"'There it is,' the guide said, pointing to the tents. And the cavalry set off at a gallop, followed by the guide, who soon fell far into their rear. Just as the cavalry reached the tents, we saw two great masses of horsemen appear from behind the sand-hills on either flank, and with loud yells ride down upon them. With a shout of fury we were about to break into a run, but the major who was in command said, 'It is useless, comrades. There is but one hope. Make for that village. We can hold that; and there, if any of our comrades escape, they will find shelter. Double, march.' Off we went, but it was against the grain. We could hear the cracking of pistols, the shouts of our brave fellows, the yells of the Arabs, and our hearts were there; but we felt that the major was right. There must have been fully a couple of thousand of the Arabs, and we should have but thrown away our lives. It was a terrible run. The heat was stifling; the dust rose in clouds under our feet. We could scarce breathe, but we knew that we were running for life. As we neared the village, we heard yells behind us.
"Still the provocation was very strong, Captain Downes, and you could not altogether blame him."
"She missed you wonderful, Master Frank, and though she used to go about as usual, she did not seem to take an interest in things as she did before. I expect, now that she has seen you again, and has perked up a bit, she will fall into her old ways more regular. Now she has heard from you all about what you are doing, and your friends, and such like, and she knows that you are well and not changed, she will feel more comfortable, and won't be always worriting herself. Mr. Henderson often comes in and talks about you, and that always seems to do her good. And Colonel Chambers, he looks in sometimes, and she tells me that they both think a great deal of you, and of course that pleases her; and she looks forward wonderful to your letters coming regular once a week. I don't think you need trouble yourself about her, Master Frank. She has not really much the matter with her; only you know it was always her way to worrit about things, and you can't expect her to be otherwise, and I do think your coming here will do her a lot of good."
Mr. Faulkner then proceeded to give his evidence. "He had," he said, "spoken severely to the prisoner in his quality as a magistrate, upon his taking part in smuggling transactions. At this the prisoner became violently abusive and uttered such murderous threats that he thought he would have struck him, and in self-defence he (the witness) gave him a blow, whereupon the prisoner had sprung upon him like a tiger, had lifted him in his arms, and had carried him bodily towards the fire, and would assuredly have thrown him into it had he not been prevented from doing so by some of the coast-guardsmen."
The two constables were called up and taken along the line of track, and the chief constable pointed out to them that the man with well-made boots was evidently running after the other. Then they entered the wood. Carefully searching, they found here and there prints of both the boots. They went out into the drive, and, starting from the spot where Mr. Faulkner had been found, made for a large tree some thirty yards to the left.
"'I don't want to keep you prisoner, my man,' he said. 'In the first place, I don't wish to be troubled with looking after you; and in the second, you cannot be considered as a prisoner of war, for you were unarmed and helpless when we found you. Now, we are going to march all night. I am not going to tell where we are going; but I think it likely that we shall pass within sight of your camp-fires, and in that case I will leave you to make your way down to them, and will hand you back your musket and pouch, which you may want if you happen to fall in with a stray peasant or two.'
"Why, the major said he would write!" he exclaimed. "His letter must have missed me somehow. I shall have enough to do to get ready to-night."下载
"I should think we ought not to lose many men in taking that town, sergeant. There seem to be no guns on the walls. We have the suburbs to cover our advance, and attacking them on all sides, as we shall do, we ought to force our way in without much trouble."下载
"It is Faulkner against the other two," Mr. Probert whispered to Frank. "Of course they were unanimous about the smugglers, but I expect they differed as to the others. It is lucky that the Colonel is in the chair. Harrington is a mild little fellow, and Faulkner would be able to twist him round his finger if there were only the two of them, but there is no fear of that with the Colonel there to keep him straight."下载
"And now, lad, let us hear something more about your shooting."下载
To oppose the threatening storm Alexander had gathered three armies. The first, stationed in and round Wilna under General Barclay de Tolly, comprised 129,050 men; the second, posted at Wolkowich, and commanded by Prince Bagration, numbered 48,000; the third had its headquarters at Lutsk, and was commanded by Count Tormanssow; while the reserve, which was widely scattered, contained 34,000 men. Thus the total force gathered to oppose the advance of Napoleon's army of 650,000 was but 211,050. It had, too, the disadvantage of being scattered, for it was impossible to foresee by which of the several roads open to him, Napoleon would advance, or whether he intended to make for St. Petersburg or Moscow.下载
"Sir Robert Wilson has spoken very warmly in your favour, Mr. Wyatt," Lord Wellesley said, holding out his hand, as Sir Robert introduced him, "and his report is confirmed by your commanding officer, Major Tritton, who gives an excellent account of you. But you must not deprive His Majesty's army of the services of any more of its officers, Mr. Wyatt. Of course I received full details of that affair, and I am bound to say that it seems you behaved admirably, and you must be a wonderful shot. You don't look like a fire-eater either. It is a bad practice, Mr. Wyatt, a very bad practice. Well, well," he broke off, seeing a slight smile on Sir Robert's lips, "I suppose I have no right to say anything about it, having been an offender myself. However, from what I have learned, if ever a duel was justified, yours was. Well, sir, I hope that your future career will correspond with the reports that I have received of your past conduct. You are very fortunate in having been chosen for so important a service as that upon which you are now embarking, and I need hardly say that it will be of great value to you in your profession."下载
Frank stepped back a pace in astonishment. It was the voice rather than the face that he recognized.下载
"I don't know, Frank, I have never thought much about it. I don't think I should choose anywhere near Weymouth, and I would rather go to a flatter country, and a better wooded one. If I bought land, I should like to have land that I could cultivate myself, so as to give me an interest in it, and I should like, after a time, to be on the bench, which would give one a good deal of occupation. I suppose I shall marry some day, and so would prefer to be within reach of a town. I should think, from what you say, the country round Canterbury must be pretty. There is a garrison there, Dover is within reach, and it is a good deal more handy for getting up to town than it is from here. However, as you say, there is plenty of time for me to think about that."
Joe Markham had, as soon as he arrived, told the French smugglers that he had shot the magistrate who had for the last five or six years given them so much trouble and caused them so much loss, and who had, as the last affair showed, become more dangerous than ever, as he could only have obtained information as to the exact point of landing by having bribed someone connected with them.
"It is going to be tough work, Jules, I can tell you," one of them said to Julian, whose English birth was now almost forgotten, and who, by the good temper he always manifested, however long the marches and however great the fatigues, had become a general favourite. "I guess we are only going to fight because the Russians are tired of retreating, just as we are tired of pursuing them. They can gain nothing by fighting here. We outnumber them tremendously. The great bulk of their army lies on the heights on the other side of the river, and there is nothing to prevent their retreating to some strong position, where they might give battle with advantage. On the other hand, there is no reason why we should fight here. We have come down thirty or forty miles out of the direct road to Moscow, and if, instead of doing so, we had crossed the river, and had gone straight on, the Russians must have evacuated the town and pushed on with all speed in order to get between us and Moscow. But this marching about without getting a battle discourages men more even than defeat, and I hope that it will do something to restore discipline among the Germans and Austrians, ay, and among our own troops too. I have been through a number of campaigns, and I have never seen such disorder, such plunder, such want of discipline as has been shown since we entered Russia. I tell you, Jules, even a defeat would do us good. Look at the Russians; they never leave a straggler behind them, never a dismounted gun, while the roads behind us are choked up with our abandoned guns and waggons, and the whole country is covered with our marauders. I should be glad if one of the brigades was ordered to break up into companies and to march back, spreading out across the whole country we have traversed, and shooting every man they met between this and the frontier, whether he was French, German, Austrian, or Pole."