Sir Toady Lion
SAS THE HIGHLANDERS HAD CLUNG TO THE CAVALRY STIRRUPS AT BALACLAVA."
WITH TK-OS& OF
JWGAL NAioOLoN SMITH
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TfEtl MFRRHAL NNPolaow SMiTH
I. PRISSY, HUGH JOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION,
II TIHE GOSPEL OF DASHT-MEAN,
III. How HUGH JOHN BECAME GENERAL NAPOLEON,
IV. CASTLE PERILOUS,
V. THE DECLARATION OF WAR,
VI. FIRST BLOOD, .
VII. THE POOR WOUNDED HUSSAR,
VIII. THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT,
IX. PUT TO THE QUESTION,
X. A SCOUTING ADVENTURE,
XI. ENEMY'S COUNTRY, ..
XII. MOBILISATION, .
XIII. THE ARMY OF WINDY STANDARD,
XIV. THE BATTLE OF THE BLACK SHEDS,
XV. TOADY LION PLAYS A FIRST LONE HAND,
XVI. THE SMOUTCHY BOYS,
XVII. BEFORE THE INQUISITION, .
v z;mro v,
XVIII, THE CASTLE DUNGEON, 114
XIX. THE DROP OF WATER, 122
XX. THE SECRET PASSAGE, 128
XXI. THE RETURN FROM THE BASTILE, 137
XXII. MUTINY IN THE CAMP, I. 147
XXIII. CIssY CARTER, BOYs' GIRL, 154
XXIV. CHARITY BEGINS AT IIOME-AND ENDS THERE, 162
XXV. LOVE'S (VERY) YOUNG DREAM, 174
XXVI. AN IMPERIAL BIRTHDAY, 185
XXVII. THE BANTAM CHICKENS, 192
XXVIII. THE GIPSY CAMP, 199
XXIX. TOADY LION'S LITTLE AYS, 206
XXX. SAINT PRISSY, PEACEMAKER, 211
XXXI. PRISSY'S PICNIC, 220
XXXII. PLAN OF CAMPAIGN, .237
XXXIII. TOADY LION'S SECOND LONE IIAND, 244
XXXIV. TIE CROWNING MERCY, 258
XXXV. PRISSY'S COMPROMISE, 269
XXXVI. IIUGH JOHN'S WAY-GOING, 280
XXXVII THE GOOD CONDUCT PRIZE, 287
XXXVIII. HUGH JOHN'S BLIGHTED HEART, .. 294
XXXIX. GIRLS ARE FUNNY THINGS," 308
&L '.1 \*4 e %
" AS THE HIGHLANDERS HAD CLUNG TO
STIRRUPS AT BALACLAVA,"
SIR TOADY LION, .
HUGH JOHN HAD A SISTER,
THE HIGHWAY LIES DESERTED,
MR. DICK TURPIN, LATE OF YORK AND
IIE STOOD ON THE ROADSIDE,
IT COULD NOT HAVE 13EEN BETTER DONE FOR A FIELD-
AT THE END OF THE STEPPING-STONES,
JANET SHEEPSHANKS AWAITED THIS SORRY
A GRIM TIGHTENING OF THE LIPS,
"I COULDN'T HELP GETTING BEATENN,"
SUCCESS OFTEN ]BRED ENVY,
A FEARFUL BLACK COUNTENANCE NODDED AT HIM,
LIST OF ILLUSTRA TIONS.
HUGH JOHN TOOK HIS WAY DOWN THE AVENUE, 60
"WAIT TILL THE NEXT TIME," 63
HE WAS OBLIGED -TO CLIMB A TREE, 67
HUGH JOHN TUGGED HER HAIR, .73
DEPOSITED GENERAL-FIELD-MIARSIAL SMITH IN TIE HORSE-
GENERALS OF DIVISION, EQUAL IN RANK, 79
THE ARMY WAS FINALLY MUSTERED, 83
THE BLACK SHEDS, 89
THE BATTLE OF THE BLACK SIIEDS, 93
CAUTIOUSLY HE RETURNED TIIROUGII THE IIEDGE, 95
"OH, THE BONNIE LADDIE!" 98
" SURRENDER CRIED NIPPER DONNA, I1
THE HEAD SMOUTCHY, 104
" GOT YOU AT LAST 107
"WILL YE SAY NOW TIAT Till: CASTLE IS YOUR FATHER'SS" 112
"BUT I WON'T CRY-EVEN TO MYSELF," 14
HE BENT THE WEIGHT OF HIS BODY THIS WAY AND THAT, 117
THE PINING CAPTIVE, 122
THE SECRET PASSAGE, .128
HE SAW A STRETCH OF RIPII.ED RIVER, 134
HE FLOUNDERED THROUGII, .I37
"I CREATE YOU GENERAL OF THE COMM'SARIAT," 143
" DON'T YOU SPEAK AGAINST MY FATHER," 147
SAMMY CARTER MUTINOUS, 149
LIST OF ILL USTRA TIONS. xiii
ONE, Two, THREE-AND A TIGER,".. 154
"LOOK AT HIM, MADAM," SAID MRS. BAKER, 157
TOADY LION SAT PLUMP DOWN, r62
LET ME LOOK AT HIM," SHE SAID, 165
LOVE'S YOUNG DREAM,. 174
HIT HARD, BRAVE SOLDIER," 177
"WASN'T. IT SPLENDID?" .. .182
TOADY LION PREFERRED TO SLEEP IN THE MOST CURIOUS
BANTAM CHICKENS, 192
THE GIPSIES' WOOD, 199
SHE CARRIED A BACK LOAD OF TINWARE, .202
THE OLDEST IMPLEMENTS INVENTED FOR THE PURPOSE, 206
SHE WENT ON HER WAY, 211
"OH, PLEASE DON'T, SIR !" 218
WELCOMED BY THE ENEMY,. .220
THE RETURN OF THE Two SWIFT FOOTMEN, 223
HYDRAULIC PRESSURE, .225
THE PLAN OF CAMPAIGN,. 237
TROTTING STEADILY THROUGH THE TOWN, .244
THE BOUNDING BROTHERS, 258
THE LIVING CHAIN, 263
SIXPENCE FOR ADMISSION, 269
"THEN," SAID PRISSY, I THINK IT CAN BE MANAGED," 274
TOADY LION STOOD LOOKING ON, 280
Xiv LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A SLIM BUNDLE OF LIMP WOE, 284
THE GOOD CONDUCT PRIZE, .. 289
"SMELL THAT," 292
A BLIGHTED BEING, .294
HE SPRANG OVER THE STILE, .308
"IT LOOKS LIKE HALF OF A SIXPENCE WHICH SOMEBODY HAS
-STEPPED UPON. How QUAINT! 312
As IF HER HEART WERE LIGHT WITHIN HER. 314
Sir Toady Lion.
PRISSY, HUGH JOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION.
S "T is always difficult to be great, but
it is specially difficult when great-
ness is thrust upon one, as it were,
along with the additional burden
of a distinguished historical name.
This was the case with General
Napoleon Smith. Yet when this
story opens he was not a general. That came
later, along with the cares of empire and the man-
agement of great campaigns.
But already in secret he was Napoleon Smith,
though his nurse sometimes still referred to him
as Johnnie, and his father-but stay. I wilr re-
SIR TOADY LION.
veal to you the secret of our soldier's life right at
the start. Though a Napoleon, our hero was no
Buonaparte. No, his name was Smith-plain
Smith; his father was the owner of four large
farms and a good many smaller ones, near that
celebrated Border which separates the two hostile
countries of England and Scotland. Neighbours
referred to the General's father easily as Picton
Smith of Windy Standard," from the soughing,
mist-nurrsing mountain of heather and fir-trees
which gave its name to the estate, and to the
large farm he had cultivated himself ever since
the death of his wife, chiefly as a means of dis-
tracting his mind, and keeping at a distance loneli-
ness and sad thoughts.
Hugh John Smith had never mentioned the fact
of his Imperial descent to his father, but in a mo-
ment of confidence he had told his old nurse, who
smiled with a world-weary wisdom, which betrayed
her knowledge of the secrets of courts-and said
that doubtless it was so. He had also a brother
and sister, but they were not, at that time, of the
race of the Corporal of Ajaccio. On the contrary,
Arthur George, the younger, aged five, was an
engine-driver. There was yet another who rode
in a mail-cart, and puckered up his face upon being
addressed in a strange foreign language, as Was-
it-then ? A darling-goo-goo-then it was!"
This creature, however, was- not owned as a
brother by Hugh John and Arthur George, and
indeed may at this point be dismissed from the
story. The former went so far as stoutly to deny
his brother's sex, in the face of such proofs as
PRISSY, HUGHJOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION. 3
were daily afforded by Baby's tendency to slap his
sister's face wherever they met, and also to seize
things and throw them on the floor for the pleasure
of seeing them break. Arthur George, however,
had secret hopes that Baby would even yet turn
out a satisfactory boy whenever he saw him kill-
ing flies on the window, and on these occasions
hounded him on to yet deadlier exertions. But
he dared not mention his anticipations to his
soldier brother, that haughty scion of an Imperial
race. For reasons afterwards to be given, Arthur
George was usually known as Toady Lion.
Then Hugh John had a sister. Her name was
Priscilla. Priscilla was distinguished also, though
not in a military sense. She was literary, and
wrote books "on the sly," as Hugh John said.
He considered this secrecy the only respectable
part of a very shady business. Specially he ob-
jected to being made to serve as the hero of
Priscilla's tales, and went so far as to promise to
" thump his sister if he caught her introducing
him as of any military rank under that of either
general or colour-sergeant.
Look here, Pris," he said on one occasion, if
you put me into your beastly girl books all about
dolls and love and trumpery, I'll bat you over the
head with a wicket !"
Hum-I dare say, if you could catch me,"
said Priscilla, with her nose very much in the air.
Catch you I'll catch and bat you now if
you say much."
Much, much Can't, can't There! 'Fraid
cat Um-m-um "
SIR TOADY LION.
By Jove, then, I just will! "
It is sad to be obliged to state here, in the very
beginning of these veracious chronicles, that at
this time Prissy and Napoleon Smith were by no
means model children, though Prissy afterwards
marvellously improved. Even their best friends
admitted as much, and as for their enemies-well,
their old gardener's remarks when they chased
each other over his newly planted beds would be
out of place even in a military periodical, and
might be the means of preventing a book with
Mr. Gordon Browne's nice pictures from being
included in some well-conducted Sunday-school
General Napoleon Smith could not catch Pris-
cilla (as, indeed, he well knew before he started),
especially when she picked up her skirts and went
right at hedges and ditches like a young colt.
Napoleon looked upon this trait in Prissy's char-
acter as degrading and unsportsmanlike in the
extreme. He regarded long skirts, streaming hair,
and flapping, aggravating pinafores as the natural
handicap of girls in the race of life, and as partic-
ularly useful when they cheeked their brothers.
It was therefore wicked to neutralise these equalis-
ing disadvantages by strings tied round above
the knees, or by the still more scientific device
of a sash suspended from the belt before, passed
between Prissy's legs, and attached to the belt
But, then, as Napoleon admitted even at ten
years of age, girls are capable of anything; and
to his dying day he has never had any reason to
PRISSY, HUGHJOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION.
change his opinion-at least, so far as he has yet
"All right, then, I will listen to your old stuff
if you will say you are sorry, and promise to be
my horse, and let me lick you for an hour after-
wards-besides giving me a penny."
It was thus that Priscilla, to whom in after
times great lights of criticism listened with ap-
proval, was compelled to stoop to artifice and
bribery in order to secure and hold her first
audience. Whereupon the authoress took paper
from her pocket, and as she did so, held the
manuscript with its back to Napoleon Smith,
in order to conceal the suspicious shortness of
the lines. But that great soldier instantly de-
tected the subterfuge.
"It's a penny more for listening to poetry!"
he said, with sudden alacrity.
