"They are on the look-out," Captain Lister said. "They will have heard from the mess waiters the news of the quarrel last night, and I don't suppose there was a soul in barracks that did not know what our errand was when we drove out this morning. I expect if you had been killed they would have had to move either the Lancers' dep?t or ours away from Canterbury, for the men of the two regiments would have been sure to have fought whenever they met each other."
"The most active chap about here," Bill said after he had hauled his nets, and the boat was making her way back to Weymouth, "is that Faulkner. He is a bitter bad one, he is. Most of the magistrates about here don't trouble their heads about smuggling, and if they find a keg of first class brandy quite accidental any morning on their doorstep, they don't ask where it comes from, but just put it down into their cellars. Sometimes information gets sworn before them, and they has to let the revenue people know, but somehow or other, I can't say how it is," and the fisherman gave a portentous wink, "our fellows generally get some sort of an idea that things ain't right, and the landing don't come off as expected; queer, ain't it? But that fellow Faulkner, he ain't like that. He worries hisself about the smugglers just about as much as Captain Downes does. He is just as hard on smugglers as he is on poachers, and he is wonderful down on them, he is. Do you know him, sir?"
"It is as you say, Victor," one of the other veterans said, "and it is all the better. It would be too bad if we had to march right across Europe and back without firing a shot, but I, who know the Russians too, feel sure that that will never be."
"'It was wine did it, sir. I drank too much at our bivouac in a village down the plain, and did not hear the bugles in the morning, and got left behind. When I awoke they had tied me up, and they kept me lying in the sun all day, not giving me as much as a drop of water. At sunset they marched me up here and tied me to that post, and El Chico told me that I should be roasted in the morning; and so it certainly would have been if you had not come up.'
She held out both her hands to him. He bowed deeply over them and raised them to his lips. "My happiness is no less than your own, countess," he said, "that God has permitted me to be the means of bringing your child back again. It was no great thing to do on my part; and, as I have told the count, the little act of kindness was vastly more than repaid, for your daughter assuredly saved my life from the peasants, as I saved hers from the cold. Your little daughter is quite a heroine," he said more lightly. "I can assure you that even when the bullets were flying about thickly she evinced no signs of fear, and the way in which she stood before me facing those enraged peasants was splendid."
"Oh, the Russians will be sure to send in to ask for terms of peace as soon as we get there," the sergeant said confidently.