Times' Red Cross Story Book By Famous Novelists Serving In His Majesty's Forces | Various | 4/4

story 17 of the times Red Cross storybook by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story 17 the fight for the garden by Sir Arthur T equal couch Duke of Cornwall's light infantry one it is strange though said the gardener's wife and Flemish standing in the doorway of the chapel and studying while she shook her duster the tall pigeon house in the center of the courtyard the birds have not come back yet not a sign of them they never like it when their house is cleaned out responded philomene the middle-aged maid-of-all-work just within the doorway she too had a duster and perched on a stepladder in securely she weighed by our English reckoning a good fifteen stone was flapping the dust from a tall crucifix nailed above the lentil the good man told me he had collected clothes on two pecks he is down in the garden digging it in around the roses he says that it will certainly rain tonight it has been raining to the southward all the afternoon said philomene heavily descending her stepladder and shielding her eyes to stare up at the western window through the clear quarrels of which the declining Sun sent a ray from under heavy clouds that will be by reason of the guns Thunder suggested the gardener's wife the guns bring the Thunder it is well known in her girlhood philomene had been a fianc 2e young artillery man she had lost him at landris e 21 years ago and had never since owned another lover or wished for one oh well provided they leave us alone this time side the gardener's wife she gazed across to the stable buildings where by a flight of cup steps leading to the hayloft her two children Jean and Pauline were busy at play with antoine son of a small farmer whose homestead is scarcely a mile away aligned the high road running south from the capital the school in the neighbouring village had been closed for two days and tomorrow being Sunday would make a holiday anyhow yesterday Shauna Pauline had been Antoine's guest at a picnic breakfast in the sandpit opposite his father's farm there were domestic reasons why they could not be entertained in the house and had spent for blissful hours watching the army their army horse foot and artillery all within toss of a biscuit march past and southward along the show say today it was their turn to be hosts and all the long afternoon with intervals for light refreshment the three children had been conducting a series of military operations from the orchard edge through the orchard across a sunken ditch through the terraced garden with circumspection here for the gardener was swift to detect and stern to avenge paternally any foot mark on his beds through the small fruit garden where it was forbidden to eat the under-ripe currents the barnyard among the haystacks the outbuildings to the courtyard and a grand finale on the stable steps here Napoleon Antoine in a cocked hat of glazed paper was making a last desperate stand on the stair head with his back to the door of the loft and using the broken half of a flail on mullen a to ward off a combined kill by the Prince of Orange Zhang and the British Army Pauline Zhang wielded a hole and carried a wooden sword in an orange colored scarf strapped as waist band around his blouse but Pauline made the most picturesque figure by far she had kilted her petticoat high and gartered her stocking low exposing her knees on her head through the heat of action she carried an old muff strapped under her chin with twine her right hand menaced the corsican with a broomstick her left arm she held crook'd working the elbow against her hip while her mouth uttered discordant sounds as a bagpipe Pauline Pauline called her mother hey tetra donc cette heure tu ta da news a new Senate Asajj saw sale appear look mama called back the child assisting for a moment Jeff suiza code says Walla she had seen the Highland regiments yesterday and the site had given her a new self respect a new interest in warfare since as she maintained against Antoine and Jean these kill third warriors must be women giantesses out of the north but nonetheless women why it stands to reason look at their clothes the gardener's wife left discipline to her husband she took a step or two out into the yard for a glance at the Sun slanting between the poplar top of the Avenue it's time Antoine's father fetch Tim she announced returning to the chapel and what has happened to the birds I cannot think one would say they had forgotten their roosting house the perch will return when the corn is spread answered phila main comfortably as for little Antoine if he be not fetched he shall have supper and I myself will see him home across the fields the child has courage enough to go alone if we pack him off now before nightfall but I doubt the evil characters about there are always many such in the track of an army if that be so the gardener's wife objected it will not be pleasant for you when you have left him to be returning alone in the dark why not take him back now before supper billo main shrugged her broad shoulders never fear for me wife I understand soldiery and moreover am I to leave the chapel unread on a Saturday evening of all times but since no one visits it the good God visits it service or no service what did father cause must preach to us to San Diego work said he for you cannot tell it what our the bridegroom cometh nor the baby either he might have said most likely the good man Antoine's father has work on his hands and doctors so scarce with all this military / running us I dreamt last night it would be twins there now I've said it and a Friday night's dream told on a Saturday Quist woman interrupted the gardener's wife in a listening attitude for the shouts of the children had ceased of a sudden to Napoleon at bay with his back to the hayloft door ceased to brandish his weapon dropped his sword arm and flung out the other pointing look he cried behind you oh we know that trick answered the escalating party and closed upon him for the coup de Gras but he ducked under John's clutch still pointing and cried again this time so earnestly that they paused indeed and turned for a look about halfway between the foot of the steps and the arched entrance with one of its double doors open behind him stood a spare shortest gentleman in blue frock coat white breeches and Hessian boots on his head was a small cocked hat the peak of it only a little shorter than the nose which it overshadowed and to this nose the spare shortest gentleman was carrying a pinch of snuff as he halted and regarded the children with what had his mouth been less grim might have passed for a smile of amusement Mademoiselle images both said he in very bad French I am sorry to interrupt but I wish to see the proprietary the pro but that will be Monsignor answered Pauline who was the reddest and the visitors eyes were upon her as if he had instantly guessed this but you cannot see him Sir for he lives at naveed and moreover is ever so old she spread her hands apart as one elongate say concertina between 80 and 90 mama says he is too old to travel nowadays even from nivelle and my brother Zhang here is the only one of us who remembers to have seen him I remember him put in Shaw because he wore blue spectacles and carried out white umbrella he was not half so tall as anyone would think oh what a beautiful horse he exclaimed catching through the Gateway a glimpse of a bright chestnut charger which an orderly was walking to and fro in the Avenue does he really belong to you sir Jean ask this because the visitors dressed did not speak affluence a button was missing from his frock-coat his boots were mired to their tops and a black smear on one side of his long nose made his appearance rather disreputable than not it was in fact a smear of gunpowder he really does said the visitor and turned again to Pauline his blue eyes twinkling a little his mouth grim as before who then is in charge of this place my father Sir he has been the gardener here since long before we were born and Mama is his wife he is in the garden at this moment if you wish to see him I do said the visitor after a sharp glance around the courtyard and another at its high protecting wall take me to him please Pauline led him by a little gateway past the angle of the Chateau and out upon the upper terrace of the garden planted in the formal style which ran along the main south front of the building and sloped to a stout brick wall some nine feet in height beyond the wall a grove of beech trees stretched southward upon the plane into open country excellent said the visitor first-rate yet he seemed to take small note of the orange trees now in full bloom or of the box edged borders filled with periwinkle and blue forget-me-nots or with mignonette smelling very sweetly in the cool of the day Nora jet had he cast more than a cursory glance along the whitewashed facade of the chateau or up at its high red tiled roof with the pointed flemish turrets that strangers invariably admired he appeared quite in curious to when she halted a moment to give him a chance of wondering at the famous sundial a circular flower bed with a tall wooden omen in the center and the hours cut in box around the edge but where is your father he asked impatiently drawing out a fine gold watch from his fob he is not in the Rose Garden it seems said Pauline gazing along the terrace eastward then he will be in the orchard beyond she turned to bid Jean run and fetch him but the two boys had thought it better fun to run back for a look at the handsome chestnut charger so she hurried on as guide from the terrace they descended by some stone steps to a covered walk at the end of which closed by the southern wall stood another wonder at all picture very viola painted and in vile perspective but meant to trick the eye by representing the walk as continued with the summerhouse at the end the children held this for one of the cleverest things in the world the visitor said and in the rudest manner stepping from this covered way they followed a path which ran at right angles to it closed under the south wall which was of brick on a low foundation of stone and stout brick buttresses in these the visitors