The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa on September 25, 1895 · Page 7
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The Algona Republican from Algona, Iowa · Page 7

Algona, Iowa
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 25, 1895
Page 7
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TME REPUBLICAN ALGONA lOWA f WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25,1895. wish to have a better 1 set of bins to pick from. Chambertin, Graves, Ali- cant, White wine and red, sparkling and still, they lay in pyramids peeping coyly out of the sawdust. 014 Bouvet Stood With his candle, looking here and peeping there, purring in lais throat like a cat before a milkpail. tie had picked Upon a Burgundy at last, ond had liis hand outstretched to the bottle, when there came a roar of musketry from above us, a rush of feet, and such a yelping and a screaming as 1 have never listened to. The Prussians were upon us. Bouvet is a brave man; I will say that -. for him. He flashed out his sword and away he clattered up the stone steps, his spurs clinking as he ran. t followed him. but just as we came out into the kitchen passage a tremendous shout told us that the house had been recaptured. "It is all over," I cried, grasping at Bouvet's sleeve. •'There is one more to die," he shoutr ed, and away he went like a madman up the second stair, in effect 1 should have gone to my death also had I been in his place, for he had done very wrong in not throwing out his scouts to warn him if the Germans advanced upon him. For an instant I was about to rush up with him, and then I bethought myself that after all I had my own mission to think of, and that if I were taken the important letter of the emperor would be sacrificed, I let Bouvet die alone, therefore, and I went down into the cellar again, closing the door behind me. Well, it was not a very rosy prospect down there, either. Bouvet had dropped the candle when the alarm came, and I, pawing aboiit in the darkness, could find nothing but broken bottles. At last I came upon the candle, which had rolled under the curve of a cask, but try as I would with my tinder box I could not light it. The reason was that the wick had been wet in a puddle of wine, so, suspecting that this might be the case, I cut the end off with my sword. Then I found that it lighted easily enough. But what to do I could not imagine. The scoundrels upstairs were shouting themselves hoarse, several hundred of them from the sound, and it was clear that some of them would soon want to moisten their throats. There would be an end of a dashing soldier, and of the mission and of the medal. I thought of my mother and I thought of the emperor. It made me weep to think that the one would lose so excellent a son and the other the best light cavalry officer he ever had since La Salle's time. But presently I dashed the tears .from my eyes. "Courage!" I cried, striking myself upon the chest. "Courage, my brave boy! Is it possible that one who has come safely from Moscow without so much as a frost bite will 'die in a French wine cellar?" At the thought I was up on my feet, and clutching at the letter in my tunic, for the crackle^of it gave me courage. ; My first plan was to set fire to the house, in the hope of escaping in the confusion. My second to get into an einpty wine cask. I was looking round to see if I could find one, when suddenly in the corner I espied a little, low door, painted of the same gray color as the wall, so that it was only a man with quick sight who would have noticed it. I pushed against it and at first I imagined that it was locked. Presently, however, it gave a little, 'and then I understood that it was held by the pressure of something upon -the other side. I put my feet against a hogshead of wine and gave such a push "I PUT MY FOOT AGAINST A HOGSHEAD OF WINE, that the door flew open and 1 came down with a crash upon my back, the candle flying out of my bands, so that J found myself in darkness once more. I picked myself up .and stared through tbe black archway into tbe gloom ber yond. There was a slight ray of iigbt coming from some slit orgrating. The dawn bad broken outside and I could dimly see the long, curving sides of several huge casks, wbicb made me tbink tbat peri- baps this was wjjere the mayor kept his reserves of win 0 while they weye maturing. At any rate, it seemed to be a safer biding place than tb§ outer cellar, so gathering U P w candle, J was, just closing tbe door behind me, when I suddenly saw something which filled me witb amazement and even, I confess, witb tbe smallest little towpb of fear, ; have said that at the further gn4 of i cellar theye was a> dim,, epay ia» «?f stvU^ng downward IJ'PW saw®* i near- the. raosf, . Well, as, j brigadier, too, at the age of thirty-one, and the chosen messenger of the cm- peror?!,' After all. this sknlker had more cause to be afraid of me than I of him. And then suddenly t understood that