IN DANGER'S HOUR
*tout l1earts attb Atirring eeibs
MAKING THE ROPE LADDER.
IN DANGER'S HOUR
stout lbearts anb Stirring Deebs
WITH FOUR COLOURED PLATES
AND NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS
LONYDO, PARIS, NEW YORK #* MELBOURNE
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
STORIES of heroism, peril, and adventure will always in-
terest readers both young and old. There is no likeli-
hood of the supply of such stories failing. Every day,
indeed, in scores of books and magazines, a feast of excite-
ment is spread, and all who will may come and taste
every dish, dainty or coarse, wholesome or unwholesome.
For it cannot be denied that all is not dainty, all is
not wholesome. Mere tales of blood and savagery, of fight-
ing for fighting's sake, of feats of endurance performed
for no adequate motive or for a bad one, or full-flavoured
tales of perils that were never encountered by land or
sea, are not wholesome reading for young or old.
The old can choose for themselves, and must bear the
responsibility if they choose ill; but the young ought not to
be left to the guidance of chance, or even to their own
unchecked preferences. Their reading hours are few, but
during those hours many of their most lasting impressions
are formed. Stories of peril and adventure in some shape
or other young Britons will read if they can read at all. It
is only fair that, with all their responsibilities before them,
they should be helped to pick out from the vast literature
of the day that which is worthy and of good report.
Such help it is hoped this book may give. The stories of
the capture of Delhi and of the great fight of the Revenge are
quite as exciting as the record of the mythical performances
of Cut-throat Jack," or of "The Boy Pirate," and are a
great deal better value in every sense of the word. It is
these stories and others like them that are told in this
book. There is no story included which it is not good to
read, and no story which is not worth reading.
But a tale should not only be a good and a worthy one,
it should also be well told. Happily, English literature is
rich in the recital of brave deeds. Such writers as Sir
Walter Scott, R. L. Stevenson, John Evelyn, have been laid
under contribution; and who can tell a story better than the) '?
Again, where the number of selections must needs be
small, it is well, if possible, to choose such episodes as aire
in themselves remarkable, and to a certain extent classical in
the record of the world's adventure ; or such as are con-
nected with some great event or famous movement.
The Fire of London, the loss of the Revenge, the
flight of the Pretender, the escape from the Bastille,
may all fairly be brought within this classification. The
brilliant exploit of young Marbot introduces us to the great
figure of Napoleon, and shows us the Emperor surrounded
by his Marshals at the turning-point of one of his most
famous and most brilliant campaigns. The stories of the
Indian Mutiny come fresh to each new generation, and it
will be an evil time for the country when a generation grows
up which knows them not. The tragic but stirring history
of John Browin is intimately associated with the anti-
slavery movement in the United States, and with what was
best in the great War of the Rebellion. The story of lM r.
Knight's adventurous landing in Cuba is included in tit;
volume because it is a stirring tale well and modestly told
by a brave man and a brilliant writer, who performed a
very important duty at the risk of his life, and who thereby
did honour to himself and to the great institution of British
journalism, of which he is so brilliant a representative.
Of the form of the book there is little to be said save
that care las been bestowed upon type and page, and that
the stories have been neither curtailed nor chipped up into
the small paragraphs which a certain fashion demands. No
person can become fond of a book which bears the imprint
of a school "reader" on every page, and it is to be hoped
that many persons will have a kindly feeling for "In Dan-
ger's Hour," and will read it for their pleasure and on
Notes on a page, or even references in the text to notes,
are enemies to the enjoyment of a story. As, however, the
book may fall into the hands of readers to whom notes
will prove a help, notes are included at the end, where they
may be consulted by those who need them, and severely let
alone by those who can dispense with them.
I. 0. ARNOLD-FORSTER.
THE TWEECK OF THE BIRtKElS IIEA. .
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON. Johne Eel 13
A DANGEROUS ERRAND. rt 27
EYRE'S EXPEDITION TIROUGII AUSTRALIA 47
STORIES OF THE INDIAN MUTINY :
1. BLOWING UP THE DELII MAGAZINE 70
2. LUCKNow KAVANAGII: OR, TROUGII THE ENEMY'S
L.:N: s ... .79
3. THE HEROES OF TIE CASHMERE GATE 9-.
How I LANDED IN_CUBA. E. J. lnighit 101
THE PRISONER OF THE BASTILLE; OR, THE STORY OF MASERS
DE LATUDE 112
THE BATTLE OF ALBUERA 1
A HURRICANE IN SAMOA. R. L. Slevensom 145
A BRAVE GIRL: THE ADVENTURE OF GRIZEL COCHRANE 163.
ESCAPE OF CIHALES EDWARD. Sir ludter Scott 181
HARPER'S FERRY: A.CRUSADE AGAINST SLAVERY. AScot tR. Iope 195
THE STORY OF HER MAJESTY'S SHIP RE EVNGE. Sir Wtalter a l(leighf 218
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
\IAKING THE ROPE (Coloured Platl) arispice
LEAVING THE SHIP: WOMENN AND CHILDRENT FIRST" ;
A LONDON STREET IN THE SEVENTEENTH (':INT'RY 1
THE BURNING OF OLD ST. PAUL'S 2
NAPOLEON llTONAPARTE 29
LARBOT BEFORE THIE EMPEROR ((I'/ll;rld 'tr) To f/u 1-I
THE ASTRALIAN PLAINS .. .
EYRE PARTING FROM THE F-RENCIL[ WlAIAIE1' (1
THE ARMS OF AU-STRALIA 4
"THE TROOPERS CAME TEARING THIROU'(H[ THE .1'SREEiTS DELHII) 1
RUINS OF THE RESIDENCY, TICKNOW 1
SIR JAMES OT(TRAM 91
SIR COLIN CAMPBELL . )
'THE STORMING OF THE (ASHMERE (GATE (('ul,,li/rl 9'it/l) [ f'lt 9S
'THE lBASTILLE .
AT LAST I GAINED THE TOP OF THE CHIMNEY .12-5
f SWAYED ABOUT HORRIBLY 127
A BRITISH INFANTRY SOLDIER AT THE TIME OF 'Ili; PENINSIULAR
SR CH(ARLES NAPIER 1-1
ROBERT Louis STEVENSON 117
" THE (A LLI.10E GRADUALLY DREM' AHEAD .. ni
THE WRECK OF THE AnII. 162
THE TOLBOOTIH, EDINBURGH 1(
' SHE PULLED OUT THE PISTOLS "I 173
EDINBURGH CASTLE FROM THE (4RASSARKET 180
SR ~WALTER SCOTT 185
A SCENE IN SKE 187
PRINCE CHARLIE'S FAREWELL TO FLOIIA M ACDONALID ( 1'ol,0ir)dItt'le
T7 face 189
"THE YOUNG PRETENDER". 19
THE ARMS OF THE UNITED STATES 195
HARPER'S FERRY 201
" TWO ON HER LARBOARD, AND TWO ON HER STARBOARD 223
" SINK ME THE SHIP, MASTER GTUNNER-SINK HER, SPLIT HER
IN TWAIN .. 227
IN DANGER'S HOUR;
jftout Tfur rf:l anib ttrrilin Dl rrds.
THE WRECK OF THE "BIRKENHEAD."
THE devotion to duty under the most terrible circum-
stances which was displayed by the British soldiers
who went down with the Bir,,:enJ ead will ever be
held up as an example to their countrymen.
It was during the i .!-l. war. The evening was
clear, the land was but a league distant, the sea
was smooth, and the Birkeiheadr was steam-
ing at the rate of eight miles an hour. She was
a fine vessel, which had sailed from Cork with a
number of soldiers and their wives and children,
had landed some troops at Capetown, and was now,
on the 25th of February, 1852, on her passage
from Simon's Bay to Algoa Bay. The troops
on board numbered over 500, and the ship's com-
.pany consisted of 1;;.I men. Besides these were
the women and children. With the exception of
the watch, this large number of human beings
was sleeping below in calm security.
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
ON THE BREAKERS.
Amongst those on deck at half -past ten
o'clock in the evening was Captain Wright of
the 91st Regiment, and he and the officer of the
watch had a brief consultation respecting a light
which attracted their attention on the port side.
There was a slight difference of opinion as to
the particular beacon it was, but they were
agreed that it was a lighthouse. Just, before
two o'clock on the morning of the 26th, while
the leadsman on the paddle-box was preparing to
heave the lead as he had been previously doing,
the ship, without warning, struck with terrific
force on a reef of sunken rocks. A jagged mass
penetrated through the bottom abaft the fore-
mast, letting in a rush of water that must have
instantaneously drowned a hundred men in their
hammocks on the lower deck.
The rest of the troops and the officers, thus
startled from their sleep, flocked in a mass upon
the deck. The captain of the ship, Mr. Salmond,
a master in the Navy, was amongst the foremost
arrivals. He ordered the engines to be stopped,
the small bower anchor to be let go, and the
quarter and paddle-box boats to be lowered, ready
for emergencies. Colonel Seton simultaneously
called his brother officers around him, and calmly
requested them to preserve perfect order and
THE WRECK OF THE BIRKENHEAD.
enforce silence amongst the men. Captain Wright
was desired to assist the commander in what-
ever orders he deemed it necessary to issue.
There was no confusion or panic. The men from
the first acted as quietly and precisely as if they
had been on parade.
As the soldiers appeared on deck they were
mustered silently. Discipline was stronger than
fear, i' fear there were. Sixty men told off
in three reliefs were put to the chain pumps
on the lower after-deck; sixty were stationed at
the tackles of the paddle-box boats; all who were
not required for active duty were drawn up on
the poop to ease the fore part of the ship,
which was now rolling heavily. Cornet Bond of
the 12th Lancers, receiving orders from the com-
mander, got up the troop horses, and had them
pitched out of the first gangway, some of the poor
beasts swimming towards land, which in the bright
starlight night could be seen two miles off.
The cutter was ordered to be made ready for
the women and children standing awe-struck and
speechless under the awning of the poop. The
horses having been dispatched, the women and
children were all safely lowered, and Mr. Richards,
the master's assistant, acting under orders, stood
off with his boat about a hundred and fifty yards
from the ship, which the engines had been work-
ing astern. The women and children had just
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
got clear of the vessel when she struck again
under the engine-room, causing another yawning
chasm, through which the water poured in
volumes. The entire bow" broke off at the fore-
mast, the bowsprit shot up into the air towards
the foretop-mast, and the funnel, going over the
side, carried with it the starboard paddle-box and
All this happened within fifteen minutes of the
striking of the ship, and it was evident that there
would be little left of her when a few more minutes
had elapsed. The second paddle-box boat had
been unfortunately capsized while being lowered,
and although there was a large boat in the centre
of the ship, she could not be got at after the break-
ing off of the fore-part. The water, rushing in
through the breaches in the bottom, extinguished
the, engine fires, driving the engineers and their
men to the upper deck.
All hope of keeping the ship above water had
long since fled. Yet the brave fellows in the sets
in which they had been originally told off never
faltered in their duty. Though they knew their
labour was in vain, they kept the pumps going;
and the officers, as if unconscious of danger or
anything unusual, issued their commands as if
they wore on the Parade ground. Numbers of
men must have been drowned at the pumps;
others, remaining as they were bidden at the
LEAVE ING THE SHIP: "WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST."
