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passed, then shifted to the ships, — the Squirrel, the Leostaff, the Seahorse, and the rest, - and lastly to where the army of Bougainville lay. Then there came towards him an officer, who said quietly, "The tide has turned, sir." For reply the general made a swift motion towards the maintop shrouds, and almost instantly lanterns showed in them. In response the crowded boats began to cast away, and, immediately descending, the general passed into his own boat, drew to the front, and drifted in the current ahead of his gallant men, the ships following after.
It was two by the clock when the boats began to move, and slowly we ranged down the stream, carried by the current, silently steered. No paddle, no creaking oarlock, broke the stillness. I was in the next boat to the general's, for, with Clark and twenty-two other volunteers to the forlorn hope, I was to show the way up the heights, and we were near to his person for over two hours that night. No moon was shining, but I could see him plainly; and once, when our boats almost touched, he saw me, and said graciously, "If they get up, Mr. Stobo, you are free to serve yourself."
My heart was full of love of country then, and I answered, "I hope, sir, to serve you till your flag is hoisted in the citadel."
He turned to a young midshipman beside him, and said, "How old are you, sir?"
"Seventeen, sir," was the reply.
"The curfew tolls, the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me."
I have heard finer voices than his, it was as tin beside Doltaire's, - but something in it pierced me that night, and I felt the man, the perfect hero, when he said—
"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour.
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."
Soon afterwards we neared the end of our quest, the tide carrying us in to shore; and down from the dark heights there came a challenge, satisfied by an officer who said we were provision-boats for Montcalm. Then came the batteries of Samos. Again we passed with the same excuse, and we rounded a headland, and the great work was begun.
The boats of the Light Infantry swung in to shore. No sentry challenged, but I knew that at the top Lancy's tents were set. When the Light Infantry had landed, we twenty-four volunteers stood still for a moment, and I pointed out the way. Before we started, we stooped beside a brook that leaped lightly down the ravine, and drank a little rum and water. Then I led the way, Clark at one side of me, and a soldier of the Light Infantry at the other. It was hard climbing, but, following in our
"It is the most lasting passion," he careful steps as silently as they might, said, musing.
It seemed to me then, and I still think it, that the passion he meant was love of country. A moment afterwards I heard him recite to the officers about him, in a low clear tone, verses by Mr. Gray, the poet, which I had never then read, though I have prized them since. Under those frowning heights, and the smell from our roaring thirty-two-pounders in the air, I heard him say
the good fellows came eagerly after. Once a rock broke loose and came tumbling down, but plunged into a thicket, where it stayed; else it might have done for us entirely. I breathed freely when it stopped. Once, too, a branch cracked loudly, and we lay still; but hearing nothing above, we pushed on, and, sweating greatly, came close to the top.
Here I drew back with Clark, for such honor as there might be in gaining the
heights first I wished to go to these soldiers who had trusted their lives to my guidance. I let six go by and reach the heights, and then I drew myself up. We did not stir till all twenty-four were up; then we made a dash for the tents of Lancy, which now showed in the first gray light of morning. We made a dash for them, were discovered, and shots greeted us; but we were on them instantly, and in a moment I had the pleasure of putting a bullet in Lancy's heel, and brought him down. Our cheers told the general the news, and soon hundreds of soldiers were climbing the hard way that we had come.
And now while an army climbed to the heights of Maître Abraham, Admiral Saunders in the gray dawn was bombarding Montcalm's encampment, and boats filled with marines and soldiers drew to the Beauport flats, as if to land there, while shots, bombs, shells, and carcasses were hurled from Levis upon the town, deceiving Montcalm; until at last, suspecting, he rode towards the town at six o'clock, and saw our scarlet ranks spread across the plains between him and Bougainville, and on the crest, nearer to him, eying us in amazement, the white-coated battalion of Guienne, which should the day before have occupied the very ground held by Lancy. A slight rain falling added to their gloom, but cheered us. It gave us a better light to fight by, for in the clear September air, the bright sun shining in our faces, they would have had us at advantage.
