For an hour the Russians held their advanced works, and then were forced to fall back; and the French, following up their advantage, crossed a ravine and occupied the village of Semianotsky, which had been partially destroyed on the previous day by the Russians, so that if captured it would afford no cover to the French. It was but for a short time that the latter held it. Coming up at the head of his grenadiers, Touchkoff drove them out, recrossed the ravine, and recaptured the advance works they had before so obstinately contested. In turn the French retook the three redoubts; but, again, a Russian division coming up wrested the position from them, and replanted their flag there. Napoleon, seeing that no impression could be made on the Russian left, now sent orders to the Viceroy to carry the great redoubt before Gorki. In spite of the difficulties presented by the broken ground, the three French divisions pressed forward with the greatest gallantry, and, heedless of the storm of grape poured upon them, stormed the redoubt. But its late defenders, reinforced by some battalions from Doctorow's corps, dashed forward to recover the position, and fell with such fury upon the French that the regiment that had entered the redoubt was all but annihilated, and the position regained, while at the same moment two regiments of Russian cavalry fell upon reinforcements pressing forward to aid the defenders, and threw them into disorder.
"Very nice indeed!" Julian said. "Well, I won't ask any more questions till we get there."
"I will help you a bit," Frank laughed. "The campaign has pretty well destroyed all my kit, and I shan't be too proud to fill up from your abundance."
The constable nodded. "There are two sets," he said, "one going each way; and by the distance they are apart, and the fact that the heel is not as deeply marked as the rest of the print, whoever made them was running."
"Hulloa, mate!" one of them said as the door closed behind him. "Have you come all alone? For the most part we arrive in batches. Where do you hail from, and what was your ship?"