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
tackle, were crushed by the falling of the funnel
Five minutes after the funnel went over the
side, the men were all crowding on the poop. At
this time there were three boats in the water,
including the cutter, in which the women and
children were placed. The commander of the ship,
fully aware that the last moment was at hand,
shouted to all who could swim to jump overboard
and make for the boats. Colonel Seton, Captain
Wright, and Lieutenant Girardot of the 43rd Regi-
ment, saw at once that such a course would lead
to the swamping of the boats, and they therefore
ventured, in opposition to Captain Salmond, to
entreat the men to remain where they were rather
than render it impossible to save the women and
A few, not more perhaps than half a dozen,
had taken the captain at his word and leaped
for their lives. The bulk of the soldiers re-
mained with the officers upon the poop, drawn
up like statues, waiting for the waters to go over
their heads; indulging in no lamentations, but
buoyed up by a sense of duty, manfully staring
death in the face without being dismayed. The
world's history presents no page on which a more
glorious picture of dauntless heroism is to be found.
The stern portion, which had been tilted high
into the air when the bow went under, gave a
THE WRECK OF THE BIRKENHEAD.
lurch and plunged into the depths. Twenty minutes
after the Birkenh.ead struck, the men who crowded
it were precipitated into the water to battle as they
might with it, and save themselves in the best
manner they could upon the fragments of wreck
which strewed its surface. The captain remained
standing on the deck while it sank under him, and
the last words he was heard to speak were to
order a boat to save Mr. Brodie, whom he had seen
struggling amongst the wreckage.
Soon after this, when the vessel had literally sunk
beneath his feet, he was observed swimming towards
a mass of woodwork that remained above water
then a heavy piece of wood struck him, and he
was immediately drowned. Colonel Seton, the
gallant commander of the troops, in death was
not divided from those of his men who went down
with the Birkenheead.
CAST UPON THE OCEAN.
Captain Wright, with five others, grasped a
large piece of drift-wood with which they came in
contact when the ship sank. The sea was covered
with such floating pieces and with men struggling
in the water. Captain Wright said that at least
two hundred men were at first keeping themselves
above water by holding on to sections of the wreck.
The upper portion of the mainmast, which, with the
n-ine-., stood out of the water, sustained a large
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
number. A considerable area of the deck, floating
bodily, made in the smooth sea a good raft for-
the few who could find a place upon it. Men were
sinking in all directions. Three boats were drifting
towards land keel upwards.
The young Lancer, Cornet Bond, having taken
the precaution of putting on a life-preserver,
inflated it while in the water and was saved.
He saw that the sea was covered with st:,-..li;
forms, while the cries, piercing shrieks, and shouts
for the boats were awful. He swam astern in
the hope of being picked up by one of the
three boats that had been lowered successfully.
He hailed one sixty yards off, but could not reach
it as it pulled away; '. i;, as were the other two,
already dangerously overcrowded. AM. Bond saw two
men swimming near him disappear with a shriek;
they were not the only human beings that day
who became food for the ravenous sharks that
infest those seas.
The Cornet, perceiving no means of safety,
turned his head towards the shore and swam the
whole distance-a couple of miles. Within a few
paces of land, he became entangled in a dense
jungle of sea-weed, through which, in his exhausted
state, he pulled himself with difficulty. His per-
severance triumphed at last, and he gained the
shore. While walking up a sort of beaten track
from the beach in the hope of meeting with some
THE WRECK OF THE BITKENHEAD.
human habitation he saw his own horse standing
knee-deep in the water, apparently much amazed
and puzzled at the treatment to which it had been
It was now daylight. Cornet Bond, having got
his horse on shore, returned to the spot where he
had landed, to assist nine of his comrades who
were endeavouring to approach on a raft. He
clambered along the rocky beach until he could
direct them to a proper place at which to land,
and after much difficulty they scrambled on shore.
Three men, naked-like many others, who had
hurried from their berths without time to dress-
were observed tossed about in the surf on a small
spar. Those just saved stood at the water's edge,
waiting for an opportunity of lending them a
helping hand. The three men were helpless to
direct the spar. It required all their energies to
maintain a grasp on it. The waves would bring
them close to the land, but, receding, would carry
them, bloody and bruised, back again into the
boiling surf. At length, they were shot violently
up, were seized by ready hands, and dragged, breath-
less and spent, high and dry upon the shore.
There were many other reservations quite as
wonderful as that of Cornet Bond. Captain Wright
was, with his five companions on the drift-wood,
carried in the direction of Point Danger. He, too,
found the sea-weed and the breakers combined
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
a very serious impediment to 1 i.lln- and to
relieve the bit of timber which had brought them
thus far he parted from his five companions and
swam ashore. Others imitated his courage. Those
who landed were mostly naked, and all without
shoes. This made their progress into the interior,
through covers of thick, thorny bushes, extremely
painful and slow.
A large party went with Captain Wright up
the country, and after a day's journey they reached
a farm where they obtained shelter and refreshment.
After recruiting his forces, Captain Wright returned
to the coast, and for three days clambered up and
down the rocks for nearly twenty miles in the
hopes of rescuing any poor creature who might
have been cast up. A whale-boat's crew joined
him in his search, and pulled along close to the
shore. Four men were discovered clinging to
pieces of timber or to projecting rocks, and other
bodies were discovered-to bury, but not to save.
In the meanwhile, however, Mr. Richards, who
was in command of the cutter which contained the
women and children, had had the greatest difficulty
in preventing this boat from being swamped.
Numbers of half-drowned men swam towards it
and tried to clamber in; but Mr. Richards knew
that it was already dangerously overcrowded, and
he was reluctantly obliged to prevent them from
entering. He headed the boat for the shore, but
THBE WRECK o' rITE BIRKEXNHE.D.
the furious surf threatened to swamp the heavily-
laden cutter, so that he had to keep out in the
open sea. He proceeded six or seven miles along
the coast, but he found to his anxiety that there
was one unbroken wall of surf between the cutter
and the shore, so that it was impossible to land.
At daybreak next morning the occupants of the
cutter sighted a schooner, not more than five or six
miles away. Mr. Richards set out in that direction,
but after a while a breeze arose and the schooner
disappeared from sight. Some time afterwards, how-
ever, the vessel reappeared, and was seen to be
approaching the shore. Another desperate attempt
was made to attract attention. A woman's shawl
was hoisted as a signal of distress, and to the great
joy of every soul in the cutter they were observed.
The schooner hove-to, and shortly afterwards the
women and children-cold, wet, hungry, and sorrow-
ful-were taken on board the Lioness, of Capetown.
They found thirty-six men on board who had been
rescued from the other cutter. The Lioness now
sailed towards the scene of the wreck, and arrived
just in time to save thirty-seven men who had been
clinging all night to the mainmast of the Birken-
head, and who were in the last stages of exhaustion.
Such was the terrible wreck of the Birkenhead.
Out of six hundred and thirty persons who had
sailed on board, only one hundred and ninety-two
12 IN DANGER'S HOUR.
There is only one bright aspect to this other-
wise dark and tragic story-that is, the splendid
discipline of the officers, troops, and sailors, and
their courage and unselfishness in the face of death.
"All," said Captain Wright, "received their orders,
and had them carried out as if the men were em-
barking instead of going to the bottom; there was
only this difference, that I never saw any embark-
ation conducted with so little noise and confusion."
He added that there was not a murmur or cry
amongst the men until the vessel made her final
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.
BY JOHN EVELYN.
JOHN EVELYN, who wrote the following narrative
of the Great Fire of London, of which he was an
eye-witness, was born in 1620, at Wotton, in
Surrey. During the period of the Civil War he
travelled abroad, but when Oliver Cromwell became
Protector he returned to England, and, in spite
of his Royalist views, lived a secure and retired
life at Sayes Court, Deptford. In 1647 he married
a Miss Browne, daughter of the British Resident
at Paris. This lady, who was quite a child at the
time of her marriage, survived her husband three
years, and she has left an affectionate testimony to
his amiable character. She thus writes of him:-
His care of my education was such as might
become a father, a lover, a friend, and husband for
instruction, tenderness, affection, and fidelity, to
the last moment of his life, which obligation I
mention with a gratitude to his memory ever
dear to him."
During the dissolute days of the reign of
Charles II., John Evelyn lived a simple and re-
ligious life, writing several scientific and philosoph-
ical works. Although the King and his courtiers
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
did not follow the example of his life, they did
not withhold their admiration for his blameless and
In 1706 he died, at the ripe age of eighty-six,
and was buried at Wotton, where the inscription
on his tombstone contains the following passage,
written by himself:-
That living in an age of extraordinary events
and revolutions, he had learned from thence this
truth, which he desired might be thus com-
municated to posterity: 'That all is vanity which
is not honest, and that there is no solid wisdom
but real piety.'"
For the greater part of his life, John Evelyn
kept a diary, in which he gave an account of any
interesting circumstance in connection with him-
self. This diary is a vivid picture of the life
of the period in which he lived, and the follow-
ing narrative, which is taken from it, is one out
of many which are valuable and interesting to all
students of English history.
THE CITY IN FLAMES.
2 SEPT. This fatal night, about ten, began that
deplorable fire near Fish-street in London.
8. I had public prayers at home. The fire con-
tinuing, after dinner I took coach with my wife
and son and went to the Bank side in Southwark,
where we beheld the dismal spectacle, the whole
A LONDON STREET IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
IN D)ANUR'8 IIHOUR.
city in dreadful flames near the water side; all the
houses from the bridge, all Thames-street, and
upwards towards Cheapside, down to the Three
Cranes, were now consumed: and so returned exceed-
ingly astonished what would become of the rest.
The fire having continued all this night (if I may
call that night which was light as day for ten miles
round about, after a dreadful manner) when con-
spiring with a fierce eastern wind in a very dry
season; I went on foot to the saime place, and saw
the whole south part of the City burning from
Cheapside to the Thames, and all along Cornhill
(for it likewise kindled back against the wind as well
as forward), Tower-street, Fenchurch-street, Gracious-
street, and so along to Baynard's Castle, and was now
taking hold of St. Paul's Church, to which the
scaffolds contributed exceedingly.
The conflagration was so universal and the people
so astonished, that from the beginning, I know not
by what despondency or fate, they hardly stirred
to quench it, so that there was nothing heard or
seen but crying out and lamentation, running about
like distracted creatures, without at all attempting
to save even their goods; such a strange consterna-
tion there was upon them; so as it burned both in
breadth and length, the churches, public-halls, Ex-
change, hospitals, monuments, and ornaments, leaping
after a prodigious manner froun house to house
and street to street, at. great distances one from
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.
the other; for the heat with a long set of fair and
warm weather had even ignited the air and prepared
the materials to conceive the fire, which devoured
after an incredible manner houses, furniture, and
everything. Here we saw the Thames covered with
goods floating, all the barges and boats laden with
what some had time and courage to save, as, on the
other, the carts, etc., carrying out to the fields, which
for many miles were strewn with movables of all
sorts, and tents erecting to shelter both people and
what goods they could get away.
Oh, the miserable and calamitous spectacle I such
as happily the world had not seen the like since
the foundation of it, nor be outdone till the universal
conflagration of it. All the sky was of a fiery
aspect, like the top of a burning oven, and the
light seen for above forty miles round about for
many nights. God grant mine eyes may never
behold the like, who now saw above 10,000 houses
all in one flame ; the noise and cracking and thunder
of the impetuous flames, the shrieking of women
and children, the hurry of people, the fall of towers,
houses, and churches, was like an hideous storm, and
the air all about so hot and inflamed that at the
last one was not able to approach it, so that they
were forced to stand still and let the flames burn
on, which they did for near two miles in length
and one in breadth. The clouds also of smoke
were dismal and reached upon computation nearly
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
fifty-six miles in length. Thus I left it this afternoon
burning, a resemblance of Sodom, or the last day.
It forcibly called to my mind that passage-" For
we have here no abiding ": the ruins resembling
the picture of Troy. London was, but is no more!
Thus I returned home.
