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best of Causes ! United we may defy the World
to conquer us ; but Victory will never belong to
those who are slothful and unprepared.

' I must go and join at once ! ' said Bob.

Anne turned to him, all the playfulness
gone from her face. ' I wish we lived in the
north of England, Bob, so as to be farther
away from where he'll land,' she murmured
uneasily.

* Where we are would be Paradise to me,
if you would only make it so.'

' It is not right to talk so lightly at such
a serious time,' she thoughtfully returned,
going on towards the church.



152 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

On drawing near, they saw through the
boughs of a clump of Intervening trees, still
leafless, but bursting Into buds of amber hue,
a glittering which seemed to be reflected
from points of steel. In a few moments
they heard above the tender chiming of the
church bells the loud voice of a man giving
words of command, at which all the metallic
points suddenly shifted like the bristles of a
porcupine, and glistened anew.

' 'Tis the drilling,' said Loveday. * They
drill now between the services, you know,
because they can't get the men together so
readily in the week. It makes me feel that
I ought to be doing more than I am.'

When they had passed round the belt of
trees, the company of recruits became visible,
consisting of the able-bodied inhabitants of
the hamlets thereabout, more or less known
to Bob and Anne. They were assembled on



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 53

the green plot outside the churchyard-gate,
dressed in their common clothes, and the
sergeant who had been putting them through
their drill was the man who nailed up the
proclamation. He was now engaged in un-
tying a canvas money-bag, from which he
drew forth a handful of shillings, giving one
to each man in payment for his attend-
ance.

' Men, I dismissed ye too soon — parade,
parade again, I say,' he cried. ' Ivly watch
is fast, I find. There's another twenty
minutes afore the worship of God commences.
Now all of you that ha'n't got fawlocks,
fall in at the lower end. Eyes right and
dress ! '

As every man was anxious to see how the
rest stood, those at the end of the line pressed
forward for that purpose, till the line assumed
the form of a horseshoe.



154 I^^IE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

' Look at ye now ! Why, you are all a
crooking In. Dress, dress ! '

They dressed forthwith ; but impelled by
the same motive they soon resumed their
former figure, and so they were despairingly
permitted to remain.

' Now, I hope you'll have a little patience,'
said the sergeant, as he stood in the centre of
the arc, ' and pay particular attention to the
word of command, just exactly as I give It
out to ye ; and if I should go wrong, I shall
be much obliged to any gentleman who'll put
me right again, for I have only been in the
army three weeks myself, and we are all
liable to mistakes.'

' So we be, so we be,' said the line
heartily.

* 'Tention, the whole, then. Poise faw-
locks ! Very well done ! '

' Please, what must we do that haven't



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 55

ofot no firelocks ? ' said the lower end of the
line in a helpless voice.

' Now, was ever such a question ! Why,
you must do nothing at all, but think Jiow
you'd poise 'em if you. had 'em. You middle
men, that are armed with hurdle-sticks and
cabbage-stumps just to make believe, must of
course use 'em as if they were the real thing.
Now then, cock fawlocks ! Present ! Fire !
(Not shoot in earnest, you know.) Very
good — very good indeed ; except that some
of you were a little too soon, and the rest a
little too late.'

' Please, sergeant, can I fall out, as I am
master-player in the choir, and my bass-viol
strings won't stand at this time o' year, unless
they be screwed up a little before the passon
comes in 1 '

' How can vou think of such trifles as
churchgoing at such a time as this, when



156 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

your own native country is on the point of
invasion ? ' said the sergeant sternly. ' And,
as vou know, the drill ends three minutes
afore church begins, and that's the law, and
it wants a quarter of an hour yet. Now, at
the word Primey shake the powder (suppos-
ing you've got it) into the priming-pan, three
last fingers behind the rammer ; then shut
your pans, drawing your right arm nimbly
towards your body. I ought to have told ye
before this, that at Hand your katridge, seize
it and bring it with a quick motion to your
mouth, bite the top well off, and don't swaller
so much of the powder as to make ye hawk
and spet instead of attending to your drill.
What's that man a-saying of in the rear
rank ? *

* Please, sir, 'tis Anthony Cripplestraw,
wanting to know how he's to bite off his



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 1 57

katridge, when he haven't a tooth left In s
head ? '

* Man ! Why, what's your genius for war ?
Hold it up to your right-hand man's mouth,
to be sure, and let him nip it off for ye.
Well, what have you to say, Private
Tremlett ? Don't ye understand English ?

