Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan William Makepeace Thackeray

Chapter II: Allyghur And Laswaree

Page 5 of 7

Table Of Contents: The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

To strap on my sabre and my accoutrements--to mount my Arab charger--to drink off what O'Gawler had left of the sangaree--and to gallop to the General, was the work of a moment. I found him as comfortably at tiffin as if he were at his own house in London.

"General," said I, as soon as I got into his paijamahs (or tent), "you must leave your lunch if you want to fight the enemy."

"The enemy--psha! Mr. Gahagan, the enemy is on the other side of the river."

"I can only tell your Excellency that the enemy's guns will hardly carry five miles, and that Cornet O'Gawler was this moment shot dead at my side with a cannon-ball."

"Ha! is it so?" said his Excellency, rising, and laying down the drumstick of a grilled chicken. "Gentlemen, remember that the eyes of Europe are upon us, and follow me!"

Each aide-de-camp started from table and seized his cocked hat; each British heart beat high at the thoughts of the coming melee. We mounted our horses, and galloped swiftly after the brave old General; I not the last in the train, upon my famous black charger.

It was perfectly true, the enemy were posted in force within three miles of our camp, and from a hillock in the advance to which we galloped, we were enabled with our telescopes to see the whole of his imposing line. Nothing can better describe it than this:-

   ___________________ A

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

- A is the enemy, and the dots represent the hundred and twenty pieces of artillery which defended his line. He was moreover, entrenched; and a wide morass in his front gave him an additional security.

His Excellency for a moment surveyed the line, and then said, turning round to one of his aides-de-camp, "Order up Major-General Tinkler and the cavalry."

"HERE, does your Excellency mean?" said the aide-de-camp, surprised, for the enemy had perceived us, and the cannon-balls were flying about as thick as peas.

"HERE, SIR!" said the old General, stamping with his foot in a passion, and the A.D.C. shrugged his shoulders and galloped away. In five minutes we heard the trumpets in our camp, and in twenty more the greater part of the cavalry had joined us.

Up they came, five thousand men, their standards flapping in the air, their long line of polished jack-boots gleaming in the golden sunlight. "And now we are here," said Major-General Sir Theophilus Tinkler, "what next?" "Oh, d- it," said the Commander-in-Chief, "charge, charge--nothing like charging--galloping--guns--rascally black scoundrels--charge, charge!" And then turning round to me (perhaps he was glad to change the conversation), he said, "Lieutenant Gahagan, you will stay with me."

And well for him I did, for I do not hesitate to say that the battle WAS GAINED BY ME. I do not mean to insult the reader by pretending that any personal exertions of mine turned the day,-- that I killed, for instance, a regiment of cavalry or swallowed a battery of guns,--such absurd tales would disgrace both the hearer and the teller. I, as is well known, never say a single word which cannot be proved, and hate more than all other vices the absurd sin of egotism: I simply mean that my ADVICE to the General, at a quarter-past two o'clock in the afternoon of that day, won this great triumph for the British army.

Page 5 of 7 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Gahagan
William Makepeace Thackeray

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004