*Boy's Otvn Paper.
immediatesearch be made for the missing
she was in an hysterical condition,the
delivered her over into his wife'shands ; and
Donald and he set to
to get together a search party.In the midst of the preparations Mr. and
Falkland appeared; they had strolledround to enquire as to
son. They were surprised at nothing,they said, and even yawned when Mrs.Cressington painted the terrible experiencesthe
might be undergoing.
it's really his own fault," said Mrs.Falkland, as it dawned on her
reallymight be a tragic sequel to thecave adventure.
Dr. Armstrong had been busy,and before very long the rescue-party wereready to
Armstrong, Mr. Falkland, Mr. Higgs(manager of some
quarries, and there
expected to possess expert know ledge of
Donald, the coachman, the stable-
sturdy workmen. If unsuc
search, they were to be
next morning by a second
led by Dr. Brice, father of the boy
singing powers had been utilised byCressington.
set out, fully equipped,
and otherwise. With difficulty
Cressington was induced to remainbehind, and
only on the understanding
it was necessary to make preparations
blankets—warm drinks—hot water bottles—bedroomfires,
were trudging over the downs,headed by John the coachman and hiscarriage lamp.
The silly little donkeys will have had
of caves by
Falkland, removing his cigar from a cen
to an angular position between his lips.
doctor did not appear to
of things, and chimed in with
Falkland's rosy forecast of a shortsearch; but Donald, who understood hisfather
detected a strong undercurrent
anxiety beneath the
of light railleryhe assumed for the
Yes, I expect," said the doctor,
you will only need, in future, to mention
and every one of those lost
explorers will cry '
I say, father, you
make such an awful pun."
Donald, you're in form—Form
I believe—so just cap my
I should say
"What Donald would have said was never
for Mr. Higgs, very nervous as to his
danger, struck in with an anxiousquery as to whether the dampness of the
would not be likely to
The youngsters will be quite all right,"said the doctor cheerily. " At worst, they
get water on the brain—or,
Higgs was too anxious to comprehend a
he simplj asked another question; "Do you think we shall find thempromptly ? "
Probably meet the young imps comingout, Mr. Higgs, so please don't be needlessly
But, Dr. Armstrong," responded Mr.
" I know something of these
galleries run for miles and
without anyapparent system. What complicates oursearch is the fact
Britons and Romanshave both dabbled in stone-quarrying inthe ' Devil's Cave,' and have tunnelled crosspassages.
tradition has it
very cave was the
of a strange jave-dwelling community."
! " responded the doctor impatiently. " It is a great waste of brainenergy to fume over possibilities
possibilities. I only
the you.ng explorers have not already made
us in the dark.I don't like searching for lost
whohave prematurely found themselves. . . .
we have arrived. John, go aheadwith your lamp."
entered the " Devil's
bending low to pass the narrow portal,and the search commenced.It will be remembered
at a cer
point the Cressington expedition hadreached a spot where the cave
up to the cave roof, and Wardenhad too hastily announced the explorationended, since the passage went no
John " made a similar report, as he ledthe relief
up to the place; so farthey had
the identical course
by the lost
" John " weighedfifteen stone, wherefore he considered the
before him a mere slit unworthy of notice—at least for such as he. Cressington had suggested a
so did Dr. Armstrong. Mr.Falkland, who
" John," upheldthe coachman's verdict however, and said
but to retrace
steps, and explore thoroughly the sidepassages they had passed on
Higgs, feverishly anxious, made ahasty survey, and upheld the suggestion of
Falkland. So the party, little imagining how serious a mistake had been made,
back and made futile examination of many side passages.
persevered, but all to no
it was a trying nightmare of a
stumbling over endless stony
shouting till they were hoarse, and achievingnothing. At (i
Dr. Armstrong ordereda
to the cave's mouth, as had beenarranged. Dr. Brice's
awaited them,as agreed upon.
Armstrong, looking fatigued hutsquare-jawed, begged
he might be allowedtocontinue the search with the second party.
I ought to have
proper care of
Falkland," said he. " I must go on
he's found. I know you won't forbid
Dad; I must find him."
it was settled
continue with the second party. Mr.
also insisted on persevering in thesearch for his lost son. The
large and cumbersome
not be gainsaid.
Cressington had accompanied theothers to the cave's threshold, and with
was she dissuaded from joiningin the search for " her Rupert." It wasquite a
for Dr. Armstrong to induce the
hysterical lady to
and in Mrs.Armstrong's company await news of themissing
There was no mistake made
time atthe critical point. Donald Armstrong pressed
really did not meet the cave roof, and
Stop ! " he cried, as the
were aboutto retrace
steps. " The passage doesnot end here, Dr. Brice. See, I can squeeze
. . .
passage is big enough for a giant."Armstrong may have spoken truly as to
for a giant onthe
side of the gap, but Mr. Peters—
less a giant—could not have sufficiently
his corpulent frame as to reachthe ampler space beyond. So while, theparty, by. means of a little pressure, a littleclothes-tearing, a little wriggling, and alittle squeezing, managed to proceed, Mr.Peters, much lamenting,
like a grampus, to the cavemouth.
went forward into the vitals of the cave without
the members of the relief
answering hail greeted them. " I
the slightest conception of the vastness of
said Mr. Higgs, as they reachedthe vaulted cavern which Cressington had litup with his magnesium ribbon. " I doubt
many people have squeezed through
cave-chamber. We might search forhours, days, and not find my—the
See here ! " cried Captain Sneider, a sea-captain uncle who had made himself respon
for the upbringing of his orphaned
" Here's a banana skin. It's
n here within twelve hours.
the siren '—shout! "
through thepassages, leaving a silence
was of pin-
intensity, for every one was listening,
strained to catch the slightest sound:an exploding
was as likely to fallunheard as a pin.But
was no answering hail, onlystillness and the drip of water into a solitary
banana skin had raised fresh hopes,and the many passages were systematically
under Dr. Brice's directions.
the passages only circled roundto
others which led back againto the large central cavern. The fourthpassage explored seemed to
of repayment for trouble taken.
arrow was found, recently scratched onthe cave wall with a piece of chalk. CaptainSneider's keen eyes had detected it, andhe called for another blast of " thesiren."
joined in a lusty shout;they were like hounds hot on the scent, andsimultaneously they gave tongue. No-assuring cry greeted the trackers' signal of sound, however.
long after this, Dr. Brice commencedto act in what seemed a strange manner.
Hush ! " said he, quietly. " I hearsinging."
who heard the doctor speak,
askance at him; listening as intently as