"It depends whether I can be useful here; if so, I am of course ready to do anything, but if you will not in any way want me, I shall start this evening by the coach for Weymouth, and join you at Portsmouth. I will send my baggage off at once by waggon."
"All has gone off well," the captain then said. "We got the laces and silks safely away, and the money has been paid for them. The revenue cutter started early this morning, and was off Lyme Regis this afternoon, so we shall have a clear run out. We will keep on the course we are laying till we are well beyond the race, and then make for the west. We have sent word for them to be on the look-out for us at the old place near Dartmouth to-morrow night, and if we are not there then, the night after; if there is danger, they are to send up a rocket from the hill inland."
"You are right again, comrade," the old sergeant said to Julian, who had been promoted to the rank of sergeant after the battle of Borodino, as they stood together on the night of the 15th gazing at the terrible spectacle of the city enveloped in flames. "Peste! these Russians are terrible fellows. Who could have thought of such a thing? It is a bad look-out for us."
For some hours there was a lull, but about mid-day heavy masses of troops were seen descending from the French positions, and as they approached the suburbs a roar of musketry broke out. Twice in the course of the next two hours Frank was sent down into the town. He reported that, although resisting with the greatest obstinacy, the Russians were being driven out of the suburbs. Just as he returned the second time, Sir Robert Wilson, who was examining the enemy's position with a telescope, observed that ten batteries of artillery were making their way up the steep hill on the other side of the river. He at once reported this to the general, adding: "They will very speedily knock the bridges into pieces and isolate the garrison altogether. But I think, sir," he added, "if you place some batteries on the hill on this side, you will take them in flank. The two hills are both about the same height, and they will be completely exposed to your fire."
"What a dreadful face you have got, Julian!"
"And you were really fool enough to think that if you captured me single-handed I should walk with you like a lamb to the gallows?"
"He made a step towards me with a threatening gesture."
"Probably because he saw some vehicle or some persons walking along the road, and did not wish to be seen."
"What have you got?"下载
"Did it seem to you, Captain Downes, that the prisoner was carrying Mr. Faulkner straight to the fire?"下载
Sir Robert himself had urgent need of change and rest. The responsibility upon his shoulders had been tremendous. The Emperor had relied upon him entirely for information as to the true state of things in the army, and the Russian generals regarding him as specially the Emperor's representative, had poured their complaints into his ears.下载
"That is all very well," one of the men said; "but what is to prevent his coming back again?"下载
"That is your old antagonist, unless I am mistaken, Mr. Wyatt. You pointed him out to me once when I was in barracks with you, and I thought I remembered his face; that empty sleeve assures me that it is him."下载
"I can hold on comfortably, Aunt; besides, I have got to have a change and a wash. That is of more importance than tea just at present."下载
There was now a short pause in the attack, but the roar of artillery and musketry continued unbroken. Poniatowski now emerged from the wood, and fell upon the Russian left rear, capturing the village of Outitska. Touchkoff, a brother of the general who had been captured at Loubino, who commanded here, fell back to a height that dominated the village and the ground beyond it, and maintained himself until mid-day. On the French left, where the Viceroy Beauharnois commanded, the advance was stubbornly opposed, and the French artillery was several times silenced by the guns on the eminence. At last, however, the Russians were driven across the rivulet, and the French occupied Borodino. Leaving a division of infantry to protect his rear, the Viceroy crossed the stream and advanced against a great battery in front of the village of Gorki. Davoust and Ney remained motionless until nine o'clock, as Napoleon would not forward the reinforcements they had asked for until he learned that Poniatowski had come into action, and that the Viceroy had crossed the stream and was moving to the attack of the Russian centre. Now, reinforced by the division of Friant, they moved forward.
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."
"Some bad men took your cloak," he said; "none of these men here did it; and you were very cold when I found you, so I put some of the stuffing from the cushions round you to keep you warm, and you must wear them till I can get you another cloak. Comrades," he went on, to the soldiers who had gathered round to look at the little figure, "this is the Countess Stephanie Woronski, and I have told her that you will all be very kind to her and make her as comfortable as you can as long as she is with us."
"There are no 'buts' in it, Wilmington. You must give me your word of honour that you will go on as you have done. Don't be afraid of anyone thinking you a coward. There is no cowardice in refusing to fight a man who is so much your superior in skill that it would be nothing short of suicide in standing up against him. I have a private reason for believing that it won't last long."