' Ask yer pardon, sergeant ; but what
must we Infantry of the awkward squad do if
Boney comes afore we get our firelocks ? '

' Take a pike, like the rest of the In-
capables. You'll find a store of them ready
in the corner of the church tower. Now
then — Shoulder — r — r — r '

' There, they be tinging In the passon ! '
exclaimed David, Miller Loveday's man,
who also formed one of the company, as the
bells changed from chiming all three together
to a quick beating of one. The whole line



158 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

drew a breath of relief, threw down their
arms, and began running off.

' Well, then, 1 must dismiss ye,' said the
sergeant. ' Come back — come back ! Next
drill is Tuesday afternoon at four. And, mind,
If your masters won't let ye leave work
soon enough, tell me, and I'll write a line to
Gover'ment ! ' ' 'Tention ! To the right —
left wheel, I mean — no, no — right wheel.
Mar — r — r — rch ! '

Some wheeled to the right and some to
the left, and some obliging men, Including
Cripplestraw, tried to wheel both ways.

* Stop, stop ; try again. Gentlemen, un-
fortunately when I'm in a hurry I can never
remember my right hand from my left, and
never could as a boy. You must excuse me,
please. Practice makes perfect, as the
saying Is ; and, much as I've learnt since I
'listed, we always find something new. Now



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 59

then, right wheel ! march ! halt ! Stand at
ease ! dismiss ! I think that's the order o't,
but ril look in the Gover'ment book afore
Tuesday.'

Many of the company who had been
drilled preferred to go off and spend their
shillings instead of entering the church ; but
Anne and Captain Bob passed in. Even
the interior of the sacred edifice was affected
by the agitation of the times. The religion
of the country had, in fact, changed from
love of God to hatred of Napoleon Bona-
parte ; and, as if to remind the devout of this
alteration, the pikes for the pikemen (all
those accepted men who were not otherwise
armed) were kept in the church of each
parish. There, against the wall, they always
stood — a whole sheaf of them, formed of new
ash stems, with a spike driven in at one end,
the stick being preserved from splitting by a



l6o THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

ferule. And there they remained, year
after year, In the corner of the aisle, till they
were removed and placed under the gallery
stairs, and thence ultimately to the belfry,
where they grew black, rusty, and worm-
eaten, and were gradually stolen and carried
off by sextons, parish-clerks, whitewashers,
window-menders, and other church-servants
for use at home as rake-stems, benefit-club
staves, and pick-handles, in which degraded
situations they may still occasionally be found.
But In their new and shining state they
had a terror for Anne, whose eyes were in-
voluntarily draw^n towards them as she sat at
Bob's side during the service, filling her with
bloody visions of their possible use not far
from the very spot on which they were now
assembled. The sermon, too, was on the
subject of patriotism ; so that when they
came out she began to harp uneasily upon



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. l6l

the probability of their all being driven from
their homes.

Bob assured her that with the sixty thou-
sand regulars, the militia reserve of a hun-
dred and twenty thousand, and the three
hundred thousand volunteers, there was not
much to fear.

' But I sometimes have a fear that poor
John will be killed,' he continued after a
pause. * He is sure to be among the first
that will have to face the invaders, and the
trumpeters get picked off.'

* There is the same chance for him as for
the others,' said Anne.

' Yes . . . yes . . . the same chance, such
as it Is. . . . You have never liked John since
that affair of Matilda Johnson, have you ? '

* Why ? ' she quickly asked.

* Well,' said Bob timidly, * as It is a
ticklish time for him, would it not be worth

VOL. II. M



1 62 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

while to make up any differences before the
crash comes ? '

' I have nothing to make up/ said Anne,
with some distress. She still fully believed
the trumpet-major to have smuggled away
Miss Johnson because of his own interest in
that lady, which must have made his pro-
fessions to herself a mere pastime ; but that
very conduct had in it the curious advantage
to herself of setting Bob free.

' Since John has been gone,' continued
her companion, ' I have found out more of
his meaning, and of what he really had to do
with that woman's flight. Did you know he
had anything to do with it ? '

' Yes.'

' That he got her to go away ? '

She looked at Bob with surprise. He
was not exasperated with John, and yet he
knew so much as this.



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 1 63

' Yes,' she said ; ' what did it mean ? '
He did not explain to her then ; but the
possibihty of John's death, which had been
newly brought home to him by the military
events of the day, determined him to get
poor John's character cleared. Reproaching
himself for letting her remain so long with a
mistaken idea of him, Bob went to his father
as soon as they got home, and begged him to
get Mrs. Loveday to tell Anne the true
reason of John's objection to Miss Johnson
as a sister-in-law.

