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There were only five eggs left and yesterday there had been six from an original clutch of nine.
Meads was head gamekeeper of her ladyship’s grounds and had discovered the nest some time ago. He was keeping an eye on it, fully aware that the contents were gold mines for egg snatchers, and he was doing his best to thwart them.
It had taken a while to put his plan into action, and now that one more egg had disappeared, he was contacting the authorities.
It was their first time and the two lads were already counting their potential spoils for the four eggs in their possession. They grew a little anxious though when they heard the gentle tapping of the chicks therein ready to hatch.
Neither could contain their surprise, stomachs or bladders when the police broke in wielding firearms and shouting at them to lie on the floor with their hands on their heads.
The chief picked up the largest egg and cracked it open to the horror of the boys on the floor.
The tracking device swung from his fingers.
Meanwhile, Meads was discussing the first of the new brood which had hatched that day with her ladyship.