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ordinary criminal. He is the greatest genius which the

2023-12-03 16:25:48 source:School of insects and fishauthor: reading click:608Second-rate

"Some few hundred yards in front of them rose a small, steep hill. If they could reach this it would shut them out of sight. They hastened on, pausing every thirty yards or so to lie still and pant for breath, then hurrying on again, quicker than before, tearing their flesh against the broken ground.

ordinary criminal. He is the greatest genius which the

"At last they reached the base of the slope, and slinking a little way round it, raised their heads and looked back. Where they were it was impossible for them to be seen from the Prussian lines.

ordinary criminal. He is the greatest genius which the

"They sprang to their feet and broke into a wild race. A dozen steps further they came face to face with an Austrian field battery.

ordinary criminal. He is the greatest genius which the

"The demon that had taken possession of them had been growing stronger the further they had fled. They were not men, they were animals mad with fear. Driven by the same frenzy that prompted other panic-stricken creatures to once rush down a steep place into the sea, these four men, with a yell, flung themselves, sword in hand, upon the whole battery; and the whole battery, bewildered by the suddenness and unexpectedness of the attack, thinking the entire battalion was upon them, gave way, and rushed pell-mell down the hill.

"With the sight of those flying Austrians the fear, as independently as it had come to him, left him, and he felt only a desire to hack and kill. The four Prussians flew after them, cutting and stabbing at them as they ran; and when the Prussian cavalry came thundering up, they found my young lieutenant and his three friends had captured two guns and accounted for half a score of the enemy.

"Next day, he was summoned to headquarters.

"'Will you be good enough to remember for the future, sir,' said the Chief of the Staff, 'that His Majesty does not require his lieutenants to execute manoeuvres on their own responsibility, and also that to attack a battery with three men is not war, but damned tomfoolery. You ought to be court-martialled, sir!'

"Then, in somewhat different tones, the old soldier added, his face softening into a smile: 'However, alertness and daring, my young friend, are good qualities, especially when crowned with success. If the Austrians had once succeeded in planting a battery on that hill it might have been difficult to dislodge them. Perhaps, under the circumstances, His Majesty may overlook your indiscretion.'

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