* She thinks it is because they were old

lovers new met, and that he wants to marry
her,' he exclaimed to his father in conclusion.
' Then thafs the meaning of the split
between Miss Nancy and Jack,' said the
miller.

' What, were they any more than common
friends ? ' asked Bob uneasily

M 2



164 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

' Not on her side, perhaps.'

* Well, we must do It,' replied Bob, pain-
fully conscious that common justice to John
might bring them Into hazardous rivalry, yet
determined to be fair. ' Tell It all to Mrs.
Loveday, and get her to tell Anne.'



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 1 65



CHAPTER XXIV.

A LETTER, A VISITOR, AND A TIN BOX.

The result of the explanation upon Anne
was bitter self-reproach. She was so sorry
at having wronged the kindly soldier, that
next morning she went by herself to the
down, and stood exactly where his tent had
covered the sod on which he had lain so
many nights, thinking what sadness he must
have suffered because of her at the time of
packing up and going away. After that she
wiped from her eyes the tears of pity which
had come there, descended to the house, and
wrote an impulsive letter to him, in which



1 66 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

occurred the following passages, indiscreet
enough under the circumstances : —

' I find all justice, all rectitude, on your
side, John ; and all Impertinence, all incon-
siderateness, on mine. I am so much con-
vinced of your honour in the whole transac-
tion, that I shall for the future mistrust myself
in everything. And if it be possible, when-
ever I differ from you on any point, I shall
take an hour s time for consideration before I
say that I differ. If I have lost your friend-
ship, I have only myself to thank for it ; but
I sincerely hope that you can forgive.'

After writing this she went to the garden,
where Bob was shearing the spring grass
from the paths. 'What is Johns direction ?'
she said, hofding the sealed letter in her
hand.

' Exeter Barracks,' Bob faltered, his coun-
tenance sinking.



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 1 67

She thanked him and went Indoors.
When he came In, later In the day, he passed
the door of her empty sitting-room and saw
the letter on the mantelpiece. He disliked
the sight of it. Hearing voices In the other
room, he entered and found xAnne and her
mother there, talking to Cripplestraw, who
had just come in with a message from Squire
Derriman, requesting Miss Garland, as she
valued the peace of mind of an old and
troubled man, to go at once and see him.

' I cannot go,' she said, not liking the risk
that such a visit involved.

An hour later Cripplestraw shambled
again Into the passage, on the same errand.

' Malster's very poorly, and he hopes that
you'll come, Missess i\nne. He wants to see
ye very particular about the French.'

Anne would have gone in a moment, but
for the fear that some one besides the farmer



1 68 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

might encounter her, and she answered as
before.

Another hour passed, and the wheels of a
vehicle were heard. Cripplestraw had come
for the third time, with a horse and gig ; he
was dressed in his best clothes, and brought
with him on this occasion a basket containing
raisins, almonds, oranges, and sweet cakes.
Offering them to her as a gift from the old
farmer, he repeated his request for her to
accompany him, the gig and best mare
having been sent as an additional induce-
ment.

' I believe the old sfentleman is in love
with you, Anne,' said her mother.

' Why couldn't he drive down himself to
see me ? ' Anne inquired of Cripplestraw.

' He wants you at the house, please.'

' Is Mr. Festus with him ? '

* No ; he's away at Weymouth.'



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. 1 69

' I'll go,' said she.

' And I may come and meet you ? ' said
Bob.

* There's my letter — what shall I do about
that ? ' she said, instead of answering him.
'Take my letter to the post-office, and you
may come,' she added.

He said Yes and went out, Cripplestraw
retreating to the door till she should be
ready.

' What letter is it ? ' said her mother.

' Only one to John,' said Anne. ' I have
asked him to forgive my suspicions. I could
do no less.'

' Do you want to marry /iz'm ? ' asked Mrs.
Loveday bluntly.

' Mother ! '

' Well ; he will take that letter as an
encouragement. Can't you see that he will,
you foolish girl ? '



170 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

Anne did see Instantly. ' Of course ! '
she said. ' Tell Robert that he need not go.'

She went to her room to secure the letter.
It was gone from the mantelpiece, and on
Inquiry It was found that the miller, seeing
it there, had sent David with It to Wey-
mouth hours ago. Anne said nothing,
and set out for Overcombe Hall with Crlp-
plestraw.

