from what he had been led to expect, that he more than once gave
the matter up for lost, and persuaded himself, either that they
had stopped far above, or had resorted to some entirely different
spot to hold their mysterious conversation. He was on the point
of emerging from his hiding-place, and regaining the road above,
when he heard the sound of footsteps, and directly afterwards of
voices almost close at his ear.
He drew himself straight upright against the wall, and, scarcely