THE SECOND DAY.
Sept. 4. The burning still rages, and it was
now gotten as far as the Inner Temple; all Fleet-
street, the Old Bailey, Ludgate-hill, Warwick-lane,
Newgate, Paul's Chain, Watling-street, now flaming,
and most of it reduced to ashes; the stones of Paul's
flew like granados, the melting lead running down
the streets in a stream, and the very pavements
glowing with fiery redness, so as no horse nor man
was able to tread on them, and the demolition had
stopped all the passages, so that no help could be
applied. The eastern wind still more impetuously
driving the flames forward, nothing but the
almighty power of God was able to stop them, for
vain was the help of man.
5. It crossed towards Whitehall; but oh, the
confusion there was then at that Court! It pleased
his Majesty to command me among the rest to look
after the quenching of Fetter-lane end, to preserve
if possible that part of Holborn whilst the rest of
the gentlemen took their several posts, some at one
part, some at another (for now they began to bestir
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.
themselves, and not till now, who hitherto had stood
as men intoxicated, with their hands across) and
began to consider that nothing was likely to put
a stop but the blowing up of so many houses as
would make a wider gap than any had yet been
made by the ordinary method of pulling them down
with engines; this some stout seamen proposed early
enough to have saved nearly the whole City, but
this some tenacious and avaricious men, aldermen,
etc., would not permit, because their houses
must have been of the first. It was therefore now
commanded to be practised, and my concern being
particularly for the hospital of St. Bartholomew near
Smithfield, where I had my wounded and sick men,
made me the more diligent to promote it; nor was
my care for the Savoy less.
It now pleased God by abating the wind, and
by the industry of the people, when almost all was
lost, infusing a new spirit into them, that the fury
of it -began sensibly to abate about noon, so as it
came no farther than the Temple westward, nor
than the entrance of Smithfield north: but continued
all this day and night so impetuous towards Cripple-
gate and the Tower as made us all despair; it also
brake out again in the Temple, but the courage of
the multitude :.. -lin, and many houses being
blown up, such gaps and desolations were soon
made, as with the former three days' consumption,
the back fire did not so vehemently urge upon the
IN DANGER'S HIOUR.
rest as formerly. There was yet no standing near
the burning and glowing ruins by near a furlong's
The coal and wood wharfs and magazines of oil,
rosin, etc., did infinite mischief, so as the invective
which a little before I had dedicated to his Majesty
and published, giving warning what might probably
be the issue of suffering those shops to be in the
City, was looked on as a prophecy.
The poor inhabitants were dispersed about St.
George's Fields, and Moorfields, as far as Highgate,
and several miles in circle, some under tents, some
under miserable huts and hovels, many without a
rag or any necessary utensils, bed or board, who from
delicateness, riches, and easy accommodations in
stately and well-furnished houses, were now reduced
to the extremest misery and poverty.
In this calamitous condition I returned with a
sad heart to my house blessing and adoring the
distinguishing mercy of God to me and mine, who
in the midst of all this ruin was like Lot, in my
little Zoar, safe and sound.
6. Thursday. I represented to his Majesty the
case of the French prisoners of war in my custody,
and besought him that there might be still the .same
care of watching at all places contiguous to unseized
houses. It is not indeed imaginable how extra-
ordinary the vigilance and activity of the king and
the duke was, even labouring in person, and being
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.
present to command, order, reward, or encourage
workmen, by which he showed his affection to his
people and gained theirs. Having then disposed
of some under cure at the Savoy, I returned to
Whitehall, where I dined at Mr. Offley's, the groom
porter, who was my relation.
LONDON IN RUINS.
Sept. 7. I went this morning on foot 'from
Whitehall as far as London Bridge, through the late
Fleet-street, Ludgate-hill, by St. Paul's, Cheapside,
Exchange, Bishopsgate, Aldersgate, and out to
Moorfields, thence through Cornhill, etc., with extra-
ordinary difficulty, clambering over heaps of yet
smoking rubbish, and frequently mistaking where
I was. The ground under my feet was so hot, that
it even burnt the soles of my shoes. In the
meantime his Majesty got to the Tower by water,
to demolish the houses about the graff, which being
built entirely about it, had they taken fire and
attacked the White Tower where the magazine of
powder lay, would undoubtedly not only have been
beaten down and destroyed all the bridge, but sunk
and torn the vessels in the river, and rendered the
demolition beyond all expression for several miles
about the country.
At my return I was infinitely concerned to find
that goodly church St. Paul's now a sad ruin, and
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
that beautiful portico (for structure comparable to
any in Europe, as not long before repaired by the
late king) now rent in pieces, flakes of vast stone
split asunder, and nothing remaining entire but
the inscription in the architrave, showing by whom
it was built, which had not one letter of it defaced.
It was astonishing to see what immense stones the
heat had in a manner calcined, so that all the
ornaments, columns, friezes, capitals, and projectures
of massive Portland stone flew off, even to the very
roof, where a sheet of lead covering a great space
(no less than six acres by measure) was totally
melted; the ruins of the vaulted roof falling broke
into St. Faith's, which being filled with the maga-
zines of books belonging to the Stationers, and
carried thither for safety, they were all consumed,
burning for a week following. It is also observable
that the lead over the altar at the east end was
untouched, and among the divers monuments, the
body of one bishop remained entire.
Thus lay in ashes that most venerable church,
one of the most ancient pieces of early piety in the
Christian world, besides near 100 more. The
lead, iron work, bells, plate, etc., melted; the ex-
quisitely wrought Mercers' Chapel, the sumptuous
Exchange, the august fabric of Christ Church, all
the rest of the Companies' halls, splendid buildings,
arches, entries, all in dust; the fountains dried up
and ruined, whilst the very waters remained boiling;
THE BURNING OF OLD ST. PAUL'S.
(From an old print.)
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
the voragos of subterranean cellars, wells, and
dungeons, formerly warehouses, still burning in
stench and dark clouds of smoke, so that in five
or six miles traversing about, I did not see one load
of-timber unconsumed, nor many stones but what
were calcined white as snow. The people who now
-alked about the ruins appeared like men in some
dismal desert, or rather in some great city laid waste
by a cruel enemy; to which was added the stench
that came from some poor creatures' bodies, beds,
and other combustible goods. Sir Thomas Gresham's
statue, though fallen from its niche in the Royal
Exchange, remained entire, when all those of the
kings since the Conquest were broken to pieces:
also the standard in Cornhill, and Queen Elizabeth's
effigies, with some arms on Ludgate, continued with
but little detriment, whilst the vast iron chains of the
City streets, hinges, bars and gates of prisons were
many of them melted and reduced to cinders by the
Nor was I yet able to pass through any of the
narrower streets, but kept the widest; the ground
and air, smoke and fiery vapour, continued so intense,
that my hair was almost singed, and my feet un-
sufferably surbated. The by-lanes and narrower
streets were quite filled up with rubbish, nor could
one have possibly known where he was, but by the
ruins of some church or hall, that had some remark-
able tower or pinnacle remaining. I then went
THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON.
towards Islington and Highgate, where one might
have seen 200,000 people of all ranks and degrees
dispersed and lying along by the heaps of what they
could save from the fire, deploring their loss, and
though ready to perish for hunger and destitution
yet not asking one penny for relief, which to me
appeared a stranger sight than any I had yet beheld.
His M i.: y and Council indeed took all imaginable
care for their relief by proclamation for the country
to come in and refresh them with provisions.
TERROR AND TUMULT.
In the midst of all this calamity and confusion,
there was, I know not how, an alarm begun that the
French and Dutch, with whom we were now in
hostility, were not only landed, but even entering
the city. There was in truth some days before great
suspicion of those two nations joining; and now,
that they had been the occasion of firing the town.
This report did so terrify, that on a sudden there
was such an uproar and tumult that they ran from
their goods, and taking what weapons they could
come at, they could not be stopped from falling on
some of those nations whom they casually met
without sense or reason.
The clamour and peril grew so excessive that
it made the whole Court amazed, and they did
with infinite pains and great difficulty reduce and
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
appease the people, sending troops of soldiers and
guards to cause them to retire into the fields again,
where they were watched all this night. I left them
pretty quiet, and came home sufficiently weary and
broken. Their spirits thus a little canned, and the
affright abated, they now began to repair into the
suburbs about the city, where such as had friends
or opportunity got shelter for the present, to which
his Majesty's proclamation also invited them.
Still the plague continuing in our parish, I could
not without danger adventure to our church.
Sept. 10. I went again to the ruins, for it was
now no longer a city.
13. I presented his Majesty with a survey of
the ruins, and a plot for a new city, with a discourse
on it; whereupon after dinner his Majesty sent for
me into the queen's bed-chamber, her Majesty and
the duke only being present: they examined each
particular, and discoursed on them for near an
hour, seeming to be extremely pleased with what
I had so early thought on. The queen was now in
her cavalier riding habit, hat and feather, and horse-
man's coat, going out to take the air.
16. I went to Greenwich church, where Mr.
Plume preached very well from this text: Seeing
therefore all these things must be dissolved," etc.,
taking occasion from the late unparalleled con-
flagration to remind us how we ought to walk
more holily in all manner of conversation.
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
From the "llemoirs of General Mlarbot." *
AMONG the many brave Frenchmen who fought
in the armies of Napoleon Buonaparte few were
braver, and few had a more adventurous career,
than the hero of the following story. It was in the
month of May in the year 1809 that Marbot, then
a young officer, reached the banks of the River
Danube with the regiment to which he was attached.
The French Army, under the command of the
Emperor, was rapidly marching upon Vienna. It
was most important to the Emperor to know on
which side of the river the Austrian Army lay.
If the Archduke Charles, who commanded the
principal army of the Austrians, and who was re-
ported to be on the left, or northern bank of the
river, had crossed and joined General Hiller, another
Austrian General, who was still on the right, or
southern, bank, a great battle would have to be
fought before Vienna was reached. If, on the
other hand, the Archduke were still on the left, or
northern bank, no large force remained between
the French Army and Vienna, and the Emperor
might safely give orders to advance. The story
Reprinted by permission of M~essrs. Longnans, Green & Co.
IN- DANGER'S HOUR.
tells us how Marbot risked his life to obtain the
information the Emperor sought, and how the
Emperor rewarded him.
THE EMPEROR'S ORDERS.
ON May 7th we reached the pretty little town of
M6lk, standing on the bank of the Danube, and
overhung by an immense rock, on the summit of
which rises a Benedictine convent, said to be the
finest and richest in Christendom. From the rooms
of the monastery, a wide view is obtained over both
banks of the Danube. There the Emperor and
many Marshals, including Lannes, took up their
quarters, while our staff lodged with the parish
Much rain had fallen during the week and
it had not ceased for twenty-four hours, and still
was falling, so that the Danube and its tribu-
taries were over their banks. That night, as
my comrades and I, delighted at being sheltered
from the bad weather, were having a merry supper
with the parson, a jolly fellow, who gave us an
excellent meal, the aide-de-camp on duty with the
Marshal came to tell me that I was wanted, and must
go up to the convent that moment. I was so com-
fortable where I was that I found it annoying to
have to leave a good supper and good quarters to
go and get wet again, but I had to obey.
All the passages and the lower rooms of the
(Fvorn the Portrait by Paidt Dellarche.)
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
monastery were full of soldiers, forgetting the
fatigues of the previous days in the monks' good
wine. On reaching the dwelling-rooms, I saw that I
had been sent for about some serious matter. for
generals, chamberlains, orderly officers said to me
repeatedly, "The Emperor has sent for you." Some
added, "It is probably to give you your commission
as major." This I did not believe, for I did not
think I was yet of sufficient importance to the
Sovereign for him to send for me at such an hour
to give me my commission with his own hands.
