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The Frenchman's thoughts were not dissimilar to his own. "He is a brave gar?on," he said to himself, "and makes the best of things. He is a fine-looking fellow, too, and will be a big man in another year or two. It is a misfortune that we have got to take him and shut him up in prison. Why did he mix himself up in this affair of Markham? That is the way with boys. Instead of being grateful to the man that had killed his enemy, he must needs run after him as if he had done him an injury. Well, it can't be helped now; but, at least, I will make him as comfortable as I can as long as he is on board the lugger."
"Without minding what any one I did not care for, said," Frank interrupted. "Certainly; why should I heed a bit what people I do not care for say, so long as I feel that I am doing what is right."
"I don't think much about them one way or the other," Julian said as he came up. "We have not a great deal further to go to Moscow, and the sooner we get there the better. Then we shall have the satisfaction of seeing some people."
"Don't be afraid of my missing him." And Frank spoke so confidently that his hearers felt satisfied he must at least have some good foundation for his faith in his skill.
Frank expressed his thanks, and then retired. Strelinski was then called in, and in a few minutes returned radiant.
Frank read it with some interest, for Strelinski was not in the habit of saying what he thought of his progress.
Napoleon's plans, however, were all frustrated by the inconceivable blunders and follies of the generals, to whom were entrusted the task of carrying them out. Everywhere, in turn, they suffered themselves to be deceived and caught napping. The important positions entrusted to them were wrested from their hands. Minsk, where there were supplies for the whole army for months, had been captured, and now Borizow, where the passage of the Berezina was to be made, was captured almost without resistance. Well might Napoleon when he heard the news exclaim in despair:
"I will help you a bit," Frank laughed. "The campaign has pretty well destroyed all my kit, and I shan't be too proud to fill up from your abundance."下载
"Well, Aunt, it is a more absurd affair than the other; but, absurd as it is, it is very painful. There is a warrant out for the arrest of Julian on the charge of attempting to murder Mr. Faulkner."下载
"Well, we will try anyhow, Jacques."下载
Smolensk, a town of considerable size, on the Dnieper, distant 280 miles from Moscow, was surrounded by a brick wall thirty feet high and eighteen feet thick at the base, with loopholed battlements. This wall formed a semicircle of about three miles and a half, the ends resting on the river. It was strengthened by thirty towers, and at its forts was a deep dry ditch. The town was largely built of wood. There were no heavy guns upon the walls, and the city, which was completely commanded by surrounding hills, was in no way defensible, but Barclay de Tolly felt himself obliged to fight.下载
"Come up, by all means. There is really nothing to tell you."下载
For the next few days Julian kept in the house, except that after nightfall he went out for a long walk. The report of the proceedings in the court had caused a great sensation in Weymouth, and the feeling was so strong against Mr. Faulkner that he was hooted in the streets when he rode into the town. The general expectation was that he would resign his position on the bench; and when at the end of a week he did not do so, a private meeting of the other magistrates was held, and it was whispered in the town that a report of the proceedings at the court had been sent to the Home Secretary, with an expression of opinion that Mr. Faulkner's brother magistrates felt that they could not sit again with him on the bench after what had taken place.下载
"Since we entered Russia, Count," he said, "and I have seen the savage manner in which the peasantry were treated, not so much by the French troops as by the allies, I bitterly regretted that I had enlisted; but, at the time, no notion of this had ever entered my mind. I have told you that the life at Verdun was intolerable. We died in hundreds, for a sort of dull despair seemed to settle on everyone; and, although for a long time I had borne up against it, I had come to the point when death would have been welcome. A return to my own country seemed closed to me, owing to the circumstances I have related to you; and I entered the French service, just as, in the wars a couple of hundred years ago, Englishmen and Scotchmen were to be found fighting as soldiers of fortune in the armies of well-nigh every power of Europe."下载
Had a thunderbolt fallen in the room those present could not have been more surprised. Some of Frank's comrades knew that he often went to Woodall's shooting-gallery to practise with the pistol, but they had no idea that he had attained any great skill in its use, and their impression when he spoke was that he must have gone out of his mind thus publicly to insult Marshall. The latter was at least as much astonished as anyone else. He started as if struck with a blow, and then, leaning across the table, he said in a low voice to Frank, who was sitting just opposite to him:下载
"A very good idea, sir. The hand is not much of a mark when holding a pistol, still it is a good bit bigger than a penny piece, and you would soon get to hit it just as certainly."下载