Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/155

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


cursed gaming-table, when I was restrained by a remark of one of the bystanders. I distinctly heard someone near me say, "What a fine gambler that young officer is; he loses and never says a word." I felt that I was something of a hero, and that as a soldier I had to sustain the honour of the cloth. I put my hand back on the table, but if anyone could have looked under my coat they would have seen that I had buried the nails of the other hand in my flesh. Nevertheless I left behind me at Corunna, not only all my money, but the reputation of being a first-rate gambler. The experience served me in good stead, however, for since then I have never played again.

An incident of another nature happened to us whilst we were at Corunna,—one that might have had serious consequences for us, though we were not to blame.

We passed our evenings in one or other of the best houses of the city, returning on board about ten o'clock, at which time the boat was waiting for us. One night, when the weather was very bad, we hap-