"Thank you, sir," replied Dicky, blushing with pleasure; "and—and—Captain Sarsfield, I'm not—as dirty as I look."
He had not to throw himself or dive headlong, because that might lead to entanglement with the rope. He had just to step off into pellucid nothingness, holding his rope clear of himself with one hand. This rope looped back to the little swinging bucket in which his fine silk parachute was closely packed. He had seen it packed a week ago, and he wished now, as he stood on his step holding to his basket with one hand, that he had watched the process more meticulously. He became aware that the Hun, having disposed of the balloon, was now shooting at him. He did not so much step off the little shelf as slip off as it heeled over with the swing of the basket. The first instants of a leap or fall make no impression on the mind. For some seconds he was falling swiftly, feet foremost, through the air. He scarcely noted the faint snatch when the twine, which held his parachute in its basket, broke. Then his consciousness began to register again. He kept his feet tightly pressed together. The air whistled by him, but he thought that dreams and talk had much exaggerated the sensations of falling. He was too high as yet to feel the rush of the ground towards him.
By the laws of sport it was Coventry's shot, for the tiger was nearest to his machan. He caught an agonised whisper of "Shoot, for God's sake!" from the boy, and he raised his rifle.
But the woman refused, though she was sorely tempted by the beautiful bright red wine.
The plans of the Prince and hopes of aid from King Louis were discussed with the utmost freedom and with much hope, for it was confidently expected an expedition for Scotland would be equipped immediately, which the Duke was to command, as it was on this promise he had come from Italy.
Vain men are invariably supersensitive, and for that reason I think Houghton felt every word and act of hostility; but he never showed weakness under opposition, and he could hit back when he thought it worth while.
"I see the theory. If we can make it work, all right. But how do we make the copter land?"
prosperity of the whole country. In fact, Italy is another illustration that the condition of the man at the bottom affects the life of every class above him. It is to the class lowest down that Italy largely owes what prosperity she has as yet attained.
“So all is explained! But you get no marks for that, Poirot. It was a mere matter of recognition.”
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