interest seemed to revive couldn't be better he said nodding grimly Pauline knew that her father must be in the orchard for the small door at the end of the path stood open and just beyond it and beyond the sunken ditch sure enough they found him with a pail of wash and a brush anointing some trees on which the caterpillars had fastened as the visitor strode forward to Pauline came to a halt having been taught that to listen to the talk of grown-up people was unbecoming but some words she could not help overhearing good evening my friend said the visitor stepping forward this is a fine orchard you have here and what size do you put it he is going to buy the Chateau thought Pauline with a sinking of her small heart for she knew the Monsignor being so old had more than once threatened to sell it he is going to buy the Chateau and we shall be turned out we reckon it at three ah pense more or less yes assuredly a noble orchard and in the best order though I say it after a word or two which she could not catch they walked off a little way under the trees the conversation grew more earnest by and by Pauline saw her father step back apace and salute with great reverence yes of course she decided he is a very rich man or he could not be buying such a place but it break Mama's heart and mine and what is the place to this man who appreciates nothing not even the sundial the two came back slowly her father walking now at a distance respectfully wide of the visitor the past Pauline as if unaware of her presence the visitor was saying if we do not hold this point tonight the French will hold it tomorrow you understand they went through the small doorway into the garden Pauline followed again the visitor seemed to regard the long brick wall in front of which grew a neglected line of shrubs making the best of its northern aspect as its most interesting feature might have been built for the very purpose with these buttresses he stopped towards one and held the edge of his poem against it almost halfway down but you must cut it down so he spoke as if the brickwork were a shrub to be locked have you a nice lot of planks Andy a few milord we keep some for scaffolding when repairs are needed not enough air then that we must rip up a floor or to my fellows will see to it the gardener rubbed his jaw thoughtfully to be sure there are the benches in the chapel he suggested that's a notion let's have a look at him they mounted to the terrace and passed back into the courtyard Pauline still following Antoine's father had arrived to fetch him had arrived to with a cart the cart held a quantity of household furniture the farmer held the reins and the gardener's wife and philomene were hoisting the child up beside him they were agitated as anyone could see and while her father led the visitor into the chapel Pauline walked over to Jean who stood watching to ask him what it all meant he says the war is coming back this way it may even be tonight yes said the farmer addressing the woman and unwittingly cooperating John's report this is the third load with the first I took along my good woman and by God's mercy found a lodging for her at the ga's a small bedroom that is all but it will be handy for the Midwife and your crops my poor friend it was a fine swath of rye to be sure agreed the farmer sighing and the barley full of promise one gets compensation they tell me but that will be small comfort if while the grass grows the cow stars so I brought you the first word did I for ammo and yet by this time i should not wonder if the troops were in sight he waved his hand to the southward Jean plucked Pauline by the sleeve the two stole away together to the ladder that stood against the pigeon house we hear no news of the world at all said the gardener's wife my man at this season is so wrapped up in his roses hola neighbor called the gardener at this moment coming forth from the chapel the visitor behind him you are stealing a march on us it seems now as a friend the best you can do is to drive ahead and be speak some room in the village for my wife and little ones while they pack and I get out the carts is it true then his wife turned on him in a Twitter my good woman interposed the visitor coming forward at sight of whom the farmer gave a gasp and then lifted his whip head in a flurry and quite unheeded salute it is true I regret to say that tonight and tomorrow this house will be no place for you or for your children your husband may return if he chooses when he has seen you safely bestowed indeed he will be useful and probably in no danger until tomorrow the children where are the children quavered the gardener's wife and began calling Jean Pauline ja a Pauline by this time were perched high on the ladder under the platform of the pigeon coat from this perch they could spy over the irregular ridge of the out buildings down across the garden to the Grove and yet beyond the grove between the beach tops to the southward ridge of the plane which on most days presented an undulating horizon but now all was blurred in that direction by heavy rain clouds and no sign of the returning army could be seen save a small group of horsemen coming at a trot along at the great high road and scarcely half am I the way crosswise from their right as shaft of the Setting Sun shot as though the slit of a closing shutter between the crest of another wood and rain clouds scarcely less dark it dazzled their eyes it littering bow in the eastern sky we're also the clouds had started to discharge their reign the Chateau seemed to be a vortex around which the thunderstorm was closing fast on three sides at any rate but for the moment poured through this one long rift in the West sunlight bathed the buildings a sunlight uncanny and read that streamed into the courtyard across the low ridge of the outbuildings the visitor had stepped back to the eastern angle of the house and stood there as if measuring with his eye the distance between him and the gate he began to pay said and as he advanced to jon's I his shadow shortened itself down the wall like a streak of red blood fading from the top there's room in the cart here for the little ones the farmer suggested but no answer the gardener Jean a Pauline will be needed to drive off the cattle I shall take one cart you fill a main the other and I will have both ready by the time you women have packed what is necessary I'll be until then the farmer started his mayor the gardener following him to the Gateway the gardener's wife turned towards the house sobbing but I shall come back call filaments out Lee Monte does anyone suppose I will leave our best rooms to be tramped through by a lot of nasty foreign soldiers no one listened to her after a moment she too went off towards the house Jean I Pauline slid down the ladder the farmer's cart had rumbled through the archway and out into the Avenue the visitor had beckoned disorderly and was preparing to mount with one foot in the stirrup he turned to the gardener by the way said he when you return from the village bring lanterns all you can collect then to the orderly give me my cloak for already the rain was beginning to fall in large drops a squall of rain first over the poplars as he rode away three Jean a Pauline awoke next morning to some very queer sensations they had slept in their closed upon beds of hay their bedroom in fact was part of a cottage loft partitioned into two by rough boards on this side Hey on the other a hidden roost the poultry were cackling and crowing and seemed to be in a flurry Jean raised himself on his elbow and cried to Pauline Jean I was just going to wake you i have scarcely slept all night while you have been snoring listen the battle has begun sure enough a deal of fusa lading was going on and not very far away and this no doubt had scared the fouls on the other side of the partition the loft had but a narrow slit unglazed closed under the eaves to admit air and daylight Sean crept to it over the trusses of hay and peered out into the world he could see nothing but clouds and a few near trees wrapped in a foggy drizzle sill the loose fusillade went on I don't know if it can be the battle he reported the domain says that battles always begin nowadays with the big guns and this moreover sounds half-hearted he was right to the two or three trees visible in the mists were the outpost of a plantation which struggled up to the entrance of the village beyond this plantation lay two regiments that like the rest of the army had marched in bivouacked in mud and rain at dawn they had been ordered to clean their small arms and since the radiused way to make sure of a musket is to fire off the charge they had been directed to do so by companies in an interval of this fusillade the children caught the sound of someone moving in the kitchen below lighting the fire Jean crept from his window slit to the hatchway of the loft and called down softly mama the good woman of the cottage answered bidding him to go back to bed again his mother was not in the house but had been called during the night to visit a cottage some way up the food that will be Antoine's mother whispered Pauline who had crept over the hay to John side he sit a boy or a girl she asked aloud it is twins said the good woman now lie down and be sensible you too but where is Papa down at the Chateau doubtless but God knows he was here a little before midnight and left again meaning to spend the night there now I have told you what I know the two crept back to their lairs and lay very obediently until the good woman called up that coffee was ready they hurried down the ladder washed their hands and faces at the pump outside and returned to the meal there was coffee and a very savory potage in which they dipped great slices of bread the woman was kind to them having no children of her own her husband she said was somewhere in the plantation felling trees with the troops he had gone out long before dawn with a lantern because he knew the best trees and could lead the Pioneers to them in the dark Jean having breakfast until his small belly was tight as a drum felt a new courage in his veins and a great curiosity he proposed to Pauline in a whisper that they should run down together to the Chateau and see how Papa