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Chapter 1. A large party were assembled in the drawing room of Greendale, Sir John Greendale's picturesque old mansion house. It was early in September. The men had returned from shooting, and the guests were gathered in the drawing room; in the pleasant half hour of dusk when the lamps have not yet been lighted, though it is already too dark to read. The conversation was general, and from the latest news from India had drifted into the subject... more...

My Dear Lads, The present story was written and published a few months, only, after the termination of the Franco-German war. At that time the plan--which I have since carried out in The Young Buglers, Cornet of Horse, and In Times of Peril, and which I hope to continue, in further volumes--of giving, under the guise of historical tales, full and accurate accounts of all the leading events of great wars, had not occurred to me. My object was... more...

CHAPTER I. A QUARREL. The great Abbey of Westminster was approaching its completion; an army of masons and labourers swarmed like bees upon and around it, and although differing widely in its massive architecture, with round Saxon windows and arches, from the edifice that was two or three generations later to be reared in its place,—to serve as a still more fitting tomb for the ashes of its pious founder,—it was a stately abbey,... more...

CHAPTER I: A STROKE OF GOOD FORTUNE A mounted officer, followed by two orderlies, was proceeding at a brisk trot from Paris to St. Denis, in October, 1639, when he came upon a large party of boys, who, armed with sticks, were advancing in something like military order against a wall on the top of a low hill. "What are you doing?" he asked the lad who appeared to be the leader. "We are playing at war, sir. We are advancing against the fortress... more...

Chapter 1: A Rescue. Most of the towns standing on our seacoast have suffered a radical change in the course of the last century. Railways, and the fashion of summer holiday making, have transformed them altogether, and great towns have sprung up where fishing villages once stood. There are a few places, however, which seem to have been passed by, by the crowd. The number yearly becomes smaller, as the iron roads throw out fresh branches. With... more...


CHAPTER I THE MAYO FUSILIERS "What am I to do with you, Terence? It bothers me entirely; there is not a soul who will take you, and if anyone would do so, you would wear out his patience before a week's end; there is not a dog in the regiment that does not put his tail between his legs and run for his bare life if he sees you; and as for the colonel, he told me only the other day that he had so many complaints against you, that he was fairly... more...

CHAPTER I. A VIRGINIA PLANTATION. "I won't have it, Pearson; so it's no use your talking. If I had my way you shouldn't touch any of the field hands. And when I get my way—that won't be so very long—I will take very good care you shan't. But you shan't hit Dan." "He is not one of the regular house hands," was the reply; "and I shall appeal to Mrs. Wingfield as to whether I am to be interfered with in the discharge of my duties."... more...

Preface. The reconquest of the Soudan will ever be mentioned as one of the most difficult, and at the same time the most successful, enterprises ever undertaken. The task of carrying an army hundreds of miles across a waterless desert; conveying it up a great river, bristling with obstacles; defeating an enormously superior force, unsurpassed in the world for courage; and, finally, killing the leader of the enemy and crushing out the last spark... more...

Among the great wars of history there are few, if any, instances of so long and successfully sustained a struggle, against enormous odds, as that of the Seven Years' War, maintained by Prussia--then a small and comparatively insignificant kingdom--against Russia, Austria, and France simultaneously, who were aided also by the forces of most of the minor principalities of Germany. The population of Prussia was not more than five millions, while... more...

Preface. In the following pages I have endeavoured to give a vivid picture of the wonderful events of the ten years, which at their commencement saw Madras in the hands of the French--Calcutta at the mercy of the Nabob of Bengal--and English influence apparently at the point of extinction in India--and which ended in the final triumph of the English, both in Bengal and Madras. There were yet great battles to be fought, great efforts to be made,... more...