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rest, without hesitation, turned and plunged into the trees.
After reloading, we walked down the outside of the palisade to
see to the fallen enemy. He was stone dead--shot through the
We began to rejoice over our good success when just at that
moment a pistol cracked in the bush, a ball whistled close past my
ear, and poor Tom Redruth stumbled and fell his length on the
ground. Both the squire and I returned the shot, but as we had
nothing to aim at, it is probable we only wasted powder. Then we
reloaded and turned our attention to poor Tom.
The captain and Gray were already examining him, and I saw
with half an eye that all was over.
I believe the readiness of our return volley had scattered the
mutineers once more, for we were suffered without further
molestation to get the poor old gamekeeper hoisted over the
stockade and carried, groaning and bleeding, into the log-house.
Poor old fellow, he had not uttered one word of surprise,
complaint, fear, or even acquiescence from the very beginning of
our troubles till now, when we had laid him down in the log-house
to die. He had lain like a Trojan behind his mattress in the gallery;
he had followed every order silently, doggedly, and well; he was
the oldest of our party by a score of years; and now, sullen, old,
serviceable servant, it was he that was to die.
The squire dropped down beside him on his knees and kissed
his hand, crying like a child.
“Be I going, doctor?” he asked.
“Tom, my man,” said I, “you’re going home.”
“I wish I had had a lick at them with the gun first,” he replied.
“Tom,” said the squire, “say you forgive me, won’t you?”