"I know it is," replied Prissy sadly, "but you
might be nice about it just this once. I'm dread-
fully, dreadfully poor this week, Hugh John!"
So am I," retorted Napoleon Smith sternly;
"if I wasn't, do you think I would listen at all
to your beastly old poetry? Drive on!"
Thus encouraged, Priscilla meekly began-
"My love he is a soldier bold,
And my love is a knight;
He girds Aim in a coat of mail,
When e goes forl to fight "
That's not quite so bad as usual," said Napo-
leon condescendingly, toying meanwhile with the
SIR TOADY LION.
lash of an old dog-whip he had just boned out
of the harness-room. Priscilla beamed gratefully
upon her critic, and proceeded-
He rides him forth across the sand-"
"Who rides whom ? cried Napoleon. Didn't
the fool ride a horse ? "
It means himself," said Priscilla meekly.
Then why doesn't zi say so ?" cried the critic
triumphantly, tapping his boot with the "boned"
dog-whip just like any ordinary lord of creation in
presence of his inferiors.
It's poetry," explained Priscilla timidly.
"It's silly retorted Napoleon, judicially and
Priscilla resumed her reading in a lower and
more hurried tone. She knew that she was
skating over thin ice.
He rides himi forth across the sand,
Upon a stealthy steed."
"You mean 'stately,' you know," interrupted
Napoleon-somewhat rudely, Priscilla thought.
Yet he was quite within his rights, for Priscilla had
not yet learned that a critic always knows what
you mean to say much better than you do yourself.
"No, I don't mean stately,' said Priscilla, "I
mean 'stealthy,' the way a horse goes on sand.
You go and gallop on the sea-shore and you'll
"I shan't. I haven't got any sea-shore," said
Napoleon. But do hurry. I've listened quite a
PRISSY, HUGI JOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION.
"He rides him forth across the sand,
Upon a stealthy steed,
And when he sails upon the sea,
He plays upion a reed/"
"Great soft he was," cried Napoleon Smith;
"and if ever I hear you say that I did such a
Priscilla hurried on more quickly than ever.
"In all the world there's none can do
The deeds that he hath done:
When he hath slain his enemies,
Then he comes back alone."
"That's better!" said Napoleon, nodding en-
couragement. "At any rate it isn't long. Now,
give me my penny."
Shan't," said Priscilla, the pride of successful
achievement swelling in her breast; "besides, it
isn't Saturday yet, and you've only listened to
three verses anyway. You will have to listen to
ever so much more than that before you get a
Hugh John Priscilla !" came a voice from a
The great soldier Napoleon Smith instantly
effected a retreat in masterly fashion behind a
"There's Jane calling us," said Priscilla; "she
wants us to go in and be washed for dinner."
"Course she does," sneered Napoleon; "think
she's out screeching like that for fun? Well, let
her. I am not going in to be towelled till I'm all
over red and scurfy, and get no end of soap in my
SIR TOADY LION.
But Jane wants you ; she'll be so cross if you
don't care for Jane," said Napoleon Smith
with dignity, but all the same making himself as
small as possible behind his gooseberry bush.
"But if you don't come in, Jane will tell
"I don't care for father-" the prone but gal-
lant General was proceeding to declare in the
face of Priscilla's horrified protestations that he
mustn't speak so, when a slow heavy step was
heard on the other side of the hedge, and a deep
voice uttered the single syllable, "John!""
"Yes, father," a meek young man standing up
behind the gooseberry bush instantly replied:
he was trying to brush himself as clean as circum-
stances would permit. "Yes, father; were you
calling me, father ?"
Incredible as it seems, the meek and apologetic
words were those of that bold enemy of tyrants,
General Napoleon Smith.
Priscilla smiled at the General as he emerged
from the hands of Jane, red and scurfy," just as
he had said. She smiled meaningly and aggrava-
tingly, so that Napoleon was reduced to.shaking
his clenched fist covertly at her.
"Wait till I get you out," he said, using the
phrase time-honoured by such occasions.
Priscilla Smith only smiled more meaningly
still. First catch your hare! she said under her
Napoleon Smith stalked in to lunch, the chil-
dren's dinner at the house of Windy Standard,
PRISSY, HUGH JOHN, AND SIR TOADY LION. 9
with an expression of fixed and Byronic gloom on
his face, which was only lightened by the sight
of his favourite pigeon-pie (with a lovely crust)
standing on the side-board.
"Say grace, Hugh John," commanded his
And General Napoleon Smith said grace with
all the sweet innocence of a budding angel sing-
ing in the cherub choir, aiming at the same time a
kick at his sister underneath the table, which over-
turned a footstool and damaged the leg of a chair.
THE GOSPEL OF DASHT-MEAN.
T was on the day preceding a great
I I review near the Border town of
J Edam, that Hugh John Picton
Smith first became a soldier and
a Napoleon. His father's house
was connected by a short avenue
with a great main road along which
king and beggar had for a thousand years gone
posting to town. Now the once celebrated high-
way lies deserted, for along the heights to the east
run certain bars of metal, shining and parallel,
over which rush all who can pay the cost of a
third-class ticket-a roar like thunder preceding
them, white steam and sulphurous reek wreathing
after them. The great highway beneath is aban-
doned to the harmless impecunious bicyclist, and
on the North Road the sweeping cloud dust has it
all its own way.
THE GOSPEL OF DASHT-MEAN.
But Hugh John loved the great thoroughfare,
deserted though it was. To his mind there could
be no loneliness upon its eye-taking stretches, for
who knew but out of the dust there might come
with a clatter Mr. Dick Turpin, late of York and
Tyburn; Robert the Bruce, charging south into
England with his Galloway garrons, to obtain
some fresh English beef wherewithal to feed his
scurvy Scots; or (best of all) his Majesty King
George's mail-coach Highflyer, the picture of
which, coloured and blazoned, hung in his father's
People told him that all these great folks were
long since dead. But Hugh John knew better
than to believe any rot grown-ups might choose
to palm off on him. What did grown-ups know
anyway ? They were rich, of course. Unlimited
shillings were at their command ; and as for
pennies-well, all the pennies in the world lived
in their breeches' pockets. But what use did they
make of these god-like gifts ? Did you ever meet
them at the tuck-shop down in the town buying
fourteen cheese-cakes for a shilling, as any sensible
person would ? Did they play with "real-real
trains," drawn by locomotives of shining brass ?
No they preferred either one lump of sugar or
none at all in their tea. This showed how much
they knew about what was good for them.
So if such persons informed him that Robert the
Bruce had been dead some time, or showed him
the rope with which Turpin was hung, coiled on a
pedestal in. a horrid dull museum (free on Sat-
urdays, 10 to 4), Hugh John Picton looked and
" MR. DICK TURPIN, LATE OF YORK AND TYBURN."
THE GOSPEL OF DASHT-MEAN.
nodded, for he was an intelligent boy. If you
didn't nod sometimes as if you were taking it all
in, they would explain it all over again to you-
with abominable dates and additional particulars,
which they would even ask you afterwards if you
For many years Hugh John had gone every day
down to the porter's lodge at the end of the ave-
nue, and though old Betty the rheumaticky warder
was not allowed to let him out, he stared happily
enough through the bars. It was a white gate of
strong wood, lovely to swing on if you happened
to be there when it was opened for a carriageful
of calling-folk in the afternoon, or for Hugh John's
father when he went out a-riding.
But you had to hide pretty quick behind the
laurels, and rush out in that strictly limited period
before old Betty found her key, and yet after the
tail of Agincourt, his father's great grey horse,
had switched round the corner. If you were the
least late, Betty would get ahead of you, and the
gates of Paradise would be shut. If you were a
moment too soon, it was just as bad-or even
worse. For then the voice of He-whom-it-was-
decidedly-most-healthy-to-obey" would sound up
the road, commanding instant return to the Sand-
heap or the High Garden.
So on these occasions Hugh John mostly
brought Sir Toady Lion with him-otherwise
Arthur George the Sturdy, and at yet other times
variously denominated Prince Murat, the Old
Guard, the mob that was scattered with the whiff
of grapeshot, and (generally) the whole Grand
SIR TOADY LION.
Army of the First Empire. Toady Lion (his own
first effort at the name of his favourite hero Rich-
ard Cceur-de-Lion) had his orders, and with guile
and blandishments held Betty in check till the last
frisk of Agincourt's tail had disappeared round
the corner. Then Hugh John developed his plans
of assault, and was soon swinging on the gate.
"Out of the way with you, Betty," he would
cry, or you will get hurt-sure."
For the white gate shut of itself, and you had
only to push it open, jump on, check it at the
proper place on the return journey, and with your
foot shove off again to have scores and scores of
lovely swings. Then Betty would go up the ave-
nue and shout for her husband, who was the afore-
said crusty old gardener. She would have laid
down her life for Toady Lion, but by no means
even a part of it for Hugh John, which was unfair.
Old Betty had once been upset by the slam of the
gate on a windy day, and so was easily intimidated
by the shouts of the horseman and the appalling
motion of his white five-barred charger.
Such bliss, however, was transient, and might
have to be expiated in various ways-at best with
a slap from the hand of Betty (which was as good
as nothing at all), at worst, by a visit to father's
workroom-which could not be thought upon
without a certain sense of solemnity, as if Sunday
had turned up once too often in the middle of the
But upon this great day of which I have to tell,
Hugh John had been honourably digging all the
morning in the sand-hole. He had on his red
THE GOSPEL OF DASIIT-MIEAN.
coat, which was his most secret pride, and he was
devising a still more elaborate system of fortifica-
tion. Bastion and trench, scarp and counter-scarp,
lunette and ravelenta (a good word), Hugh John
had made them all, and he was now besieging his
own creation with the latest thing in artillery, call-
ing "Boom !" when he fired off his cannon, and
" Bang-whack !" as often as the projectile hit the
wall and brought down a foot of the noble fortifi-
cation, lately so laboriously constructed and so
tenderly patted into shape.
Suddenly there came a sound which always
made the heart of Hugh John beat in his side.
It was the low thrilling reverberation of the drum.
He had only time to dash for his cap, which he
had filled with sand and old nails in order to
" be a bomb-shell ; empty it, put it on his head,
gird on his London sword-with-the-gold-hilt, and
As he ran down the avenue the shrill fifes kept
stinging his ears and making him feel as if needles
were running up and down his back. It was at
this point that Hugh John had a great struggle
with himself. Priscilla and Toady Lion were play-
ing at House" and Tea-parties" under the
weeping elm on the front lawn. It was a debas-
ing taste, certainly, but after all blood was thicker
than water. And-well, he could not bear that
they should miss the soldiers. But then, on the
other hand, if he went back the troops might be
past before he reached the gate, and Betty, he
knew well, would not let him out to run after them,
and the park wall was high.
SIR TOADY LION.
In this desperate strait Hugh John called all the
resources of religion to his aid.
It would," he said, "be dasht-mean to go off
without telling them."
Hugh John did not know exactly what dasht-
mean" meant. But he had heard his cousin
Fred (who was grown up, had been a year at
school, and wore a tall hat on Sundays) tell how
all the fellows said that it was better to die-and-
rot than to be "dasht-mean" ; and also how those
who in spite of warnings proved themselves dasht-
mean" were sent to a place called Coventry-
which from all accounts seemed to be a dasht-
So Hugh John resolved that he would never
get sent there, and whenever a little thing tugged
down in his stomach and told him "not to,"
Hugh John said, Hang it I won't be dasht-
Grown-ups call these things conscience and re-
ligion ; but this is how it felt to Hugh John, and
it answered just as well-or even better.
So when the stinging surge of distant pipes
sent the wild blood coursing through his veins,
and he felt his face grow cold and prickly all over,
Napoleon Smith started to run down the avenue.
He could not help it. He must see the soldiers or
die. But all the same Tug-tugo went the little
string remorselessly in his stomach.