was getting on and fill a man she will scold though objected Pauline Oh says young fellow main scolding they ran out into the back garden that is right the woman called after them you can play there more safely than in the road but be sensible now if they should begin firing it was not difficult to slip through the tumbledown fence on the far side of it the children struck a footpath which ran down across a rye field to the plantation the rain had ceased and above the rye many larch were singing though the clouds hungry and heavy the loose firing two had ceased trees and the backs of a few cottages on their left denser woodland ahead of them circumscribed the view here not a soldier was in sight there was nothing to be heard save the larks chorus but of course exclaimed Pauline recollecting it is Sunday people do not right on Sunday are you sure a strong with a touch of disappointment if it were an ordinary Sunday the church bell would be ringing before now that is Miss ulica raised cunning with so many soldiers about his church would be suffocated if he called attention but where are the soldiers demand a Jong they went down the path which was narrow and slippery with Meyer between walls of rye that when brushed against shut down the golden grain and showers Jean led with Pauline at his heels they reached the plantation and entered it by a low gap the wood being a beach there was no undergrowth to wet their legs but the bow stripped the plantation ended at a bank overhanging a paved road and down this bank they scrambled without difficulty the pavement ran down the middle of the road and they followed this avoiding the slush which lined it on either side the ruts here were prodigious in fact the children who had driven the cattle up this road a few hours ago found it almost unrecognizable they now heard sounds of wood cutters axes creaking timber men's voices foreign voices and at an angle of the road came on a sudden glimpse of scarlet the avenue to the chateau turned off from the high road just here and just beyond the turning a company of British redcoats were completing an abbot eise breast high of locked trees crisscrossed and interlaced with Beach vows an officer caught sight of the children as they stood hesitating and warned them sharply to go back but we have a message for our Father who is the gardener yonder spoke up Jean with a jerk of his thumb towards the chateau well you can give it to the century at the gate if you'll take it but be quick the children darted up the Avenue between the poplars at the entrance gate which stood open sure enough they found a red coat posted we bring a message for our Father who is the gardener here says Jean heartily the Sentinel made him repeated and answered in executable French well I suppose there is no harm in the you carry it if the message is urgent your father somewhere in the garden I saw him passed that way a minute ago but you must promise to be back within five minutes Lord now added the Sentry smiling down at them I left just such a pair as you at home not two months ago I'd be sorry much as I love them to see them anyways here I like that man said Pauline as she and John passed into the yard the place was empty save for two soldiers lunge burgers in green uniform who were carrying a bench from the chapel towards the small gate of the garden but we have no message for Papa said Pauline unless we tell him that Antoine's mother has twins but he won't be in a hurry to hear that just then a doll noise sounded afar to the southward and the ground seemed to shake a little we will first seek fill a man he had hardly spoken the words when something screamed in the air above and struck the edge of the stable steps with a terrific crash the children frightened out of their lives dashed for the latter of the pigeon house the nearest solid object to which they could cling across the smoke as they clung and turned they saw the Sentry very coolly shutting the gate four or five green coats ran out of the chapel to help him but paused a moment as a second and a third shot whistled wide overhead then they rushed forward heads down to the gate which was quickly shut and bored they had not seen the children who now climbing up the ladder stayed not until they had squeezed through the square hole of the platform and crawled into the pigeon house where they lay panting it was of course quite foolish to seek shelter here for the moment they would have been far safer in the courtyard below under the Lee of the outbuildings a ball striking the pigeon house would knock it to shivers at one blow but they had climbed in pure panic and even now without any excuse of reason they felt more secure here as a matter of fact the danger was lessening for with these first shots the artillery to the southward beyond the trees have finding its range and now began to drop its fire shorter upon the garden below the Chateau through their pigeonholes Jean a Pauline overlooked almost the whole stretch of the garden the foot of which along the brick wall was closely lined with soldiers tall red coats for the most part with squads of green jackets here and there and a sprinkling of men who carried yellow knapsacks they had broken down the cups of the buttresses during the night and laid planks from buttress to buttress forming a platform that ran the entire length of the wall along this platform a part of the defender stood ready with bayonets fixed in their muskets which they rested for the moment on the brick coping others knelt on the flower border close beneath the platform watching at apertures where a few bricks had been knocked out there were green jackets and yellow too in the grove beyond posted here and there behind the breach holes a line of them pushed forward to a hedge on the left with a line of retreat left open by a small doorway this was all the July Pauline could see of the defense and even this they took in hurriedly for the round shot by now was sweeping the garden terraces and plowing through the flowerbeds it still passed harmlessly over the wall in the soldiery lining it and the children could see the men turned to watch the damage and grin at one another Joe Cosley Pauline wondered at their levity for the hail under which they stood and the whistling noise of it the constant throbbing of earth and air and the repeated heavy thuds upon the terrace were enough to strike terror into anyone she cried oh oh as at all orange tree fell Sean through as easily as a cabbage stump but Sean dragged at her arm between the treetops in a gap of the smoke that hung and drifted beyond the wood which dipped southward with ally of the slope and find a way there to an acute angle the enemy batteries or two of them were visible shooting out fresh wings of smoke on the sullen air and on a rising ground beyond and dense masses of infantry with squadrons of horsemen moving and taking up position flags and pennants flickered and from moment to moment as a troop shifted ground quick rivulets of light played across lines of key races and ailments tens hundreds of thousands were gathered there and stretched away to the left the trees were lower to the left and gave a better view and the object of this tremendous concourse as it presented itself to Zhang all to descend upon the chateau and swallow up this thin line of men by the garden wall to him as to Pauline this home of theirs meant more than the capital being the center of their world and of other preparations to resist the multitude opposite they could see nothing Zhang wondered why seeing it was so easy the great masses hung on the slope and refrained from descending to deliver the blow by and by that part of the main body which stood facing the angle where the wood ended throughout as it were by a puff a cloud of little figures to left and right much like two swarms of bees and these two dark swarms each as it came on in irregular order expanding until their inner sites melted together and made one descended under the cover of their artillery to the dip where for a few minutes Jean while sight of them in less than a minute the booming of the heavy gun ceased and their music was taken up by a quick crackle of small arms on both sides of the wood the line of defenders by the hedge shook wavered broke and came running back mingling with their supporters posted behind the beach balls under whose cover they found time to reload and fire again dodging from tree to tree but still as it dodged the whole body of men in the wood was being driven backward and inward from both sides upon the small door admitting to the garden at this point the crush was hidden by the intervening wall the children could only see the thin trickle of men as after jostling without they escaped back through the doorway but across the wall could now be seen the first of the assailants closing in among the beach drunks a line of red jackets hitherto hidden sprang forward as it were from the base of the wall on the far side to cover the route but they were few and seemed doomed to perish when were over the children's heads from somewhere behind the chateau a shell hissed plunged into the trees right amongst the assailants and exploded it was followed by another another and yet another the whole air screamed with shells as the earth shook again with their explosions but the marvel was the accuracy with which they drop pump among trees through which the assailants crowded white-breasted regiments of the line blue coated black catered sharpshooters closing in on their flanks the edge of this ring within 30 seconds was a semicircle of smoke and flame along which as globe after globe fell and crashed arms tossed bodies left and pitched back convulsively while even 200 yards nearer at most the knot of defenders stood unscathed within five minutes so deadly was the play of these unseen howitzers not a blue coat stood anywhere in sight a few wounded could be seen crawling away to shelter the rest of the front and second lines lay in an irregular ring and behind it the assault which had swept so close up to the wall melted clean away amid harrahs the streams of green and yellow jackets which had been pouring in at the entry steadied itself and began to pour forth again to reoccupy the wood gaily