I was shown into a vast and handsome gallery,
with a balcony looking over the Danube; there I
found the Emperor at dinner with several Marshals
and the abbot of the convent, who has the title of
bishop. On seeing me, the Emperor left the table,
and went towards the balcony, followed by Lannes.
I heard him say in a low tone: The execution
of this plan is almost impossible; it would be
sending a brave officer for no purpose to almost
certain death." "He will go, sir," replied the
Marshal; "I am certain he will go; at any rate,
we can but propose it to him." Then, taking me
by the hand, the Marshal opened the window of
the balcony over the Danube.
The river at this moment, trebled in volume
by the strong flood, was nearly a league wide; it
was lashed by a fierce wind, and we could hear
the waves roaring. It was pitch-dark, and the
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
rain fell in torrents, but we could see on the other
side a long line of bivouac fires. Napoleon, Marshal
Lannes, and I, being alone on the balcony, the
Marshal said, On the other side of the river you
see an Austrian camp. Now, the Emperor is keenly
desirous to know whether General Hiller's corps is
there, or still on this bank. In order to make sure,
he wants a stout-hearted man, bold enough to cross
the Danube, and bring away some soldier of the
enemy's, and I have assured him that you will go."
Then Napoleon said to me, Take notice that I
am not giving you an order ; I am only express-
ing a wish. I am aware that the enterprise is as
dangerous as it can be, and you can decline it
without any fear of displeasing me. Go, and think
it over for a few moments in the next room: come
back and tell us frankly your decision."
I admit that when I heard Marshal Lannes's
proposal I had broken out all over in a cold sweat;
but at the same moment a feeling, which I cannot
define, but in which a love of glory and of my
country was mingled, perhaps, with a noble pride,
raised my ardour to the highest point, and I said to
myself, The Emperor has here an army of 150,000
devoted warriors, besides 25,000 men of his Guard,
all selected from the bravest. He is surrounded
with aides-de-camp and orderly officers, and yet
when an expedition is on foot, requiring intelligence
no less than boldness, it is I whom the Emperor and
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
Marshal Lannes choose." "I will go, sir!" I cried
without hesitation. "I will go; and if I perish, I
leave my mother to your Majesty's care." The
Emperor pulled my ear to mark his satisfaction;
the Marshal shook my hand, exclaiming, I was
quite right to tell your Majesty that he would go.
There's what you may call a brave soldier."
My expedition being thus decided on, I had to
think about the means of executing it. The Em-
peror called General Bertrand, his aide-de-camp,
General Dorsenne, of the Guard, and the com-
mandant of the Imperial headquarters, and ordered
them to put at my disposal whatever I might
At my request an infantry picket went in to
the town to find the Burgomaster, the Syndic
of the boatmen, and five of his best hands. A
corporal and five grenadiers of the Old Guard who
could all speak German, and had still to earn their
decorations, were also summoned, and voluntarily
agreed to go with me. The Emperor had them
brought in first, and promised that on their return
they should receive the Cross at once. The brave
men replied by a "Vive 1'Empereur!" and went to
As for the five boatmen, on its being ex-
plained to them through the interpreter that they
had to take a boat across the Danube, they fell on
their knees and began to weep. The Syndic declared
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
that they might just as well be shot at once, as
sent to-certain death. The expedition was absolutely
impossible, not only from the strength of the current,
but because the tributaries had brought into the
Danube a great quantity of fir-trees recently cut
down in the mountains, which could not be avoided
in the dark, and would certainly come against the
boat and sink it. Besides, how could one land on
the opposite bank among willows which would
scuttle the boat, and with a flood of unknown
extent ? The Syndic concluded, then, that the
operation was physically impossible.
In vain did the Emperor tempt them with
an offer of 6,000 francs per man; even this
could not persuade them, though, as they said,
they were poor boatmen with families, and
this sum would be a fortune to them. But,
as I have already said, some lives must be
sacrificed to save those of the greater number, and
the knowledge of this makes commanders some-
times pitiless. The Emperor was inflexible, and the
grenadiers received orders to take the poor men,
whether they would or not, and we went down to
The corporal who had been assigned to me was
an intelligent man. Taking him for my interpreter,
I charged him as we went along to tell the Syndic
of the boatmen that, as he had got to come along
with us, he had better in his own interest show
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
us his best boat, and point out everything that
we should require for her fitting. The poor man
obeyed; so we got an excellent vessel, and we took
all that we wanted from the others. We had two
anchors, but as I did not think we should be able
to make use of them, I had sewn to the end of each
cable a piece of canvas with a large stone wrapped
in it. I had seen in the south of France the fisher-
men use an apparatus of this kind to hold their
boats by throwing the cord over the willows at
the water's edge. I put on a cap, the grenadiers
took their forage-caps, we had provisions, ropes, axes,
saws, a ladder-everything, in short, which I could
think of to take.
DOWN THE RIVER.
Our preparations ended, I was going to give the
signal to start, when the five boatmen implored me
with tears to let the soldiers escort them to their
houses to take, perhaps, the last farewell of their
wives and children, but, fearing that a tender scene
of this kind would further reduce their small stock
of courage, I refused. Then the Syndic said, Well,
as we have only a short time to live, allow us five
minutes to commend our souls to God, and do you
do the same, for you also are going to your death."
They all fell on their knees, the grenadiers and I
following their example, which seemed to please
the worthy people much. When their prayer was
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
over, I gave each man a glass of the monks' ex-
cellent wine, and we pushed out into the stream.
I had bidden the grenadiers follow in silence
all the orders of the Syndic, who was steering; the
current was too strong for us to cross over straight
from Molk: we went up, therefore, along the bank
under sail for more than a league, and although
the wind and the waves made the boat jump, this
part was accomplished without accident. But
when the time came to take to our oars and
row out from the land, the mast, on being lowered,
fell over to one side, and the sail, dragging in the
water, offered a strong resistance to the current
and nearly capsized us. The master ordered the
ropes to be cut and the masts to be sent over-
board; but the boatmen, losing their heads, began
to pray without stirring. Then the corporal, draw-
ing his sword, said, "You can pray and work too;
obey at once, or I will kill you." Compelled to
choose between possible and certain death, the poor
fellows took up their hatchets, and with the help
of the grenadiers, the mast was promptly cut away
and sent floating.
It was high time, for hardly were we free
from this dangerous burden when we felt a fearful
shock. A pine-stem borne down by the stream
had struck the boat. We all shuddered, but
luckily the planks were not driven in this time.
Would the boat, however, resist more shocks of this
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
kind ? We could not see the stems, and only
knew that they were near by the heavier tumble
of the waves. Several touched us, but no serious
Meantime the current bore us along, and as
our oars could make very little way against it to
give us the necessary slant, I feared for a moment
that it would sweep us below the enemy's
camp, and that my expedition would fail. By
dint of hard rowing, however, we got three-
quarters of the way over, when I saw an immense
black mass looming over the water. Then a sharp
scratching was heard, branches caught us in the
face, and the boat stopped. To our questions the
owner replied that we were on an island covered with
willows and poplars, of which the flood had nearly
reached the top. We had to grope about with
our hatchets to clear a passage through the
branches, and when we had succeeded in pass-
ing the obstacle, we found the stream much less
furious than in the middle of the river, and finally
reached the left bank in front of the Austrian
This shore was bordered with very thick
trees, which, overhanging the bank like a dome,
made the approach difficult no doubt, but at the
same time concealed our boat from the camp.
The whole shore was lighted up by the bivouac
fires, while we remained in the shadow thrown by
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
the branches of the willows. I let the boat float
downwards, looking for a suitable landing-place.
Presently I perceived that a sloping path had
been made down the bank by the enemy to
allow the men and horses to get to the water.
The corporal adroitly threw into the willows one
of the stones that I had made ready; the cord
caught in a tree, and the boat brought up against
the land a foot or two from the slope. It must
have been just about midnight. The Austrians,
having the swollen Danube between them and the
French, felt themselves so secure that, except the
sentry, the whole camp was asleep.
It is usual in war for the guns and the senti-
nels always to face towards the enemy, however lar
off he may be. A battery placed in advance of the
camp was therefore turned towards the river, and
the sentries were walking on the top of the bank.
The trees prevented them from seeing the extreme
edge, while from the boat I could see through the
branches a great part of the bivouac.
So far my mission had been more successful
than I had ventured to hope, but in order to
make the success complete I had to bring away
a prisoner, and to execute such an operation fifty
paces away from several thousand enemies, whom
a single cry would rouse, seemed difficult. Still I
had to do something. I made the five sailors
lie down at the bottom of the boat under guard
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
of two grenadiers. Another grenadier I posted at
the bow of the boat, which was close to the
bank, and myself disembarked, sword in hand,
followed by the corporal and two grenadiers.
The boat was a few feet from dry land; we
had to walk in the water, but at last we were
on .the slope. We went up, and I was making
ready to rush upon the nearest sentry, disarm him,
gag him, and drag him off to the boat, when the
ring of metal and the sound of singing in a low
voice fell on my ears. A man, carrying a great tin
pail, was coming to draw water, humming a song as
he went; we quickly went down again to the river
to hide under the branches, and as the Austrian
stooped to fill his pail, my grenadiers seized him
by the throat, put a handkerchief full of wet sand
over his mouth, and, placing their sword-points
against his body, threatened him with death if he
resisted or uttered a sound. Utterly bewildered, the
man obeyed, and let us take him to the boat; we
hoisted him into the hands of the grenadiers posted
there, who made him lie down between the sailors.
While this Austrian was lying captured, I saw by
his clothes that he was not strictly speaking a
soldier, but an officer's servant. I should have pre-
ferred to catch a combatant, who could have given
me more precise information; but I was going to
content myself with this capture for want of a
better, when I saw at the top of the slope two
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
soldiers carrying a cauldron between them, on a
pole. They were only a few paces off
It was impossible for us to re-embark without
being seen. I therefore signed to my grenadiers
to hide themselves again, and as soon as the
two Austrians stooped to fill their vessel, powerful
arms seized them from behind, and plunged their
heads under water. We had to stupefy them a
little, since they had their swords, and I feared
that they might resist. Then they were picked
up in turn, their mouths covered with a hand-
kerchief full of sand, and sword-points against
their breasts constrained them to follow us. They
were shipped as the servant had been, and my
men and I got on board again.
"WHO GOES THERE?"-SUCCESS-NAPOLEON'S
So far all had gone well. I made the sailors
get up and take their oars, and ordered the corporal
to cast loose the rope which held us to the bank.
It was, however, so wet, and the knot had been
drawn so tight by the force of the stream, that it
was impossible to unfasten it. We had to saw the
rope, which took us some minutes.
Meanwhile, the rope, shaking with our efforts,
imparted its movement to the branches of the
willow round which it was wrapped, and the
rustling became loud enough to attract the notice
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
of the sentry. He drew near, unable to see the
boat, but perceiving that the agitation of the
branches increased, he called out, "Who goes
there ?" No answer. Further challenge from the
sentry. We held our tongues, and worked away.
I was in deadly fear; after facing so many
dangers it would have been too cruel it we were
wrecked in sight of port. At last, the rope was
cut and the boat pushed off. But hardly was it
clear of the overhanging willows than the light of
the bivouac fires made it visible to the sentry, who
shouting, "To arms!" fired at us. Not one was
hit; but at the sound the whole camp was astir
in a moment, and the gunners, whose pieces were
ready loaded and trained on the river, honoured
my boat with some cannon-shots.
