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had his knee upon the edge of flooring. Peter thrust him through, and he
sank backwards on to the heads of others who were following him,
sweeping the ladder with his weight, so that all of them tumbled in a
heap at its foot, save one who hung to the edge of the trap frame by his
hands. Peter slammed its door to, crushing them so that he loosed his
grip, with a howl. Then, as he had nothing else, he dragged the body of
the dead man on to it and left him there.
Next he rushed to the window, sheathing his sword as he ran, scrambled
through it, and, hanging by his arms, let himself drop, coming to the
ground safely, for he was very agile, and in the excitement of the fray
forgot the hurt to his head and shoulder.
"Where now?" asked Castell, as he stood by him panting.
"To the stable for the mules. No, it is useless; we have no time to
saddle them, and the outer gate is locked. The wall--the wall--we must
climb it! They will be after us in a minute."
They ran thither and found that, though ten feet high, fortunately this
wall was built of rough stone, which gave an easy foothold. Peter
scrambled up first, then, lying across its top, stretched down his hand
to Castell, and with difficulty--for the man was heavy and
crippled--dragged him to his side. Just then they heard a voice from
their garret shout:
"The English devils have gone! Get to the door and cut them off."
"Come on," said Peter. So together they climbed, or rather fell, down
the wall on to a mass of prickly-pear bush, which broke the shock but
tore them so sorely in a score of places that they could have shrieked
with the pain. Somehow they freed themselves, and, bleeding all over,
broke from that accursed bush, struggling up the bank of the ditch in
which it grew, ran for the road, and along it towards Granada.
Before they had gone a hundred yards they heard shoutings, and guessed
that they were being followed. Just here the road crossed a ravine full
of boulders and rough scrubby growth, whereas beyond it was bare and
open. Peter seized Castell and dragged him up this ravine till they came
to a place where, behind a great stone, there was a kind of hole, filled
with bushes and tall, dead grass, into which they plunged and hid
"Draw your sword," he said to Castell. "If they find us, we will die as
well as we can."
He obeyed, holding it in his left hand.
They heard the robbers run along the road; then, seeing that they had
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