"He's got hold of me!" shrieked the old lady "Help! help! I shall be murdered."
Her struggles became so energetic that the boys soon found it expedient to evacuate the premises. They crawled out by the passage they had made, and appeared on the surface of the snow.
The old lady presented a ludicrous appearance. Her hood had slipped off, her spectacles were resting on the end of her nose, and she had lost her work-bag. But she clung with the most desperate energy to the umbrella, on which apparently depended her sole hope of deliverance.
"Hi yah!" laughed Pomp, as he threw himself back on the snow and began to roll about in an ecstasy of delight.
Instantly Mrs. Payson's apprehensions changed to furious anger.
"So it's you, you little varmint, that's done this. Jest le' me get out, and I'll whip you so you can't stan'. See ef I don't."
"You can't get out, missus; yah, yah!" laughed Pomp. "You's tied, you is, missus."
"Come an' help me out, this minute!" exclaimed the old lady, stamping her foot.