I must see them. I must-I must! he cried,
arguing with himself and trying to drown the inner
Tug-tzg-fug!" went the string, worse than
THE GOSPEL OF DASHT-MEAN.
that which he once put round his toe and hung
out of the window, for Tom Cannon the under-
keeper to wake him with at five in the morning
to go rabbit-ferreting.
Hugh John turned towards the house and the
It's a blooming shame," he said, and they
won't care anyway. But I can't be dasht-mean !"
And so he ran with all his might back to the
weeping elm, and with a warning cry set Prissy
and Sir Toady Lion on the alert. Then with
anxious tumultuous heart, and legs almost as in-
visible as the twinkling spokes of a bicycle, so
quickly did they pass one another, Hugh John
fairly flung himself in the direction of the White
HOW HUGH JOHN BECAME GENERAL NAPOLEON.
VEN dull Betty had heard the
music. The White Gate was open,
and with a wild cry Hugh John
sprang through. Betty had a son
in the army, and her deaf old ears
were quickened by the fife and
"Come back, Master Hugh !" she cried, as he
passed through and stood on the roadside, just
as the head of the column, marching easily, turned
the corner of the White Road and came dancing
and undulating towards him. Hugh John's heart
danced also. It was still going fast with running
so far ; but at sight of the soldiers it took a new
movement, just like little waves on a lake when
they jabble in the wind, so nice and funny when
you feel it-tickly too-down at the bottom of
HOW HUGH JOHN BECAME GENERAL NAPOLEON. 19
The first who came were soldiers in a dark uni-
form with very stern, bearded officers, who attended
finely to discipline, for they were about to enter
the little town of Edam, which lay just below the
white gates of Windy Standard.
So intently they marched that no one cast a
glance at Hugh John standing with his drawn
sword, giving the salute which his friend Sergeant
Steel had taught him as each company passed.
Not that Hugh John cared, or even knew that
they did not see him. They were the crack
volunteer regiment of the Grey City beyond the
hills, and their standard of efficiency was some-
Then came red-coats crowned with helmets, red-
coats tipped with Glengarry bonnets, and one or
two brass bands of scattering volunteer regiments.
Hugh John saluted them all. No one paid the least
attention to him. He did not indeed expect any
one to notice him-a small dusty boy with a sword
too big for him standing at the end of the road
under the shadow of the elms. Why should these
glorious creations deign to notice him-shining
blades, shouldered arms, flashing bayonets, white
pipe-clayed belts ? Were they not as gods, know-
ing good and evil ?
But all the same he saluted every one of them
impartially as they came, and the regiments swung
past unregarding, dust-choked, and thirsty.
Then at last came the pipes and the waving
tartans. Something cracked in Hugh John's
throat, and he gave a little cry, so that his old
nurse, Janet Sheepshanks, anxious for his welfare,
SIR TOADY LION.
came to take him away. But he struck at her-
his own dear Janet-and fled from her grasp to
the other side of the road, where he was both
safer and nearer to the soldiers. Swinging step,
waving plumes, all in review order on came the
famous regiment, every man stepping out with a
trained elasticity which went to the boy's heart.
Thus and not otherwise the Black Watch followed
their pipers. Hugh John gave a long sigh when
they had passed, and the pipes dulled down the
Then came more volunteers, and yet more and
more. Would they never end? And ever the
sword of Hugh John Picton flashed to the salute,
and his small arm waxed weary as'it rose and fell.
Then happened the most astonishing thing in
the world, the greatest event of Hugh John's life.
For there came to his ear a new sound, the clatter
of cavalry hoofs. A bugle rang out, and Hugh
John's eyes watched with straining eagerness the
white dust rise and swirl behind the columns.
Perhaps-who knows ?-this was his reward for
not being dasht-mean But now Hugh John had
forgotten Prissy and Toady Lion, father and nurse
alike, heaven, earth-and everything else. There
was no past for him. He was the soldier of all
time. His dusty red coat and his flashing sword
were the salute of the universal spirit of man, to
the god of war-also other fine things of which I
have no time to write.
For the noble grey horses, whose predecessors
Napoleon had watched so wistfully at Waterloo,
came trampling along, tossing their heads with an
HOW HUGHJOHN BECAME GENERAL NAPOLEON. 21
obvious sense of their own worth as a spectacle.
Hugh John paled to the lips at sight of them, but
drew himself more erect than ever. He had seen
foot-soldiers and volunteers before, but never any-
thing like this.
On they came, a fine young fellow leading them,
sitting carelessly on the noblest charger of all.
Perhaps he was kindly by nature. Perhaps he
had a letter from his sweetheart in his breast-
pocket. Perhaps-but it does not matter, at any
rate he was young and happy, as he sat erect,
leading the "finest troop in the finest regiment in
the world." He saw the small dusty boy in the
red coat under the elm-trees. He marked his pale
twitching face, his flashing eye, his erect carriage,
his soldierly port. The fate of Hugh John stood
on tiptoe. He had never seen any being so glori-
ous as this. He could scarce command himself to
salute. But though he trembled in every limb,
and his under lip wickered strangely, the hand
which held the sword was steady, and went
through the beautiful movements of the military
salute which Sergeant Steel of the Welsh Fusiliers
had taught him, with exactness and decorum.
The young officer smiled. His own hand
moved to the response almost involuntarily, as if
Hugh John had been one of his own troopers.
The boy's heart stood still. Could this thing
be ? A real soldier had saluted him !
But there was something more marvellous yet
to come. A sweet spring of good deeds welled
up in that young officer's breast. Heaven speed
him (as doubtless it will) in his wooing, and make
SIT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER DONE FOR A FTELD-MARSHAL.
" IT COULD NOT HAVE BEEN BETTER DONE FOR A FIELD-MARSHAL."
HOW HUGH JOHN BECAME GENERAL NAPOLEON. 23
him ere his time a general, with the Victoria Cross
upon his breast. But though (as I hope) he rise
to be Commander-in-Chief, he will never do a
prettier action than that day, when the small
grimy boy stood under the elm-trees at the end of
the avenue of Windy Standard. This is what he
did. He turned about in his saddle.
"Attentione, me, draw swords / he cried, and
his voice rang like a trumpet, so grand it was-at
least so Hugh John thought.
There came a glitter of unanimous steel as the
swords flashed into line. The horses tossed their
heads at the stirring sound, and jingled their
accoutrements as the men gathered their bridle
reins up in their left hands.
"Eyes rig/zt! Carry swords came again the
And every blade made an arc of glittering light
as it came to the salute. It could not have been
better done for a field-marshal.
No fuller cup of joy was ever drunk by mortal.
The tears welled up in Hugh John's eyes as he
stood there in the pride of the honour done to
him. To be knighted was nothing to this. He
had been acknowledged as a soldier by the great-
est soldier there. Hugh John did not doubt that
this glorious being was he who had led the Greys
in the charge at Waterloo. Who else could have
done that thing?
He was no longer a little dusty boy. He stood
there glorified, ennobled. The world was almost
Eyes front Slope swords rang the words
SIR TOADY LION.
The pageant passed by. Only the far drum-
throb came back as he stood speechless and mo-
tionless, till his father rode up on his way home,
and seeing the boy asked him what he was doing
there. Then for all reply a little clicking hitch
came suddenly in his throat. He wanted to laugh,
but somehow instead the tears ran down his cheeks,
and he gasped out a word or two which sounded
like somebody else's voice.
I'm not hurt, father," he said, I'm not crying.
It was only that the Scots Greys saluted me.
And I can't help it, father. It goes lick-lick in my
throat, and I can't keep it back. But I'm not cry-
ing, father I'm not indeed !"
Then the stern man gathered the great soldier
up and set him across his saddle-for Hugh John
was alone, the others having long Ago gone back
with Janet Sheepshanks. And his father did not
say anything, but let him sit in front with the
famous sword in his hands which had brought
about such strange things. And even thus rode
our hero home-Hugh. John Picton no more, but
rather General Napoleon Smith; nor shall his
rank be questioned on any army roster of strong
But late that night Hugh John stole down the
hushed avenue, his bare feet pattering through the
dust which the dew was making cool. He climbed
the gate and stood under the elm, with the wind
flapping his white nightgown like a battle flag.
Then clasping his hands, he took the solemn bind-
ing oath of his religion, The Scots Greys saluted
me. May I die-and-rot if ever I am dasht-mean
again / "
-c-. --^"" : "
f t f f 6
N one corner of the property of
Hugh John's father stood an an-
S cient castle-somewhat doubtfully
of it, however, for it was claimed
as public property by the adjoining
abbey town, now much decayed
and fallen from its high estate, but
desirous of a new lease of life as a tourist and
manufacturing centre. The castle and the abbey
had for centuries been jealous neighbours, treach-
erous friends, embattled enemies according to the
fluctuating power of those who possessed them.
The lord of the castle harried the abbot and his
brethren. The abbot promptly retaliated by
launching, in the name of the Church, the dread
ban of excommunication against the freebooter.
SIR TOADY LION.
The castle represented feudal rights, the abbey
popular and ecclesiastical authority.
And so it was still. Mr. Picton Smith had, in-
deed, only bought the property a few years before
the birth of our hero; but, among other encum-
brances, he had taken over a lawsuit with the
town concerning the castle, which for years had
been dragging its slow length along. Edam Ab-
bey was a show-place of world-wide' repute, and
the shillings of the tourist constituted a very im-
portant item in the finances of the overburdened
municipality. If the Council and magistrates of
the good town of Edam could add the Castle of
Windy Standard to their attractions, the resultant
additional sixpence a head would go far towards
making up the ancient rental of the town parks,
which now let for exactly half of their former value.
But Mr. Picton Smith was not minded thus
tamely to hand over an ancient fortress, secured
to him by deed and charter. He declared at once
that he would resist the claims of the town by
every means in his power. He would, however,
refuse right-of-way to no respectable sightseer.
The painter, all unchallenged, might set up his
easel there, the poet meditate, even the casual
wanderer in search of the picturesque and romantic,
have free access to these gloomy and desolate
halls. The townspeople would be at liberty to
conduct their friends and visitors thither. But
Mr. Smith was resolved that the ancient fortalice
of the Windy Standard should not be made a vul-
gar show. Sandwich papers and ginger-beer bot-
ties would not be permitted to profane the green
sward of the courtyard, across which had so often
ridden all the chivalry of the dead Lorraines.
"Those who want sixpenny shows will find
plenty at Edam Fair," was Mr. Picton Smith's ul-
timatum. And when he had once committed him-
self, like most of his stalwart name, Mr. Smith
had the reputation of being very set in his mind.
But in spite of this the town asserted its right-
of-way through the courtyard. A footpath was
said to have passed that way by which persons
might go to and fro to kirk and market.
"I have no doubt a footpath passed through
my dining-room a few centuries ago," said Mr.
Smith, "but that does not compel me to keep my
front and back doors open for all the rabble of
Edam to come and go at their pleasure."
And forthwith he locked his lodge gates and
bought the largest mastiff he could obtain. The
castle stood on an island rather more than a mile
long, a little below the mansion house. A wooden
bridge led over the deeper, narrower, and more
rapid branch of the Edam River from the direc-
tion of the abbey and town. Across the broader
and shallower branch there could be traced, from
the house of Windy Standard, the remains of an
ancient causeway. This, in the place where the
stream was to be crossed, had become a series of
stepping-stones over which Hugh John and Pris-
cilla could go at a run (without falling in and wet-
ting themselves more than once in three or four
times), but which still constituted an impregnable
barrier to the short fat legs of Toady Lion-who
usually stood on the shore-and proclaimed his
SIR TOAD Y LION.
woes to the world at large till somebody carried
him over and deposited him on the castle island.
Affairs were in this unsettled condition when, at
twelve years of age, Hugh John ceased to be
Hugh John, and became, without, however, losing
his usual surname of Smith, one of the august
and imperial race of the Buonapartes.
