"It is a very sad business, a very sad business, Mr. Wyatt. Your brother is not at home, I hear?"
Thus, then, while Napoleon delayed in Paris and feasted at Dresden, the roads of Germany were occupied by great hosts of men and enormous trains of baggage waggons of all descriptions, moving steadily towards the Russian frontier. On the 12th of June Napoleon arrived at Konigsberg. Ney's division had marched forward a fortnight before, and the Emperor on his route from Konigsberg to the frontier reviewed that division with those of Davoust and Oudinot, and also two great cavalry divisions.
"If his supposition is a correct one, and they intend to hand him over to the French authorities as a prisoner of war, it may be a long time before you hear of him. There are many towns all over France where English prisoners are confined, and it would be practically impossible to find out where he is, or to obtain his release if you did find out, while the two nations are at war. There are very few exchanges made, and the chances of his being among them would be very small. However, lad, things might have been a great deal worse. This tremendous war cannot go on for ever. Your brother is strong and healthy; he seems to be, from all I hear, just the sort of fellow who would take things easily, and although the lot of prisoners of war, whether in England or France, cannot be called a pleasant one, he has a fairer chance than most, of going through it unharmed.
On going down to the court-house, Frank found that the magistrates would meet at two o'clock. Then, as the Boxer had only just appeared round Portland, he went and saw the chief officer of the coast-guard to endeavour to obtain permission to have an interview with Julian.
He waited a moment, and then said "Are you ready?" Then a second later he fired. Both the antagonists turned swiftly on their heels, their arms going up as they did so. Then the two shots rang out. They seemed almost simultaneous; but Captain Lister, whose eyes were fixed on Marshall, saw that his hand jerked in the act of firing, and that his ball must have flown high. At the same moment his pistol fell to the ground, and he staggered back a pace. Then, with an exclamation of fury, he caught his right hand in his left, and stood rocking himself in pain. His second and the surgeon ran up to him.
Considerably in advance of the general line of the position a strong work had been erected; this it was necessary to take before the main position could be attacked, and at two in the afternoon of the 5th, Napoleon directed an assault to be made upon this redoubt. It was obstinately held by the Russians. They were several times driven out, but, as often, reinforcements came up, and it was captured by them; and finally, after holding it until nightfall, they fell back to their main position, the loss having been heavy on both sides. The next day was spent by Napoleon in reconnoitring the Russian position and deciding the plan of attack. Finally he determined to make a strong demonstration against the village of Borodino, and, under cover of this, to launch his whole army upon the Russian left wing. On the morning of the 7th, Napoleon posted himself on an eminence near the village of Chewardino. Near the spot, earthworks were thrown up during the night for the protection of three batteries, each of twenty-four guns. Davoust and Ney were to make a direct attack on the enemy's left. Poniatowski was to endeavour to march through the woods and gain the rear of the Russian position. The rest of the force were to keep the Russian centre and right in check. The Imperial Guard formed the reserve.
The statements of Mr. Henderson and the two constables were taken down. Frank was then called in.
"The Egyptian infantry were contemptible, but the Arabs are grand horsemen. I don't say that in a charge, however well drilled, they could stand against one of our cuirassier regiments. Men and horses would be rolled over; but for skirmishing, vidette duty, and foraging, no European cavalry would be in it with them. They are tireless, both horses and men, and will go for days on a little water and a handful of dates; and if the horses can get nothing else, they will eat the dates just as contentedly as their masters."
"I am not going to, sir. I hope that I shall never fight a duel again, and I didn't practise for that, but to be able to use my pistols on service."
"I am the Countess Stephanie Woronski," the little maid said; "and what is your name?"
The child nodded brightly. "You said it would all seem like a dream, Julian," she remarked presently, as they dashed swiftly down the broad street of the Nevsky, crowded with vehicles of all kinds, from the splendidly-appointed sledges, like their own, to the lumbering vehicles of the peasants piled up with firewood. "It almost seems like a dream already, and yet you know I was very comfortable with you."
"Good morning, Bill!" he said; "what is it?"