http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/images/Gubb2.gif+left Invited for a days' shooting the party stay over at the abbey and meet the other 'house guest' the worthy victorian naturalist RevGabrielSpooner, who performs the evening sermon and then joins the party for some conversation.
The following day the party shoot winter grouse; it becomes a competition in excellence of shooting between Todgers and LadyElsbethMacBeth. Todgers 'elects' to loose but it was not always certain that it was his victory to give!
After the days' shooting is completed the party discuss their mission with the house guests and all agree to investigate the gorge the following day. The party make it back to the Inn to collect their gear and re-employ JohnnyMay to guide them to the cave.
'Misguided' Johnny guides them to a small and dissapointing cave, but Walla notices he did not follow the same path as before and suspects a ruse. JohnnyMay is sent home and Wallace uses his unerring sense of direction to find an interesting trail that leads up to a cleft in the side of the gorge.
'Distracted' As they climb they hear the crys of a wounded man, and around the next turn find a wood-cutter bleeding profusely from his hand, and asking for aid in getting back to the village. Again the party suspect a ruse and give first aid to the woodsman - revealing the cut is not as bad as first thought. They send the woodsman on his way and press on up the hill.
'Guarded' As they get to the cleft the party find and entrance to a larger cave, and from within they hear an ominous growling. Carefully approaching Wallace sees two chained guard dogs in the entrance, which Gladstone shoots at (grazing one), nearly deafening both him and Wallace. Wallace withdraws from the cave 'awkwardly' bashing Gladstone, who carries on blasting until the dogs are dead. The party enter and find a well used cave with a 15' drop at the end, with a well mounted rope to allow easy decent. The keen adventurers push forwards into the cave and discover their suspicions were correct - the cave is being used to store smuggled goods, with a few cases of fine brandy and some substanital locked chests.
'Ambush' RevGabrielSpooner, being of a mind to wait near the entrance of the cave is the first to raise the alarm as he hears the two porters being attacked where they were waiting a few feet behind. 6 well armed thugs surprise the party, overcome the Reverend and the porters and promptly pull up the rope - trapping the party at the bottom of the cave.
'Escape' The smugglers indicate that they have no wish to kill the party but do wish to take them to see 'King rat' who needs to speak to them. With the usual doughty resolve the party refuse. Todgers enters negotiations, Wallace explores the back of the cave and finds a low streamway, unfortunately blocked, but showing signs of fossils, pre-historic remains and interesting rock formations. Lady Macbeth and a deaf & unknowing Gladstone test the quality of the cognac. Todgers' negotiations progress to the point where he climbs the rope, and is immediately taken captive tied hand and foot and left sitting with the recovering Rev. Spooner in the mouth of the cave - under guard. Wallace continues the discussion and announces 'the Lady Mac beth will be coming up next let no man harm or manhandle her' - which grabs the attention of the entire smuggling band. Todgers uses the distraction to cut his bonds ( 'does a gentleman carry a knife like that sir!' 'Fine knife. Took it of some bounder that tried to stick one. Kind of kept it as a lucky charm. Lucky it was with me, what' ) and barrels into the smugglers at the top of the precipitous drop taking two down with him. The Reverend takes Todgers evil 10" curved blade, cuts his bonds and attacks his guard in a most unequal fight which he quickly looses. In the distraction Wallace scales the rope, and is kicked and attacked unmercifully at the top by the remaining smugglers. He throws a knife to take one, slashes at another and punches a third. At this point Gladstone realises whats' going on (for some reason the rest of the party thought it best to keep him unaware) and joins the fracas. Gladstone finishes the two fallen smugglers off, climbs the rope stabs one smuggler while he fought Wallace and fires his trusty pistol to take another at point blank range. After a close fight he and Wallace put chase to the last of the ruffians, who escapes wounded. Wallace collapses through his wounds, Todgers has taken a bad fall and has broken ribs, Gladstone is deaf and very hurt from a cutlass slash to the shoulder. The Rev is bleeding and unconcious and only Lady Mac Beth is in good order - although very distressed that the porters dropped the pic-nic hamper and broke some of the crockery when they were attacked.
http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/images/Gubbins.gif+right [ http://www.legendarydartmoor.co.uk/gubbins_lydford.htm Lydford Rustlers and Smugglers]