whosoever he might be, appeared to entertain no hostile intentions for the present moment, and was strolling leisurely in the direction of the huts. Presently Frank spoke.

"He is well away now, Charley: too far to distinguish you, even should he turn round. There's no danger."

Charley came out from the hedge, and took up his former position at the extreme corner of the stile, where he was partly hidden. Every vestige of colour had forsaken his face. He was very young still: not much more than a boy, as Frank had said: and unfamiliar with these things.

"I saw him yesterday for the first time," said he to Frank. "I chanced to be standing here, as we are now, and he was walking towards me across the common. Whilst wondering, in a lazy kind of way, who he was and what he wanted here, a rush of fear came over me. It occurred to me that he might be a sheriff's officer.

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