In another hour the gates of St. John and St. Louis emptied out upon this bat tlefield a warring flood of our foes. It was a handsome sight: the white uniforms of the brave regiments, Roussillon, La Sarre, Guienne, Languedoc, Béarn, mixed with the dark, excitable militia, the sturdy burghers of the town, a band of coureurs de bois in their rough hunter's costume, and whooping Indians, painted and furious, ready to eat us. At last here was to be a test of fighting
in open field, though the French had in their whole army twice the number of our men, a walled and provisioned city behind them, and field-pieces in great number to bring against us.
But there was bungling with them. Vaudreuil hung back or came tardily from Beauport; Bougainville had not yet arrived; and when they might have pitted twice our number against us, they had not many more than we. With Bougainville behind us and Montcalm in front, we might have been checked, though there was no man in all our army but believed that we should win the day. I could plainly see Montcalm, mounted on a dark horse, riding along the lines as they formed against us, waving his sword, a truly gallant figure, and he was answered by a roar of applause and greeting. On the left their Indians and burghers overlapped our second line, where Townsend with Amherst's and the Light Infantry, and Colonel Burton with the Royal Americans and Light Infantry, guarded our flank, prepared to meet Bougainville. In vain our foes tried to get between our right flank and the river; Otway's Regiment, thrown out, defeated that.
It was my hope that Doltaire was with Montcalm, and that we might meet and end our quarrel. I came to know afterwards that it was he who had induced Montcalm to send the battalion of Guienne to the heights above the Anse du Foulon, knowing well that I had seen the passage in the mountain, and that I would make our general acquainted with it. The battalion had not been moved till twenty-four hours after the order was given, or we should never have gained those heights: stones rolled from the cliff would have destroyed an army.
We waited, Clark and I, with the Louisburg Grenadiers while they formed. We made no noise, but stood steady and still, the bagpipes of the Highlanders shrilly challenging. At eight o'clock sharpshooters began firing on us from
the left, and skirmishers were thrown out to hold them in check, or dislodge them and drive them from the houses where they sheltered, from which they galled Townsend's men. Their field pieces opened on us, too, and yet we did nothing, but at nine o'clock, being ordered, lay down and waited still. There was no restlessness, no anxiety, no show of doubt, for these men of ours were old fighters, and they trusted their leaders. From bushes, trees, coverts, and fields of grain there came that constant hail of fire, and there fell upon our ranks a doggedness, a quiet anger, which grew into a grisly patience. The only pleasure we had in ten long hours was in watching our two brass six-pounders play upon the irregular ranks of our foes, making confusion, and Townsend drive back a detachment of cavalry from Cap Rouge, which sought to break our left flank and reach Montcalm.
We had seen the stars go down, the cold, mottled light of dawn break over the battered city and the heights of Charlesbourg; we had watched the sun come up, and then steal away behind slow-traveling clouds and hanging mist; we had looked across over unreaped cornfields and the dull, slovenly St. Charles, knowing that endless leagues of country, north and south, east and west, lay in the balance to-day. I believed that this day would see the last of the strife between England and France for dominion here, of La Pompadour's spite which I had roused to action against my country, of the struggle between Doltaire and my self. The public stake was worthy of our army - worthy of the dauntless soldier, who had begged his physicians to patch him up long enough to fight this fight, whereon he staked reputation, life, all that a man loves in the world; the private stake was more than worthy of my long sufferings. I thought that Montcalm would have waited for Vaudreuil, At ten o'clock his three columns moved down upon us briskly, making a
wild rattle; two columns moving upon our right and one upon our left, firing obliquely and constantly as they marched. Then came the command to rise, and we stood up and waited, our muskets loaded with an extra ball. I could feel the stern malice in our ranks, as we stood there and took, without returning a shot, that damnable fire. Minute after minute passed; then came the sharp command to advance. We did so, and again halted, and yet no shot came from us. We stood there, a long palisade of red.