It was a clear June evening, the kind of night
when the whole landscape seems to have been
newly swept, washed down, and generally spring-
cleaned. All nature spoke peace to Janet Sheep-
shanks, housekeeper, nurse, and general responsi-
ble female head of the house of Windy Standard,
when a procession came towards her across the
stepping-stones over the broad Edam water from
the direction of the castle island. Never had such
a disreputable sight presented itself to the eyes of
Janet Sheepshanks. At once douce and severe,
sharp-tongued and covertly affectionate, she re-
presented the authority of a father who was fre-
quently absent from them, and the memory of a
dead mother which remained to the three chil-
dren in widely different degrees. To Priscilla her
mother was a loving being, gracious alike by the
tender sympathy of her voice and by the magic of
a touch which healed all childish troubles with the
kiss of peace upon the place to make it well."
To Hugh John she had been a confidant to whom
he could rush, eager and dishevelled, with the
tale of the glorious defeat of some tin enemy (for
even in those prehistoric days Hugh John had
been a soldier), and who, smoothing back his
ruffled hair, was prepared to join as eagerly as
CASTLE PERILOUS. 29
himself in all his tiny triumphs. But to Toady
Lion, though he hushed the shrill persistence of
his treble to a reverent murmur when he talked of
"muvver," she was only an imagination, fostered
mostly by Priscilla-his notion of motherhood
being taken from his rough-handed loving Janet
Sheepshanks ; while the tomb in the village church-
yard was a place to which he had no desire to
accompany his mother, and from whose gloomy
precincts he sought to escape as soon as possible.
THE DECLARATION OF WAR.
UT, meanwhile, Janet Sheepshanks
stands at the end of the stepping-
stones, and Janet is hardly a per-
son to keep waiting anywhere near
the house of Windy Standard.
S Over the stepping-stones came
as leader Priscilla Smith, her head
thrown back, straining in every nerve with the ex-
citement of carrying Sir Toady Lion, whose
scratched legs and shoeless feet dangled over the
stream. Immediately beneath her, and wading
above the knee in the rush of the water, there
staggered through the shallows Hugh John, sup-
porting his sister with voice and hand-or, as he
would have said, "boosting her up" whenever she
swayed riverward with her burden, pushing her
behind when she hesitated, and running before to
THE DECLARE TION OF WAR.
offer his back as an additional stepping-stone
when the spaces were wide between the boulders.
Janet Sheepshanks waited grimly for her charges
on the bank, and her eyes seemed to deceive her,
words to fail her, as the children came nearer.
Never had such a sight been seen near the decent
house of Windy Standard. Miss Priscilla and her
pinafore were represented by a ragged tinkler's lass
with a still more ragged frill about her neck. Her
cheeks and hands were as variously scratched as if
she had fallen into a whole thicket of brambles.
Her face, too, was pale, and the tatooed places
showed bright scarlet against the whiteness of her
skin. She had lost a shoe, and her dress was
ripped to the knee by a great ragged triangular
tear, which flapped wet about her ankles as she
Sir Toady Lion was somewhat less damaged,
but still showed manifold signs of rough usage.
His lace collar, the pride of Janet Sheepshanks'
heart, was torn nearly off his shoulders, and now
hung jagged and unsightly down his back. Sev-
eral buttons of his well-ordered tunic were gone,
and as to his person he was mud as far above the
knees as could be seen without turning him up-
But Hugh John-words are vain to describe
the plight of Hugh John. One eye was closed,
and began to be discoloured, taking on above the
cheekbone the shot green and purple of a half-ripe
plum. His lip was cut, and a thin thread of scar-
let stealing down his brow told of a broken head.
What remained of his garments presented a ruin
-- - -
_. __ ::
SNO WONDER THAT JANET SIHEEPSIIANKS AWAITED THIS SORRY PROCES-
SION WITH A GRIM TIGHTENING OF TIE LIPS."
THE DECLARA TION OF WAR.
more complete, if less respectable, than the ancient
castle of the Windy Standard. Neither shoe nor
shoe-string, neither stocking nor collar, remained
intact upon him. On his bare legs were the marks
of cruel kicks, and for ease of transport he carried
the dd&ris of his jacket under his arm. He had
not the remotest idea where his cap had gone to.
No wonder that Janet Sheepshanks awaited this
sorry procession with a grim tightening of the lips,
or that her hand quivered with the desire of pun-
ishment, even while her kind and motherly heart
yearned to be busy repairing damages and binding
up the wounded. Of this feeling, however, it was
imperative that for the present, in the interests of
discipline, she should show nothing.
It was upon Priscilla, as the eldest in years and
senior responsible officer in charge, that Janet first
turned the vials of her wrath.
Eh, Priscilla Smith, but ye are a ba-a-ad, bad
lassie. Ye should ha'e your bare back slashit wi'
nettles Where ha'e ye been, and what ha'e ye
done to these twa bairns ? Ye shall be marched
straight to your father, and if he doesna gar ye
loup when ye wad rather stand still, and claw
where ye are no yeuky, he will no be doing his
duty to the Almichty, and to your puir either
that's lang syne in her restin' grave in the kirk-
yaird o' Edom."
By which fervent address in her native tongue,
Janet meant that Mr. Smith would be decidedly
spoiling the child if on this occasion he spared the
rod. Janet could speak good enough formal Eng-
lish when she chose, for instance to her master on
Sabbath, or to the minister on visitation days;
SIR TOADY LION.
but whenever she was excited she returned to that
vigorous ancient Early English which some mis-
call a dialect, and of which she had a noble and
To Janet's attack, Priscilla answered not a word
either of explanation or apology. She recognized
that the case had gone far beyond that. She only
set Sir Toady Lion on his feet, and bent down to
brush the mud from his tunic with her usual sis-
terly gesture. Janet Sheepshanks thrust her aside
My wee man," she said, what have they done
to you ?"
Toady Lion began volubly, and in his usual
shrill piping voice, to make an accusation against
certain bad boys who had hit him," and hurted
him," and kicked him." And now when at last
he was safely delivered and lodged in the well-
proven arms of Janet Sheepshanks his tears flowed
apace, and made clean furrows down the woebe-
gone grubbiness of his face.
Priscilla walked by Janet's side, white and silent,
nerving herself for the coming interview. At
ordinary times Janet Sheepshanks was terrible
enough, and her word law in all the precincts of
Windy Standard. But Priscilla knew that she
must now face the anger of her father; and so,
with this in prospect, the railing accusations of her
old nurse scarcely so much as reached her ears.
Hugh John, stripped of all military pomp, limped
behind-a short, dry, cheerless sob shaking him at
intervals. But in reality this was more the pro-
test of ineffectual anger than any concession to
S-EN minutes later, and without, as
Jane Sheepshanks said, "so muckle
as a sponge or a brush-and-comb
.. ~ being laid upon them," the three
stood before their father. Silently
SJanet had introduced them,,and
now as silently she stood aside to
listen to the evidence-and, as she put it, "keep the
master to his duty, and mind him o' his responsi-
bilities to them that's gane."
Janet Sheepshanks never forgot that she had
been maid for twenty years to the dead mother of
the children, nor that she had received "the bits o
weans" at her hand as a dying charge. She con-
sidered herself, with some reason, to be the direct
representative of the missing parent, and referred
to Priscilla, Toady Lion, and Hugh John as "my
bairns," just as, in moments of affection, she would
SIR TOADY LION.
still speak to them of my bonnie lassie your
mither," as if the dead woman were still one of
For a full minute Mr. Picton Smith gazed
speechless at the spectacle before him. He had
been writing something that crinkled his brow
and compressed his lips, and at the patter of the
children's feet in the passage outside his door,
as they ceremoniously marshalled themselves to
enter, he had turned about on his great office
chair with a smile of expectation and anticipation.
The door opened, and Janet Sheepshanks pushed
in first Sir Toady Lion, still voluble and calling
for vengeance on the "bad, bad boys at the castle
that had strike him and hurted his dear Prissy."
Priscilla herself stood white-lipped and dumb, and
through the awful silence pulsed the dry, recur-
rent, sobbing catch in the throat of Hugh John.
Mr. Picton Smith was a stern man, whose great
loss had caused him to shut up the springs of his
tenderness from the world. But they flowed the
sweeter and the rarer underneath; and though his
grave and dignified manner daunted his children
on the occasion of any notable evil-doing, they
had no reason to be afraid of him.
"Well, what is the meaning of this?" he said,
his face falling into a greyer and graver silence at
the sound of Hugh John's sobs, and turning to
Priscilla for explanation.
Meanwhile Sir Toady Lion was pursuing the
subject with his usual shrill alacrity.
Be quiet, sir," said his father. "I will. hear
you all one by one, but let Priscilla begin-she is
We went to the castle after dinner, over by
the stepping-stones," began Priscilla, fingering
nervously the frill of the torn pinafore about her
throat, "and when we got to the castle we found
out that our pet lamb Donald had come after us
by the ford ; and he was going everywhere about
the castle, trying to rub his bell off his neck on
the gate-posts and on the stones at the corners."
"Yes, and I stooded on a rock, and Donald he
butted me over behind!" came the voice of Sir
Toady Lion in shrill explanation of his personal
share in the adventure.
And then we played on the grass in the inside
of the castle. Toady Lion and I were plaiting
daisy-chains and garlands for Donald, and Hugh
John was playing at being the Prisoner of Chill-
yon : he had tied himself to the gate-post with a
"'Twasn't," muttered Hugh John, who was a
stickler for accuracy ; it was a plough-chain !"
"And it rattled," added Sir Toady Lion, not to
be out of the running.
"And just when we were playing nicely, a lot
of horrid boys from the town came swarming and
clambering in. They had run over the bridge
and climbed the gate, and then they began calling
us names and throwing mud. So Hugh John
said he would tell on them."
Didn't," interrupted Hugh John indignantly.
" I said I'd knock the heads off them if they didn't
stop and get out; and they only laughed and said
things about father. So I hit one of them with a
SIR TOADY LION.
Then," continued Priscilla, gaining confidence
from a certain curious spark of light which began
to burn steadily in her father's eyes, "after Hugh
John threw the stone, the horrid boys all came
and said that they would kill us, and that we had
no business there anyway."
"They frowed me down the well, and I went
splass Yes, indeedy!" interrupted Toady Lion,
who had imagination.
"Then Donald, our black pet lamb, that is,
came into the court, and they all ran away after
him and caught him. First he knocked down
one or two of them, and then they put a rope
round his neck and began to take rides on his
"Yes, and he bleated and 'kye-kyed' just
feeful!" whimpered Toady Lion, beginning to
weep all over again at the remembrance.
But the Smith of the imperial race only clenched
his torn hands and looked at his bruised knuckles.
"So Hugh John said he would kill them if
they did not let Donald go, and that he was a
soldier. But they only laughed louder, and one
of them struck him across the lip with a stick-I
know him, he's the butch- "
"Shut up, Pris !" shouted Hugh John, with
sudden fierceness, it's dasht-mean to tell names."
"Be quiet, sir," said his father severely; "let
your sister finish her story in her own way."
But for all that there was a look of some pride
on his face. At that moment Mr. Picton Smith
was not sorry to have Hugh John for a son.
"Well," said Priscilla, who had no such scruples
as to telling on her enemies, I won't tell if you
say not. But that was the boy who hurt Donald
"Well, I smashed him for that!" muttered
"And then when Hugh John saw them drag-
ging Donald away and heard him bleating- "
"And 'kye-kying' big, big tears, big as cher-
ries!" interjected Toady Lion, who considered
every narrative incomplete to which he did not
"He was overcome with rage and anger"-at
this point Priscilla began to talk by the book, the
dignity of the epic tale working on her-" and he
rushed upon thorn fearlessly, though they were
ten to one; and they all struck him and kicked
him. But Hugh John fought like a lion."
"Yes, like Wichard Toady Lion," cried the
namesake of that hero, "and I helped him and
bited a bad boy on the leg, and didn't let go
though he kicked and hurted feeful Yes, in-
And I went to their assistance and fought as
Hugh John showed me. And-I forget the rest,"
said Priscilla, her epic style suddenly failing her.