encouraged by the tall red coats on the platform the hail of shells ceased as suddenly as it had begun in the law Jean found time to look below him then threw another pigeon hole which faced the Gateway he saw his father crossing the yard with a red coated officer who was persuading him to leave it the demesne shouted the gardener the serving woman came forth from the door way of the house bearing a large Basin she emptied it into a sink beside the steps and what she poured was to appearance a bowl full of blood we are to go it seems called the gardener they will try again and the likes of us will be shot as having no business here no business hold back philomene I don't remember when I had so much she disappeared into the house Papa shrill John and pushed Pauline out towards the platform for your life quick but the latter has gone gasps Pauline it was true Jean shouted to his father again but the scream of a belated shell overhead drowned his young voice someone had removed the ladder before he could call again his father had passed out and the Sentry under the officers instructions was borrowing the gate for the latter which alone could help them to descend rested against the curtain of the gate some two dozen yards away why it had been carried off to be planted there or by whom there was no guessing someone maybe had done it in a panic for a moment it rested there idly yet as events proved it had a purpose to serve a wall of 20 minutes ensued on the baffled first assault but the French Terriers beaten back from their direct attack on the wood collected themselves on the edges of it and began to play a new and more deadly game creeping singly along the hedges and by the sunken ways halting gathering pushing on again gradually enclosing three sides of the wold and sent against the abbot eise on the high road they made a small demonstration as a faint but the main rush came again through the wood and across an orchard to the left of it this time for some reason the deadly howitzers were silent this time after another roar of artillery fire the defenders in the grove came pouring back with the black gay turd men close upon them intercepting and shooting them down by scores then followed half an hour's horrible work all along the garden wall work of which and they should have thanked heaven for it the children missed the worst seeing only the Redcoats jabbing across the wall and downwards with their bayonets the riflemen at the loopholes firing drawing back pausing to reload the small door had been shot fast and a dozen men held their weight against it yells and firing sounded all the while from the orchard to the loft but what was happening there the children could not see an angle of the house cut off their view in that direction could off in fact their view of the main field of battle where charge after charge of cavalry was being launched against the few regiments holding a ridge to the left close under which the Chateau stood but for Jean a Pauline the whole fight was for the Chateau their home and especially just now for the garden it seemed incredible that a thin line of redcoats could hold the wall against such numbers as kept pouring up between the beach falls yet minute after minute passed and the wall was not carried someone shouted close at hand from the gate they turned that way each choosing a people a score of blue coats had actually burst the gate open and were carrying the courtyard with a rush but halfway as many redcoats met them and swept them out at a point of bayonet forcing the double gate on their backs half a dozen others ran with beams to barricade it close beside it to the left a man topped the wall and straddled it with a shout of triumph a Redcoat fired slantwise from the pigeon house ladder and he pitched writhing upon the cobbles shackles and heads bobbed up behind the coping whence he had dropped but the yard now was full of soldiers heaven knew whence they had sprung and so this assault two was driven back shouts arose from the left of the house gradually the assault here being baffled the men drained off in that direction the attack upon the wall too seemed to have eased then came another low then the enemy's artillery opened fire again this time with shell at all officers stood against the wall shouting an order when the first l dropped when the smoke of the explosion cleared he was there no longer there remained only what seemed to be his shadow it was actually the streak of him beaten in blood upon the stucco this new cannonade was designed to set fire to the obstinate buildings and very soon the roof broke into a blaze into places that of the chapel was the first to catch at the western end many of the wounded had been carried their the pigeon house stood intact not even a stray bullet had struck it but now a new danger threatened the children and assure one even than the fast dropping shells smoke from the blazing roof of the main building poured into every aperture of their hiding place they fought with it striving to push it from them with hands that still grew feebler of a sudden it blotted out not the battle only but life itself for them five Pauline it seemed to Jean that he was awaking again in the hayloft again he heard the distant crackle of musketry Pauline Pauline stirred at that moment a bird alighted on a sill before one of the holes and disappeared with a whir of wings it was a pigeon returning to roost frightened to discover his house occupied the noise awakened Pauline upright she SAT up on the floor of the loft and asked suddenly but did they break in after all they who asked Sean still confused but he crept to the opening as he had crept to the other opening in the dawn it was close upon sunset now but he did not mark this what he marked and what brought him back to his senses was the site of phila main crossing the empty courtyard with a bucket it was the same courtyard though its outbuildings here and there lacked a roof it was the same philomene anyhow with her waddling walk the domain yeah but the good God deliver us how fetch the ladder here she fetched and planted it the two children climbed down to her six a man came through the broken gateway and stood for a moment gazing around him in the falling Twilight at the ruins at all sergeant of the Horse Artillery he caught sight of phila mane and the children and stared at them harder still well I've seen things today he said but if you ain't the unlikeliest who belongs here I could have told you yesterday answered philomene in an old voice following his look around and you've seen these things you he asked his face was dirty a mask of gunpowder but his eyes shone kindly and Pauline without recognizing his uniform knew him for a friend well I'm but who lives here just now there's nobody at home just now but me and the children as you see said philomene were you looking for somebody with another look around he will be hard to find the tall sergeant leaned an elbow against the gate he was tottering with fatigue it's a victory that's what it is he said an almighty victory it ought to be God knows philomena scented and and but you'll be busy no doubt moderately I have to push on with my battery but there's no real hurry the Prussians are after them now I thought on the off chance if I could find a friend here what is it you ask of me good man if one of you wouldn't mind stepping yonder with me it's much to ask I know but there's a gentleman an officer of ours wounded no such trouble for you good woman dead he is and I helped bury him but I want to find someone who will mark the place and keep it marked against I come back if ever I do was he a friend of yours then as philomene while the children stared I wouldn't altogether say that Edith said yes fast enough if you'd asked him but he was a gentleman Ramsey by name major Norman Ramsey one of many fallen today but I rode with him in his battery when he charged in slap through the whole of French cavalry at fuentes de an Oriole will you come tis but a little way his voice pleaded so it was so strange and womanly coming from a man of his strength and inches but they followed him almost without demur out by the gateway and around the sunken lane at the back of the buildings where for it was dark they had to pick their steps for fear of stumbling over the dead mercifully the way was not far that Paul sergeant halted and pointed to a patch of broken turf where was a loose mound among broad wheel ruts you see I have marked it with a stone said he but in a few days time there may be many more around here I want you to mark this one it doesn't matter how so that you know it and can point it out when his friends asked he wears his jacket of course the same as mine the tall man spanned his chest and turned towards the dying daylight so that the bars of yellow braids showed between his fingers only the facings will be of gold you see those three trees standing alone they will be halfway between it and the wall of the chateau in a straight line almost and the lane closed here on our left you cannot miss it he felt in his pockets we want no money soldier said fellow men we will do our best give me your name that meanwhile we may pray for you and him out of these many my name is Lizzie sergeant of bulls troop that will mean nothing to you however I daresay answered philomene simply it will convey more to our Lord God I had a man once who was killed in the artillery Jean a Pauline stared at the man tears as he stood by the grave had carved channels of white down his powder stained cheeks I do not believe he said in praying for the dead but I am glad somehow there are folks who do will you his name was Ramsey and the do who has won this battle broke his heart curse him how did he die sir as philomene simply he was killed some while ago and far from here answered the sergeant of a broken heart Mademoiselle it is a sad thing side fellow main to live for the artillery the sergeant seemed to wish to say more but turn to shake hands with her he patted the children lightly on the head then strode down the slope a last shaft of sunset cast his long shadow over the heaps of slain with a sob philomene pulled herself together mark my words children the pigeons will be home at their roost tomorrow