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no time to put a worthy end imagined to have betrayed to this terrible engagement them. Brave officers ran hither by exterminating this den of and thither to cheer their men ruffians.
and rally some battalions while But these moments which we they sought to contrive longed to devote to vengeance bridge, but they soon saw that we had to give up to flight, their efforts were in vain. The and we fled from the town in baggage and artillery, thrown a state of disorder impossible into disorder, blocked the road, to describe—cavalry, infantry, while the horses, wounded and baggage, artillery, huddled to- masterless, plunged about in all gether pell-mell. But at the directions, knocking down the instant that we got free of the terrified crowd. Those who town and gained the road in dared not jump into the stream all haste, thinking ourselves at watched in gloomy silence from last safe, a terrific explosion was the banks those who chose this heard — the bridge was blown desperate alternative, and saw
of fear and horror with dread how little trust was broke from every lip at this to be placed in it. Almost all dreadful blow. A shout im- the foot soldiers, indeed, enmediately arose that the enemy cumbered without exception by was upon our rear, and in a their knapsack and accoutremoment every man, leaving the ments, were carried away, or ranks, rushed forward to escape. stuck fast in the mud and perThe enemy, observing this dis- ished there, uttering heartorder, brought their artillery to rending cries. The mounted the front in haste, and placed men for the most part got their guns, loaded with grape, across,
sank or were to enfilade us, at the same time struck down in the water by charging us in flank with their the fatal hail of grape-shot. light cavalry.
For officers and men alike disNo one who had not witnessed cipline no longer existed. Orit could form any conception of ders, prayers, or
threats to this scene of horror. Imagine obtain a horse, or
a horse, or to avoid 20,000 men, stampeded, en- being crushed beneath the feet trapped ; having in front of of those riding, were alike in them a wide and deep river vain. Generosity and pity without a bridge, and at their were no more, and self-interest backs a horde of barbarians, cried aloud to each man to save who charged upon and slaugh- himself. tered them, while to right and As for me, in the midst of left a hail of bullets mowed this scene of horror, rage, terror, them down. The younger men, and hope mingled in my breast. in terror, half mad, threw them- But retaining my presence of selves upon each other, scream- mind, my state of uncertainty ing in their despair; the older soon vanished, and I pushed ones awaited death in silence, into the river with my horse or poured forth a stream of without further hesitation. A curses on their chief, whom they few steps and he was swim
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A CHILD. CONCLUSION,
CHAPTER XXVI,—THE SHADOWS.
ALL this hilarity does not holds a victim. Amid so many, imply the total absence of sad- there is always one isolated creaness in those bright days. I ture who weeps in frozen secrecy, had lived and suffered too long while the others shout with in solitude not to have reserved laughter. The unshared gaiety a private corner for unuttered of the group is a fresh provocagriefs, into which no regard of tion of repulsion on both sides, sister or stranger could ever and not all the goodwill of penetrate. It is extraordinary maturity can serve to bridge the art with which a circle of that first sharp division of inchildren can make one chosen fancy. The heart that has been by mutual consent feel in all broken with pain in childhood things, at every moment of the is never sound again, whatever day, an intruder. The two the sequel the years may offer. elder than I were sworn friends, To escape the blighting influence the three younger likewise ; both of cynicism and harshness is as groups
united as allies. I stood much as one may hope for; but between them, an outsider. I the muffled apprehension of shared their games, it is true, ache, the rooted mistrust bred as I shared their meals; but by early injustice, can never be when they had any secrets to effaced. impart, I was left out in the I cannot now remember the cold. I daresay now, on look- cause of all those dreadful hours, ing back, that had my sullen of all those bitter, bitter tears, pride permitted a frank and nor do I desire to recall them. genial effort, I might easily But I still see myself many and enough have broken down this many a day creeping under the barrier. But I was morbidly bed that none might see me sensitive, and these young bar- cry, and there sobbing as if the barians were very rough and veins of my throat should burst. hard. Not ill-natured, but most Always, I have no doubt, for some untender.
foolish or inadequate cause : a I wonder if any other child hostile look in response to some has been so ruthlessly stabbed spontaneous offer of affection, a by home glances as I. The disagreeable word when a tender tale of the Ugly Duckling is, I one trembled on my lips, some believe, as common as all the fresh proof of my isolation, a essential legends of human grief rough gesture that thrust me and human joy. My dislike of out of the home circle as an inlarge families is born of the con- truder, and a scornful laugh in viction that every large family front of me as the merry band
1 Copyright, 1898, by Dodd, Mead & Co. in the United States of America.
wandered off among the rocks humour then and now shed its and left me forlorn in the garden. smile athwart the dim bleak forA robuster and less sensitive est of emotions through which nature would have laughed down destiny bade me cut my way. all these small troubles, and have One dark moment of peculiar scampered into their midst im- bitterness now makes me smile. perious and importunate. A I record it as proof of the tiny healthier child, with sensibilities mole-hills of childhood that conless on the edge of the skin, not stitute mountains. It shows cursed with what the French the kind of booby I was, and call an ombrageux temper, would have ever been, but none the have broken through this un- less instructs upon the nature conscious hostility, and have of infant miseries. captured her place on the do- We were walking along the mestic hearth-would probably road one afternoon with Miss not have been aware of an un- Kitty. A public vehicle tore friendly atmosphere.