At the report my heart leapt for joy, for I
knew that the Emperor and Marshal would hear
it. I turned my eyes towards the convent, with
its lighted windows, of which I had, in spite of
the distance, never lost sight. Probably all were
opened at this moment, but in one only could I
perceive any increase of brilliancy; it was the great
balcony window, which was as large as the door-
way of a church, and sent from afar a flood of
light over the stream. Evidently it had just
been opened at the thunder of the cannon, and
I said to myself, "The Emperor and the Marshals
are doubtless on the balcony; they know that
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
I have reached the enemy's camp,. and are mak-
ing vows for my safe return." This thought
raised my courage, and I heeded the cannon-
balls not a bit. Indeed, they were not very
dangerous, for the stream swept us along at
such a pace that the gunners could not aim with
any accuracy, and we must have been very unlucky
to get hit. One shot would have done for us, but
all fell harmless into the Danube. Soon I was out
of range, and could reckon a successful issue to
Still all danger was not yet at an end. We
had still to cross among the floating pine-stems,
and more than once we struck on submerged
islands, and were delayed by the branches of
the poplars. At last we reached the right bank,
more than two leagues below Mcilk, and a new
terror assailed me. I could see bivouac fires, and
had no means of learning whether they belonged
to a French regiment. The enemy had troops
on both banks, and I knew that on the right bank
Marshal Lannes's outposts were not far from Molk,
facing an Austrian corps, posted at Saint-Pilten.
Our army would doubtless go forward at day-
break, but was it already occupying this place?
and were the fires that I saw those of friends or
enemies ? I was afraid that the current had taken
me too far down, but the problem was solved by
French cavalry trumpets sounding the reveille.
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
Our uncertainty being at an end, we rowed with all
our strength to the shore, where in the dawning
light we could see a village.
As we drew near, the report of a carbine was
heard, and a bullet whistled by our ears. It was
evident that the French sentries took us for a
hostile crew. I had not foreseen this possibility,
and hardly knew how we were to succeed in
getting recognized, till the happy thought struck
me of making my six grenadiers shout, "Vive
1'Empereur Napoleon!" This was, of course, no
certain evidence that we were French, but it
would attract the attention of the officers, who
would have no fear of our small numbers, and
would no doubt prevent the men from firing on
us before they knew whether we were French or
A few moments later I came ashore, and I was
received by Colonel Gautrin and the 9th Hussars
forming part of Lannes's division. If we had landed
half a league lower down, we should have tumbled
into the enemy's pickets. The colonel lent me a
horse, and gave me several .:..- in which I
placed the grenadiers, the boatmen, and the
prisoners, and the little cavalcade went off towards
Milk. As we went along, the corporal, at my
orders, questioned the three Austrians, and I learnt
with satisfaction that the camp whence I had
brought them away belonged to the very division
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
- General Hiller's the position of which the
Emperor was so anxious to learn. There was,
therefore, no further doubt that that general had
joined the Archduke on the other side of the
Danube. There was no longer any question of a
battle on the road which we held, and Napoleon,
having only the enemy's cavalry in front of him,
could in perfect safety push his troops forward
towards Vienna, from which we were but three
easy marches distant. With this information I
galloped forward, in order to bring it to the
Emperor with the least possible delay.
When I reached the gate of the monastery, it
was broad day. I found the approach blocked by
the whole population of the little town of M6lk,
and heard among the crowd the cries of the wives,
children, and friends of the sailors whom I had
carried off. In a moment I was surrounded by
them, and was able to calm their anxiety by say-
ing, in shocking bad German, "Your friends are
alive, and you will see them in a few moments."
A great cry of joy went up from the crowd, bring-
ing out the officer in command of the guard at the
gate. On seeing me, he ran off in pursuance of
orders to warn the aides-de-camp to let the Emperor
know of my return.
In an instant the whole palace was up. The
good Marshal Lannes came to me, embraced me
cordially, and carried me straight off to the
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
Emperor, crying out, "Here he is, sir; 1 knew
he would come back. He has brought three
prisoners from General Hiller's division." Napoleon
received me warmly, and though I was wet and
muddy all over, he laid his hand on my shoulder,
and did not forget to give his greatest sign of
satisfaction by pinching my ear. I leave you to
imagine how I was questioned! The Emperor
wanted to know every incident of the adventure in
detail, and when I had finished my story, said, "I
am very well pleased with you, 'Major' Marbot."
These words were equivalent to a commission, and
my joy was full.
At that moment, a chamberlain announced that
breakfast was served, and as I was calculating
on having to wait in the gallery until the
Emperor had finished, he pointed with his finger
towards the dining-room, and said, "You will
breakfast with me." As this honour had never
been paid to any officer of my rank, I was more
than flattered. During breakfast I learnt that the
Emperor and the Marshal had not been to bed all
night, and when they heard the cannon on the
opposite bank they had all rushed on to the balcony.
The Emperor made me tell again the way in which
I had surprised the three prisoners, and laughed much
at the fright and surprise which they must have felt.
At last, the arrival of the waggons was an-
nounced, but they had much difficulty in making
MARBOT RECEIVED BY THE EMPEROR.
A DANGEROUS ERRAND.
their way through the crowd, so eager were the
people to see the boatmen. Napoleon, thinking
this very natural, gave orders to open the gates, and
let everybody come into the court. Soon after, the
grenadiers, the boatmen, and the prisoners were led
into the gallery. The Emperor, through his inter-
preter, first questioned the three Austrian soldiers,
and learning with satisfaction that not only General
Hiller's corps but the whole of the Archduke's
army were on the other bank, he told Berthier to
give the order for the troops to march at once on
Saint-PSlten. Then calling up the corporal and the
five soldiers, he fastened the Cross on their breast,
appointed them Knights of the Empire, and gave
them an annuity of 1,200 francs apiece. All the
veterans wept for joy.
Next came the boatmen's turn. The Emperor
told them that, as the danger they had run
was a good deal more than he had expected,
it was only fair that he should increase their
reward; so, instead of the 6,000 francs promised,
12,000 in gold were given to them on the spot.
Nothing could express their delight; they kissed
the hands of the Emperor and all present, crying,
"Now we are rich!" Napoleon laughingly asked
the Syndic if he would go the same journey for the
same price the next night. But the man answered
that, having escaped by miracle what seemed certain
death, he would not undertake such a journey
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
again even if his lordship, the abbot of Molk, would
give him the monastery and all its possessions.
The boatmen withdrew, blessing the generosity
of the French Emperor; and the grenadiers, eager
to show off their decoration before their comrades
were about to go off with their three prisoners when
Napoleon perceived that the Austrian servant was
weeping bitterly. He reassured him as to his
safety, but the poor lad replied, sobbing, that he
knew the French treated their prisoners well, but
that, as he had on him a belt containing nearly
all his captain's money, he was afraid that the
officer would accuse him of deserting in order to
rob him, and he was heart-broken at the thought.
Touched by the worthy fellow's distress, the
Emperor told him that he was free, and as soon
as we were before Vienna, he would be passed
through the outposts, and be able to return to his
master. Then, taking a rouleau of 1,000 francs, he
put it in the man's hand, saying, One must honour
goodness wherever it is shown."
Lastly, the Emperor gave scme pieces of gold to
each of the other two prisoners, and ordered; that
they too should be sent back to the Austrian
outposts, so that they might forget the fright
which we had caused them, and -that it might
not be said that any soldiers, even enemies, had
spoken to the Emperor of the French without
receiving some benefit.
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH
THE Story of Exploration in Australia is brimful of
incident, as the many volumes written on the sub-
ject testify. Australia is a country full of interest
to Englishmen everywhere, inasmuch as there is
hardly a family in Britain but is directly or indi-
rectly concerned in it, and is eager to welcome
every fresh piece of information. Many a thrilling
story has been told of the wild adventures and
dangerous explorations of Wentworth, Lawson,
Hovell, Hume, Cunningham, Sturt, Mitchell, Tyers,
Strzelecki, Gray, Lander, Lefay, Leichhardt, Kennedy,
Roe, Gregory, Burke and Wills, and a host of others.
In these pages we shall confine ourselves only to the
explorations of Eyre.
Edward John Eyre, a native of Yorkshire, left
England for Sydney at the age of sixteen; he com-
menced sheep farming, was successful, became
rich, and settled on his own estate on the Lower
Murray. He was appointed Protector of the
Aborigines, and as such was engaged in settling
the numerous disputes which arose between the
natives and the colonists-a task in which he
displayed great ability. But his instincts were for
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
exploration and adventure, and in 1840, when he
was still only twenty-five years of age, he started
off on an expedition which is almost unparalleled
for dramatic interest and heroic resolution.
The principal object of the proposed expedition
was to ascertain whether a route could not be opened
between Adelaide and the settlements in Western
Australia by which sheep and cattle could be sent
in safety, and at a less expense than by sea. Eyre
was unfavourable to the project, on the ground that
it was not practicable; and urged by means of
earnest and sagacious letters in the public Press that
not west, but north, would be the direction in
which the colonists must look for their great path-
way of intercommunication. His arguments showed
so clearly his thorough knowledge of the subject
on which he wrote that public opinion went with
him; and having thus succeeded in diverting it.
from its original bent, he felt in duty bound to
show his faith in his own views by offering to lead
an expedition northward.
The proposal was cordially taken up by the
colonists, although, being poor-it was only four
years after the foundation of South Australia-
they were not able to subscribe much. Never-
theless, help came in from various quarters, and
on the 18th of June Eyre started off, with five
Europeans, two natives, thirteen horses, forty sheep,
and provisions for three months. The theory of
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA. 49
Eyre was, that if he could successfully pass Lake
Torrens, about which not much was known, he
would then come into fertile regions, where
there would be room for settlements, and ample
means of communication with the already estab-
lished colonies. Another theory, held by many,
was that there was an immense inland sea, and
that the northern half of Australia could be reached
by water communication. Either theory held out
a tempting bait to an explorer of Eyre's energy
and adventurous zeal, and with a light heart he
set off with his little band of followers.
THE FIRST STAGE.
But Lake Torrens was found to be nothing
better than a great dismal swamp, a huge bed of
mud covered with a coating of salt, which they
could not get over and could not get round; "in
every direction Lake Torrens, overlapping them
like a monster horse-shoe, checked their progress."
Eyre and his party struggled hard for months to
find a way northward, but failed, and then they
endeavoured to cross the lake. For six miles they
made their hazardous way over the mud, which
was so far free from surface water, but the farther
they went the more precarious became their position;
the horses sank in the slime up to their bellies,
and the whole party was in imminent danger of
sinking at every step. It was utterly impossible to
IN DANGER'S HOUR
proceed northward, and Eyre therefore struck out
a westerly course, and reached the sea at Port
Lincoln, from whence he proceeded to Fowler's Bay
in the Great Bight. Scarcity of water on two
occasions thwarted him in his purpose of rounding
the head of the Bight, but on the third attempt he
was successful, and penetrated fifty miles beyond it.
It was done at a great cost to the expedition, how-
ever, as four of the best horses were lost in the
undertaking, and in consequence he was left without
the means of carrying provisions.
Eyre was now compelled to send back some of
his party to Adelaide in the little cutter placed at
his disposal in Fowler's Bay by the Government, and
at the same time sent for further supplies of pro-
visions, as he had determined, upon the return of the
cutter, that he would start off, with his pack-horses
and a few followers, and endeavour to make his way
round the Great Bight to the settlements of Western
A few months before he had pronounced this
journey to be altogether impracticable; but he re-
membered now how he had turned public opinion
on the subject of western exploration in favour of
northern, how in that northern attempt of his, after
eight months of toil, anxiety, and privation, he had
been baffled and beaten in every direction, and he
felt that to return then, without having accomplished
anything, would be to render of no avail the heavy
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA. 51
expenses incurred in the outfit of the expedition, to
raise a barrier in the way of future exploration, and
to throw away his chance of justifying the confidence
that had been reposed in him. Having failed in
establishing his own theory, that exploration could be
better carried on to the north, he would now do his
best to establish the theory of those from whom he
had differed, and do his best to carry to a successful
issue an expedition to the west. With a chivalrous
sense of duty, and without regard to personal or
private motives, he determined to face the thousand
miles of trackless desert before him.