and all this will be as if it never had been she turned it back to retrace the path and over the fields of slain the two children followed her heavy with sleep end of story 17 story 18 of the times Red Cross storybook by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various this LibriVox recording is in the public domain story 18 the face in the hop vines by charles g-d Roberts Kings Liverpool regiment from the low window framed and hop vines came light enough to light to bed so sleepy a traveler as I so I troubled not at all to find the candle sitting idly on the edge of the couch I pondered on the effort it would require to pull off my boots a soldier and hardened to all shifts I might indeed have slept as I was but the bed was the best in the end and I cared not to vex my hostess's tidy soul by any such roughness of the camp even as I thought of it however my tired brain was flowing away into dreams but on the sudden i SAT up straight very wide awake my hand went to the butt of my pistol I had caught a stealthy rustling in the hop vines about the window could these Acadians be planning any mischief against me it was not probable for they were an open dealing and courageous folk and had shown themselves civil during a few hours since my coming to cheticamp village nevertheless I knew that in a certain sense i might count myself to be in an enemy's country and vigilance my best comrade i sat in the gloom motionless watching the pale square of the window presently a head appeared too close to the glass and my fingers released the pistol the head was a woman's a young girls it seemed in the wimple Dwight cap were in these girls of Acadia or want to in Chateau their bright faces then light fingers tapped on the pain and with great willingness I threw open the sash but on the instant guessing at a mystery of some sort I held my tongue and kept my face aloof from the outdoor glimmer for my part however I could to make out less perhaps by these material wise than by the inside of the heart that the face which looked up peering Lee into mine was young and luring Jacques she murmured in a voice which my ears at once approved is it really you there's a mistake here an interesting mistake said my heart to me but I let no such utterances to my lips no indeed but my name is Jack and no one could be supposed to think of spelling at such a moment my conscience made no protest as I answered surely dear one its jack who else could it be I spoke in a discreet whisper for Allvoices in a whisper sound alight and I blessed my stars that I had perfected my French since my arrival in Halifax I put out my hand but failed to find a small one to occupy it of course I knew it was you jock the bewitching voice responded or you don't suppose I should have come knocking at your window this way to you know I should not Shelly i assented heartily solicitous to cherish the maids mistake and prolong the interview to the utmost patience of fate but it was kind of you to come so soon this seemed safe and non-committal but I trembled after I said it lest some unknown revelation should be lurking in the words i had to jacques because i was afraid you might come to see me tonight I was coming I interrupted to boldly mendacious but I was on the road all night and thought I had better lie down for a soldier's 40 winks before I called she laughed under her breath provocatively how your French has improved in these two years she remarked with approbation I used to think you would never learn this was the first time I had seen cheticamp village but I felt safe in my reply I was stupid of course Minaj but after I was gone I remembered your sweet instructions this was dangerous ground i hastened to shift it but tell me I went on what can you mean by saying I am NOT to come and see you surely you're not going to be so cruel when I've been away so long no Jacques she said with a decisive shake of her pretty head you cannot come father is very bitter against you and there would be a scene began to feel that I had rights which were being trampled upon but what do you suppose I came to jet account for I pleaded not merely to see me that I know Jacques came the decided answer you could never get leave of absence just for that you cold but at English could never make a woman's which so important couldn't we indeed I protested in my eagerness I leaned forward into the glimmer seeking closer proximity to the fair in shadowed face that seemed to waver off alluringly just beyond my reach then in a panic less I had revealed myself and displayed to her the error which I was finding so agreeable I drew myself back hastily into the gloom to cover my alarm i reproached her plaintively why do you keep so far away sweet one surely you're glad to see me again she laughed softly deliciously under her hood I haven't seen you yet really you know Jacques perhaps you have changed and I might not like you so well men do change especially Englishmen and soldiers they say but tell me why have you come to cheticamp what reason beside to see me this was a poser I feared the game was up but experience has taught me that when one has no good lie ready to hand it is safest to throw oneself on the mercy of truth and Trust to her good nature she has so many sides that one of them can generally be found to serve any occasion I told the truth yet with an air that would permit her to doubt should the game require it the business which gained me the privilege of coming where I might be once more blessed by the sight of your sweet eyes provoking one was the need conceived in the heart of our good governor of putting a stop to certain transactions with the French at Lewisburg which as you doubtless know very well have laid all the jetta camp coast under grave suspicions your people I dare wager are too wise to be mixed up in such perilous enterprises no sooner had I spoken than I realized that for once truth had tricked me I had better have trusted to invention Thank You Jacques that is just what I wanted to know you are so kind good night there was a mocking note in the sweet voice a little ring of triumph and hostility for one instant the face was raised and I saw it plainly as if by the radiance of the scornful eyes then before I could in any way gather my wits it vanished i thrust my head forward heedless of concealment and gained one glimpse of a shadow disappearing through the shrubbery I sprang out to follow but no I forget myself the window was somewhat small for one of my inches I climbed out laborious Lee the witch was nowhere to be seen then still more laborious Lee I climbed back again cursing fortune and my own stupidity which had bungled so sweet a game i sat down on the edge of my bed to consider the errant which had brought me from Halifax to cheticamp with six soldiers to support me was one of some moment and here was I already in danger of distraction thinking of a girls voice of have seen mocking eyes rather than of my undertaking I got up shook myself angrily then sat down again to lay my plans for the morrow the oath in yer of cheticamp Monsieur Raul's a michelle l Feb had heartily accepted the English rule and dwelt in high favor with the powers at Halifax but he had died a year back leaving his estates to his nephew young Sam Michelle it had come to the years of the government that this youth a headstrong partisan of France was taking advantage of his position as senior to prosecute very successfully the forbidden traffic with new eburg great and merited was the official indignation it was resolved that the estate should be confiscated at once and young masseuse Emma shell Lefebvre captured if possible thereupon the estates were conferred upon myself to whom the governor was somewhat deeply indebted it was passing comfortable to him to pay a debt out of a pocket other than his own I was dispatched to cheticamp to gather in Monsieur Lefevre the governor and the Lefebvre estates for myself they were fair estates I had heard and I vowed that I would presently teach them to serve well the cause of England's King my first thought in the morning when the level Sun streaming through the hop vines brought me on the sudden wide awake as a soldier should wake slipping cleanly and completely out of his sleep heaviness my first thought I say was of a shadowed face vanishing into the night glimmer and something enchantingly mysterious to be sought for in this remote acadian village then remembering my business and hoping that my indiscretion had not muddled it I resolutely put the folly from me and sprang up it is curious when one looks back to note what petty details stand forth in a clear light as it were upon the background of great and essential experience I am no gourmand but apt to eat whatever is set before me with little concern say that it be cleanly and sufficient yet never do I hear or think of jeddah camp village without a remembered savour of barley cakes and brown honey crossed delicately with the smell of bean blossoms blown in through a sunny window at the time I am sure I took little heat of these things my care was chiefly to see that two of my men set forth promptly to watch the two wharves on each side of the creek which served the fleet of the fishermen then i dispatched two others to spy on the roadway entering and leaving the village and a fifth to sentinel hill at the back overlooking all the open country with the remaining fellow my orderly at my heels I set out for the dwelling of young masseuse and michele de fev de cheticamp rehearsing his full name with care as i went in order that there should be no lack of courteous ceremony to disguise the rudeness of my errand i needed none to point me out the house of the lopez on the crest of a dark wooded knoll at the south east end of one long village street it spread its cluster of gray gables low and of a comfortable air fur gross sheltered it to the north and east on the west gathered the cool green ranks of its apple orchard down the slope in front unrolled a careless garden thumb pots and hollyhocks rose gooseberry bushes and marigold beds and a wide waist of blossoming roses all as unlike the formal Pleasance 'as of france and england as garden clothes could be yet bewitching like a fair and willful woman it