William Murray Graydon, (1864-1946): An extremely prolific American writer for the juvenile market, Graydon moved to England around 1898, where he continued to write for the British story papers. His Sexton Blake in the Congo (1907) is well regarded
He died in Cornwall after a long illness, April 5, 1946, aged 83.
"Jump quick!" whispered Platoff, and all three sprang from the stockade together, landing heavily on the snowy crust below.
"Don't rise," said Platoff; "follow me on hands and knees." He crawled away into the darkness at a speed which the boys found difficult to equal, glancing to their right, they saw the sentry still motionless at his post; whether he was facing them or not, it was impossible to tell. Foot by foot they left the stockade behind, and still the silence was unbroken. Then on the night air rose a single loud cry. It was answered by a shout, and then another and another boom thundered the little cannon in the courtyard, and the echoes quivered through the valley
Platoff leaped to his feet. "The alarm gun," he exclaimed. "The whole settlement knows we are free. Run as you never ran before, and keep me always in sight."
With great strides he plunged forward over the snow. Close at his heels came Maurice and Phil, amazed at their own speed. The sentry. catching a fleeting glimpse of the fugitives, raised his rifle and fired. The bullet whistled overhead. He fired again and again, shooting aimlessly into the night.
Six times the rifle cracked, and the red flash blazed briefly athwart the darkness. Then came silence--an ominous, fateful calm, and the daring fugitives fleeing across the valley heard nothing but the rapid tramp of their own footsteps. In single file they sped over the deepening snow, facing the cutting blast and breathing quickly through closed teeth.
Platoff ran at the head, every muscle strained, his ear alert to catch the faintest sound. From time to time he uttered cheering words to his companions.
Before them and on both sides was darkness, but looking over their shoulders, they saw the twinkling lights of the prison still perilously close at hand.
Have (lots of) fun!
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