"Thank you, Major. I have just come across to ask you if you will allow me a fortnight's leave of absence. I really want to pay a visit to my aunt at Weymouth, and I think it will be a very good plan for me to get away from here until this affair has blown over a little."
"Yes, when he gets one, Aunt. I will give the letters to men who are, I know, connected with the smugglers, and possibly they may be taken over, but that is a very different thing from his getting them. We may be sure that the smugglers who have taken Julian over will not trouble themselves about detaining him. They would never go to all the bother of keeping and watching him for years. If they keep him at all it will be on board their craft, but that would be a constant trouble, and they would know that sooner or later he would be able to make his escape. If they have handed him over to the French authorities he may have been taken to a prison hundreds of miles from Nantes, and the smugglers would not know where he was and would be unable to send a letter to him. No, Aunt, I feel confident that Julian will come home, but I am afraid that it will be a long time first, for as to his escaping from prison, there is no chance whatever of it. There are numbers of English officers there; many of them must be able to speak French well, and the naval officers are able to climb ropes and things of that sort that Julian could not do. It is very rare indeed that any of them, even with these advantages, make their escape, and therefore I cannot hope that Julian will be able to do so."
"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."
Still completely bewildered, Frank followed his brother.
At three o'clock Napoleon, whose whole army, with the exception of the Imperial Guard, had been engaged, felt that nothing further could be done that day, and ordered the battle to cease. He had gained the three redoubts on the Russians' left and the great redoubt captured by the Viceroy, but these were really only advanced works, and the main position of the Russians still remained entirely intact. At night the French retired from the positions they had won, to those they had occupied before the battle begun, retaining possession only of the village of Borodino. The loss of the combatants during the two days' fighting had been nearly equal, no less than 40,000 men having been killed on each side, a number exceeding that of any other battle in modern times. Napoleon expected that the Russians would again give battle next morning, but Kutusow, contrary to the opinion of most of his generals, decided on falling back. Beningsen, one of his best officers, strongly urged him to take up a position at Kalouga, some seventy miles to the south of Moscow. The position was a very strong one. Napoleon could not advance against Moscow, which was in a position to offer a long and determined resistance, until he had driven off the Russian army. At Kalouga they could at any moment advance on to his line of communication, cut off all his supplies, and isolate him from France.
"I congratulate you most heartily upon the innocence of your brother having been, to our minds, so conclusively proved, and, as Mr. Henderson tells us, chiefly owing to your shrewdness in the matter. Before you begin, you can repeat your opinion about the bullet that you pointed out to the chief constable last night, in order that the point may be included in your statement. After that you can tell us the story of your search in the wood."下载
Captain Lister nodded, and went up to them as they dismounted from the gig. "I fancy that it is going to be all right, doctor," he said, "Wyatt tells me so himself, and what he says is confirmed by Woodall, the gunsmith. It seems the lad is an extraordinarily good shot. I told you last night that he had been practising a good deal, but I did not like to raise your hopes too high until I had seen Woodall. I will bet you a guinea that Wyatt comes out of it all right."
"Unfortunately, there was no moon, and as they came up pretty nearly naked, their bodies were so much the colour of the sand that they could not be made out twenty yards away. They were plucky enough, for they would come right in among the houses and fire through the doors, and sometimes a number of them would make a rush against one; but nothing short of bursting the doors into splinters would have given them an entry, so firmly did the piles of earth hold them in their places. In the middle of the fifth day a cloud of dust was seen across the plain from the direction in which we came. No one had a doubt that it was a party sent to our relief, and every man sprang to his feet and swarmed up on to the roof, as soon as the man on watch above told us the news; directly afterwards the major shouted, 'Each man can have a ration of water.'
The same day that the post brought Frank the news of his commission, it brought a letter from Colonel Wilson saying that he was at present in town, and giving him a warm invitation to come up and stay with him for a week, while he procured his necessary outfit. A fortnight later Frank arrived in town and drove to Buckingham Street, where Colonel Wilson was lodging. He received Frank very kindly, and when the lad would have renewed the thanks he had expressed in the letter he had written on receiving the news of his having obtained his commission, the Colonel said: