"I have a good mind to enlist," Julian said one day, to his friend the mate. "Of course, nothing would persuade me to do so if it were a question of fighting against the English. But now that I have learnt French fairly, I begin to find this life horrible, and am longing intensely to be doing something. There are the reasons that I have already told you of why, even if I were free, I could not go home. I might as well be taking part in this campaign as staying in prison. Besides, I should have infinitely better chances of escape as a soldier than we have here, and if I find I don't like it, I can at least try to get off."
"Are you one of those wicked Frenchmen?" she asked.
"According to the dates there was little doubt that they must have crossed the main road from Moscow to the frontier at the very time when the French army on its retreat would be moving along. All that we had heard and knew of the terrible distress, both of their army and of our own, showed that at that time the intense suffering of the French and the savage reprisals of our peasantry had reduced them to a state when nothing was respected, and that a pair of valuable horses and a heap of costly furs, to say nothing of the food carried, would be prizes almost beyond value. Deprived of these, a nurse and child would, in a few hours, die of the cold. That some such fate must have befallen them seemed almost certain, for otherwise they must have joined us.
"It struck us all into a heap, and you could have heard a pin drop. Then came the hail again, 'If you don't answer I will sink you,' whereupon the skipper of the lugger shouted out, 'the Jennie of Portsmouth.' 'Lend a hand, lads, with the sails,' he whispered to us; 'slip the cable, Tom.' We ran up the sails in a jiffy, you may be sure, and all the sharper that, as they were half-way up, four guns flashed out. One hulled the lugger, the others flew overhead. Close as they were they could not have seen us, for we could scarce see them and we were under the shadow of the cliffs, but I suppose they fired at the voices. 'Sink the tubs, lads,' the skipper said as the lugger glided away from us. There was a nice little air blowing off shore, and she shot away into the darkness in no time. We all rowed into the mouth of the cove for shelter, and were only just in time, for a shower of grape splashed the water up a few yards behind us.
The cold was so intense in the morning that the child offered no objection to her novel habiliments. Some inches had to be cut from the bottom of the jacket to keep it off the ground, and the strip served as a band to keep it close round her waist.
The solicitor sat down. Then the chairman asked the witness if any arms were found on the prisoner.
The generals thanked Sir Robert warmly, and then withdrew.