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"Having said this much, I would advise you strongly to devote a couple of hours a day regularly to the study of French and German. You may find them invaluable, especially if you are engaged on any diplomatic mission, and much more useful at first than the study of writers on military tactics and strategy. There will be plenty of time for that afterwards. At Canterbury you will have no difficulty in finding a master among the many French migrs, and as there are at present two or three troops of one of our German Hussar regiments there, and some of these men belong to families who preferred exile and service in the ranks to living under French domination, you may find a soldier who will be glad enough to add to his pay by a little teaching. A draft went out only a fortnight or so since to your regiment, and you are therefore likely to be some time at Canterbury before you are ordered out, and as the time in a garrison town hangs heavily on hand, a little steady work will help to make it pass not unpleasantly."

"I don't speak it well," the mate said. "I know enough to get on with, but the first person that I addressed would see at once that I was a foreigner. No; we should all be in the same boat, and a very bad boat it would be. We should all be hunted down in the course of twenty-four hours, and I expect would be shot twelve hours afterwards. I think that instead of sending twenty men with us they might safely have sent only two, for it would be simply madness to try to escape. If one alone could manage to slip off there would be some chance for him. There is no doubt that the Bretons are bitterly opposed to the present state of things, and have not forgotten how they suffered in their rising early in the days of the Republic. They would probably conceal a runaway, and might pass him along through their woods to St. Malo or one of the other seaports, and thence a passage across might be obtained in a smuggler, but it would be a hazardous job."

The count spoke to many acquaintances, introducing Julian to each of them as his great friend, Monsieur Wyatt, an Englishman. After waiting an hour in the gardens they drove to the club itself. There were here a large number of gentlemen, all of whom had been for a few minutes at the garden. Here more introductions took place, and the count put down Julian's name as an honorary member. "You will have a long day's work to-morrow, Monsieur Wyatt."

As soon as the Russian army had repulsed the attacks of the French and resumed its march towards Moscow, Sir Robert Wilson left it and proceeded to St. Petersburg, where he had promised the Russian generals to inform the Czar of the opinion and disposition of the army, their dissatisfaction with the general, and their determination to continue the combat and to refuse to recognize any negotiations or armistice that might be made with the enemy.

In the morning there was a gathering composed of the papa or priest of the village and the principal men. When it was concluded, Stephanie was informed that none of them knew the place of residence of her father, but that a messenger had been sent off to the nearest town with a letter from the priest to the bishop there, asking him to inform them of it. She was asked how many days had passed since she had fallen in with the French, and how long she had been travelling before she did so. Julian was able to say exactly where he had fallen in with herabout thirty miles from Smolensk. Stephanie herself was vague as to the time she had travelled before the accident to the carriage, "days and days" being the only account that she could give of the matter. The priest then spoke to her for some time in Russian.

"I am sure I wish that you could do so," the colonel said. "Poor fellow! he has paid dearly indeed for his well-meant though rash attempt to seize Faulkner's murderer. I shall have finished my business in two or three minutes, and shall be glad if you will stop to have a chat with me."

"There is an end of our search, Mr. Wyatt. We must return to the town. The magistrates will meet at eleven o'clock, and I and the constables must be there. But I will send off two men directly we get back, to go along the cliffs and question all the men who were on duty yesterday afternoon as to whether they saw two men with guns crossing the hills, one being probably some distance behind the other. I think, perhaps, you had better come to the court. I don't say that it will be absolutely necessary, but I think it would be better that you should do so; and you see it would be useless for you to be hunting over those hills alone. As soon as the court is over I will take four men and will myself start to search for him. There is no saying whether we may not find some sign or other. I shall be glad if you will go with me; you have shown yourself a born detective this morning, for had you been trained to it all your life you could not have followed the scent up more unerringly."

During the next few days the divisions intended to form the advance moved down towards the Niemen, which marked the frontier, and on the 24th of June three bridges were thrown across the river near Kovno, and the passage began. The French cavalry drove off the Cossacks who were watching the passage, and the same evening the Emperor established his headquarters at Kovno, and the corps of Davoust, Oudinot, and Ney crossed the bridges, and with the cavalry under Murat, composing altogether a force of 350,000 men, marched forward at a rapid pace on the 26th for Wilna, seventy-five miles distant. It was not until a few days before Napoleon crossed the frontier that the Russians obtained any definite information as to the force with which he was advancing, and their commander-in-chief at once saw that it would be hopeless to attempt to oppose so large a body. A great mistake had been committed in occupying a position so near the frontier, but when the necessity for retreat became evident, no time was lost in carrying it into effect, and orders were despatched to the commanders of the various armies to fall back with all speed. Thus, although the French accomplished the wonderful feat of marching seventy-eight miles in two days, which was done in the hope of falling upon the Russians before they had time to concentrate, they found the town already evacuated, and the whole of the immense magazines collected there destroyed.

At three o'clock the pressure upon Touchkoff became so severe that several regiments from Barclay's column, which was passing safely along while he kept the road open for them, were sent to his assistance, and the fight continued. Napoleon believed that the whole Russian force had taken post at Loubino, and sent forward reinforcements to Ney. The woods were so thick that it was some time before these reached him, the guns of one of the columns being obliged to go a mile and a half through a wood before they could turn, so dense was the growth of the trees. Ney now pressed forward with such vigour that Touchkoff was driven from his position in advance, upon the village itself, where he was again reinforced by four infantry battalions, two regiments of cavalry, and heavy guns. Murat with his cavalry endeavoured to turn the Russian left, but the two Russian cavalry regiments, supported by their artillery, maintained their ground. Soon after five o'clock the French had received such large reinforcements that the Russians were forced to give way, and were in full retreat when Barclay himself arrived upon the scene, and rallied them. The battle was renewed, and the last effort of the French was repulsed by a charge with the bayonet by the Russian grenadiers.