Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Action Front Boyd Cable

A General Action

Page 5 of 13

Table Of Contents: Action Front

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

The first-fruits of their sowing showed within the hour, when some of the officers were having tea together in a corner of a ruined cottage, which had been converted into a keep.

The servant who was preparing tea had placed a battered pot on the half of a broken door, which served for a mess table; had laid out a loaf of bread, tin pots of jam, a cake, and a flattened box of flattened chocolates, and these offices having been fully performed he should have retired. Instead, however, he fidgeted to and fro, offered to pour the tea from the dented coffee-pot, asked if anything more was wanted, pushed the loaf over to the Captain, apologizing at length for the impossibility of getting a scrape of butter these days; hovered round the table, and generally made it plain that he had something he wished to say, or that he supposed they had something to say he wished to hear.

"What are you dodging about there for, man?" the Captain asked irritably at last. "Is it anything you want?"

"Nothing, sorr," said the man, "only I was just wondering if you had heard annything of a Gineral with fifty thousand francs in his pocket, lying out there beyond the trench."

"Five thousand francs," corrected Riley gently.

"'Twas fifty thousand I heard, sorr," said the man eagerly; "but ye have heard, then, sorr?"

"What's this about a General?" demanded the Captain.

"Yes!" said Riley quickly. "What is it? We have heard nothing of the General."

"Ah!" said the messman, eyeing him thoughtfully, "I thought maybe ye had heard."

"We have heard nothing," said Riley. "What is it you are talking about?"

"About them fifty thousand francs, sorr," said the messman, cunningly, "or five thousand, was it?"

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

"What's this?" said the Captain, and the others making no attempt to answer his question, left the messman to tell a voluble tale of a German General ("though 'twas a Field-Marshal some said it was, and others went the length of Von Kluck himself") who had been killed some days before, and lay out in the open with five thousand, or fifty thousand, francs in his breeches pocket, a diamond-studded gold watch on his wrist, diamond rings on his fingers, and his breast covered with Iron Crosses and jeweled Orders.

That both Riley and Brock, as well as the Captain, professed their profound ignorance of the tale only served, as they well knew, to strengthen the Tearaways Rifles' belief in it, and after the man had gone they imparted their plan with huge delight and joyful anticipation to the Captain.

When they had finished tea and left the keep to return to their own posts, they were met by Sergeant Clancy.

"I just wanted to speak wid you a moment, sorr," he said. "I have been looking at that listening-post, and thinking to myself wouldn't it be as well if we ran a sap out to it; it would save the crawling out across the open at night, and keeping the men--and some wounded among them maybe--cooped up the whole day."

"There's something in that," said the Captain, pretending to reflect. "And I see the last battalion had made something of a beginning to dig a trench out to the post."

Page 5 of 13 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Action Front
Boyd Cable

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004