At last, from where I was I saw our general raise his sword, a command rang down the long line of battle, and, like one terrible cannon-shot, our muskets sang together with as perfect a precision as on a private field of exercise. Then, waiting for the smoke to clear a little, another volley came with almost the same precision; after which the firing came in choppy waves of sound, and again in a persistent clattering. Then a light breeze lifted the smoke and mist well away, and a wayward sunlight showed us our foe, like a long white wave retreating from a rocky shore, bending, crumpling, breaking, and, in a hundred little billows, fleeing seaward.
So, checked, confounded, the French army trembled and fell back. Then I heard the order to charge, and from near four thousand throats there came for the first time our exultant British cheer, and high over all rang the slogan of Fraser's Highlanders. To my left I saw the flashing broadswords of the clansmen, ahead of all the rest. Those sickles of death clove through and broke the battalions of La Sarre, and Lascelles scattered the good soldiers of Languedoc into flying columns. We on the right, led by Wolfe, charged the desperate and valiant men of Roussillon and Guienne and the impetuous sharpshooters of the militia. As we came on, I noted the general sway and push forward again, and then I lost sight of him, for I saw what gave the battle a new interest to me:
Doltaire, cool and deliberate, animating and encouraging the French troops.
I moved in a shaking hedge of bayonets, keeping my eye on him; and presently there was a hand-to-hand mêlée, out of which I fought to reach him. I was making for him, where he now sought to rally the retreating columns, when I observed not far away Gabord, mounted, and attacked by three Grenadiers. Looking back now, I see him, with his sabre cutting right and left, as he drove his horse at one Grenadier, who slipped and fell on the slippery ground, while the horse rode on him, battering him. Obliquely down swept the sabre, and drove through the cheek and chin of one foe; another sweep, and the bayonet of the other was struck aside; and another, which was turned aside as Gabord's horse came down, bayoneted by the fallen Grenadier. But Gabord was on his feet again, roaring like a bull, with a wild grin on his face, as he partly struck aside the bayonet of the last Grenadier. It caught him in the flesh of the left side. He grasped the musket-barrel, and struck home with fatal precision: the man's head dropped back like the lid of a pot, and he tumbled into a heap of the pretty goldenrod flower which spattered the field.
It was at this moment I saw making towards me Juste Duvarney, hatred and deadly purpose in his eyes. I had will enough to meet him, and to kill him too, yet I could not help but think of Alixe. Gabord saw him, also, and, being nearer, made for me as well. For that one act I cherish his memory. The thought was worthy of a gentleman of breeding; he had the true thing in his heart. He would save us two- brothers - from fighting, by fighting me himself. He reached me first, and with an "Au diable!" made a stroke at me. It was a matter of sword and sabre now. Clark met Juste Duvarney's rush; and there we were, at as fine a game of cross-purposes as you can think: Clark hungerNO. 460.
ing for Gabord's life (Gabord had once been his jailer, too), and Juste Duvarney for mine, and the battle faring on ahead of us, for soon the two were clean cut off from the French army, and must fight to the death or surrender.
Juste Duvarney spoke only once, and then it was but the rancorous word "Renegade ! " nor did I speak at all; but Clark was blasphemous, and Gabord, bleeding, fought with a sputtering relish.
"Fair fight and fowl for spitting, my dear," he said. . . . "Go home to heaven, dickey-bird." Between phrases of this kind we cut and thrust for life, an odd sort of fighting. There was no doubt what the end must be, and so I fought with a desperate alertness and presently my sword passed through his body, drew out, and he fell where he stood, collapsing suddenly like a bag. I knelt beside him, and lifted up his head. His eyes were glazing fast.
"Gabord! Gabord!" I called, griefstricken, for that work was the worst I ever did in this world.
