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   Chapter 28 ESCAPE.

Frank and Fearless; or, The Fortunes of Jasper Kent By Jr. Horatio Alger Characters: 4572

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02

Jasper waited impatiently for supper-time, not that he was hungry, for excitement had taken away his appetite, but because he was feverish with anxiety as to his prospects of release.

"Suppose the old man should suspect her and come up with the supper himself," he thought, anxiously.

But his anxiety proved groundless.

A little after five the door was opened and disclosed the young girl, Nancy. His face lighted up joyfully.

"I'm glad it's you, Nancy," he said. "I was afraid I should see your uncle. Does he suspect anything?"

"No; he scolded me for allowing you so long to eat your dinner, that's all."

"I'll take it off the plate and eat afterward. Now, I want to talk a little. Have you found out any way to help me?"

"I don't know. Do you think you could get out of this window?"

Jasper looked at the aperture critically.

"Yes, I think I could," he said, after a pause, "with some one on the other side to pull me through."

"I'll do that," said Nancy.

"You will? You're a trump! What am I to do afterward? Can you help me to leave the house?"

"That's what I've been thinking," said Nancy. "I'm afraid it wouldn't do to let you out at the front door. It's locked and bolted, and the bolt squeaks. I've tried it to see."

"The windows?" suggested Jasper, anxiously.

"No, I am afraid not."

"Then if I can't leave the house, it's no use to get out of this room."

"Yes, there's another way out, but it requires courage."

"I'm not a coward," said Jasper.

"No, you don't look like it," said Nancy, who was more favorably disposed toward Jasper on account of his good looks.

"Thank you," said Jasper, gratified. "Now tell me, what is your plan?"

"There's a scuttle through which you can get out on the roof. Would you dare to do it?"

"Yes; I might get on to some other roof."

"Yes, but you might slip off."

"I am not afraid. You think of that because you are a girl."

"Yes. I would rather stay here than trust myself on the roof."

"Do you know if the next house is higher than this?"

"Yes, it is."

"That's very awkward," said Jasper, thoughtfully.

"But there are some windows in the side of the house. You might get in at one of them."

"And be taken for a house-breaker? Well, I must run the risk, any

way. When do you think I had better try it?"

"To-night. There'll be nobody in the house to-night but uncle and me."

"That's good," said Jasper, reflecting that Nathan looked feeble, and being small in size would not be more than a match for his strength if the worst came to the worst.

"When does your uncle go to bed?" he asked.

"At eleven."

"When will you come for me?"

"At twelve, or a little after."

"Are the nights dark now?" asked Jasper. "It would be rather ticklish being on the roof if it were pitch dark."

"No, the moon will be up then."

"That's all right. If you find out anything else that will help, let me know."

"Yes, I will."


"Yes, uncle!" answered the girl. "To-night at twelve!" she said, in a low voice, and hurried down stairs.

Jasper, in thinking over the plan he had in view, realized that it was one that would probably require all his courage and nerve. It would be a great relief to get through without accident. But he never thought of backing out. He felt that anything was better than to be confined longer in his present prison.

It seemed a long time to wait, especially in the darkness, for the oil was burned out in his lamp, and there was no chance of asking for a further supply. He had forgotten it when Nancy came up with his supper. However, he felt that it was of no particular consequence, as he was so soon to be released.

So the hours passed. He did not permit himself to fall asleep, lest he should not be awake when Nancy came.

At last he heard a faint noise at the door, and saw Nancy standing outside with a candle.

"Are you ready?" she whispered.

"Yes, ready and waiting."

"Now try to get through, and I will help you."

She set down the candle, and Jasper set about his task. It was a tight squeeze, but at last he got out, and stood on his feet in the entry.

"Now, follow me," said Nancy, in a whisper.

He climbed a narrow, steep staircase, and then a ladder, and unfastening the scuttle, he laid it back. The moon shone softly down, bathing the city in its beautiful light. He got out lightly on the roof.

"Good-bye!" he said, "and thank you, Nancy."

"Good luck!" said Nancy.

He lowered the scuttle, and sat astride the roof, considering what to do next.

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