' William,' said Mrs. Loveday to the
miller when Anne was gone and Bob had
resumed his work In the garden, ' did you
get that letter sent off on purpose ? '

' Well, I did. I wanted to make sure of
it. John likes her, and now 'twill be made
up ; and why shouldn't he marry her ? I'll
start him in business. If so be she'll have
him.'

' But she is likely to marry Festus Derri-



man.'



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. IJI

* I don't want her to marry anybody but
John,' said the miller doggedly.

' Not if she is in love with Bob, and has
been for years, and he with her ? ' asked his
wife triumphantly.

* In love with Bob, and he with her ?
repeated Loveday.

' Certainly,' said she, going off and leav-
ing him to his reflections.

When Anne reached the hall she found
old Mr. Derriman in his customary chair.
His complexion was more ashen, but his
movement in rising at her entrance, putting a
chair and shutting the door behind her, were
much the same as usual.

' Thank God you've come, my dear girl,'
he said earnestly. ' Ah, you don't trip
across to read to me now ! Why did ye
cost me so much to fetch you ? Fie ! A
horse and crla, and a man's time in croincr



& fc)> """'• "-* ^""^*- -^ ».X^XXV- XX* ^^X.*j^



172 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

three times. And what I sent ye cost a good
deal in Weymouth market, now everything is
so dear there, and 'twould have cost more
if I hadn't bought the raisins and oranges
some months ago, when they were cheaper.
I tell you this because we are old friends, and
I have nobody else to tell my troubles to.
But I don't begrudge anything to ye, since

you've come.'

' I am not much pleased to come, even
now,' said she. 'What can make you so
seriously anxious to see me ? '

' Well, you be a good girl and true ; and
I've been thinking that of all people of the
next generation that I can trust, you are the
best. 'Tis my bonds and my title-deeds, such
as they be, and the leases, you know, and a
few guineas In packets, and more than these,
my will, that I have to speak about. Now
do ye come this way.'



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 73

* Oh, such things as those ! ' she returned,
with surprise. ' I don't understand those
things at all.'

* There's nothing to understand. 'TIs
just this. The French will be here within
two months ; that's certain. I have It on
the best authority that the army at Boulogne
is ready, the boats equipped, the plans
laid, and the First Consul only waits for
a tide. Heaven knows what will become
o' the men o' these parts ! But most likely
the women will be spared. Now I'll show
ye.'

He led her across the hall to a stone
staircase of semi-circular plan, which con-
ducted to the cellars.

' Down here ? ' she said.

' Yes ; I must trouble ye to come down
here. I have thouQ^ht and thousfht who is
the woman that can best keep a secret for six



174 T'HE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

months, and I say, " Anne Garland." You
won't be married before then ? '

' Oh, no ! ' murmured the young woman.

' I wouldn't expect ye to keep a close
tongue after such a thing as that. But it will
not be necessary.'

When they reached the bottom of the
steps he struck a light from a tinder-box,
and unlocked the middle one of three doors
which appeared in the whitewashed wall
opposite. The rays of the candle fell upon
the vault and sides of a long low cellar,
littered with decayed woodwork from other
parts of the hall, among the rest stair-
balusters, carved finials, tracery panels, and
wainscoting. But what most attracted her
eye was a small flag-stone turned up in the
middle of the floor, a heap of earth beside it,
and a measuring-tape. Derriman went to the
corner of the cellar, and pulled out a clamped



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 75

box from under the straw. ' You be rather
heavy, my dear, eh ? ' he said, affectionately
addressing the box as he Hfted it. ' But you
are going to be put in a safe place, you know,
or that rascal will get hold of ye, and carry
ye off and ruin me.' He then vvith some
difficulty lowered the box into the hole, raked
in the earth upon it, and lowered the flag-
stone, which he was a lone time in fixino- to
his satisfaction. Miss Garland, who was
romantically interested, helped him to brush
away the fragments of loose earth ; and when
he had scattered over the floor a little of the
straw that lay about, they again ascended to
upper air.

' Is this all, sir ? ' said Anne.

* Just a moment longer, honey. Will you
come into the great parlour ? '

She followed him thither.

' If anything happens to me while the



176 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

fighting Is going on — It may be on these very-
fields — you will know what to do,' he re-
sumed. ' But first please sit down again,
there's a dear, whilst I write what's In my
head. See, there's the best paper, and a
new quill that I've afforded myself for' t.'

* What a strange business ! I don't think
I much like It, Mr. Derriman,' she said, seat-
ing herself.