he was afraid—horribly afraid. I Could read it from his quick steps and liis bent shoulders, as he ran among the barrels, like a rat, making for its hole. And of course it must have been he who had held the door against me, and not some packing case or wine cask, as I had imagined, tie was the pursued, then, and I the pursuer. Aha, T felt my whiskers bristle as 1 advanced upon him through the darkness! He would find that he had bo chicken to deal with, this robber from the north. For the moment I was magnificent. At first 1 had feared to light my candle, lest 1 should make a mark of myself, but now, after cracking my shin over o, box and catching my spurs in some canvas, I thought the bolder course the wiser. ! lit it, therefore, and then 1 advanced with long strides, my sword in my hand. "Come out, you rascal!" I cried. "Nothing can save you. You will at last meet with your deserts." 1 held my candle high, and presently I caught a glimpse of the man's head, staring at me over a barrel. He had a gold chevron on his black cap, and the expression of his face told me in an instant that he was an officer and a man of refinement. "Monsieur," he oriccl, in excellent French, "I surrender myself upon the promise of quarter. But if I do not have your promise I xvill then sell my life as dearly as I can." "Sir," said I. "A Frenchman knows how to treat an unfortunate enemy, Your life is safe!" With that he handed tlie sword over the top of the barrel and I bowed with the candle upon my heart. "Whom have I the honoring of capturing?" I asked. "I am the Count Boutkine, of the emperor's own Don Cossacks," said he. "I came out with my troop to recon- noitre Senlis, and, as wo found no sign of your people, we determined to spend the night here." "And would it be an indiscretion," I asked, "if I were to inquire how you came into the back cellar?" "Nothing more simple," said he. "It was our intention to start at early dawn. Feeling chilled after dressing, I thought that a cup of wine would do me no harm, so I came clown to sec what I could find. As I was rummaging about, the house was suddenly carried by assault so rapidly that by the time I'had climbed the stairs it was all over, • It only remained for me to save myself, so I came down here and hid myself in the back cellar where you have found me." I thought of how old Bouvet had behaved IT ler the same conditions, and the teciru sprang to my eyes as I contemplated the glory of France. Then 1 had to consider what I should do next. It was clear that this Russian count, being in the back cellar, while we were in the front one, had not heard the sounds which would have told him that the house was once again in the hands of his own allies. 1'f lie should once understand this the tables would be turned, and/I should be his prisoner instead of he being mine. What was I to do? I was at my wits' end, when suddenly there came to mo an idea so brilliant that I could not but be amazed at my own invention. " Boutkine," said I, "I find myself in a most difficult position." "Why?" he asked. "Because I havfc promised you your life.'; His jaw dropped a little. "You would not withdraw your promise?" he cried. "If the worst comes to the worst, I can die in your defense," said I, "but the difficulties are great." "What is it, then?" he asked. "I will be frank with you," said I. "You must know that our fellows, and especially the Poles, are so incensed against the Cossacks that the mere fact of the uniform drives them rnad! They precipitate themselves instantly upon the wearer, and tear him limb from limb. Even their officers cannot restrain them." The Russian grew pale at my words and the way in which I said them, "But this is terrible!" said be, "Horrible!" said I, "If we were to go up together at this moment I cannot promise how far I could protect you." "I am in your hands," he cried. "What would you suggest that we should do? Would it not be best that I should remain here?" "That worst of all," "And why?" "Because our fellows will ransacw tbe house presently,, and • then you would be cut to pieces. No, no, I must go up and break it to them, But oven then, when once they see that accursed uniform, I do not know what way bap pen," "Should I then take the- uniform crooked sword. Be it well understood that in changing the tunics I did not forget to change my thrice precious letter also from my old one to my new. "With your leave," said I. "t shall now bind you to a barrel." He made a great fuss over this, but I have learned in my soldiering never to throw away chances, and how could T tell that he might not, when my back was turned, see how the matter really stood and break in upon my plans. He was leaning against a barrel at the time, so I ran six times around it with a rope, and then tied it with a big knot behind. If he wished to come upstairs SHALL NOW IHJiD YOU TO A BAUREL," BATD I. he would at least have to carry a thousand litres of good French wine for a knapsack. I then