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Chapter 16 The Second Battle of the Valley

I was now allowed to go back to my farm a free man. I was sorry to leave Lorna, but glad to go back, because I was spending too much money in London. When I arrived home, the people of Oare organized a great dinner for me.

Winnie had brought Tom Faggus home safely, and he was now well again. Lizzie was going to marry one of Jeremy Stickles’s officers.

Work continued as before. And, as before, the Doones came out of their valley and stole and killed. They went into the house of a man called Kit Badcock, killed his wife, carried away his baby and burned the house. This made the local people very angry. We had a meeting and decided that we must fight the Doones and end our troubles with them.

This was our plan. Somebody would tell the Doones that a man was going to carry a lot of gold along the road on a certain night. Of course, a group of Doones would go out to steal the gold. While they were away, a group of our men would attack the southern entrance to the valley. A second group would climb up the waterfall — the way I used to go when I saw Lorna. They would attack the valley from the other direction.

The day arrived. That night, we heard that a group of Doones had left the valley to steal the gold. Then our men left for the southern entrance of the valley. A second group, including me, left for the waterfall. We managed to keep our guns out of the water as we climbed. We reached the top of the rock and went quickly over the fields. There was fighting at the southern entrance, but there were no Doone men in the valley.

We came to Carver’s house and I saw a child there — Carver’s son. I ran into the house and carried him out. Then we burned down the house. We called out all the women and children and then burned down the other houses.

‘Doone town is burning!’ cried the women. The whole valley was filled with red light.

As we had expected, the Doones ran back from the entrance, leaving only a few men there. We saw them clearly in the firelight, and my men shot at them as they came. I saw Kit Badcock kill Charlie Doone. It was Charlie who had carried off his child. I looked for Carver, but he was not among the Doones that night.

We did not hurt the Doone women or children, but many Doone men were killed that night. When morning came, only the Counsellor and Carver were alive. Every house in the valley was black and smoking.

I must tell you the story of what happened to the rest of the Doones that same night.

Carver Doone led the group of Doones who went to steal the gold. We had sent a man to tell the Doones about the gold, and he went with them. He took them to an empty house. There they waited, and while they waited, our man poured water into their guns.

Suddenly a group of Oare men came to the door of the house.

They pointed their guns at every Doone there. The Doones seized their own guns, but they could not fire them. The Doones fought bravely, but every one was killed except Carver, who jumped onto his great horse and rode away.

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