He had by this time begun to write, and
murmured as he wrote —

'" Twenty-three and half from N.W. Six-
teen and three-quarters from N.E." — There,
that's all. Now I seal It up and give It to
you to keep safe till I ask ye for It, or you
hear of my being trampled down by the

enemy.'

' What does It mean ? ' she asked, as she

received the paper.

' Clk ! Ha ! ha ! Why, that's the distance



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 77

of the box from the two corners of the cellar.
I measured It before you came. And, my
honey, to make all sure, if the French soldiery
are after ye, tell your mother the meaning
on't, or any other friend, In case they should
put ye to death, and the secret be lost. But
that I am sure I hope they won't do, though
your pretty face will be a sad bait to the
soldiers. I often have wished you was my
daughter, honey ; and yet in these times the
less cares a man has the better, so I am glad
you bain't. Shall my man drive you home ? '

* No, no,' she said, much depressed by
the words he had uttered. * I can find my
way. You need not trouble to come down.'

' Then take care of the paper. And if
you outlive me, you'll find I have not forgot
you.'



VOL. 11. N



178 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.



CHAPTER XXV.

FESTUS 5H0WS HIS LOVE.

Festus Derriman had remained in Wey-
mouth all that day, his horse being sick at
stables ; but, wishing to coax or bully from
his uncle a remount for the coming summxer,
he set off on foot for Overcombe early in the
evening. When he drew near to the village, or
rather to the hall, which was a mile from the
village, he overtook a slim, quick-eyed woman,
sauntering along at a leisurely pace. She
was fashionably dressed in a green spencer,
with ' Mameluke ' sleeves, and wore a velvet
Spanish hat and feather.

' Good afternoon t'ye, ma'am,' said Festus,



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. I 79

throwing a sword-and-pistol air into his
greeting. ' You are out for a walk ? '

' I am out for a walk, captain,' said the
lady, who had criticised him from the crevice
of her eye, without seeming to do much more
than continue her demure look forward, and
gave the title as a sop to his apparent cha-
racter.

* From Weymouth ? — I'd swear it, ma'am ;
'pon my honour I would ! '

' Yes, I am from Weymouth, sir,' said
she.

' Ah, you are a visitor ! I know every
one of the regular inhabitants ; we soldiers
are in and out there continually. Festus
Derriman, Yeomanry Cavalry, you know.
The fact is, the town is under our charee ;
the folks will be quite dependent upon us for
their deliverance in the comine strueele.
We hold our lives in our hands, and theirs, I

N 2



l8o THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

may say, in our pockets. What made you
come here, ma'am, at such a critical time ? '

* I don't see that it is such a critical
time/

' But it is, though ; and so you'd say if
you was as much mixed up with the mlHtary
affairs of the nation as some of us.'

* The lady smiled. ' The King is coming
this year, anyhow,' said she.

'Never!' said Festus firmly. 'Ah, you
are one of the attendants at court perhaps,
come on ahead to get the King's chambers
ready, in case Boney should not land ? '

' No,' she said ; ' I am connected with
the theatre, though not just at the present
moment. I have been out of luck for the
last year or two ; but I have fetched up
again. I join the company when they arrive
for the season.'

Festus surveyed her with interest. ' Faith !



THE TRUMPET-MAJOR. l8l

and IS it so ? Well, ma'am, what part do you
play ? '

* I am mostly the leading lady — the
heroine,' she said, drawing herself up with
dignity.

* I'll come and have a look at ye if all's
well, and the landing is put off — hang me if
I don't ! — Hullo, hullo, what do I see ? '

His eyes were stretched towards a
distant field, which Anne Garland was at that
moment hastily crossing, on her way from
the hall to the village.

' I must be off. Good-day to ye, dear
creature ! ' he exclaimed, hurrying forward.

The lady said, ' Oh, you droll monster ! '
as she smiled and watched him stride ahead.

Festus bounded on over the hedge, across
the intervening patch of green, and into the
field which Anne was still crossing. In a
moment or two she looked back, and seeine



1 82 THE TRUMPET-MAJOR.

the well-known Herculean figure of the
yeoman behind her felt rather alarmed, though
she determined to show no difference in her
outward carriage. But to maintain her natural
gait was beyond her powers. She spasmodi-
cally quickened her pace ; fruitlessly, how-
ever, for he gained upon her, and when
within a few strides of her exclaimed,
' Well, my darling ! ' Anne started off at a
run.

Festus was already out of breath, and


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