shut the door of the back cellar behind me, so that he might not hear what was going forward, and, tossing the candle away, I ascended the kitchen stair. There were only about twenty steps, and yet while I came up them I seemed to have time to think of everything that I had ever done, and everything that I had ever hoped to do. It was the same that I had at Eylau when I lay with my broken leg and saw the horse artillery galloping down upon me. Of course I knew that if I were taken I should be shot instantly as being disguised within the eneiny's lines. Still, it was a glorious death, in the direct service of the emperor, and I reflected that there could not be less than five lines and perhaps seven in the Moniteur about me. Palaret had eight lines and 1 am sure that he had not so fine a career. When I made my way out into the hall, with all the nonchalance in my face and manner that I could assume, the very first thing that I saw was Bouvet's dead body with his knees drawn up and a broken sword in his hand. I could see by the black soradge •that he had been shot at close quarters. I should have wibhed to salute as I went by, for he, was a gallant man, but I feared lest 1 should be seen, and sol passed on. The front of the hall was fulL of Prussian infantry, who were knocking loopholes in the wall, as though they expected that there might yet be another attack. Their officer, a little rat of a man, was running about giving directions. They were all too busy to take much notice of me, but another officer who was standing by the door with a long pipe in his mouth, strode across and clapped me on the shoulder, pointing to the dead bodies of our poor hussars and saying something that was meant for a jest, for his big beard opened and showed every fang in his head. I laughed heartily, also, and said the only Russian words that I know. I learned them from little Sophy at Wilna, and they meant: "If yards from the Uhlans, when suddenly you can imagine my feelings when I saw a real Cossack coming galloping along the roadway towards me. Ah, my friend, you who read this, if you have any heart, you will feel for a man like me, who had gone through so | many dangers and trials only at this j Vo.ry last niomentto be confronted with i one which appeared to put an end t.o everything. I will confess that for a moment I lost heart and was inclined to throw myself clown in my despnir, and to cry out that I had been betrayed. But no, I was not beaten even now. I opened two buttons of my tunic GO that I might get easily fit the emperor's message, for it was my fixed determination, when all hope was gone, to swallow the letter and then die sword in hand. Then I felt that my little crooked sword was loose in its sheath and I trotted on to where the Vedettes were waiting. They seemed inclined to stop, me but 1 pointed to the other Cossack, who was still a couple of hundred yards off, and they, understanding that I merely wished to meet him, let me pass with a salute. I dug my spurs into my pony then, for if I xvere'orly far enough from the lancers I thought I might manage the Cossack without much difficulty. He was an officer, a ; large bearded man with a gold chevron in his cap just the same a? mine. As I advanced he un- i consciously aided me by pulling up his j horse, so that I had a fine start of the , vedettes. On I came for him and I j could sec wonder turning to suspicion in his brown eyes ns lie looked at roe and my pony equipment. I do not know what it was that was wrong, but he saw something which was as it should not be. He shouted out a. question, and then, when I gave no answer, he pulled out his sword. I was glad in my heart to see him do so, for I had always rather fight than cut do%vn an unsuspecting enemy. Now 7 made at him full tilt and, parrying his cut, I got my point in just under the fourth button of his tunic. Down he went, and the weight of him nearly took m« off my horse before i' could disenjragc. f never glanced at him to see. if he were living or dead, for I sprang off my pony and on to Violette, with a shake of my bridle and a kiss of my hand to the two Uhlans behind'me. They galloped after me shouting, but Violette had had her rest and was just as fvesh as when .she started. of folk riding or running behind me. Word had got about from the dragoons (two of them had come with me) and everybody knew about my adven- 1 tures and how I had come by my uniform. It was a triumph—men shout ing and women waving their handker* chiefs and blowing kisses from the windows. Although I am a man singularly free from conceit, still t must confess that on this one occasion I could not restrain myself from showing that this reception gratified me. The Russian 1 coat had hung very loose upon -me, : but now I threw out my chest until it i was a<3 tie-lit as a sausage skin. And | my little sweetheart of a mare tossed i her mane and pawed with her front ! hoofs, frisking her tail about, as ! though she said: "We've