shall not be changed by so much as one gooseberry bush said i to myself highly pleased with the prospect then rounding a lilac thicket i arrived at the open gate and then face to face i met a girl the meeting was so sudden and so closely did I confront her that I felt my coming a most uncivil intrusion moreover she was most disconcerting to look upon stammering apologies and snatching my hat from my head I flushed and dropped my eyes before her which was not in accordance with my custom I dropped my eyes as I say but even then I saw her as clearly within my brain as if my eyes were boldly resting upon her face the lady of the manor evidently i had heard there was a sister to the recalcitrant young senior one Mademoiselle I leaned over whose beauty and caprices had more than one dual-band fought among the Gallants of Quebec the picture which during these few heartbeats while I stood stuttering burned itself into my memory was one that not absence years or habitude has any power to do– the face was a face for which some men would die a hundred deaths and dream all beauty and dying while other men blind fools and many women of the envious sort would protest it to be not even passable a face small thin clear and very dark the chin obstinate the mouth full somewhat large sorrowful mocking maddening unforgettably scarlet the nose whimsical dainty the eyes of a strange green radiance very large and trustfully wide open Frank as a child yet unfathomable a face to trust to adore but not to understand the hair black thick half curling with a dull burnish falling over each side of the brow almost to cover the little delicate ears the figure clad in some soft whitish stuff descending only to the ankles was under middle height slight to thinness straight lies fine indescribable alive in some strange way reminding me of a flame in narrow little shoes of red leather the light feet stood poised like birds from one small nut-brown hand swung a broad rimmed hat of black beaver with an ample black feather at the side beside this entrancing picture I was vaguely conscious of a wide yellow pathway sloping upward through roses roses roses drenched in sunlight presently I heard the sound of my stammering cease and a soft voice troubling me with a familiar note said courteously you are very welcome to jetty company sure my brother is away from home unhappily but in his absence you must allow me the honor of taking his place as your host in my poor way I looked up and met her eyes fairly my confusion lost in surprise and on the instant my heart signal to me it is none other than the maid of the window take care yes I saw it plain yet I should never have known it but for a perception somehow more subtle than that of ear and eye for she had disguised her voice the night before and her dress had been that of a peasant made and the bright riddle of her face had been in shadow I perceived to that she felt herself safe from discovery and that it was for me to save her blushes by leaving her security unassailed in all this sudden turmoil my wits however I fear that I was near forgetting my manners but Mademoiselle I demanded bluntly how do you know who I am it is the part of the Concord to know their conquerors Monsieur she answered in a manner that eluded the bitterness of the words but indeed the place of an English officer on duty that is doubtless official is here at the scenery and not at the village n we cannot let you put a slight upon our hospitality I was in sore embarrassment and the parchment deed conveying to me the Signoria Shetty camp began to burn my pocket I felt a vehement desire to accept the sweetly proffered hospitality of this enchanting which the temptation dragged at my heartstrings there was nothing to do but take it by the throat rudely if I would save any shreds of honor alas Mademoiselle I said avoiding her eyes I am here on a rough errand and your courtesy Pierce's me I am here to arrest your brother and carry him a prisoner to Halifax miss you miss sure what do you mean she cried with a faintness in her voice but looking up suddenly I saw that her surprise was a pretty piece of feigning though her agitation was real enough I mean that your brother though succeeding to these estates under protection of English law and owing allegiance to the English crown is giving aid to England's enemies he is supplying Lewisburg with grain and flax and cattle from these lands of Acadia which are now English the governor has proofs beyond cavil he has sent me to arrest your brother Mademoiselle not to be happy in the hospitality of your brother sister and now to my amazed the merriest and most persuasive smile spread a dazzle over my ladies which face those proofs of your good governors Monsieur she cried with pretty scorn I will show you what folly they are you have all been deceived you must come with me now and give me fullest opportunity to they're my brother's honor and in any case it is my right as well as my pleasure to entertain the governor's representative when he visits the place of my father's people but I was stubborn that deed in my pocket weighed tons yet my inclination must have shown in my eyes plainly enough for one less keen than Mademoiselle Elaine Lefebvre to decipher it a little air of confidence flitted over her face nevertheless I shook my head most gracious lady I protested you honor me too much it will delight me to learn that your brother has been maligned and in this faith I spoke true forgetting the contingent peril to my pocket but where he never so innocent it would be my duty to take him to Halifax for the governor himself to weigh the evidence the irony of life has sent me as your foe not as your guest them assure come as a foe who but observes the courtesies come with your hands-free to arrest my brother at any moment on his own hearthstone he is far away from it now praise Mary or to arrest your hostess either if your duty should demand that unkindness come as one who graciously accepts what he could if he would take as his right let us play that you are come here as our friend Monsieur and give me the hope of winning an advocate for my brother against the evil day that may bring him before the cold English judges at Halifax her strong little eloquent hands were clasped in appeal and who was I to deny her but I looked into her eyes and I saw in their childlike deeps underneath the mocking and the feigning a clear spirit which I could not bear to delude I understood now very plainly her mad game of the night before she was unmasking a danger for her brother i justified her in my heart for my own part in the folly I felt a creeping shame how lightly she must hold me this thought and a sense that i was about to hurt her brought the hot flush to my face and I looked away as I spoke but Mademoiselle forgive me that I bear such tidings the estates of Monsieur Raoul de fev senior of shattuck comp are confiscated it to the crown lifting my eyes at the last words I saw that the girl had grown very white and was staring at me in a sort of terror there was plainly no feigning here this blow was unexpected unprepared for something beyond her bright young wit to deal with I seem to see in her heart a sudden hopeless desolation as if all her world had fallen to ruin about her and left her life naked to the storm of time not a word had she ready in such a crisis Mademoiselle I cried more passionately perhaps then was fitting do not misunderstand the confiscation does not apply at once of course and you are still absolute mistress here if your brother be proved innocent the decree of conversation may be revoked so it will now be held in suspension you will i am sure permit me to go through the form of visiting your house to convince me as the governor's emissary that mature lefebvre air then i will return to the village and see to it that my men shall cause you know annoyance or embarrassment I dare not ask you to pity me for the duty that has been put upon me as I spoke I had been watching her face without seeming to think of anything but my own words first the colour returned to cheek and lips then a wild anger was lighted in the great green eyes anger with a fear and appeal behind it then a resolved look and I knew that she would force herself to play out the game setting her brother's interest before all else and then last of all a most fleeting elusive look of triumph at the back of her eyes and at the bow of her lips for the indeterminable fraction of a second I took note of this with some anxiety could it be possible that she felt sure of her power over me could it be possible that she had at all any hold upon me no she was too confident she interested me amazingly she seemed to me the most beautiful thing that could ever have existed but I was not in love and would not be swerved from my duty even if I were yet all this was flashed instantaneously through my brain she was speaking and I was yielding you are a generous enemy a chivalrous enemy Monsieur she murmured in a low earnest slightly strained voice then she recovered her lightness I am almost your prisoner in a sense am I not a suspect certainly if I accept your leniency and profit by your permission to stay here under my confiscated roof do not make me die under this weight a favor be my guest and let me feel that I am not the only one in debt was this the same woman this half mocking all irresistible creature she whom I had seen gray faced with hopeless trouble not three minutes before said i to myself if I put my wits or my heart against hers it is all up with me blank truth is my only hope allowed I said I will be your guest Mademoiselle though the debt in which I so overwhelmed myself is one from which I can never again get free for this acquiescence my reward was just a look of brilliancy that made me catch my breath with pleasure with a gesture that bad me to her side she turned and moved slowly up the path between the shining copious nests of roses I will send a servant with your orderly to the N Monsieur she said to fetch your things our old walls will be glad to shelter again a soldier's uniform even if the color of it be something strange to them almost you tempt me to wish that I had been born to the white uniform I answered in a daze with the