Also she felt she must begin to cry very soon, now
the strain was over. So she made haste to finish.
" But it was dreadful, and they swore, and said
they would cut Donald's throat. And one boy
took out a great knife and said he knew how to
do it. He was the butch- "
Shut up, Pris Now don't you dare! shouted
Hugh John, in his most warning tones.
SIR TOADY LION.
"And when Hugh John rushed in to stop him,
he hit him over the head with a stick, and Hugh
John fell down. And, oh I thought he was
dead, and I didn'tknow what to do (Priscilla was
crying in good earnest now) ; "and I ran to him
and tried to lift him up. But I could not-he was
so wobbly and soft."
"I bited the boy's leg. It was dood. I bited
hard!"' interrupted Toady Lion, whose mission
had been vengeance.
"And when I looked up again they had taken
away p-p-poor Donald," Priscilla went on spas-
modically between her tears, and I think they
killed him because he belonged to you, and-they
said he had no business there! Oh, they were
such horrid cruel boys, and much bigger than us.
And I can't bear that Don should have his throat
cut. I was promised that he should never be sold
for mutton, but only clipped for wool. And he
had such a pretty throat to hang daisy-chains on,
and was such a dear, dear thing."
I don't think they would dare to kill him," said
Mr. Smith gravely; "besides, they could not lift
him over the gate. I will send at once and see.
In fact I will go myself !"
There was only anger against the enemy now,
and no thought of chastisement of his own in the
heart of Mr. Picton Smith. He was rising to
reach out his hand to his riding-whip, when 'Gen-
eral Napoleon Smith, who, like most great makers
of history, had taken little part in the telling of it,
created a diversion which put all thought of im-
mediate action out of his father's head. He had
FIRST BLOOD. 41
been standing up, shoulders squared, arms dressed
to his side, head erect, as he had seen Sergeant
Steel do when he spoke to his Colonel. Once or
twice he had swayed slightly, but the heart of the
Buonapartes, which beat bravely in his bosom,
brought him up again all standing. Nevertheless
he grew even whiter and whiter, till, all in a mo-
ment, he gave a little lurch forward, checked him-
self, and again looked straight before him. Then
he sobbed out once suddenly and helplessly, said
"I couldn't help getting beaten, father-there
were too many of them !" and fell over all of a
piece on the hearthrug.
At which his father's face grew very still and
angry as he gathered the great General gently in
his arms and carried him upstairs to his own little
THE POOR WOUNDED HUSSAR.
T is small wonder that Mr. Picton
Smith was full of anger. His cas-
tle had been invaded and dese-
crated, his authority as proprietor
defied, his children insulted and
abused. As a magistrate he felt
bound to take notice both of the
outrage and of the theft of his property. As a
father he could not easily forget the plight in
which his three children had appeared before him.
But in his schemes of vengeance he reckoned
without that distinguished military officer, General-
Field-Marshal Napoleon Smith. For this soldier
had been promoted on his bed of sickness. He
had read somewhere that in his profession (as in
most others) success quite often bred envy and neg-
lect, but that to the unsuccessful promotion and hon-
THE POOR WOUNDED HUSSAR.
our were sometimes awarded as a sort of consolation
sweepstakes. So, having been entirely routed and
plundered by the enemy, it came to Hugh John in
the watches of the night-when, as he put it, "his
head was hurting like fun that it was time for him
to take the final step in his own advancement.
So on the next morning he announced the
change in his name and style to his army as it
filed in to visit him. The army was on the whole
But I'm afraid I shall'never remember all that,
Mr. General-Field-Marshal Napoleon Smith !"
Well, you'd better !" returned the wounded
hero, as truculently as he could for the bandages
and the sticking-plaster, in which he was swathed
after the fashion of an Egyptian mummy partially
"What a funny smell!" piped Toady Lion.
" Do field-marshals all smell like that ? "
Get out, silly !" retorted the wounded officer.
" Don't you know that's the stuff they rub on the
wounded when they have fought bravely? That's
And what do they yub on them when they don't
fight bravely?" persisted Toady Lion, who had had
enough of fighting, and who in his heart was re-
solved that the next time he would "yun away" as
hard as he could, a state of mind not unusual after
the zzi-zzi of bullets is heard for the first time.
First of all they catch them and kick them for
being cowards. Then they shoot at them till they
are dead; and may the Lord have mercy on their
SIR TOADY LION.
souls Amen said General Smith, mixing things
for the information and encouragement of Sir
Presently the children were called out to go and
play, and the wounded hero was left alone. His
head ached so that he could not read. Indeed, in
any case he could not, for the room was darkened
with the intention of shielding his damaged eyes
from the light. General Napoleon could only
watch the flies buzzing round and round, and wish
in vain that he had a fly-flapper at the end of a
pole in order to plop them, as he used to do all
over the house in the happy days before Janet
Sheepshanks discovered what made the walls and
windows so horrid with dead and dying insects.
Yes; the squashy ones were rather streaky "
had been the words in which Hugh John admitted
his guilt, after the pole and leather flapper were
taken from him and burned in the washhouse fire.
Thus in the semi-darkness Hugh John lay
watching the flies with the stealthy intentness of
a Red Indian scalper on the trail. It was sad to
lie idly in bed, so bewrapped and swathed that (as
he mournfully remarked), "if one of the brutes
were to settle on your nose, you could only wait
for him to crawl up, and then snatch at him with
your left eyelid."
Suddenly the disabled hero bethought himself
of something. First, after listening intently so as
to be quite sure that the children were outside
the bounds of the house, the wounded general
raised himself on his elbow. But the effort hurt
him so much that involuntarily he said Outch !"
and sank back again on the pillow.
THE POOR WOUNDED HUSSAR.
Crikey, but don't I smell just !" he muttered,
when, after one breath of purer air, he sank back
into the pool of arnica vapour. "I suppose I'll
have to howl out for Janet. What a swot !"
"Janet !-Ja-a-a-a-net!" he shouted, and sighed a
sigh of relief to find that at least there was one part
of him neither bandaged nor drowned in arnica.
Deil tak' the laddie !" cried Janet, who went
about her work all day with one ear cocked
toward the chamber of her brave sick soldier;
"what service is there in taking the rigging aff the
hoose wi' your noise ? Did ye think I was doon
at Edam Cross ? What do ye want, callant, that
ye deafen my auld lugs like that ? I never heard
sic a laddie "
But General Smith did not answer any of these
questions. He well knew Janet's tone of simu-
lated anger when she was putting it on."
Go and fetch t he said darkly.
THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT.
OW there was a skeleton in the cup-
board of General Napoleon Smith.
No distinguished family can be
respectable without at least one
such. But that of the new field-
marshal was particularly dark and
Very obediently Janet Sheepshanks vanished
from the sick-room, and presently returned with an
oblong parcel, which she handed to the hero of
Thank you," he said; "are you sure that the
children are out?"
They are sailing paper boats on the mill-dam,"
said Janet, going to the window to look.
Hugh John sighed a sigh. He wished he could
sail boats on the mill-dam.
I hope every boat will go down the mill lade,
and get mashed in the wheel," he said pleasantly.
"For shame, Master Hugh !" replied Janet
THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT.
Sheepshanks, shaking her head at him, but con-
scious that he was exactly expressing her own
mind, if she had been lying sick a-bed and had
been compelled to listen to some other house-
keeper jingling keys that once were hers, ransack-
ing her sacredest repositories, and keeping in
order the menials of the house.
Hugh John proceeded cautiously to unwrap his
family skeleton. Presently from the folds of tissue
paper a very aged and battered Sambo emerged.
Now a "Sambo" is a black woolly-haired negro
doll of the fashion of many years ago. This spec-
imen was dressed in simple and airy fashion in a
single red shell jacket. As to the rest, he was
bare and black from head to foot. Janet called
him "that horrid object"; but, nevertheless, he
was precious in the eyes of Hugh John, and there-
fore in hers,
Though twelve years of age, he still liked to
carry on dark and covert intercourse with his
ancient Sambo." In public, indeed, he preached,
in season and out of season, against the folly and
wickedness of dolls. No one but a lassie or a
"lassie-boy would do such a thing. He laughed
at Priscilla for cleaning up her doll's kitchen once
a week, and for organising afternoon tea-parties
for her quiet harem. But secretly he would have
liked very well to see Sambo sit at that bounteous
Nevertheless, he instructed Toady Lion every
day with doctrine and reproof that it was only
for girls to have dolls. And knowing well that
none of his common repositories were so remote
SIR TOADY LION.
and sacred as long to escape Priscilla's unsleeping
eye, or the more stormy though fitful curiosity of
Sir Toady Lion, Hugh John had been compelled
to take his ancient nurse and ever faithful friend
Janet into his confidence. So Sambo dwelt in the
housekeeper's pantry and had two distinct odours.
One side of him smelt of paraffin, and the other
of soft soap, which, to a skilled detective, might
have revealed the secret of his dark abode.
But let us not do our hero an injustice.
It was not exactly as a doll that General Smith
considered Sambo. By no means so, indeed.
Sometimes he was a distinguished general who
came to take orders from his chief, sometimes an
awkward private who needed to be drilled, and
then knocked spinning across the floor for inatten-
tion to orders. For, be it remembered, it was the
custom in the army of Field-Marshal-General
Smith for the Commander-in-Chief to drill the re-
cruits with his own voice, and in the by no means
improbable event of their proving stupid, to knock
them endwise with his own august hand.
But it was as Familiar Spirit, and in the pursuit
of occult divination, that General Napoleon most
frequently resorted to Sambo. He had read all
he could find in legend and history concerning
that gruesomely attractive goblin, clothed all in
red, which the wicked Lord Soulis kept in an
oaken chest in a castle not so far from his own
father's house of Windy Standard.
And Hugh John saw no reason why Sambo
should not be the very one. Spirits do not die.
It is a known fact that they are fond of their
THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT.
former haunts. What, then, could be clearer?
Sambo was evidently Lord Soulis' Red Imp risen
from the dead. Was Sambo not black? The
devil was black. Did Sambo not wear a red coat ?
Was not the demon of the oaken chest attired in
flaming scarlet, when all cautiously he lifted the
lid at midnight and looked wickedly out upon his
Yet the General was conscious that Sambo
Soulis was a distinct disappointment in the part
of familiar spirit. He would sit silent, with his
head hanging idiotically on one side, when he was
asked to reveal the deepest secrets of the future,
instead of toeing the line and doing it. Nor was
it recorded in the chronicles of Soulis that the
original demon of the chest had had his nose
"bashed flat" by his master, as Hugh John vig-
orously expressed the damaged appearance of his
Worse than all, Hugh John had tried to keep
Sambo in his rabbit-box. But not only did he
utterly fail to put his fearful head, crowned with
a red night-cap over the edge of the hutch at the
proper time-as, had he been of respectable pa-
rentage, he would not have failed to do, but, in
addition, he developed in his close quarters an
animal odour so pungent and unprofitable that
Janet Sheepshanks refused to admit him into the
store-cupboard till he had been thoroughly fumi-
gated and disinfected. So for a whole week
Sambo Soulis swung ignominiously by the neck
from the clothes line, and Hugh John went about
in fear of the questioning of the children or of
SIR TOADY LION.
the confiscation by his father of his well-beloved
but somewhat unsatisfactory familiar spirit.
It was in order to consult him on a critical
point of doctrine and practice that Hugh John
had now sent for Sambo Soulis.
He propped him up before him against a pillow,
on which he sat bent forward at an acute angle
from the hips, as if -ready to pounce upon his
master and rend him to pieces so soon as the
catechism should be over.
Look here," said General-Field-Marshal Smith
to the oracle, supposing the governor tells me
to split on Nipper Donnan, the butcher boy, will
it be dasht-mean if I do ?"
