One of Captain Mayne Reid's less known adventure novels. This story takes place in 19th century England.
led off, loaded with half a score of men in coats of velveteen. They were the keepers and watchers. For that day the Harding preserves were left to take care of themselves--a fine opportunity for poachers.
So a stranger might have thought, but not Henry Harding. Just before the drag drove off, he was seen to enter the covers, carrying a Malacca cane, and take his way towards their farther side, where they were bounded by the estate of the stockbroker. He walked quietly, almost stealthily, through the copses. A poacher could not have proceeded with greater caution. Between the two preserves there was a strip of common land--the waste already alluded to as having caused contention. Near its edge stood an ancient elm, swathed in ivy. In its first fork, amidst the green festoons, Henry Harding ensconced himself; took a cigar out of his case; lit it; and commenced smoking.
The position he had chosen was excellent for his purpose. On one side it commanded a view of the waste. No one could cross from W