All this was in his mind, though nothing was on his face but cheerful resolution. Night though it was, tidings of the wreck had reached the upper part of the village; and Mr. Ashford, putting his head out of his window to learn the cause of the sounds in the street, was informed by many voices that a ship was on the Shag reef, and that all were lost. To hasten to the Cove to learn the truth, and see if any assistance could yet be afforded, was his instant thought; and he had not taken many steps before he was overtaken by a square, sturdy figure, wrapped in an immense great-coat. ‘So, Mr. Markham, you are on your way to see about this wreck.’ ‘Why, ay,’ said Markham, roughly, though not with the repellent manner usual with him towards Mr. Ashford, ‘I must be there, or that boy will be in the thickest of it. Wherever is mischief, there is he. I only wonder he has not broken his neck long ago.’ ‘By mischief, you mean danger?’ ‘Yes. I hope he has not heard of this wreck, for if he has, no power on earth would keep him back from it.’ Comparing the reports they had heard, the clergyman and steward walked on, Markham’s anxiety actually making him friendly. They reached the top of the steep street of the Cove; but though there was a good view of the sea from thence, they could distinguish nothing, for another cloud was rising, and had obscured the moon.