Sambo Soulis, being disturbed by the delicacy
of the question or perhaps by the wriggling of
-Hugh John upon his pillow, only lurched drivel-
Sit up and answer," cried his master, or else
I'll hike you out of that pretty quick, for a silly
And with his least bandaged hand he gave
Sambo a sound cuff on the side of his venerable
battered head, before propping him up at a new
angle with his chin on his knees.
Now speak up, Soulis," said General Smith;
" I ask you would it be dasht-mean ?"
The oracle was understood to joggle his chin
and goggle his eyes. He certainly did the latter.
I thought so," said Soulis' master, as is usual
in such cases, interpreting the reply oracular ac-
cording to his liking. But look here, how are
we to get back Donald unless we split ? Would
THE FAMILIAR SPIRIT. 51
it not be all right to split just to get Donald
Sambo Soulis waggled his head again. This
time his master looked a little more serious.
I suppose you are right," he said pensively,
"but if it would be dasht-mean to split, we must
just try to get him back ourselves-that is, if the
beasts have not cut his throat, as they said they
PUT TO THE QUESTION.
N the chaste retirement of his sick
room the Field-Marshal had just
reached this conclusion, when he
heard a noise in the hall. There
i was a sound of the gruff unmirth-
f ul voices of grown-ups, a scuffling
of feet, a planting of whips and
walking-sticks on the zinc-bottomed hall-stand, and
then, after a pause which meant drinks, heavy foot-
steps in the passage which led to the hero's cham-
Hugh John snatched up Sambo Soulis and
thrust him deep beneath the bedclothes, where he
could readily push him over the end with his toes,
if it should chance to be "the doctor-beast come
to uncover him and "fool with the bandages." I
have said enough to show that the General was not
only frankly savage in sentiment, but resembled
PUT TO THE QUESTION.
his great imperial namesake in being grateful only
when it suited him.
Before General Napoleon had his toes fairly
settled over the back of Sambo Soulis' neck, so as
to be able to remove him out of harm's way on
any sudden alarm, the door opened and his father
came in, ushering two men, the first of whom
came forward to the bedside in an easy, kindly
manner, and held out his hand.
"Do you know me?" he said, giving Hugh
John's second sorest hand such a squeeze that the
wounded hero was glad it was not the very sorest
"Yes," replied the hero promptly, "you are
Sammy Carter's father. I can jolly well lick- "
Hugh John," interrupted his father severely,
" remember what you are saying to Mr. Davenant
Well, anyway, I can lick Sammy Carter till he's
dumb-sick!" muttered the General between his
teeth, as he avoided the three pairs of eyes that
were turned upon him.
Oh, let him say just what he likes !" said Mr.
Davenant Carter jovially. Sammy is the better
of being licked, if that is what the boy was going
to say. I sometimes try my hand at it myself with
The other man who had come in with Mr.
Smith was a thick-set fellow of middle height, with
a curious air of being dressed up in somebody
else's clothes. Yet they fitted him very well. He
wore on his face (in addition to a slight moustache)
an expression which somehow made Hugh John
SIR TOADY LION.
think guiltily of all the orchards he had ever
visited along with Toady Lion and Sammy Carter's
sister Cissy, who was "no end of a nice girl" in
Hugh John's estimation.
"This, Hugh," said his father, with a little wave
of his hand, is Mr. Mant, the Chief Constable of
the county. Mr. Carter and he have come to ask
you a few questions, which you will answer at once."
I won't be dasht-mean!" muttered Napaleon
Smith to himself.
"What's that?" ejaculated Mr. Smith, catching
the echo of his son's.rumble of dissent.
Only my leg that hurted,"said the hypocriti-
cal hero of battles.
Don't you think we should have the other chil-
dren here ? said Mr. Chief Constable Mant, speak-
ing for the first time in a gruff, move-on-there voice.
"Certainly," assented Mr. Smith, going to the
"Yes, sir !"
The answer came from immediately behind the
The Field-Marshal's brow darkened, or rather
it would have done so if there had been no white
bandages over it. This is the correct expression
anyhow-though ordinary brows but seldom be-
have in this manner.
Prissy's all right," he thought to himself,
but if that little fool Toady Lion- "
And he clenched his second sorest hand under
the clothes, and kicked Sambo Soulis to the foot
of the bed in a way which augured but little mercy
to Sir Toady Lion if, after all his training, he
PUT TO THE QUESTION.
should turn out "dasht-mean" in the hour of
Presently the other two children were pushed
in at the door, Toady Lion trying a bolt at the
last moment, which Janet Sheepshanks easily foiled
by catching at the slack of his trousers behind,
while Prissy stood holding her hands primly as if
in Sunday-school class. Both afforded to the criti-
cal eye of Hugh John complete evidence that they
had only just escaped from the Greater Pain of
the comb and soaped flannel-cloth of Janet Sheep-
shanks. Prissy's curls were still wet and smoothed
out, and Toady Lion was trying in vain to rub the
yellow soap out of his eyes.
So at the headquarters of its general, the army
of Windy Standard formed up. Sir Toady Lion
wished to get within supporting distance of Prissy,
and accordingly kept snuggling nearer all the
time, so that he could get a furtive hold of her
skirts at awkward places in the examination. This
he could do the more easily that General Field-
Marshal Smith was prevented by the bandages
over his right eye, and also by the projecting
edges of the pillow, from seeing Toady Lion's left
"Now, Priscilla," began her father, "tell Mr.
Davenant Carter and Mr. Mant what happened
in the castle, and the names of any of the bad
boys who stole your pet lamb."
"Wasn't no lamb-Donald was a sheep, and
he could fight," began Toady Lion, without rele-
vance, but with his usual eagerness to hear the
sound of his own piping voice. In his zeal he
SIR TOADY LION.
took a step forward and so brought himself on the
level of the eye of his general, who from the pillow
darted upon him a look so freezing that Sir Toady
Lion instantly fell back into the ranks, and
clutched Prissy's skirt with such energy as almost
to stagger her severe deportment.
Now," said the Chief Constable of Border-
shire, "tell me what were the names of the
He was listening to the tale as told by Prissy
with his note-book ready in his hand, occasionally
biting at the butt of the pencil, and anon wetting
the lead in his mouth, under the mistaken idea
that by so doing he improved its writing qualities.
I think," began Prissy, that they were- "
"A-chew came from the bed and from under
the bandages with a sudden burst of sound. Field-
Marshal Napoleon Smith had sneezed. That was
But Prissy started. She knew what it meant.
It was the well-known signal not to commit herself
Her father looked round at the open windows.
Are you catching cold with the draught, Hugh
John ?" he asked kindly.
I think I have a little cold," said the wily Gen-
eral, who did not wish all the windows to be
Don't know all their names, but the one that
hurted me was-" began Toady Lion.
But who the villain was will never be known,
for at that moment the bedclothes became vio-
lently disturbed immediately in front of Sir Toady
PUT TO THE QUESTION.
Lion's nose. A fearful black countenance nodded
once at him and disappeared.
Black Sambo !" gasped Toady Lion, awed by
the terrible appearance, and falling back from the
place where the wizard had so suddenly appeared.
What did I understand you to say, little boy ?"
said Mr. Mant, with his pencil on his book.
Ow-it was Black Sambo !" Toady Lion al-
most screamed. Mr. Mant gravely noted the fact.
What in the world does he mean ? asked Mr.
Mant, casting his eyes searchingly from Prissy to
General Napoleon and back again.
He means Black Sambo'!" said Prissy, de-
voting herself strictly to facts, and leaving the
Chief Constable to his proper business of interpre-
What is his other name?" said Mr. Mant.
Soulis !" said General Smith from the bed.
The three gentlemen looked at each other,
smiled, and shook their heads.
"What did I tell you ? said Mr. Davenant
Carter. Try as I will, I cannot get the simplest
thing out of my Sammy and Cissy if they don't
choose to tell."
Nevertheless Mr. Smith, being a sanguine man
and with little experience of children, tried again.
There is no black boy in the neighbourhood,"
said Mr. Smith severely; now tell the truth, chil-
dren-at once, when I bid you !"
He uttered the last words in a loud and com-
Us is telling the troof, father dear," said
Toady Lion, in the "coaxy-woaxy" voice which
SIR TOADY LION.
he used when he wanted marmalade from Janet
or a ride on the saddle from Mr. Picton Smith.
Perhaps the boy had blackened his face to de-
ceive the eye," suggested Mr. Mant, with the air
of one familiar from infancy with the tricks and
devices of the evil-minded of all ages.
"Was the ringleader's face blackened ?-An-
swer at once! said Mr. Smith sternly.
The General extracted his bruised and battered
right hand from under the clothes and looked at it.
"I think so," he said, leastwayss some has
come off on my knuckles !"
Mr.. Davenant Carter burst into a peal of jovial
Didn't I tell you ?-It isn't a bit of use bad-
gering children when they don't want to tell. Let's
go over to the castle."
And with that the three gentlemen went out,
while Napoleon Smith, Prissy, and Sir Toady
Lion were left alone.
The General beckoned them to his bedside with
his nose-quite an easy thing to do if you have
the right kind of nose, which Hugh John had.
"Now look here," he said, "if you'd told, I'd
have jolly well flattened you when I got up.
'Tisn't our business to tell p'leecemen things."
"That wasn't a p'leeceman," said Sir Toady
Lion, hadn't no shiny buttons."
"That's the worst kind," said the General in a
low, hissing whisper; all the same you stood to
it like bricks, and now I'm going to get well and
begin on the campaign at once."
Don't you be greedy-teeth and eat it all
PUT TO THE QUESTION.
yourself !" interjected Toady Lion, who thought
that the campaign was something to eat, and that
it sounded good.
What are you going to do ?" said Prissy, who
had a great belief in the executive ability of her
I know their secret hold," said General-Field-
Marshal Smith grandly, "and in the hour of their
fancied security we will fall upon them and- "
And what?" gasped Prissy and Toady Lion
together, awaiting the revelation of the horror.
Destroy them!" said General Smith, in a
tone which was felt by all parties to be final.
He laid himself back on his pillow and mo-
tioned them haughtily away. Prissy and Sir
Toady Lion retreated on tiptoe, lest Janet should
catch them and send them to the parlour-Prissy
to read her chapter, and her brother along with
her to keep him out of mischief.
And so the great soldier was left to his medita-
tions in the darkened hospital chamber.
A SCOUTING ADVENTURE.
ENERAL SMITiH, having now
partially recovered, was mustering
his forces and arranging his plans
of campaign. He had spoken no
hasty word when he boasted that
he knew the secret haunt of the
robbers. For, some time before,
during a brief but glorious career as a pirate, he
had been brought into connection with Nipper
Donnan, the strongest butcher's boy of the town,
and the ringleader in all mischief, together with
Joe Craig, Nosie Cuthbertson, and Billy M'Rob-
ert, his ready followers.
Hugh John had once been a member of the
Comanche Cowboys, as Nipper Donnan's band
was styled; but a disagreement about the objects
of attack had hastened a rupture, and the affair
A SCOUTING ADVENTURE.
of the castle was but the last act in a hostility
long latent. In fact the war was always simmer-
ing, and was ready to boil over on the slightest
provocation. For when Hugh John found that
his father's orchards, his father's covers and hen-
coops were to be the chief prey (being safer than
the farmers' yards, where there were big dogs
always loose, and the town streets, where "bob-
bies" mostly congregated), he struck. He re-
flected that one day all these things would belong
to himself. He would share with Prissy and Sir
Toady Lion, of course; but still mainly they
would belong to him. Why then plunder them
now? The argument was utilitarian but sufficient.
Though he did not mention the fact to Prissy
or Sir Toady Lion,, Hugh John was perfectly
well acquainted with the leaders in the fray at
the castle. He knew also that there were motives
for the enmity of the Comanche Cowboys other
and deeper than the town rights to the possession
of the Castle of Windy Standard.
