‘Con, dear Con, what’s wrong? I have looked for you everywhere. I’ve been up since 4 o’clock and I’ve been to Firgrove Wood and, Con, I’ve got to talk to you, it’s so important.’
As Con looked up, Robin saw how white his cheeks were and he looked into the dark sunken eyes.
‘Shure Master Robbie, I’m feeling terrible weak this mornin’. Didn’t I have a bad spell of coughin’.’ Con had to think and lie quickly, for this small boy must know nothing of his night’s ordeal. In a way he wished he could tell him, for it would relieve his troubled mind. But rules were rules and he had been warned against giving away any information, and if he were to do so to a child, his fellow rebels – for he was one of them since last night’s work – would show him no mercy.
Robin’s next outburst nearly caused him to stop breathing.
‘Con, I had to find you. Something terrible has happened.’ Without pausing, the boy ran on: ‘Up in the wood, you know where there’s the old cavern, Scram and I found a wounded man. He says he has no name, but he is shivering on a pile of straw, which wasn’t there the last time I went; and he has blood on his clothes. I told him that I would get him food and a blanket. Oh Con! He is so cold and sad in there. I think he’s frightened there alone and he told me his leg was broken – you know like mine was.’