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“I'll stay,” said Montague. “I'll see it through.”

Bates jumped up and stretched out his hand. “Good!” he cried. “Put it there!”

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In the meantime, Rodney pounced upon the dress-suit case, and opened it, taking out a coil of wire rope, very light and flexible, and a short piece of board. He proceeded to make a loop with the rope, and in this he fixed the board for a seat. He then took the blankets from the bed and folded them. He took out a pair of heavy calfskin gloves, which he tossed to Bates, and a ball of twine, one end of which he tied about his wrist. He tossed the ball on the floor, and then turned out the lights in the room, raised the shade of the window, and placed the bundle of blankets upon the sill.

“All ready,” he said.

Bates put on the gloves and seized the rope, and Rodney adjusted the seat under his thighs. “You hold the blankets, if you will be so good, Mr. Montague, and keep them in place, if you can.”

And Bates uncoiled some of the rope, and passed it over the top of the large bureau which stood beside the window. He brought the rope down to the middle of the body of the bureau, so that by this means he could diminish the pull of Rodney's weight.

“Steady now,” said the latter; and he climbed over the sill, and, holding on with his hands, gradually put his weight against the rope.

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“Now! All ready,” he whispered.

Bates grasped the line, and, bracing his knees against the bureau, paid the rope out inch by inch. Montague held the blankets in place in the corner, and Rodney's shoulders and head gradually disappeared below the sill. He was still holding on with his hands, however.

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“All right,” he whispered, and let go, and slowly the rope slid past.

Montague's heart was beating fast with excitement, but Bates was calm and businesslike. After he had let out several turns of the rope, he stopped and whispered, “Look out now.”

Montague leaned over the sill. He could see a stream of light from the window below him. Rodney was standing upon the cornice at the top of the window.

“Lower,” said Montague, as he drew in his head, and once more Bates paid out.

“Now,” he whispered, and Montague looked again. Rodney had cleverly pushed himself by the corner of the cornice, and kept himself at one side of the window, so that he would not be visible from the inside of the room. He made a frantic signal with his hand, and Montague drew back and whispered, “Lower!”

The next time he looked out, Rodney was standing upon the sill of the window, leaning to one side.