It was night when Hugh John cautiously pushed
up the sash of his window and looked out. A few
stars were high up aloft wandering through the
grey-blue fields of the summer night, as it were
listlessly and with their hands in their pockets.
A corn-crake cried in the meadow down below,
steadily, remorselessly, like the aching of a tooth.
A white owl passed the window with an almost
noiseless whiff of fluffy feathers. Hugh John
sniffed the cool pungent night smell of the dew
on the near wet leaves and the distant mown
grass. It always went to his head a little, and
SIR TOADY LION.
was the only thing which made him regret that
he was to be a soldier. Whenever he smelt it,
he wanted to be an explorer of far-off lands, or
an honest poacher-even a gamekeeper might do,
in case the other vocations proved unattainable.
Hugh John got out of the window slowly, leav-
ing Sir Toady Lion asleep and the door into
Prissy's room wide open. He dropped easily and
lightly upon the roof of the wash-house, and,
steadying himself upon the tiles, he slid down till
he heard Caesar, the black Newfoundland, stir in
his kennel. Then he called him softly, so that he
might not bark. He could not take him with him
to-night, for though Caesar was little more than a
puppy his step was like that of a cow, and when re-
leased he went blundering end on through the
woods like a festive avalanche. Hugh John's
father, for reasons of his own, persisted in calling
him The Potwalloping Elephant."
So, having assured himself that Caesar would
not bark, the boy dropped to the ground, taking
the roof of the dog-kennel on the way. Caesar
stirred, rolled himself round, and came out breath-
ing hard, and thump-thumping Hugh John's legs
with his thick tail, with distinctly audible blows.
Then when he understood that he was not to be
taken, he sat down at the extremity of his chain
and regarded his master wistfully through the
gloom with his head upon one side; and as Hugh
John took his way down the avenue, Caesar
moaned a little, intoning his sense of injury and
disappointment as the parson does a litany.
At the first turn of the road Hugh John had
A SCOUTING ADVENTURE.
just time to dart aside into the green, acrid-
scented, leathery-leaved shrubbery, where he lay
crouched with his hands on his knees and his head
thrust forward, while Tom the keeper went slowly
by with his arm about Jane Housemaid's waist.
WAIT TILL THE NEXT TIME YOU WON'T LENI' ME TIHE FERRET, TOM
CANNON O-HO, JANE IIOUSEMAID, WILL YOU TELL MY FATHER
THE NEXT TIME I TAKE YOUR DUST SCOOP ? "
"Aha!" chuckled Hugh John ; "wait till the
next time you won't lend me the ferret, Tom Can-
non O-ho, Jane Housemaid, will you tell my
father the next time I take your dust scoop out to
the sand-hole to help dig trenches ? I think not!"
And Hugh John hugged himself in his pleasure
SIR TOADY LION.
at having a new weapon so admirably double-
barrelled. He looked upon the follies of love,, as
manifested in the servants' hall and upon the out-
skirts of the village, as so much excellent material
by which a wise man would not fail to profit.
Janet Sheepshanks was very severe on such delin-
quencies, and his father-well, Hugh John felt
that Tom Cannon would not wish to appear before
his master in such a connection. He had a vague
remembrance of a certain look he had once seen
on his father's face when Allan Chestney, the
head-keeper, came out from Mr. Picton Smith's
workroom with these words ringing in his ear,
" Now, sir, you will do as I tell you, or I will give
you a character-but, such a character as you will
carry through the world with you, and which will
be buried with you when you die."
Allan was now married to Jemima, who had
once been cook at the house of Windy Standard.
Hugh John went over to their cottage often to eat
her delicious cakes; and when Allan came in from
the woods, his wife ordered him to take off his
dirty boots before he entered her clean kitchen.
Then Allan Chestney would re-enter and play sub-
missively and furtively with Patty Pans,, their
two-year-old child, shifting his chair obediently
whenever Cook Jemima told him. But all the
same, Hugh John felt dimly that these things
would not have happened, save for the look on his
father's face when Allan Chestney went in to see
him that day in the grim pine-boarded workroom.
So, much lightened in his mind by his discovery,
Hugh John took his way down the avenue. At
A SCOUTING ADVENTURE.
the foot of it, and before he came to the locked
white gate and the cottage of Betty, he turned
aside through a copse, over a little green patch of
sward on which his feet slid smooth as velvet. A
hare sat on the edge of this, with her fore-feet in
the air. She was for the moment so astonished at
Hugh John's appearance that it was an appreciable
period of time before she turned, and with a quick,
sidelong rush disappeared into the wood. He
could hear the soughing rush of the river below
him, which took different keys according to the
thickness of the tree copses which were folded
about it; now singing gaily through the thin
birches and rowans; anon humming more hoarsely
through the alders; again rustling and whispering
mysteriously through the grey shivery poplars;
and, last of all, coming up, dull and sullen, through
the heavy oak woods, whose broad leaves cover
all noises underneath them as a blanket muffles
Hugh John skirted the river till he came to the
stepping-stones, which he crossed with easy con-
fidence. He knew them-high, low, Jack, and
game, like the roofs of his father's outhouses. He
could just as easily have gone across blindfold.
Then he made his way over the wide, yellowish-
grey spaces of the castle island, avoiding the
copses of willow and dwarf birch, and the sandy-
bottomed bunkers," which ever and anon gleamed
up before him like big tawny eyes out of the dusky
grey-green of the short grass. After a little the
walls of the old castle rose grimly before him, and
he could hear the starlings scolding one another
66 SIR TOADY LION.
sleepily high up in the crevices. A black-cap
piped wistfully among the sedges of the water-
marsh. Hugh John had often heard that the ruin
was haunted, and certainly he always held his
*breath as he passed it. But now he was on duty,
and, if need had been, he would that night have
descended to the deepest dungeon, and faced a
full Banquo-board of blood-boltered ghosts.
S E presently came to the wooden
S I~Ij bridge and crossed it. He was now
on the outskirts of the town, and
in enemy's country. So, more from
etiquette than precaution, he took
the shelter of a wall, glided through
a plantation, among the withy roots
of which his foot presently caught in a brass
" grin," or rabbit's snare. Hugh John grubbed it
up gratefully and pocketed it. He had no objec-
tions whatever to spoiling the Egyptians.
He was now in butcher Donnan's pastures,
where many fore-doomed sheep, in all the bliss of
ignorance, waited their turns to be made into mut-
ton. Very anxiously Hugh John scrutinised each
one. He wandered round and round till he had
made certain that Donald was not there.
SIR TOADY LION.
At the foot of the pasture were certain black-
pitched wooden sheds set in a square, with a little
yard like a church pew in the midst. Somewhere
here, he knew, slept Donnan's slaughterman, and
it was possible that in this place Donald might be
held in captivity.
Now it was an accomplishment of our hero's
that he could bleat like any kind of sheep-except
perhaps an old tup, for which his voice was as yet
too shrill. In happy, idle days he had elaborated
a code of signals with Donald, and was well ac-
customed to communicating with him from his
bedroom window. So now he crouched in the
dusk of the hedge, and said Maa-aaa !" in a tone
Instantly a little answering bleat came from the
black sheds, a sound which made Hugh's heart
beat faster. Still he could not be quite sure. He
therefore bleated again more pleadingly, and again
there came back the answer, choked and feeble
indeed, but quite obviously the voice of his own
dear Donald. Hugh John cast prudence to the
winds. He raced round and climbed the bars
into the enclosure, calling loudly, Donald Don-
But hardly had his feet touched the ground
when a couple of dogs flew at him from the cor-
ner of the yard, and he had scarcely time to get
on the top of a stone wall before they were clam-
ouring and yelping beneath him. Hugh John
crouched on his hunkers (as he called the pos-
ture in which one sits on a wall when hostile dogs
are leaping below), and seizing a large coping-
stone he dropped it as heavily as he could on the
head of the nearer and more dangerous. A howl
most lamentable immediately followed. Then a
man's voice cried, Down, Towser What's the
matter, Grip? Sic' them Good dogs!"
It was the voice of the slaughterman, roused
from his slumbers, and in fear of tramps or other
midnight marauders upon his master's premises.
Hugh ran on all fours along the wall to the
nearest point of the woods, dropped over, and with
a leaping, anxious heart sped in the direction of
home. He crossed the bridge in safety, but as he
ran across the island he could hear the dogs upon
the trail and the encouraging shouts of his pursuer.
The black looming castle fell swiftly behind him.
Now he was at the stepping-stones, over which he
seemed to float rather than leap, so completely had
fear added to his usual strength wings of swiftness.
But at the farther side the dogs were close upon
him. He was obliged to climb a certain low tree,
where he had often sat dangling his legs and
swinging in the branches while he allowed Prissy
to read to him.
The dogs were soon underneath, and he could
see them leaping upward with snapping white
teeth which gleamed unpleasantly through the
darkness. But their furious barking was promptly
answered. Hugh John could hear a heavy tread
approaching among the dense foliage of the trees.
A dark form suddenly appeared in the glade and
poised something at its shoulder.-Flash There
came a deafening report, the thresh of leaden
drops, a howl of pain from the dogs, and both of
SIR TOADY LIOn.
them took their way back towards the town with
not a few bird shot in their flanks.
Hugh John's heart stood still as the dark figure
advanced. He feared it might prove to be his
father. Instead it was Tom Cannon, and the
brave scout on the tree heaved a sigh of relief.
"Who's up there?" cried the under-keeper
gruffly; come down this moment and show your-
self, you dirty poacher, or by Heaven I'll shoot
you sitting !"
"All right, Tom, I'm coming as fast as I can,"
said Hugh John, beginning to clamber down.
Heavens and earth, Master Hugh-what be
you doing here ? Whatever will master say ? "
"He won't say anything, for he won't know,
Tom Cannon." said Hugh John confidently.
Oh yes, he will," said the keeper. I won't
have you bringing a pack of dogs into my covers
at twelve of the clock-blow me if I will!"
Well, you won't tell my father,' anyway !" said
Hugh John calmly, dusting himself as well as he
And why not ?" asked the keeper indignantly.
"'Cause if you do, I'll tell where I saw you kiss-
ing Jane Housemaid an hour ago !"
Now this was at once a guess and an exaggera-
tion. Hugh John had not seen all this, but he
felt rather than'knew that the permitted arm about
Jane Housemaid's waist could have no other cul-
mination. Also he had a vague sense that this
was the most irritating thing he could say in the
At any rate Tom Cannon fairly gasped with
astonishment. A double-jointed word slipped be-
tween his teeth, which sounded like Hang that
boy !" At last his seething thoughts found utter-
You young imp of Satan-it ain't true, any-
All right, you can tell my father that! said
Hugh John coolly, feeling the strength of his
Tom Cannon was not much frightened for him-
self, but he did not wish to get Jane Housemaid
into any trouble, for, as he well knew, that young
woman had omitted to ask for leave of absence.
So he only said, All right, it's none of my busi-
ness if you wander over every acre, and break
your neck off every tree on the blame estate.
But you'd better be getting home before master
comes out and catches you himself Then you'd
eat strap, my lad!"
So having remade the peace, Tom escorted
Hugh John back to the dog kennel with great
good nature, and even gave him a leg up to the
roof above the palace of Caesar.
Hugh John paused as he put one foot into the
bedroom, heavy and yet homelike with the night
smell of a sleeping.house. Toady Lion had fallen
out of bed and lay, still with his blanket wrapped
round him like a martial cloak, half under his cot
and half on the floor. But this he did every other
night. Prissy was breathing quietly in the next
room. All was safe.
Hugh John called softly down, "Tom, Tom !"
"What now ?" returned the keeper, who had
72 SIR TOADY LION.
been spying along the top windows to distinguish
a certain one dear to his heart.
I say, Tom-I'll tell Jane Housemaid to-mor-
row that you're a proper brick."
Thank'ee, sir !" said Tom, saluting gravely and
turning off across the lawn towards the bothy,"
where among the pine woods he kept his owl-
haunted bachelor quarters.
