fastened in a room by himself was as much alone as if there had
been no one else in the place. The time seemed unusually long;
they listened intently, and were occasionally deceived for an
instant by some noise in the street, but it soon subsided again,
and all was silent as before.
At length, some time after night-fall, a low knock came to the
street-door. No attention being paid to it, the knock was re-
peated, and this time it was rather louder. It echoed through
the house, but no one stirred. After a short interval,' as if the
person outside had been listening and had satisfied himself, a
slight rattling was heard at the keyhole, and, the lock being-
picked, the footsteps of two men were heard in the passage.
They quietly bolted the door after them, and pulling from
beneath their coats a couple of dark lanterns, walked softly tip
stairs. Ending the door of the front-room locked, they came
down again, and tried the front-parlour, which was also locked,
whereat, Mr. Trott, who was listening with his ear close to the
handle, laughed immoderately, but without noise.
Unsuccessful in these two attempts, they went down stairs,
and with some surprise found one of the kitchens locked, and
the other open. Only stopping just to peep into the open one,
they once more ascended to the passage.
" "Well," said one of the men, as he came up the kitchen stairs,
"we have got it all to ourselves to-night, anyway, so we had
better not lose any time. Hollo !"—
""What's the matter?" said the other, looking back.
"Lookhere!" rejoined his comrade, pointing to the garden-
door, witih, the bolts, and iron plates, and patent locks,—"here's
protection—here's security for a friend. These have been put
on. since we were here afore; we might have tried to get in for
" We had better stick it open," said the other man, " and then
if there's any game in front, we can get off as we did t'other
the front one.