When the cutter returned, Eyre received urgent
letters from friends, as well as from Colonel Gawler,
the Governor, %- -.ii_ him to give up the expedition;
but his mind was made up, and on the 25th of Feb-
ruary, 1841, he bade farewell to his friends in the
cutter, and started.
IN THE DESERT.
The party consisted of two Europeans, Eyre and a
man named Baxter, who had been in his employ as
overseer and factotum; the two natives who had
been with him from the first, and a favourite black boy
named Wylie, a native of King George's Sound, who
had come out to him in the cutter. They took with
them nine horses, one Timor pony, six sheep, and a
provision of flour, tea, and sugar, calculated to last
them for nine weeks.
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
All went well until the 3rd of March, when some
natives informed Eyre it would be a doubtful matter
whether he would be able to get the sheep and
horses forward to the next place where water could
be obtained. Eyre determined, therefore, to divide
the party and push ahead with the sheep, in company
with the boy Wylie. Two horses were taken, one
to carry provisions, and one to be ridden turn and
turn about; but the boy, being unable to bear the
fatigue of the journey, had almost the sole use of the
horse, while his companion did the walking.
By the 10th of March, when they had accomplished
about ninety-five miles, they were suffering so much
from exhaustion and want of water that they were
compelled to halt. Resting the body, however, would
not quench the thirst, and therefore they did not halt
for long, as the necessity for finding water was becom-
ing every hour more pressing. On again they went,
Eyre occasionally dozing as he walked, and the boy
sleeping in the saddle, until 110 miles were travelled,
and still there was no indication of water. The sheep
were able to walk only very slowly, and the position
was becoming so precarious that Eyre set to work
to construct an enclosure of shrubs in which he
might leave the sheep. Having accomplished this,
he set up a tall stick with a red handkerchief on
it, to attract the attention of the party following up
in the rear, and then, depositing a note he had
written to the overseer, instructing him to bring
,---- --. -
._, .. .: -- -. -_-
THE AUSTRALIAN PLAINS.
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
the stores and push on with the horses only, Eyre
and the boy started forward again.
It was a journey for life, and more rapidly
than they had travelled for some days past they
pressed onwards. At one time they fell in with
a beaten track, and felt sure it must lead to
water. Eagerly they followed it, and it led to
water-holes, but they were dry. By midnight
they had journeyed fifteen miles, but no sign
of water, and then their course, which had hitherto
been through open country, became impeded by thick
scrub, through which they had to force their way
with difficulty, leading the horses after them. Utterly
fatigued and burning with thirst, they were at length
compelled to rest for a little while, during which
time the boy was able to sleep soundly. But not
so Eyre. He knew full well the fate awaiting
the whole party if water could not be speedily
obtained; he knew that 128 miles of desert lay
between him and the last watering-place; the
horses he had with him had gone for four days
without a drop of water, and he knew that those
following up in the rear must be drooping under
their heavy burdens, so that upon the issue of his
quest hung immediately the lives of the sheep and
horses; and not far off was the certainty that the
lives of himself and his followers would be sacri-
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA. 55
When the morning broke he saw in the distance
sand-hills, which, in the darkness of the preceding
night, he had passed unobserved. A terrible thought
darted through his mind-what if those should be
the hills to which the natives had referred, and he
had passed them ? and what, if he set off to retrace
his steps, and after all found the journey in vain ?
It was certain that in the latter case his horses
must perish, and then the fate of all would be
sealed. The crisis was most momentous, and it is
difficult to realise a position more painfully trying
than that in which he was now placed. Life or
death hung upon the decision; but it was soon
made. Straining his eyes to take in the full position
and the configuration of the hills, Eyre saw, or
fancied he saw, a low sandy shore at the foot of
the hills, and this decided him. Eagerly he pressed
forward over seven weary miles of intervening
country, until there followed a reaction from the
painful tension of anxiety to the thrill of hopeful
anticipation, for he came upon a well-beaten native
track, and, following it for a couple of miles, found,
to his inexpressible joy, sunken wells and abundance
It was life from the dead for man and beast,
and devoutly the traveller thanked the good-
ness of Providence in sending this succour in the
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
hour of his extremity. Only pausing for an hour
or two, Eyre and the boy hastened away to find
the rest of the party, bearing with them a supply
of water. It was well they hastened, for Baxter
and his companions were in a pitiable condition;
they had suffered as much or more than their
leader, and, but for the timely arrival of relief, would
have succumbed to the death awaiting them.
For a week the whole party stayed at the wells,
the sheep, cattle, and stores having been safely
brought there; but, although thankful for present
mercies, their position was by no means one of
unmingled happiness. Before them, as the crow
flies, there were 600 miles of desert to be traversed,
and how much more, in order to obtain a passable
route, it was impossible to say. Now was the time
to consider the advisability of abandoning the expe-
dition and retracing his steps,-but the idea never
seemed to have entered the mind of Eyre, who
had determined to succeed or perish in the attempt.
On they went again for forty miles, and then, the
country presenting such a forbidding aspect, Eyre
stowed the baggage, and sent back the horses to be
re-laden with fresh supplies of water, while he re-
mained for six weary days with the sheep, allowing
himself only one pint of water a day, some of which
evaporated and some was accidentally spilt. Rejoined
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA 57
by his men, the cavalcade again set forth, and again
the country grew more desolate; the baggage had
to be reduced, and everything not essential to life
thrown away. But still they toiled on, until the
pony died by the way, the horses broke down from
exhaustion, and the travellers could only crawl along
It was but natural in these circumstances that
Baxter, brave and faithful man though he was,
should entertain grave doubts as to the expediency
of going forward. He foresaw the speedy death
of the horses, as there was nothing but dry
and sapless grass for them to eat, and for days
they had been without water, and he felt satisfied
that if the horses failed them it would be impossible
to go forward or to return, and so all must perish
miserably. He gave way to no vain regrets, nor
did he lose heart by indulging in any un-
manly fears, but he calmly reasoned the matter
with the leader; and then, when he found that Eyre's
determination to proceed was inflexible, he said no
more about his own opinion, but loyally resolved
to stand by his leader to the end.
Soon the dangers and difficulties increased.
Two of the horses had to be left behind; the
travellers grew foot-sore from the action of salt
water; all equipment had been abandoned, except
the guns and the things necessary for existence;
their last drop of water was consumed, and all
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
they could obtain to save them from death was
that which they were able to collect from the dew
on grass and shrubs by means of a sponge and
pieces of rag. For seven days they bore up under
these sufferings, and then, when they were almost
in despair, sand-hills were seen again; fresh efforts
were made under the inspiration of fresh hopes;
they dug a well, and water sprang up in the
desert once more for their salvation.
But it was possible to halt at this oasis only
lor a short time, as food was running short, and
soon death from hunger threatened to be as
imminent as death from thirst. Baxter and one
of the natives went back a distance of forty-seven
miles to bring up abandoned stores, but during
the journey two of the horses failed and had to
be left behind, as well as much of the provisions
they were carrying. Disaster followed disaster as
the party, re-united, proceeded on their way;
dysentery followed the eating of putrid horse-flesh;
the natives deserted the expedition, but after an
absence of three days came back hungry and pro-
fessedly penitent; and then came the crowning
disaster, which is one of the saddest episodes in
the story of Australian exploration.
A CRUEL MURDER.
One cold night the party halted at a spot
where, if, as seemed probable, any rain should fall,
EYRiE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA. 59
they would be in a good place to catch it; and
Eyre, having seen his followers snug for the night,
as he supposed, beside the break-winds of boughs
that had been constructed, went out to look after
the horses, which had rambled for some distance
in search of fodder. They had strayed a longer
distance than he had imagined, but were eventually
found; and then, as he was just turning them back
towards the direction of the camp, he was startled
to hear the report of a gun. Hurriedly he ran
towards the camp. The boy Wylie, in a state of
wild excitement, met him, and cried aloud, Oh,
massa, massa, come here!" And then, when he
reached the spot where he had left the party
apparently sleeping, he found his faithful friend
and ally, Baxter, in the agony of death, with the
blood flowing from a wound in his left breast,
treacherously murdered by the natives, who had
fled, taking the guns with them and most of the
Eyre raised in his arms the body of the
murdered man, received his last pathetic look of
farewell, and in a moment more, without a word,
the spirit of the man, who had served him faith-
fully day and night for years, had gone to its rest.
It is impossible to describe the appalling
position in which Eyre was now placed. He was
alone in the desert, with armed murderers probably
lying in wait for him, his sole companion a native
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
lad, who, for aught he knew, might yet join the
assassins; 600 miles of trackless desert before him,
and 40 lbs. of flour, a little tea and sugar, and
four gallons of water constituting the sole stock of
provisions. "Suffering and distress," says Eyre, in
his graphic account of the expedition, "had well-
nigh overwhelmed me, and life seemed hardly
worth the effort necessary to prolong it. Ages can
never efface the horrors of this single night, nor
would the wealth of the world ever tempt me to
go through similar ones again."
When the morning came the painful duty of
paying the last sad offices of humanity to his
faithful comrade had to be performed. But it
was not possible to dig a grave in that hard
rocky ground, and therefore Eyre wrapped the
body in a blanket, and left it on the spot where
the treacherous shot had slain him.
Then he and Wylie set forward, and as
hurriedly as they could pressed along their way.
But ere nightfall Eyre was aware of the presence
of the murderers dogging his footsteps, and he
knew that, as they were armed and carried a
plentiful supply of stolen ammunition, any
moment might be his last. They came near
enough to be heard calling with loud solicitation
for Wylie to leave the traveller to himself and
join them as his only hope of safety, but the boy
was not to be moved by their entreaties. Eyre
EYRE PARTING FROM THE FRENCH WHALERS.
F:: ~? ~I:
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
sought to enter into a parley with the men, but
they were too cunning and too cowardly in heart
to approach the intrepid man whose destruction
they were plotting. When night closed in, Eyre
made a feint of encamping, but under cover of
the darkness he stole away and made a long
night's march: then for seven days more he
pressed forward, and so outstripped the miscreants,
who were never heard of again, and probably died
in the desert, retarded by the booty they had
THE END OF THE JOURNEY.
One day, when Eyre was looking out seaward,
he saw two black ,l.0r..1.t on the water. At first
he could not make out what they were, but by
degrees he discovered they were small boats.
Small boats in that quarter necessitated the idea
of a ship not far off, and sure enough in a little
time he saw the masts of a v ssel rising above an
island to the westward. Almost maddened with
joy, Eyre mounted the strongest horse and pushed
ahead, when to his indescribable delight he came
up to the bay, and there before him was a fine
barque riding at anchor, and in a short time he
was on board shaking hands with the captain.
The vessel was a French whaler, the Mississippi,
and the commander, a genial Ei>1iJ-1.1,., who
welcomed him to the rest and comfort of his
EYRE'S EXPEDITION THROUGH AUSTRALIA. 63
vessel, and spared no pains in ministering to the
travellers' welfare. And never did succour arrive
more timely, for the weather became suddenly
cold, boisterous, and wet, and in their exhausted
state must have been fatal to the travellers. For
a fortnight they remained on board, and then,
refreshed and recruited with new strength and
fresh supplies of food, they bade farewell to their
hospitable entertainers, and once more started off
into the unknown.
