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The Adventure League   By:

The Adventure League by Hilda T. Skae

First Page:

[Illustration: Cover art]

[Frontispiece: 'There is something in the man's appearance which seems familiar to me.' page 139 ]

THE ADVENTURE LEAGUE

BY

HILDA T. SKAE

THOMAS NELSON AND SONS, LTD.

LONDON, EDINBURGH, NEW YORK

TORONTO, AND PARIS

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. WHAT HAPPENED IN ERRICHA II. 'THE PIRATES' DEN' III. A SURPRISE IV. THE COMPACT V. SUSPENSE VI. A DISCOVERY VII. THE SIEGE VIII. A CRUISE IN THE 'HEROIC' IX. DISAPPOINTMENT X. IN WHICH ALLAN IS VERY WISE XI. A NEAR SHAVE XII. SURROUNDED XIII. ANDREW MACPETERS XIV. CAUGHT XV. HAMISH TO THE RESCUE

[Illustration: Map of Erricha Island]

THE ADVENTURE LEAGUE

CHAPTER I

WHAT HAPPENED IN ERRICHA.

It was very early on a bright summer morning. Rocks and heather and green fields lay bathed in sunshine; and round the shores of a small island on the west coast of Scotland the sea was dancing and splashing, while in the distance the Highland hills raised their bare crests towards a cloudless sky.

The sun had not long risen, and it seemed as though no one could be stirring at this early hour; yet there was an unusual commotion among the birds nesting on the ledges of a high cliff. The funny little puffins, with their red, parrot like bills, were peering anxiously out of the crevices; while the curious little auks, standing erect in rows like black and white mannikins, were exceedingly perturbed; and the kittiwakes flew screaming from the rocky shelves, joining their voices to the hoarser cries of the guillemots and the booming of the waves among walls and pillars of rock.

The cause of the birds' agitation was not far to seek. Some figures, looking very small upon the huge cliff, were crawling on their hands and knees upon the ledges, gathering eggs. Two were boys; and the red cap and serge frock of another proclaimed her to be a girl. About fifty feet below, with nothing between him and the waves which looked small in the distance, a lad hung suspended by a rope, while the birds circled and screamed around him.

One of the boys came to where the ledge ended in a sheer drop down to the sea; and putting something very carefully in his pocket, he rose to his feet and began to climb upward.

Catching hold of the tufts of heather on the verge of the cliff, he swung himself on to firm ground, and proved to be a boy of about ten years of age; thin and wiry, with a dark face and bright twinkling eyes. His thin brown wrists had grown a long way out of the sleeves of his jacket; and he had torn a hole in the knee of each knicker.

After rubbing his elbows, which he had grazed against the rocks, he turned to speak to a little girl who was sitting on a tuft of heather, looking somewhat forlorn. A handsome collie dog, yellow brown with a white ruffle round his neck, was lying impatiently at her feet, every now and again glancing up at his mistress with bright, inquiring eyes.

'Well, Tricksy,' said the boy; 'tired of waiting, eh?'

'Yes,' replied his sister, 'you've been a long time, and I'm cold. I don't see why I shouldn't go down the cliffs with the rest of you. Laddie's tired of waiting too.'

The collie rose upon hearing his name mentioned, and thrust his nose into the boy's hand, wagging his tail and looking as though he would say, 'Come along now, do; and tell the others to come; you've played at that dangerous game long enough; let's all have a jolly scamper after rabbits!'

A red cap appeared over the edge of the cliff, followed immediately by a laughing face framed in a crop of fair curly hair; then a girl scrambled on to firm ground.

'Hulloa, Reggie! are you there already?' she said. 'How many have you got?'

'Five,' said Reggie, displaying the contents of his pockets; 'an auk's, two puffin's, and two kittiwake's. Aren't they prettily marked?'

'Beauties,' replied the girl, examining the eggs... Continue reading book >>




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