer, my ears wide open.

“More footsteps!—this time in the corridor. I slid out of bed, crept to the door, and pulled myself together. When the pitcher and basin came together with a clink, he would get it be-