"How very unfortunate you were, Ready!" said Mrs. Seagrave.
"Yes, madam, we were, and I can't say much in favour of a Dutch prison. However, I was very young at that time, and did not care much - I had a light heart."
A heavy storm came on soon after they had retired to rest; the lightning was so vivid that its flashes penetrated through the chinks of the door and windows, and the thunder burst upon them with a noise which prevented them obtaining any sleep. The children cried and trembled as they lay in the arms of Mrs. Seagrave and Juno, who were almost as much alarmed themselves.
"This is very awful," said Mr. Seagrave to Ready, for they had both risen from their beds.
"It is indeed, sir; I never knew a more terrible storm than this."
"Merciful Heaven!" exclaimed Mr. Seagrave.
As he spoke, they were both thrown back half-stunned; a crash of thunder burst over the house, which shook everything in it; a sulphurous smell pervaded the building, and soon afterwards, when they recovered their feet, they perceived that the house was full of smoke, and they heard the wailing of the women and the shrieks of the children in the bed-places on the other side.
"God have mercy on us!" exclaimed Ready, who was the first to recover himself, and who now attempted to ascertain the injury which had been done: "the lightning has struck us, and I fear that the house is on fire somewhere."