nearness of her the witchery of her the nameless charm of her movement the subtle in toxic asian of her voice almost you tempt me to regret she retorted with gracious raillery that the men of your cold and stubborn North cannot be moved to change by a woman's arguments it is two unchangeable pneus we are moved by a woman a Mademoiselle I spoke with an exaggerated lightness to avoid a to significant seriousness is there ever I wonder a risk of such steadfastness growing tiresome mused Mademoiselle turning contemplative the Swift change discomforted me I turned my words to platitudes on the beauty of the house the garden the landscape and presently I found myself established and honored yet confessedly hostile guests in the scenery of shetty comp a little old housekeeper wizened and taciturn and omnipresent kept me under an inscrutable surveillance but treated me civilly enough my chamber very spacious but with a low ceiling of broken slopes under the eaves its windows looking out over the Rose Garden the village and the sea was furnished with a strange commingling of the luxury and daintiness of Versailles with the rudeness of a remote half barbarous colony one of my men my orderly was entertained much to his satisfaction in the servants quarters and did me service as regularly as if we were at home at gorham on Thames while the rest lodging at the end came to me with daily reports which varied not at all in their trivial sameness I breakfast alone throughout the morning I walked exploring the country for miles about and talking with the inhabitants or I investigated the roomie irregular old house who's half open doors and rambling corridors extended trustful invitation to my curiosity or I read and wrote in the small but well-stocked library to which stained glass from wrong a prayer desk and a corner shrine lent the saver and sanctity of the chapel at one hour past new precisely I dined with Mademoiselle Lefevre and afterwards either walked with her in the garden and in the fur woods or if the weather was unfavourable conversed with her mote pleasurably in the book room while she wrought with more or less affectation of diligence at a curious piece of tapestry gold threads and scarlet on a cloth of a soft dough blue before sunset we sucked and in the evening with doors and windows open and the scented breath of sea and rose and meadow flowing through she played to me on her spinet or sang ballads of old France till candlelight and good night brought the day to a close small wonder being so gently occupied that I was in no haste to force events to ask myself what I desired or expected should happen the man I was sent to see was obviously not here it was a plane and pleasant duty for me to stay here and await him meanwhile I was serving the king by my presence which was security that the seniority of chedi comp should render no assistance to the King's enemies at Lewisburg to be sure it was rendering continual assistance to Mademoiselle of English ebbed ashati comp but I could not bring myself to consider for a moment that the king could be so unhappy as to count her among his enemies and so the day slipped by I was not as I should have sworn to myself in all honesty had one suggested it to me in the least in love with Mademoiselle I merely found it unavoidable to think about her or dream about her all the time impossible to engage my interest in anything whatever that I could not connect with her for her part she grew day by day more sweetly serious more womanly courteous until are pretty masquerading that night at my window among the hop vines came to be a remote unbelievable dream but the situation as seemingly so quiet and easy that it might aspire to last forever was in fact a bubble of rainbow tissue blown to its extremes of ten gen and ready to shatter at a breath when the breath came it was a light one truly yet how the face of the world changed under it I awoke one morning in the first rosiness of dawn with a kind of foreboding I went to the window there in the mist ebay hoped to at a discreet distance from the wharves was a small schooner signaling the signals were unintelligible to me which meant it was my duty to be concerned with them I remembered that there was a flagpole on the knoll behind the house with a sudden LED and sinking at the heart I realized that mademoiselle's brother was at last in evidence and I could imagine nothing that would more embarrass me than that I should succeed in capturing him after watching the signals for some time and wondering if it were Mademoiselle herself manipulating the unseen replies I decided that there was nothing to be done but parade my guard openly along the coast then if he should persist in stupidly running his neck into the noose I would have to do my duty and pull it oh why has she a brother I groaned cursing him heartily but straight revoked my curse remembering that but for his delinquencies I had never come at all to Shetty can slowly i made my toilet and before it was finished the little vessel was underway again beating out of the inlet against a light westerly wind both to north and south of cheticamp harbor were little sheltered ports with Anchorage for such small craft as she and I concluded that with this wind she would seek the next Haven northward I resolved to send my men to search the southerly coast then I stepped out upon the terrace and met Mademoiselle herself tripping through the do her hair disheveled her eyes like stars her small face one gypsy sparkle with excitement at side of me and apprehension dimmed the sparkle for an instant then she came forward to greet me with her usual courtesy but now there was a challenge deep in her eyes and pray a return of the old subtle audacity as if i were a foe to be fenced with bewildered eluded it hurt me keenly and i took no thought of the utter unreasonableness of my grievance good morning Monsieur she cried gaily have you a bad conscience that you sleep so lightly and arise so early Mademoiselle said I gravely bending low over her cool brown fingers and noticing that they trembled I have been watching the signals from yonder ship the brown fingers were withdrawn nervously they were quite unintelligible to me I continued but I readily infer that your brother has returned and is on shipboard a strange look was it relief passed over her face then she nodded her dark head as if n frankest acquiescence allow me to say it once that I must try to capture him but that I earnestly hope that I shall not be so unfortunate as to succeed at this her eyes softened upon me never had I seen anything in life or in dream so beautiful as the smile upon her lips but I went on my men will patrol the coast but they are few and I cannot of course prevent your messengers eluding their vigilance and communicating with Monsieur de fev I am glad I cannot prevent it I doubt not you will warn him that all this neighborhood is strictly watched my men would at once recognized him if they saw him from the descriptions they have had then as I watched her face my restraint was shaken the love which I had not till that day let myself realize late mighty grasp upon me the long change passion crept into my voice and it changed trembling as I continued oh you can prevent him falling into our hands I beseech you let not that evil come upon me that your brother should be my prisoner Thank You Monsieur she said very simply putting her hand in mine with a confidence like a child her eyes searched my very heart for a second I with such assistance we can elude your vigilance Monsieur but on the instant her look changed to one of the deepest gravity as I have so often thought of that look since it was a surrender in part in part a sacrament the south cove at noon she said with a sort of sob and flushed and ran hastily into the house for a moment or two I stood staring after her in utter bewilderment the dominant feeling which sent great gushes of light and warmth through heart and brain and nerve was that she loved me that she had revealed herself to me on a swift inexplicable impulse this set me reeling in a kind of intoxication but underneath clamoring harshly to be heeded was the problem she had thrust upon me she had forced me to know just what I had striven so desperately not to know for the moment however I did not think I simply let myself feel and turning mechanically I walked in a daze down the winding road through the Rose Garden of course said i to myself and half aloud to the roses she means that I am to act upon her word and take my men safely out of the way to south cove before noon leaving the north harbor where the ship has gone perfectly secure she knows that I can act with a clear conscience on so definite a piece of information as that she knows that there is nothing else for me to do she sees that I love her she trusts me and she trusts my wit to comprehend her subtle devising 'he's Irene Irene and I swung gaily down towards the village through an air more light and sweet through a sunshine more radiant and clear under a sky more blue than ever before my travelled senses had encountered I breakfast at the end by the time my messengers had got hold of my scattered men and given them my orders to report to me at southco it wanted but an hour of noon to south cove was an hour's brisk walking and I set out with my orderly my heels he was a trustee discreet fellow with whom I was want to walk not a little but today my dreams were all sufficient to me and I would not let the lad so much history stock arriving at the point where the upland dipped down to south co a narrow inlet thickly screened with woods I noted the hour as exact noon then liking well the look of the leaf ajello me with the glint of water sparkling through and craving no company but my own and my thoughts I bad my man wait where he was and watched the roads both ways and hold the others as they should come up the path down through the trees was green most winding and steep I went swiftly but noiselessly near the foot as I was just about to emerge upon the beach the sound of voices below caught my ear I assayed to stop myself slip crashed through a brittle screen of dead spruce boughs and came down erect upon my feet but somewhat jarred not ten paces from the spot