Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/57

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


the windows which looked out on this side of the castle were filled with spectators. The major commanding the castle came running out in his drawers, and with bare legs, and crying, "Load your arms!" He ordered me to go back, and threatened that I should be fired on if I did not. My only reply was to present my pistol, and order him to go back himself.

The major ran away, crying, "Fire on the scoundrels!" I fancy I can still see the old sergeant, who was a friend of mine, his musket levelled, but trembling in his hands, and hear him beg of me to go back. I took no notice; we were at fifteen paces from each other. I advanced boldly—ten or twelve muskets went off at the same moment;—I replied with a single shot and charged furiously into the midst of them. I heard on all sides cries of "Bravo! Bravo!" and applause at the windows. I was assailed with the butts of muskets, and received blows of which my ribs showed the marks for long afterwards; my vest was nearly torn off, and my hair pulled out. My poor comrade De L—— was