Crown and Sceptre
"So it was; and I had hold of it," said Scarlett, thoughtfully, as he laid his hand on the piece of turned and carved wood. "But it's quite firm." He gave it a shake, but with no effect. "You come and try," he said.
Fred took his place, and shook the baluster, then the other--its fellow--but there was no result.
"I don't know what to make of this," said Scarlett. "I wonder whether all the stairs are made the same. There, never mind; let's go and fish."
"Stop a moment!" cried Fred, excitedly. "Look here; you can turn this thing half round. See!"
"Well, that's only because it's loose. They're getting old and--"
Scarlett Markham started back, so quick and sudden was the sound, but only to resume his position on his knees before the oaken stair-tread, which again yielded to a thrust, and glided under the landing once more, leaving the opening the lengt