where a lady and a Cavalier locked in one another's arms stood beside a small boat drawn up upon the shingle it was Mademoiselle and the man was her brother as I saw on the instant from the likeness between them they had unlocked their arms and turned towards me startled at the sound of my fall mademoiselle's face went white then flushed crimson and drawing herself up she confronted me with a look of unutterable scorn mingled with pain and reproach apprehension and amusement struggled together in the face of the young stain you for my own part I had realized on the instant the whole enormity of my mistake Mademoiselle had told me the plain truth staking everything on my love trusting me utterly my heart sinks now as I recall the anguish of that moment I had but one thought to justify myself in her eyes I sprang forward stammering forgive me Mademoiselle I did not understand I quite misunderstood but leave me I never dreamed but shaken and humiliated as she was she did not lose her presence of mine she played another card boldly Captain Scott she said as if this were the most ceremonious meeting in the world this is my fiance Monsieur de santosh by great good fortune I had wit enough to seem to believe her in fact perhaps my belief was too well simulated for the expressions that passed over her face in the next few seconds were inexplicable to me and mightily increased my confusion but toward this Monsieur Dassin orange I felt most cordial delighted Monsieur I am sure I exclaimed bowing low while he bowed with equal ceremony but in silence I congratulate you I went on terribly at a loss then I looked at Mademoiselle who had turned away white and indifferent there has been some mistake I continued desperately that you should wish to see your betrothed is of course to me sufficient explanation of your presence here but others might think I should inquire more searchingly into an enemy's purpose in visiting a place like this my men are in the neighborhood I will go at once and withdraw them but I beg you mature to withdraw yourself as speedily as possible I backed away striving in vain to win a look from Mademoiselle as for her brother he was most civil I thank you for your great courtesy Monsieur he answered the corners of his mouth restraining themselves from Earth much as it would be to my pleasure to know you better I am aware that I might find it inconvenient I shall comply as speedily as possible with your most reasonable request at the foot of the path finding that Mademoiselle was quite oblivious to my presence I turned and made all haste from the calamitous spot when I found my men I hurried them off toward cheticamp with an eagerness that hinted at a fresh and important clue from the end i sent them in parties of two on errands of urgency that might take them as far as possible from south cove then hurrying back to this in uri i awaited in sickening suspense the return of Mademoiselle to a belated meal at the suggestion of the wizened old housekeeper I ate the meal alone or rather I put some dry chip like substances into my mouth which chose to collect themselves in a lump sum little way below my throat the old lady seemed as ignorant as I of the reason of mademoiselle's delay though once and again from the shrewd scrutiny which I caught her bestowing upon my countenance I suspected that she knew more than she would confess the afternoon went by in that misery of waiting that turns ones blood to call I would go out among the roses but cursing them for their false disastrous speech I found them not contenting company then I would go back into the library and spend the sluggish minutes and jumping up sitting down trying this book rejecting that while every sense was on the rack of intensity to catch some hint of her presence in the house but all in vain the stillness seemed unnatural there was a menace in the clear poor of the afternoon Sun when at last towards sundown the humpbacked old gardener went by the window with a watering pot I was startled to see that the affairs of life were going on as usual there was somehow a grain of comfort of reassurance in the site of the old humpback I left the library and went to find a housekeeper determined to put her through such an inquisition as would in some way relieve my suspense I found her in the supper-room putting flowers on a table that was set for only one Supper is served Monsieur she said as I came in for me alone I gashed feeling that the world had come to an end for Monsieur she answered tell me and the tone made her look at me quickly with a deference not before observable in her manner tell me at once where Mademoiselle de fev is gone certainly Monsieur certainly there is no desire to deceive Monsieur Mademoiselle and her maid have removed to the energetic camp where Mademoiselle intends to reside till she can join Monsieur her brother at Lubert I heard her through then rushed from the room snatched up my hat and sped down to the end of cheticamp I fear that the Civil salutations of the villagers who my past went outrageously unrecorded my demand was urgent so within a few minutes of my coming I was ushered into mademoiselle's parlor and with a thrill of hope at the omen I noted that it was the same room which I had occupied on the night of my arrival at shetty comp the same dear room through whose hop garlanded window I had made such bold and Mary counterfeit with Mademoiselle in her disguise but not nourishing to hope was Mademoiselle greeting I had not dreamed so small a dame could ever look so tall her slim figure was in the gown of creamy linen which she had worn when I had met her in the Rose Garden her small strange child like face was very white her lips set coldly and less scarlet than their want and her eyes they were fearfully bright and large with a gaze which I could not fathom to what do I owe this honor Monsieur she asked it as much but I was rude in my trouble why have you fled from me Mademoiselle I interrupted passionately why have you left your own home in this way I will leave it at once for you shall not be driven from it my home is sure it is your house I will not be a pensioner on your bounty how had she found this out I was in confusion what what do you mean Mademoiselle I stamford I mean Monsieur she said with ice and fire contending in her voice that all these days when I thought I was playing the hostess in a home belonging either to my brother or to the English government I have been but a beggar living on your charity I know that you are the owner of cheticamp house and all in it having been taken from us to give to you I was in despair over this further complication but this was not the time for finding out the betrayer of my secret I had hoped that you would never know Mademoiselle I protested but it is not of that I would speak forgive me I beg you on my knees for the stupid mistake the unpardonable mistake I made this morning and OH count it something that I did my best to remedy the error so that no harm came of it the anger that flamed into her eyes was of a beauty that did not delight me doubtless you did your duty Monsieur as a servant of your government doubtless honor required that you should betray the trust so foolishly reposed in you by a silly girl you would have taken my brother and threw his sister's folly I cannot feel any very King gratitude for the generosity which suffered my fiancee whom you did not seek to go free light began to struggle in upon the darkness of my brain your fiance I returned quickly could you think for one moment I did not know that he was your brother her face changed marvelously at this declaration I knew your purpose then I went on but forgive me forgive me for not understanding you before I was not worthy of the simple trust you placed in me I thought you met me to understand that I should take my men to south cove at noon to have them out of the way I thought it was a piece of your daring strategy and I was proud because you trusted my stupid wits to follow your plan I thought it was to save me the embarrassment of openly letting your brother go I thought oh I thought myself so wise and I was so cheaply careful of my duty can you forgive me you know you must know in the light of what I did afterwards that if I had only understood your words and all their uncalculated faith no power on earth would have prevented me keeping myself and my men as far as possible from south cove her tense attitude relaxed her figure seemed no longer so portent ously tall it is I who must ask forgiveness she said awfully holding out her hand I seized it in both of mine and dared to kiss it fiercely hungrily and marvel to find that it was not at once withdrawn from such an order I am not so wise i am not so subtle as you think me she continued it was a clever device indeed that you credited me with and so much more considerate and fine in every way than my poor little thoughtlessness which through the responsibility upon you but you are mistaken Monsieur if you think that I am at all clever or subtle she was looking down watching but not seeming to see how my hands held both of hers for myself I knew that the joy of life had come to me but I could find no word to say so wildly ran my blood after a moment silent she said amusingly i don't think i ever could deceive anyone i am sure i never did deceive anyone in my life but once oh yes once and here she lifted up her face and flashed upon me a challenge of dancing eyes and walking mouth no indeed said I the maid who came to my window did not deceive me for a moment when afterwards I met her in the Rose Garden oh she gassed with a little sob while her face grew scarlet you knew all the time it was horrid of me too hard to think of Oh at this point it seemed to me that she was looking for a spot to hide her face and taking base advantage of her confusion I drew her into my arms and let her blushes fly to cover against my coat never before in my opinion had the King's uniform been so highly honoured to my window you came that night my lady I whispered but it was to the door of my heart you came end of story 18 end of the times Red Cross story book by famous novelist serving in his Majesty's forces by various you

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