Frank landed with Captain Downes. Taking a trap they drove to the magistrate's, where fortunately they found Mr. Henderson, who had gone up to arrange for the examination of the prisoners. Both were greatly pleased when, on the letter being opened, it was found to contain a full confession of the murder, attested by a French magistrate, and corroborating in every respect the facts contained in Julian's letter, and as proved by the evidence given at the coroner's inquest. "I will give this letter to the Weymouth paper to insert," Colonel Chambers said, "and will send copies to the London papers, with a few lines recalling the facts of the murder and the proofs that had accumulated of Markham's share in it, and which show beyond all doubt the bona-fides of the confession."
Just at this moment one of the sailors came down from the look-out above, and said that the signal had just been made from the offing, and that the lugger's boat would be below in a quarter of an hour. All prepared for departure; the lower door was unbolted, the lights extinguished, and they went down to the lower entrance. It was reached by a staircase cut in the chalk, and coming down into a long and narrow passage, at the further end of which was the opening Julian had seen from the sea. The party gathered at the entrance. In a few minutes a boat with muffled oars approached silently; a rope was lowered, a noose at its upper end being placed over a short iron bar projecting three or four inches from the chalk a foot or two inside the entrance.
"I am glad to hear it, lad; still I think that this experience will do him good rather than harm. He was a kindly, good-tempered, easy-going young fellow, a little deficient, perhaps, in strength of will, but very generally liked, and with the making of a fine man about him; and yet he was likely, from sheer easiness of temper and disinclination to settle down to anything, to drift with the stream till he ruined his life. That is how I read his character from what I have heard of him, and that being so, I think this complete break in his life may ultimately be of considerable benefit to him."
Frank looked rather surprised.
Nevertheless they had suffered severely. The savage ferocity with which, in spite of repeated proclamations and orders, the invading army treated the people, had exasperated the peasantry almost to madness, and taking up arms, they cut down every straggler, annihilated small parties, attacked baggage trains, and repeated in Russia the terrible retaliation dealt by the Spanish guerillas upon their invaders.