done it to- i gcther this time. It is to us that com- I missions should be intrusted." When | I kissed her between the nostrils when | I dismounted at the gate of the Tuil, leries there was as mUch shouting as if { r. bulletin had been read from the grand army. . I I was hardly in costume to visit a 1 king, but, after all, if one has a soldier- 1 ly figure one can do without all that. I was°shown up straight away to Joseph, whom I had often seen in Spain. He seemed as stout, as quiet and as amiable as ever. Talleyrand was in the room with him, or I suppose I should call him duke of Benevento, but I confess that I like old names best. He read my letter when Joseph Buono- parte handed it to him, and then he locked at m°, with the strangest expression in those funny, little, twinkling eyes of his. "Were you the only messenger?" he asked. "There was one other, sir," said I, "Maj. Charpentier, of the horse grenadiers." "He has not yet arrived," said the king of Spain. "If you had seen the legs of his horse,-sire, you would not wonder at it," I remarked. "There may be other reasons," said Talleyrand, and he gave that singular smile of his. Well, they paid me a compliment or two, though they might have said a good deal more and yet have said too little. I bowed myself out, and very glad I was to get away, for 1 hate, a court as much as I love a camp. Away I went to my old friend. Chaubert, in the Rue Miromesnie, and there I got bis hussar uniform, which fitted one whole been that faews then 1 toot* %g&!%stem eountfy. ''-t-fiS * l $m •is',*.!* "WHAT THE DEVlt. AUK 'HERE?" ;. n votU| --„ tof cU you: ""uiujna^ailiW." " i LED VIOLET™ *'Excellent! Excellent!" J cried, "Hpldf We nave W You will take your uniform off and pnt on mine. That will make you sacred to every French soldier." "It is not the French that I f ear 30 as tUe Poles," my uniform will be a safeguard either,'" . , <?&» J thank you?" to P«ed« yp,u*n-wh,at ,a,re. you to wear? will wej|y yours." fell a H33 HAD BEEN SHOT AT CLOSE QUARTERS the night is fine we shall meet under the oak tree, and if it rains we shall meet in the byre," It was all the same to this German, however, and I have no doubt that he gave me credit for saying something very witty indeed, for he roared laughing and slapped me on my shoulder again I nodded to him and marched out of tbe ball door as cool }y as if I were the commandant of the garrison. There were a hundred horses tethered about outside, most of them belonging to the Poles and bus* ears, Good little Violette was waiting witb tbe otbers,and she whinnied when, she saw me coming towards her. Bu,t j would not mount her. NO, 1 was much too cunning for tbat. On the contrary, 1 cbose the most shaggy lit* tie Cossack horse tbat I could see, and I sprang upon it witb as much asr, surance as though it bad belonged to my father before me, It bad a great bag of plunder slung over its neck, and this I laid upon Vi9lette's back and led ber along beside me, Never have you seen sueb a picture of tbe Cossack re.» turning 1 from the foray. It was superb,, Well, the town was full of Prussians by £his tiwe, Tbey lined tbe sidewalks and pointed we out to each other, ing, as I could Judge by their gest ' goes, pne. pj 'tb9s,e devils of , r are the .hoys f 9r forag mg Qa§ 9l two m air, of wrt tbsa a t Wig gave msli a I took the first side road to the west, and the first to the south, which would take me away from the enemy's country. On we went, and on, every stride taking me further from my foes and nearer to my friends. At last I reached the end of a long stretch of road, _and looking back from it could see no signs of pursuers, I understood that my troubles were at last over. And it gave me a glow of happiness as I rode to think that I had done to the letter what the empeior had ordered. What would he say when he saw me? What could he say which would do justice to the incredible way in which I had risen above every dan- •ger? He had ordered me to go through Sermoise, Soissons and Senlis, little dreaming that they were all three occupied by the enemy. And yet I had done it. I had borne his letter in safety through each of these towns. Hussars, dragoons, lancers, Cossacks and infantry, I had run tbe gauntlet of all of them and had come out unharmed. When I had got as far as Dammartin I caught a first glimpse of our own outposts, There were a troop of dragoons in a field, and of course I could see from the horsehair crests that they were French, I gaUpped towards them in order to ask them if all was safe between there and Paris, and as I rode 1 felt such a. pride at having won my way back to my friends again that 3 could not refrain from waving my sword in the air, At this a young officer galloped out from among the dragoons, also brandishing his, sword, and 'it warmed ray heart to think that ho should come riding witb such ardor and enthusiasm to greet me. I made Vioietto caracole, and as we came to' gether 1 brandished my sword more