He started, stared, and fumbled at his waistcoat. I quickly put my hand in, and drew out one of Mathilde's wooden crosses. "To cheat-the devil - yet
aho!" he whispered, kissed the cross, and so was done with life.
When I turned from him, Clark stood beside me. Dazed as I was, I did not at first grasp the significance of that. I looked towards the town, and saw the French army hustling into the St. Louis Gate; saw the Highlanders charging the bushes at the Côte Ste. Genevieve, where the brave Canadians made their last stand; saw, not fifty feet away, the noblest soldier of our time, even General Wolfe, dead in the arms of Mr. Henderson, a volunteer in the Twenty-Second; and then, almost at my feet, stretched out as I had seen him lie in the Palace courtyard two years before, Juste Du
But now he was forever beyond all friendship or reconciliation.
The smell of unreaped harvest-fields was in the air, the bobolink was piping his evensong, the bells of some shattered church were calling to vespers, the sun was sinking behind the flaming autumn woods, as once more I entered the St. Louis Gate, with the Grenadiers and a detachment of artillery, the British colors hoisted on a gun-carriage. Till this hour I had ever entered and left this town a captive, a price set on my head, and in the very street where now I walked I had gone with a rope round my neck, abused and maltreated. I saw our flag replace the golden lilies of France on the citadel where Doltaire had baited me, and at the top of Mountain Street, near to the Bishop's palace, up which I had been carried, wounded, from the Intendance courtyard, our colors also flew.
Every step I took was familiar, yet unfamiliar too. It was a disfigured town, where a hungry, distracted people huddled among ruins, and begged for mercy and for food, and wept for their ruined homes and unhappy country, nor found time in the general overwhelming to think. of the gallant Montcalm, lying in his shell-made grave at the chapel of the Ursulines, not fifty steps from where I had looked through the tapestry on Alixe and Doltaire. The convent was almost deserted now, and as I passed it, on my way to the cathedral, I took off my hat; for how knew I but that she I loved best lay there, too, as truly a heroine as the admirable Montcalm was hero, dying far from his olive vineyards at Candiac and the beloved olive branches of his home? A solitary bell was clanging on the chapel as I went by, and I saw three nuns steal past me with bowed heads. I longed to stop them and ask them of Alixe, for I felt sure that the Church knew where she was, living or dead, though none of all I asked knew aught of her, not even the Chevalier la Darante, who had come
to our camp the night before, accompanied by Joannes, the town major, with terms of surrender.
I came to the church of the Recollets as I wandered; for now, for a little time, I seemed bewildered and incapable, lost in a maze of dreadful imaginings. I entered the door of the church, and stumbled upon a body. Hearing footsteps ahead in the dusk, I passed up the aisle, and came upon a pile of débris. Looking up, I could see the stars shining through a hole in the roof, made by a shell. Hearing a noise beyond, I went on, and there, seated on the high altar, was the dwarf who had snatched the cup of rum out of the fire, the night that Mathilde had given the crosses to the revel
He gave a low, wild laugh, and hugged a bottle to his breast. Almost at his feet, half naked, with her face on the lowest step of the altar, her feet touching the altar itself, was the girlhis sister—who had kept her drunken lover from assaulting him. The girl was dead - there was a knife-wound in her breast. Sick at the sight I left the place, and went on, almost mechanically, to Voban's house.
It was level with the ground, a crumpled heap of ruins. I passed Lancy's house, in front of which I had fought with Gabord; it too was broken to pieces. As I turned away I heard a loud noise, as of an explosion, and I supposed it to be some magazine. I thought of it no more at the time. Voban must be found that was more important. I must know of Alixe first, and I felt sure that if any one knew of her whereabouts it would be he she would have told him where she was going, if she had fled; if she were dead, who so likely to know, this secret, elusive, vengeful watcher? Of Doltaire I had heard nothing; I would seek him out when I knew of Alixe. He could not escape me now, in this walled town. I passed on for a time without direction, for I seemed not to know where I might