"Now, sir, the creatures will soon find their way in; and by and by, when I have time, I'll make a door to the entrance."
"And now," said William, "I think we had better roll up the canvas of the tents; we have had a splendid day, and may not be so fortunate to-morrow."
"Very true; we will get them housed, and stow them away under the bed-places; there is plenty of room." By the time that they had folded up the canvas, and William had brought in Nanny and the kids, the sun had set, and they went into the house. Ready was requested to go on with his history, which he did as follows:--
"I said last night that I determined to run away from school and go to sea, but I did not tell you how I managed it. I had no chance of getting out of the school unperceived, except after the boys were all put to bed. The room that I slept in was at the top of the house - the doors I knew were all locked; but there was a trap-door which led out on the roof, fastened by a bolt inside, and a ladder leading up to it; and I determined that I would make my escape by that way. As soon as all the other boys were fast asleep, I arose and dressed myself very quietly, and then left the room.
"The moon shone bright, which was lucky for me, and I gained the trap-door without any noise. I had some difficulty in forcing it up, as it was heavy for a boy of my age; but I contrived to do so at last, and gained the roof of the house. I then began looking about me, to see how I was to get to the ground, and after walking to and fro several times, I decided that I could slip down by a large water-pipe; it was so far detached from the bricks, that I could get my small fingers round it. I climbed over the parapet, and, clinging to the pipe firmly with my hands and knees, I slid down, and arrived at the bottom in safety."
"It's a wonder you did not break your neck, Ready," observed Mrs. Seagrave.
"It was, indeed, ma'am. As soon as I was landed in the flowerbed, which was below, I hastened to the iron gates at the entrance, and soon climbed up and got to the other side into the road. I started as fast as I could towards the port, and when I arrived at the wharf, I perceived that a vessel had her topsails loose, and meant to take advantage of the ebb-tide which had just made; the men were singing `Yo heave yo', getting the anchor up; and as I stood watching, almost making up my mind that I would swim off to her, I perceived that a man pushed off in her jolly-boat, and was sculling to a post a little higher up, where a hawser had been made fast; I ran round, and arrived there before he had cast off the rope; without saying a word, I jumped into the boat.
"`What do you want, youngster?' said the seaman.