gallantly than ever—but you can imagine my feelings wben be suddenly roa,4e a cut at me wbicb would certain* ly have taken my bead off if I had not fallen forward with my nose in Vie* * • % mane. My faith, it whistled over my cap like an east wind- Of e it came from this accursed un,i» „„„ which, in my excitement, I had tojfgottert all about, and this j drabm bad imagined tbat I was r ery well. fie and Lizette and I supped together" in his rooms, and all my dangers were forgotten. In the n'oruing I found Violette ready for another twenty league stretch. It was my intention to return instantly to the emperor's headquarters, for I was, as you may imagine, impatient to hear liis words of praise and to receive my reward. I need not say that I rode back by a safe route, for I had seen quite enough; of Uhlans and Cossacks. I passed through Meaux and Chateau'Thierry, and so in the evening 1 • arrived at Eheims, where Napoleon was still lying. The bodies of our fellows and of St. Prest's Russians had all been buried, and I could see changes in the camp also, The soldiers looked better cared for, some of tbe cavalry had received remounts and everything was in excellent order. It is wonderful what a good general can effect in'a couple of days. When 1 came to the headquarters I was shown straight in s to the emperor'3 room, He was drinking coffee at a writing table, witb a big plan drawn oxit on paper in front of biro. Berthier and McDonald were leaning one over each shoulder, and he was talking so quickly that I don't believe that either of them could catch a half of what be was saying. But when his eyes-fell upon me he dropped his pen on to' the chart, and be sprang up with a look in his pale face which struck me cpld< "What the devil are you doing here?'' be shouted, When he was angry he had a voice like a peacock. "I have the honor to report to you, sir," said I, "that I have delivered your dispatch safely to the king 1 of Spain." "What," he yelled, and his, two eyes, transfixed me like bayonets, Oh,, tbo§9 drea'dful eyes, shifting from, gray to btye, like steel in the, su,nihine, J can, see them now when J haY,e. bad, a bad dream, "What has become of "Sire," said I, and the tears J trickle down my cheeks "When you are dealing v me you would find it wiser openly. Had I known that wished the dispatch to fall .mtoSg hands of the enemy, I would bave-,S| that it came there. As I believea.itt I was to guard it I was prcparea| sacrifice my life for it. I 'do • notsfbej lieve, sire, that any man in the-;worlo| ever met with more toils and -tfer^ than I have done in trying to,carry;pu what I thought was your will.'V^ '£ ** I dashed the tears from' my eyesi_ spoke, and with such fire and spirit^ I could command I gave him an aceottt of it all; of my dash through Soisson my brush witb the dragoons, my.adye ture in Senlis, my rencoatrewith ^- iu< Boutkine in the cellar, my diSt,- my meeting- with the Cossack' office.-, my flight, and how at the last momen^, I was nearly cut down by a Frendbi] dragoon. The emperor Berthier-- 1 ^™ McDonald listenedavith astonishn: v; ,, upon then- faces. ' When I had finished Napoleon- -stepped 'forward pinched me by the ear. ' "There! - There!"' said > he. v : , - y*«.-,^ anything which" 'I may have;'."saidi;! 7 |'^ would have done better to ;*••*" e+ -' i ' tT ™* ?v You may-go." '^ •' ' "•'*••''•'•"? J turned to the door and upon the handle wben the emperor; called upon me to stop. "You will see^, said he to the duke of Tarentunii'tha*!! Brigadier Gerard has the special U —*"'* ;J of honor, for I believe that if heh«.« ; -—~ A , thickest head he has also the stoutest] heart in my army." ' ' ' '• (l ' es "[THE END."). BELIEVED IN FRESH AIR.; The Cool Traveler's Way of Defeating the Fussy Man. In a train that left the Grand tral depot the other afternoon ^ seated two gentlemen, one drrectl^^, front of the other, says the New r Yoj>| Advertiser, Both were well dresse 1 * The gentlenmn in front had the^cal self-contained manner of a weU^bivT-s man, the other,the fussy air of aper^ra| who deems himself of considerable 1 ,-?'"'*^ portance. There were only ; a l4 ' ; —~ sons in tbe car besides 1 -the mentioned, and dozens of mained unoccupied. As !'^ rru ,,,, rushed out of the tunnel into tbMj light of an unusually'.bri^^' 10 " 1 "" 1 serene gentleman raised*, and proceeded, to ,r.ead '1 newspaper- A ininute. la,t man aro|p,, leaned over' -^ window."' -The serenei m? tention tp the actC f or^,»tjmiraj then, as though haying ks'iMi that the window w;a5,&9}TO"^$l again' and went 'ow rea'ditfkiA&ifi inan glared a moved about with an air.,'of,? tbe 'windowi,;af%,,. bang, The other 'd ,but '# kn.Qck.ed', tu&t '"tog tta My wue« js captured, "§&id » y wbow?" > k Tbe Russians." 1x ^fef ft ftlpteaea wan wuen »<? • mm?* r;tM,csl$Wate£ Brigftflw %* vs ®& !r'LJ,r $SK$Jtt» W»* -WW <*MWi «BA#t)P»t '«Jfo, aslngle, Cos^agfej" ><Ue. gave hwssli u p?

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