"What do I not owe to you," he said, "to you and General Wilson? I have been appointed interpreter on a salary of two hundred a year. Think of it! my fortune is made."
Frank looked up all his old friends and spent a pleasant week. His visit did his aunt a great deal of good, and the servant told him that she was quite a different woman since he had come home again.
"The Russians are hardy fighters, comrades," one of the veterans said. "Parbleu! I who tell you, have fought against them, and they are not to be despised. They are slow at manu?vring, but put them in a place and tell them to hold it, and they will do it to the last. I fought at Austerlitz against the Austrians, and at Jena against the Prussians, and in a score of other battles in Germany and Italy, and I tell you that the Russians are the toughest enemies I have met, save only your Islanders, Jules. I was at Talavera, and the way your people held that hill after the cowardly Spaniards had bolted and left them, and at last rolled us down it, was a thing I don't want to see again. I was wounded and sent home to be patched up, and that is how I come to be here marching against Russia instead of being under Soult in Spain. No, comrades, you take my word for it, big as our army will be, we shall have some tough fighting to do before we get to Moscow or St. Petersburg, whichever the Little Corporal intends to dictate terms in."
It was the excitement of the adventure, however, rather than the pay, and the satisfaction derived from outwitting the revenue men, that was the main attraction to the fishermen. Julian took no share in the work. He went dressed in the rough clothes he wore on the fishing excursions at night, and heartily enjoyed the animated bustle of the scene, as scores of men carrying kegs or bales on their backs, made their way up some narrow ravine, silently laid down their loads beside the carts and pack-horses, and then started back again for another trip. He occasionally lent a hand to lash the kegs on either side of the horses, or to lift a bale into the cart. No one ever asked any question; it was assumed that he was there with one of the carts, and he recognized the wisdom of Bill's advice the first time he went out.
"No, sir, he has not been here; but he told me that if he ever got into a duel he would aim at his opponent's hand, and he has been practising specially for that. He had a target made on purpose, but that did not please him, and we rigged out an arm holding a pistol and fixed it to the target just in the position it would be if the painted figure were firing at him. We had to have a rough sort of hand made of iron, for it would have cost a fortune if had been made of anything else. Sometimes he would have it painted white, sometimes gray, sometimes black, either of which it might be, if a man wore gloves, but it did not make any difference to him; and I have seen him hit it twenty times following, over and over again."
The colonel gave the order to charge, and the regiment rushed forward with such ardour to the attack, that the Russians were compelled to fall back with heavy loss, and shortly afterwards news came that the bridge was clear, and the rear-guard followed the rest of the army. Forty of the grenadiers had fallen, among them their colonel and two other officers. The next morning, before the regiment marched, the major as usual read out to it the order of the day. The marshal expressed his approbation of the spirit which the Grenadiers of the Rhone had manifested.下载
"I want to see what you are like."下载
Smuggling was at the time carried on extensively, and nowhere more actively than between Weymouth and Exmouth on the one hand, and Swanage on the other. Consequently, in spite of the vigilance of the revenue men, cargoes were frequently run. The long projection of Chesil Beach and Portland afforded a great advantage to the smugglers; and Lieutenant Downes, who commanded the revenue cutter Boxer, had been heard to declare that he would gladly subscribe a year's pay if a channel could be cut through the beach. Even when he obtained information that a cargo was likely to be run to the west, unless the winds and tides were alike propitious, it took so long a time to get round Portland Bill that he was certain to arrive too late to interfere with the landing, while, at times, an adverse wind and the terrors of the "race" with its tremendous current and angry waves would keep the Boxer lying for days to the west of the Island, returning to Weymouth only to hear that during her absence a lugger had landed her cargo somewhere to the east.
"I can put up with any amount of chaff," Frank replied; "I mean chaff in its proper sense. Anything that goes beyond that, I shall, I hope, be able to meet as it deserves. Perhaps it would be better if I were to take half an hour a day off my Russian studies and to spend that time in the pistol-gallery."