She might have thought the men were deceiving her, but she could see no motive for their doing so. Unless, indeed, Bell was lying somewhere in Trennach, so ill after his bout that they did not like to tell her.

"Where is he, then, I should like to know?" she retorted, in reply to Tomson.

"Caan't tell," said Tomson. "None o' they men heve seen him."

"Now this won't do," cried Dame Bell. "You must know where he is. Do you suppose he's lost? Don't stand simpering there on one leg, Andrew Float, but just tell me where he is hiding."

"I'd tell ye if I knew, ma'am," said Andrew, in his meek way. "I'd like to know where he is myself."

"But he was at the Golden Shaft last night: he must have been there," insisted the dame, unable to divest herself of this opinion. "What became of him when the place shut up? What state was he in?"

← Page-130 p.131 Page-132 →