Twenty-three days later two miserable-looking
objects stood on the hill overlooking the town of
Albany in Western Australia-pale, haggard, and
emaciated from fatigue, anxiety, and exposure.
Eyre wept as he thought of the day, more than
twelve months ago, when his expedition set forth
amid rejoicings and every token of prosperity.
And now he and the boy were the only ones left
to reach the goal.
But he had conquered; his indomitable pluck
had carried him through the desolate land of
thirst and starvation; and he had done it with
the simple, honest determination to prove those
theories correct in which he had himself been a
In after-life Eyre had many other strange
adventures, and in connection with the Jamaica
outbreak of 1865, and the measures he took, as
Governor, to repress it, his name became known
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
throughout the world. Opinions differed then,
as they do to this day, as to his conduct on that
occasion; but as regards his adventurous explora-
tion to pierce the centre of Australia and after-
wards to open up a pathway of communication
between the southern and western colonies, no one
can doubt that Edward John Eyre gained for
himself the honourable title of a Hero.
THE ARMS OF AUSTRALIA.
THE INDIAN MUTINY.
I. Blowing up the Delhi Magazine.
2. Lucknow Kavanagh; or, Through the Enemy's
3. The Heroes of the Cashmere Gate.
THE three stories which follow deal with incidents
in the great Indian Mutiny which broke out in
1857. There are many still alive who well re-
member that terrible time; not a few there are
still living who were actually in India during the
dark days which followed the first outbreak at
Meerut, and who, as soldiers, civil officials, or, what
was worst of all, as the wives and children of those
whose duty lay in India, came face to face with
the mutineers, were exposed to the dangers which
overwhelmed so many, and fought or endured to
But many years have gone by since the year
1857, and generations have grown up to whom the
Indian Mutiny has become a matter of history only,
and there are thousands to whom that history is
but little known, or not known at all. It is a pity
that any British man, woman, or child, should be
altogether ignorant of the history of a time during
which their countrymen and countrywomen displayed
splendid heroism, and by their valour and endurance
retained the great Empire of India for the British
crown. The stories which follow give an account
of three brave deeds among the many which were
happily performed during the Mutiny time.
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
A few words are necessary to explain the cir-
cumstances under which the deeds described took
place. Among the most important stations in the
north of India, is the great city of Delhi, the capital
of the ancient kings of the Punjaub, and a military
stronghold in which a large amount of stores, arms,
and ammunition were always kept. It was of the
greatest importance that Delhi should not be allowed
to fall into the hands of the mutineers. In the
story of "Blowing up the Delhi Magazine," we learn
how, owing principally to the mistakes of one British
officer the enemy were permitted to become masters
of the fortress, and how another British officer with
a band of gallant comrades risked his life in order
to deprive the victorious Sepoys of the fruits of
After the loss of Delhi the towns of Lucknow
and Cawnpore, in both of which there was a British
garrison and a number of women and children,
became the chief points of interest in the war.
Great efforts were made to send help to the two
garrisons. At Cawnpore aid came too late, and the
whole garrison and the women and the children
were massacred by order of Nana Sahib, the chief
of the mutineers, four only escaping to tell the
The garrison of Lucknow met with a happier
fate. After sustaining, with indomitable courage, a
long and arduous siege, they were at length finally
STORIES OF THE INDIAN MUTINY.
relieved by a force under the command of Colin
Campbell. The story of Lucknow Kavanagh tells
us how a brave man risked his life to save the
garrison, and how his courage was rewarded by
'In our third story, "The Heroes of the Cash-
mere Gate," we come to the last chapter in the
history of the Indian Mutiny. The mutineers, who,
as we have seen, had become masters of Delhi,
assembled a great army within the walls of that
city. Until Delhi was taken there was no safety
for British rule. A small British army besieged
the place. Disease, and the constant fire of the
enemy thinned their ranks, but nothing could drive
these brave troops from their position. At length,
however, it became clear that, unless the city were
taken by assault, the besieging army would soon
become too weak to continue the blockade.
In order to obtain entry within the walls it
was necessary to force open one of the gates in
face of the enemy's fire. The Cashmere Gate was
chosen, and our story tells us how the dangerous
task was performed.
BLOWING UP THE DELHI
THE MUTINEERS REACH DELHI.
ON a rocky ridge rising above the sandy plain
by the river Jumna stands the ancient city of Delhi
-a city of mosques and palaces, built chiefly of red
granite inlaid with coloured marbles, and surrounded
by a red wall, pierced by seven gates and crowned
with a loopholed parapet.
It was once the capital of Hindustan, and at the
outbreak of the Mutiny possessed one of the largest
magazines of powder and arms in India.
Thirty-five miles to the north-east lies the town
of Meerut. It was here that, on Sunday evening,
May 10th, 1857, the first open display of disaffec-
tion among the Sepoys took place. There were over
2,000 British troops in the cantonment, and the
number of native soldiers was only slightly greater,
2,357 in all. The Sepoys refused to obey orders
and having murdered some thirty Europeans, who
sought to resist or to restrain them, set off on the
road to Delhi.
The officer commanding the British force proved
altogether unequal to the occasion. Incredible as
it may seem, the whole of the rebel regiments
THE TROOPERS CAME TEARING THROUGH THE STREETS (p. 72).
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
were allowed to escape unmolested. Flushed with
triumph, the Sepoys reached the gates of Delhi,
intent upon making themselves masters of the city,
and of the great stores of military supplies which
Early next morning a body of the revolted 3rd
Bengal Light Cavalry came galloping down the
Meerut road towards the bridge of boats, their
standards bearing the honourable names of Leswarree,
Deeg, Bhurtpore, Afghanistan, Ghuznee, Aliwal, and
Sobraon, their swords then red with the blood of
massacred women and children.
The seven gates were closed, but not before the
troopers had got in, to go tearing through the streets,
yelling and slashing, mad with bhang.
They overtook Commissioner Frazer in his buggy
and slew him, shot Captain Douglas at the Palace
guard, butchered the chaplain before his daughter's
eyes, and then cut the poor girl to pieces.
All this was a foretaste of what was to follow,
and the heroism of the eight, some say nine, British
soldiers in the magazine stands out all the brighter
that they knew the odds against them,-and still
resolutely stuck to their post.
Sir Theophilus Metcalfe went with Lieutenants
Willoughby and Forrest to a small bastion on the
face overlooking the river to see whether it would be
practicable to place a couple of guns to command the
bridge, but the Delhi side was already in possession
BLOWING UP THE DELHI MAGAZINE.
of the cavalry, and the scarlet trains of rebel infantry
were even then pouring over.
Sooner or later an attack would be made on the
magazine. The native portion of the establishment
was not to be depended upon, and the English
officers were in a terrible position.
To consider their own safety meant the enormous
stores falling into the hands of the atrocious muti-
neers; to attempt to defend the stores was tanta-
mount to self-destruction; but they chose the latter
course without hesitation, and began to barricade
Inside the gate that led to the park two six-
pounders were placed, loaded with a double charge
of grape; Sub-Conductor Crow standing beside one,
Sergeant Stewart by the other, the lighted matches
ready in their hands.
Behind the principal gate, chevawr-de-frise and
two more guns waited in eloquent silence, another
couple commanding the gate and bastion as a further
precaution, while in front of the office were three
six-pounders and a twenty-four-pound howitzer, all
doubly charged with grape-shot.
From the chief powder store a train had been laid
to a large lime-tree in the yard, and Conductor Scully
volunteered to take charge of it, arranging to fire it
when Conductor Buckley should raise his hat.
Meanwhile the natives and gun-lascars had been
mustered, and arms served out; but they showed
IN DANGER'S HOUR
great insubordination, and refused to obey-more
especially the Mussulman portion. And all that
time the rebels had been entering Delhi through the
palace, which was thrown open to them, and through
which they passed cheering, their shouts and firing
being heard by the handful in-the magazine.
Presently some of the Palace Guard came down
and demanded the instant surrender of the place to
the King of Delhi; soon after a subadar of the
Magazine Guard told the lieutenants that scaling-
ladders were being sent by the king, which proved
to be true; and as soon as they were reared, the
whole of the native garrison scurried out to join the
rebels, leaving Willoughby, Forrest, Captain Raynor,
Sergeants Edwards and Stewart, Conductors Buck-
ley, Scully, and Sub-Conductor Crow, to defend the
Overhead the kites were hovering, and there
was a hush within the walls; in the city, where the
yells and tumult increased, they were cutting babies
throats with broken glass, and murdering defenceless
women with the refinement of Oriental barbarity.
WHAT HAPPENED AT THE CASHMERE GATE
AND AT THE ,MAGAZINE.
A dramatic scene was taking place at the famous
Cashmere Gate, where the 54th Native Infantry
abandoned their British officers to fifteen sowars of
the 3rd Cavalry, who cut them all down in detail.
BLOWING UP THE DELHI MAGAZINE.
And presently black faces, surmounted by shakoes
and turbans, peeped over the wall of the magazine,
and a howling mob clamoured at the gate. Stewart
exchanged a low Ready with his comrade Crow,
and they applied their matches.
A double report boomed out, and the white smoke
rose in a cloud; a horrible hissing rent the air, and
next moment the grape scattered into the mob,
rolling them over with shrieks and screams of agony.
The two artillerymen ran back to the main
part of the magazine, as had been arranged, and
each time the rebels appeared in force there was
another puff, another murderous whiz, and the pile
of corpses outside the wall was increased; the
wounded staggered squealing into the city.
Outside all was noise and shouting, with the
incessant crack of musketry, at forty yards' range,
until it seems little short of a miracle that one of
the defenders survived; inside there was a terrible
quiet, broken only at intervals by the discharge of a
gun, as each man carried out his allotted task as
calmly as if on parade.
For five hours those eight brave fellows kept
their post; rammer and sponge were applied with
almost monotonous regularity; again and again the
short word "Fire!" was given'; a glance along the
piece to see if it were laid true, the match kissed the
touch-hole, and another score of mutineers were
blown to eternity. But all things must end. Before
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
deserting, the natives had hidden the principal
pouches; ammunition was running short; Forrest
had two bullets through his hand, and no help
arrived; the last charge had been rammed home; for
the last time the red flame darted from the iron
muzzle; they could hold out no longer; and though
even then they could have escaped with their lives,
they preferred to risk them rather than abandon the
stores they had defended so long and so nobly.
Buckley being down with a ball above the elbow,
Lieutenant Willoughby. gave the final signal about
half-past three, and Scully fired his train.
A lightning flash whipped across the yard from
the solitary lime-tree-a dull crash told what was
coming-a column that was :!.iin., flash, smoke, shot,
shell, stones, and every species of debris blended
into one terrible mass, rose in the air, high above
the city, shaken to its foundations. The magazine
was blown up, the cartridge barrels half sunk in
the earth were torn from their places, and their
contents flung far and wide in a leaden shower; and
as the high wall fell, crushing nigh on a thousand
rebels, the four survivors of the gallant garrison,
stunned and scorched, gained a sally-port, and
reached the Jumna.
For hours the black cloud hung above Delhi.
They heard the explosion distinctly at Meerut, where
Forrest, Raynor, and Buckley arrived to tell their
story; but brave Willoughby, all bruised and
BLOWING UP THE DELHI MAGAZINE.
wounded, was set upon in a village on the way to
Kurnaul, and mercilessly slaughtered. His three
comrades won the Cross for their valour, but while
"India rang with his praise, and England echoed
back the applause, he was not to hear or receive the
reward of his heroism."
He died hard, though, .as we learn from one
whose duty it was to ferret out the particulars and
bring the murderers to justice.
