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a large wig, rising up before him. Certainly he had knocked Sillison's head against the wall pretty smartly ; and he had heard from his father, who was a doctor, that a blow on the head was often very dangerous. So uncomfortable, indeed, did Rawlett feel, that presently he said seriously
'I say, Horace, I think we had better run for it.'
"Run! Where to?' exclaimed Horace, scarcely able to take in such a thought. Well, I think we should run away to sea.
We can easily get taken on board some of the ships at Leith which are going to sail soon; and then, if there's any row about Sillison, we will be out of the way.'
Oh, Rawlett, I can't do it,' said Horace, beginning to cry.
Well, at all events, there's no use blubbering about it, you baby. You must come. You'll be in a terrible mess if you stay here. And you know it will be jolly fun being at sea: nothing to do but to climb up the masts every now and then. Then at the end of the voyage we'll come back with lots oí money, and get made officers, I dare say.'
Rawlett had very silly notions on the subject of going to sea, which he had chiefly picked up from story-books.
• If it gets known about Sillison,' he continued, ‘ you will be catching it from Gray and Dunning and your father all at once; and if he dies, I shouldn't wonder if you are taken up by the police. Of course, you needn't come with me unless you like; but I'm off tonight, if you will only not lock the door on me when you go out.'
' I'll go with you,' said Horace, scarcely knowing what he said. “Well, I'll tell you what you must do.
Make up a bundle of clothes and things just now, so as to be all ready for a start. Then, when the other fellows have just sat down to tea, come and unlock my door, and we will both slip out into the street together, and make off
for Leith. Now, you had better go, in case anybody comes and finds
here.' Horace went out and locked the door again, and then returned to his own room. It was now nearly tea-time, . for it had been some time after dinner before he had been able to make up his mind to go to Rawlett's room; so there was no time to lose.
He hurriedly wrapped a shirt, à brush, and a pair of dry stockings into a small bundle, imagining, poor boy, that he would need nothing more at sea.
This he concealed beneath his bed, in case any one should come into the room.
And then, taking a pencil and a sheet of paper from his pocket, he began to write a message for Harry. It was a hard trial; and Horace more than once tore up the piece of paper which he had begun to write on, and to cry on too, for he could not help crying. But at length he wrote this :
*DEAR HARRY,-I am running away to sea, because I have got myself into a scrape about knocking Sillison's head on the wall. You don't know how bad I have been this last week or two. And it all began with little things. Tell papa and mamma that I shall come back soon from sea, and come to see them. That Rawlett has led me into a great deal of mischief; but it was mostly my own fault. I will try to be a better boy at sea. I hope Mr Dunning won't be angry at me going away.--Your affectionate brother,
Just as he had finished scrawling this epistle, Harry came bounding in to wash his hands for tea; and Horace had barely time to hide the paper in his pocket.
'Oh, Horace, why didn't you come with us into the schoolroom? We've been having such jolly fun with the basket sticks.'
At that moment Horace felt strongly tempted to throw his arms round Harry and kiss him, as he had done when they were children, and tell Harry the whole story of his
troubles. But he did not; and in a minute Harry had again left the room, saying
*You had better look sharp about washing your hands, Horace; Mrs Dunning was just pouring out the tea as I came up-stairs.
When Harry was gone, and he ha heard all the other boys also go down, Horace put the note on Harry's desk, took up his bundle, and, softly stepping across the passage, unlocked the door of Rawlett's room.
Rawlett was ready; and the two boys stole cautiously down stairs, and, hurriedly passing the dining-room, opened the front door and ran down the street.
They ran as fast as they could, till they were obliged to slacken their pace and take breath. Then the first observation Horace made was to wish he had brought his great-coat, as it was raining heavily.
• Well, you can't go back for it now,' said Rawlett.
* And, after all, it's no great matter, for I don't care for the rain a bit.'
On they hurried, along Queen Street and down Leith Walk, till at length they reached these narrow streets which are near the docks, where they were quite confused by the bustle and noise, and for the first time were struck by the reflection that it would be no use looking for a ship at night.
We will find one more easily in the morning,' said Rawlett; and in the meantime we can look out for some place to lie down in.
It was very easy to talk about looking out, but by no means so easy to find such a place. However, after more than an hour's searching, they found out an empty shed, in which the two boys resolved to pass the night. corner were one or two empty sacks which would serve them for bedding; and, at all events, the place was dry, if not very clean. Rawlett had fivepence in his pocket, and with part of this large sum he bought some hard sca biscuits, which they ate by way of supper, and then lay down to sleep.
But it was long before either of them could sleep. Fancy their miserable situation : lying in wet clothes on rough sacks, in a cold draughty shed. Rawlett was not so ill off, for he had his great-coat, but Horace had none; and it was not long before he began to shiver all over, for, though he was a hardy, healthy boy, there are some things which the strongest of us cannot do with impunity, and to sleep in wet clothes is one of them.
Ah! and Horace was even more troubled in mind than in body. He remembered that this was the first night he had ever lain down without saying his prayers; and then he recollected how he used to kneel at his mother's knee before he weni happily to sleep in his own comfortable bed in the familiar nursery. One vision of home called up another; and Horace shed silent but bitter tears, as he remembered his father's and mother's loving looks and kind words, and wondered what they were saying or doing at that moment. What would they say when they heard of his running away? And what would Harry say-Harry, who had always been such a bright, happy, kind little brother?
Horace did not know that at that moment his father was within two miles of him. For Captain Hazelwood had been summoned quite unexpectedly to Edinburgh on business, and had started from Briarbrae that morning, loaded with all sorts of kind messages and presents for the boys, whom he hoped to take by surprise. And while Horace was thus sorrowfully reflecting in the shed, he was driving from the railway station in a cab, eager to see again his sons' bright eyes and sturdy limbs.
NEVER had Horace spent a more miserable night in his life than in this shed. For some time Rawlett talked to him, and kept up his spirits to a certain extent by telling stories of the sea which he had read in books, and talk.
ing about all the delights of the life which they were going to enter upon, and how they must try to get on board a ship bound for North America, where they might shoot bears and lions, and catch cockatoos, and see icebergs and palm-trees and savages, and all the other interesting objects mentioned in The Swiss Family Robinson, --from which work, and others like it, Rawlett's confused ideas of all foreign countries were derived.
But after a while Rawlett became less and less talkative, and finally dropped off to sleep, and Horace was left with no companion but his own thoughts, which were sad and bitter. And when at length he had cried himself into a troubled sleep, it was only to awake again and again, and to toss restlessly from side to side till morning, which seemed as if it would never arrive.
But it arrived at length, and with it a great brawny carter, who having come to fetch away the sacks, suddenly appeared at the door of the shed, and there stopped short, and stood scratching his head in amazement.
The boys jumped up very shame-faced and alarmed; but it was a minute or two before the man recovered from his amazement, and then he burst out with
Most extraordinar'!' • We are just going away—we haven't done any
mischief,' said Rawlett, nudging Horace, and making for the door.
The carter did not try to stop them; but he said meaningly
* There's a polissman at the top o’the street, and he's lookin' oot for twa laddies that hae rin awa' frae the schule.'
Which intelligence had such an effect on our young friends, that they took to their heels, and did not stop running till they were some distance along the Bonnington Road, and had assured themselves that there was no policeman within sight.
Horace now began to be sensible that he was not at all well. He had a severe headache, and pains and shivering through all his limbs. Illness has a wonderful