down the hill led by four horses, But this same morbid sensi- three white and one brown. tiveness, mark of my unblessed We were four: I the eldest, race, has been the unsleeping and my three pretty step-sisters. element of martyrdom in my Birdie shoutedwhole existence. “ Meet the “Oh, look at the three lovely world with a smile,” said a wise white horses! That's us three. and genial friend of mine, “and Angela is the brown horse.” it will give you back a smile." I regarded this choice as a But how can onesmile with every manifest injustice. There was nerve torn in the dumb anguish no reason on earth that I should of anticipated pain and slight? be a brown horse any more than How can one smile burdened by one of my step-sisters. I was the edged sensibilities and nerv- angry
at what I ousness of sex and race, inwardly deemed a slight, and crieddistraught and forced to face “I won't be the brown horse. the world, unsupported by for- I'll be one of the white horses, tune, family, or friends, with a or else I'll go away and leave brave front? It is already much you.” But I shed all my
you may tears in childhood, and left my go if you like. We don't want sadness behind me. When the you.
We're three nice white bigger troubles and tragedies horses." came, as they speedily did, I Here was an instance when found sustainment and wisdom I might have laughed down the in arming myself with courage exclusiveness of these proud and gaiety, and so I faced the babies. But no. I must turn road. I had then, as ever since, back, and walk home alone, plenty of pleasure to temper un- sulky and miserable, nursing happiness, plenty of bright rays my usual feeling of being alone to guide me through the ob- in a cold universe. scurities of sentiment and suf- An hour of terrible fright fering. An unfailing beam of for all of us was the morning
not to cry
Birdie fell into Colamore Har- on the gravel path in a woeful bour. We were coming down state-her wet green skirt clingfrom Killiney Hill, a lovely spot ing to her little legs, the dismore prosperous lands might coloured poppies of her hat flat envy us. Birdie walked inside, upon the wet ribbon. in a pretty short frock of pale “Change that child's clothes," green alpaca, and a new hat said my mother, indifferently, with red poppies among the as if she were all her life accusribbon. In those days Birdie tomed to the sight of a terrified and I ran it closely as infant child rescued from the deep, beauties. Her hair was a shade and went on talking to the more flaxen than mine, and the gardener. roses of her cheeks a shade It would be a bold and inpaler. She was fatter, too, and human assertion to make, and less vapoury; but I carried the certainly one I am far from palm as an ethereal doll, with maintaining, that harsh treatà classic profile. Alas! the ment is the proper training of promise of that period was children. . But my mother's never fulfilled. Both profile and method has undoubtedly anpride of beauty vanished on the swered better than that of threshold of girlhood, to make many a tender or self-sacrificway for the appearance of a ing mother. It built us in an dairymaid in their distinguished admirable fashion for adversity, stead,
-taught us to rely upon ourThe wall of Colamore Har selves, taught us, above all, that bour was protected by an iron necessary lesson—how to suffer chain that swung low from the and not whine. It is only big stones that divided the when I observe how feebly and festoons. Birdie's foot slipped, shabbily a spoiled woman can and the child in a twinkling face trouble and pain, that I tumbled over, and plunged, with feel one may with reason cherish a hollow crash, into the heavy some pride of the power of engrey sea. Happily there were during both with a smile. And bathing-women and fishermen when, stupefied and shamed, I within hail, and as quickly as contemplate the petty trickeries she had taken an unexpected to which worldliness and unbath, Birdie was once more in truthfulness can reduce a woour midst, dripping like a New- man, the infamous devices a foundland, white and shaking slender purse can drag educated with terror. One of the big ladies into, thus am I partially boys took her up in his arms consoled for the sufferings of and tenderly carried her home. childhood. It is much, when We all followed, awed and one fronts battle, to have been hysterical.
reared in an atmosphere of abMy mother was standing in solute rectitude, of truthful and the front garden talking to honourable instinct.
It is a the gardener, when the party blessing indeed when love inmarched in upon her. She cludes all this. But bleak as frowned as Birdie was deposited the start was, I would not have