With Lieutenants Butler, Angelo, and Osborne, of
the 54th Native Infantry, an officer named Hyslop,
and a Mr. Stewart, of the Delhi College, he got away
from the doomed city on the llth, and reached the
village of Negpore, where they were all well treated,
and fed in a grove of trees.
Osborne, who was badly wounded in the thigh,
had to be left there, and the rest pushed on, with a
few regulation swords and an empty carbine, across
country, to be met, when near Koomhera, by a swash-
buckling Brahmin, who demanded their weapons as
They were in a bad district, and it was necessary,
if possible, to ride the high horse; so one of them,
believed to have been Lieutenant Willoughby, having
loaded the carbine with a copper Mussooree pice, shot
the insolent ruffian through the chest.
At his agonised screams, five neighboring villages
turned out, and the story ends with a horrid, unequal
struggle on the banks of a canal cutting, every
78 IN DANGER'S HOUR.
one of the little band being barbarously done to
Four months later the death of those who fell in
Delhi was avenged. On September 13th an ex-
plosion once more shook the Cashmere Gate, when
the powder bags, laid by a little party of heroic
British .soldiers, shattered the doors and opened a
way for the storming parties of the besieging
army. Once more the British flag floated over the
ramparts of the city which Willoughby and his
gallant comrades had sought to save. The story
of this second exploit at the Cashmere Gate of
Delhi will be told on another page.
Or, Through the Enemy's Lines.
THERE are few who do not know something of the
famous Siege of Lucknow, few who have not heard
how, in the great Sepoy Mutiny in India in 1857, a
little British garrison with a handful of faithful
natives held the Residency at Lucknow for 179
days; how Henry Lawrence died at his post, struck
down by a cannon-ball in the midst of the siege;
how General Havelock with his tiny army forced
his way to the relief of the besieged; and how,
surrounded by overwhelming numbers, he found
himself shut up in turn along with those whom he
had come to rescue. How, finally, yet another
British force, under Sir Colin Campbell, after having
performed miracles of valour in fighting their way
through the enemy, eventually rescued the gallant
garrison and the women and children whom they
had so long protected. It was in the course of that
famous siege that the incident which is described
in this story took place.
It was during the second part of the siege, after
Havelock had marched in with his little army,
and had found himself in his turn shut up in the
Residency, that rumours reached the garrison that
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
Sir Colin Campbell was advancing to their relief. It
was of the greatest importance that some message
should be sent to Sir Colin, that he should be told
the exact strength of the besieged, and should be
informed by which road he could most easily make
his way to the city. But the city was full of the
mutineers. Every way out was carefully watched,
and there seemed little hope that any messenger
would ever find his way through the ranks of the
It was at this stage that James Kavanagh, an
Irish gentleman employed in the Government service,
performed the feat of daring which has made his
name justly famous. Kavanagh was among those
who had been compelled to take refuge in Lucknow.
During the early days of the siege he had suffered
much from illness. The first use he made of returning
health was to take his share with the soldiers in the
work of defence. His daring and the light heart with
which he threw himself into danger soon made him a
marked man, even among a garrison in which deeds
of bravery were common, and in which every man
seemed gifted with a splendid courage.
The life or death of the garrison depended upon
whether the message could be sent to Sir Colin
Campbell. A messenger was wanted. Everyone
knew the risk; everyone knew that the chances
11a, It;I.I :I
BRUINS OF THE RESIDENCY, LUCKNOW.
(Showib h spothr Si Henr Lawe vas!tuk)
IN. DANGER'S HOUR.
were a hundred to one that the bearer of the message
would fall into the hands of the enemy, and, once
taken, death-and possibly death by torture-would
be his fate. Kavanagh, like everyone else, knew this,
and, knowing it, he promptly volunteered to take the
message. He had been long in India, he said, he was
familiar with the ways of the natives, he could talk
their language. What fitter man could be found ?
The rest of the story he can tell in his own
"While passing through the entrenchment of
Lucknow," writes Kavanagh, "about 10 a.m. on the
9th inst., I learnt that a spy had come in from
Cawnpore, and that he was going back in the night
as far as Alumbagh, with despatches to His Excel-
lency Sir Colin Campbell, who, it was said, was
approaching Lucknow with five or six thousand men.
I sought out the spy, whose name is Kunoujee Lal,
and who was in the Court of the Deputy Com-
missioner of Durriabad before the outbreak in Oude.
He had taken letters from the entrenchment before,
but I had never seen him till now. I found him
intelligent, and imparted to him my desire to venture
in disguise to Alumbagh in his company. He hesi-
tated a great deal at acting as my guide, but made no
attempt to exaggerate the dangers of the road. He
merely urged that there was more chance of de-
tection by our going together, and proposed that
we should take different roads and meet outside of
the city-to which I objected. I left him to transact
some business, my mind dwelling all the time on the
means of accomplishing my object.
"I had some days previously witnessed the pre-
paration of plans which were being made, by direction
of Sir James Outram, to assist the Commander-in-
Chief in his march into Lucknow for the relief of the
besieged, and it then occurred to me that someone
with the requisite local knowledge ought to attempt
to reach His Excellency's camp beyond or at Alum-
bagh. The news of Sir Colin Campbell's advance
revived the idea, and I made up my mind to go
myself at two o'clock, after finishing the business
I was engaged upon. I mentioned to Colonel R.
Napier, chief of Sir James Outram's staff, that I was
willing to proceed through the enemy to Alumbagh,
if the General thought my doing so would be of
service to the Commander-in-Chief. He was surprised
at the offer, and seemed to regard the enterprise as
fraught with too much danger to be assented to, but
he did me the favour of communicating the offer to
Sir James Outram, because he considered that my
zeal deserved to be brought to his notice. Sir James
did not encourage me to undertake the journey,
declaring that he thought it so dangerous that he
would not himself have asked any officer to attempt it.
I, however, spoke so confidently of success, and treated
the danger so lightly, that he at last yielded, and did
me the honour of adding that, if I succeeded in
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
reaching the Commander-in-Chief, my knowledge
would be a great help to him.
THROUGH THE CITY IN DISGUISE.
"I secretly arranged for a disguise, so that my
departure might not be known to my wife, as she
was not well enough to bear the prospect of an
eternal separation. When I left home about seven
o clock in the evening she thought I was going on
duty for the night to the mines, for I was working
as an assistant field-engineer, by order of Sir James
"By half-past seven o'clock my disguise was
completed, and when I entered the room of
Colonel Napier no one in it recognized me. I was
dressed as a Budmash, or as an irregular soldier
of the city, with sword and shield, native-
made shoes, tight trousers, a yellow silk koortah
over a tight-fitting white muslin shirt, a yellow-
coloured chintz sheet thrown round my shoulders,
a cream-coloured turban, and a white waistband or
kummerbund. My face down to the shoulders and
my hands to the wrists were coloured with lamp-
black, the cork used being dipped in oil, to cause
the colour to adhere a little. I could get nothing
better. I had little confidence in the disguise of
my features, and I trusted more to the darkness of
the night; but Sir James Outram and his staff
seemed satisfied; and after being provided with a
small double-barrelled pistol, and a pair of broad
pyjamas over the tight drawers, I proceeded with
Kunoujee Lal to the right bank of the river Goomtee,
running north of our entrenchment, accompanied
by Lieutenant Hardinge, of the Irregular Cavalry.
Here we undressed and quietly forded the
river, which was only about four feet and a half
deep and a hundred yards wide at this point. My
courage failed me while in the water, and if my
guide had been within reach, I should, perhaps,
have pulled him back, and abandoned the enter-
prise. But he waded quickly through the stream,
and, reaching the opposite bank, went crouching
up a ditch for three hundred yards to a grove of
low trees on the edge of a pond, where we stopped
to dress. While we were here a man came down to
the -pond to ,wash, and went again without ob-
serving us. *
My confidence now returned to me, and, with
my talwar resting on my shoulders, we advanced
into the huts in front, where I accosted a match-
lock-man, who answered to my remark that the
night was cold, 'It is very cold; in fact, it is a
cold night. I passed him, adding that it would be
colder by-and-by. After going six or seven hun-
dred yards farther, we reached the iron bridge over
the Goomtee, where we were stopped, and called over
by a native officer, who was seated in an upper-
storeyed house, and seemed to be in command
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
of a cavalry picket, whose horses were near the
place saddled. My guide advanced to the light,
and I stayed a little back in the shade. After
being told that we had come from Mundeon (our
old cantonment, and then in the possession of
the enemy), and that we were going into the
city to our homes, he let us proceed.
We continued on along the left bank of the
river to the stone bridge, which is about eight
or nine hundred yards from the iron bridge,
passing unnoticed through a number of Sepoys
and matchlock-men, some of whom were escorting
persons of rank in palanquins, preceded by torches.
Re-crossing the Goomtee by the stone bridge,
we went by a sentry unobserved, who was closely
questioning a dirtily-dressed native,,and into the
Chouk, or principal street, of the city of Lucknow,
which was not illuminated as much as it used to
be previous to the siege, nor was it so crowded.
I jostled against several armed men in the street
without being spoken to, and only met one guard
of seven Sepoys, who were amusing themselves
with some women of pleasure. When issuing
from the city into the country, we were challenged
by a Chowkeedar, or watchman, who, without stop-
ping us, merely asked us who we were. The part
of the city traversed that night by me seemed to
have been deserted by at least a third of its
"I was in good spirits when we reached the
green fields, into which I had not been for five
months. A farther walk of a few miles
was accomplished in high spirits. But there was
trouble before us. We had taken the wrong
road, and were now quite out of our way in the
Dilkooshah Park, which was occupied by the
enemy. I went within twenty yards of two guns
to see what strength they were, and returned to
the guide, who was in great alarm, and begged I
would not distrust him because of the mistake,
as it was caused by his anxiety to take me away
from the pickets of the enemy. I bade him not
to be frightened of me, for I was not annoyed, as
such accidents were not unfrequent even when there
was no danger to be avoided. It was now about
midnight. We endeavoured to persuade a cultivator
who was watching his crop to show us the way for
a short distance, but he urged old age and lame-
ness; and another, whom I peremptorily told to come
with us, ran off screaming, and alarmed the whole
village.. We next walked quickly away to the canal
running under the Charbagh, in which I fell
several times, owing to my shoes being wet
and slippery and my feet sore. The shoes were
hard and tight, and had rubbed the skin off my
toes and cut into the flesh above the heels.
In two hours more we wore again in the right
direction, two women in a village we passed having
IN DANGER'S HOUR.
kindly helped us to find it; about two o'clockwereached
an advanced picket of Sepoys, who told us the way,
after asking us where we had come from and whither
we were going. I thought it safer to go up to the
picket than to try to pass them unobserved.
"Kunoujee Lal now begged I would not press
him to take me into Alumbagh, as he did not
know the way in, and the enemy were strongly
posted around the place. I was tired and in pain
from the shoes, and would therefore have preferred
going into Alumbagh; but as the guide feared
attempting it, I bade him go on to the camp of
the Commander-in-Chief, which he said was near
Bunnee (a village eighteen miles from Lucknow),
upon the Cawnpore road.
"The moon had risen by this time, and we
could see well ahead. By three o'clock we arrived
at a grove of mango trees situated on a plain,
in which a man was singing at the top of his
voice. I thought he was a villager, but he
got alarmed on seeing us approach, and astonished
us too by calling out a guard of twenty-five
Sepoys, all of whom asked questions. Kunoujee
Lal here lost heart for the first time, and
threw away the letter intrusted to him for Sir
Colin Campbell. I kept mine safe in my
turban. We satisfied the guard that we were poor
men travelling to Umroola, a village two miles
this side of the chief's camp, to inform a friend