ENERALLY speaking, Hugh John
despised Sammy Carter-first,
because he could lick him with
one hand, and, secondly, because
Sammy Carter was a clever boy
and could discover ways of getting
even without licking him. Clever
boys are all cheeky and need hammering. Be-
sides, Sammy Carter was in love with Prissy, and
every one knew what that meant. But then
Sammy Carter had a sister, Cissy by name, and
she was quite a different row of beans.
Furthermore, Sammy Carter read books-a de-
grading pursuit, unless they had to do with soldier-
ing, and especially with the wars of Napoleon,
SIR TOADY LION.
Hugh John's great ancestor. In addition, Sammy
knew every date that was, and would put you
right in a minute if you said that Bannockburn
happened after Waterloo, or any little thing like
that. A disposition so perverse as this could only
be cured with a wicket or with Hugh John's foot,
and our hero frequently applied both corrections.
But Cissy Carter-ah now there was a girl if
you like. She never troubled about such things.
She could not run so fast as Prissy, but then she
had a perfect colt's mane of hair, black and glossy,
which flew out behind her when she did. More-
over, she habitually did what Hugh John told her,
and burned much incense at his shrine, so that
modest youth approved of her. It was of her he
first thought when he set about organising his army
for the assault upon the Black Sheds, where, like
Hofer at Mantua, the gallant Donald lay in chains.
But it was written in the chronicles of Oaklands
that Cissy Carter could not be allowed over the
river without Sammy, so Sammy would have to
be permitted to join too. Hugh John resolved
that he would keep his eye very sharply upon
Prissy and Sammy Carter, for the abandoned pair
had been known to compose poetry in the heat
of an engagement, and even to read their com-
positions to. one another on the sly. For this
misdemeanor Prissy would certainly have been
court-martialled, only that her superior officer
could not catch her at the time. But the wicked
did not wholly escape, for Hugh John tugged her
hair afterwards till she cried; whereat' Janet
Sheepshanks, coming suddenly upon him and cor-
nering him, spanked him till le cried. He cried
solely as a measure of military necessity, because
it was the readiest way of getting Janet to stop,
and also because that day Janet wore a new pair
of slippers, with heels upon which Hugh John had
not been counting. So he cried till he got out of
Janet's reach, when he put out his tongue at her
and said, "Hum-m Thought you hurt, didn't
you ? Well, it just didn't a bit "
And Sir Toady Lion, who was feeding his
second-best wooden horses with wild sand-oats
gathered green, remarked, When I have chil-
dwens I sall beat them wif a big boot and tickets
in the heel."
Which voiced with great precision Janet Sheep-
shanks' mood at that moment.
The army of Windy Standard, then, when fully
mustered, consisted of General-Field-Marshal Na-
poleon Smith, Commander-in-Chief and regimental
Sergeant-Major (also, on occasions of parade, Big
Big-Drummer); Adjutant-General Cissy Carter,
promoted to her present high position for always
agreeing with her superior officer-a safe rule
in military politics; Commissariat-Sergeant Sir
Toady Lion, who declined any other post than
the care of the provisions, and had to be concili-
ated; together with Privates Sammy Carter and
Prissy Smith. Sammy Carter had formerly been
Adjutant, because he had a pony, but gallantly
resigned in order to be of the same rank as Prissy,
who was the sole member of the force wholly
without military ambition.
At the imposing review which was held on the
SIR TOADY LION.
plains of Windy Standard, the Commander-in-
Chief insisted on carrying the blue banner him-
self, as well as the big-big drum, till Sammy Carter,
who had not yet resigned, offered him his pony to
ride upon. This he did with guile and malice
aforethought, for on the drum being elevated in
"DEPOSITED GENERAL-FIELD-MARSHAL SMITH IN THE HORSE POND."
front of the mounted officer, Polo promptly ran
away, and deposited General-Field-Marshal Smith
in the horse pond.
But this force, though officered with consum-
mate ability, was manifestly insufficient for the at-
tack upon the Black Sheds. This was well shown
by Sammy Carter, who also pointed out that the
armies of all ages had never been exclusively com-
posed of those of noble birth. There were, for ex-
ample, at Bannockburn, the knights, the esquires,
the sturdy yeomanry, the spearmen, the bowmen,
and the camp-followers. He advised that the
stable boys, Mike and Peter, should be approached.
Now the head stable boy, Mike O'Donelly by
name, was a scion of the noblest Bourbon race.
His father was an exile, who spoke the language
with a strong foreign accent, and drove a fish cart
-which also had a pronounced accent, reputed
deadly up to fifty yards with a favourable wind.
Foine frish hirrings-foive for sixpince !" was
the way he said it. This proved to demonstra-
tion that he came from a far land, and was the
descendant of kings. When taxed directly with
being the heir to a crown, he did not deny it, but
said, Yus, Masther Smith, wanst I had a crown,
but I lost it. 'Twas the Red Lion, bad scran to
ut, that did the deed!"
Now this was evidently only a picturesque and
regal way of referring to the bloody revolution by
which King Michael O'Donowitch had been de-
throned and reduced to driving a fish-cart-the
old, old story, doubtless, of royal license and pop-
ular ingratitude. But there was no such romantic
mystery about Peter Greg. He was simply junior
stable boy, and his father was general utility man
-or, as it was more generally called, odd man,"
about the estate of Windy Standard. Peter occu-
pied most of his time in keeping one eye on his work
and the other on his father, who, on general util-
SIR TOADY LION.
ity principles, weltedd him every time that he
caught him. This exercise, and his other occupa-
tion of perpetual fisticuffs with Prince Mike
O'Donelly, had so developed his muscles and
trained his mind, that he could lick any other
two boys of his size in the parish. He said so
himself, and he usually had at least one black eye
to show for it. So no one contradicted him, and,
indeed, who had a better right to know ?
Prince Michael O'Donowitch (the improvement
in style was Sammy Carter's) put the matter dif-
ferently. He said, I can lick Peter Greg till he
can't stand" (" stand" was how the royal exile
pronounced it), but Peter an' me can knock the
stuffin' out of any half-dozen spalpeens in this
Both Mike and Peter received commissions in
the army at the same moment. The ceremony
took place at the foot of the great hay mow at
the back of the stable yard. In view of his noble
ancestry, Prince Michael O'Donowitch was made
a major-general, and Peter a lieutenant of marines.
The newly appointed officers instantly clinched,
fell headlong, rolled over and over one another,
pommelled each other's heads, bit, scratched, and
kicked till the hay and straw flew in all directions.
When the dust finally cleared away, Peter was
found sitting astride of Prince Michael, and shout-
ing, Are you the general-major, or am I ?"
Then when they had risen to their feet and
dusted themselves, it was found that the dis-
tinguished officers had exchanged commissions,
and that Peter Greg had become major-general,
while Prince Michael O'Donowitch was lieutenant
of marines, with a new and promising black eye I
GENERALS OF DIVISION, EQUAL IN RANK."
But at the first drill, upon General Peter issuing
some complicated order, such as Attention eyes
right !" Lieutenant O'Donowitch remarked, "Me
eyes is as right as yours, ye dirthy baste av a
SIR TOADY LION.
Scotchy!" Whereupon, as the result of another
appeal to arms, the former judgment was reversed,
and Prince Michael regained his commission at
the price of another black eye. Indeed he would
have had three, but for the fact that the number of
his eyes was somewhat strictly limited to two.
Now it was felt by all parties that in a well-
disciplined army such transitions were altogether
too sudden, and so a compromise was suggested
-as usual by Sammy Carter. Prince Michael
and Peter Greg were both made generals of
division, equal in rank, under Field-Marshal
Smith. The division commanded by General
Peter was composed of Cissy and Sir Toady Lion.
The command of this first division proved, how-
ever, to be purely nominal, for Cissy was much
too intimate with the Commander-in-Chief to be
ordered about, and as for Toady Lion he was so
high minded and irresponsible that he quite de-
clined to obey anybody whatsoever. Still, the title
was the thing, and the division of General Peter
Greg" sounded very well.
The other division was much more subordinate.
Prissy and Sammy Carter were the only genuine
privates, and they were quite ready to be com-
manded by General Mike, Prissy upon conscien-
tious non-resistance principles, and Sammy with a
somewhat humorous aside to his fellow-soldier that
it wouldn't be very bad, because Mike's father (the
royal fish-hawker) lived on Sammy's ancestral
domain, and owed money to Mr. Davenant Carter.
Thus even the iron discipline of a British army
is tempered to the sacred property holder.
The immediate advance of the army of Windy
Standard upon the Black Sheds was only hindered
by a somewhat serious indisposition which sud-
denly attacked the Commander-in-Chief. The
facts were these.
Attached to the castle, but lying between it and
the stepping-stones on the steep side of the hill,
was an ancient enclosed orchard. It had doubt-
less been the original garden of the fortress, but
the trees had gone back to their primitive crab-
biness" (as Hugh John put it), and in conse-
quence the children were forbidden to eat any
of the fruit-an order which might just as well
not have been issued. But on a day it was
reported to Janet Sheepshanks that Prissy and
Hugh John were in the crab orchard. On tip-toe
she stole down to catch them. She caught Hugh
John. Prissy was up in one of the oldest and
leafiest trees, and Hugh John, as in honour
bound, persistently made signals in another direc-
tion to distract attention, as he was being hauled
off to condign punishment.
He had an hour to wait in the study for his
father, who was away at the county town. Dur-
ing this time Hugh John suffered strange qualms,
not of apprehension, which presently issued in yet
keener and more definitely located agony. At last
Mr. Picton Smith entered.
Well, sir, and what is this I hear ? he said
severely, throwing down his riding-whip on the
couch as if he meant to pick it up again soon.
Hugh John was silent. He saw that his father
knew all there was to know about his evil doings
SIR TOADY LION.
from Janet Sheepshanks, and he was far too wise
to plead guilty.
Did I not tell you not to go to the orchard ?"
Hugh John hung his head, and made a slight
grimace at the pattern on the carpet, as a severer
pang than any that had gone before assailed him.
Now, look here, sir," said his father, shaking
his finger at him in a solemnising manner. If
ever I catch you again in that orchard, I'll-I'll
give you as sound a thrashing, sir, as ever you got
in your life."
Hugh John rubbed his hand across his body
just above the second lowest button of his jacket.
Oh, father," he said plaintively, ." I wish
dreadfully that you had caught me before the last
time I was in the orchard."
The treatment with pills and rhubarb which
followed considerably retarded the operations of
the army of Windy Standard. It was not the first
time that the stomach of a commander-in-chief
has had an appreciable effect on the conduct of a
THE ARMY OF WINDY STANDARD.
T last, however, all was ready, in
the historical phrase of Napoleon
the Little, "to the last gaiter-
j... .\ It was the intention of the Com-
mander-in-Chief to attack the citadel
of the enemy with banners flying, and after due
notice. He had been practising for days upon
his three-key bugle in order to give the call of
Childe Roland. But Private Sammy Carter, who
was always sticking his oar in, put him upon wiser
lines, and (what is more) did it so quietly and sug-
gestively that General Napoleon was soon con-
vinced that Sammy's plan was his own, and on
SIR TOADY LION.
the second day boasted of its merits to its original
begetter, who did not even smile. The like has
happened in greater armies with generals as distin-
Sammy Carter advised that the assault should
be delivered between eight and nine in the morn-
ing, for the very good reasons that at that hour
both the butcher's apprentice, Tommy Pratt, and
the slaughterman would be busy delivering the
forenoon orders, while the butcher's son, Nipper
Donnan, would be at school, and the Black Sheds
consequently entirely deserted.
At first Hugh John rebelled, and asserted that
this was not a sportsmanlike mode of proceeding,
but Sammy Carter, who always knew more about
everything than was good for anybody, over-
whelmed his chief with examples of strategies and
surprises from the military history of thirty cen-
Besides," said he, somewhat pertinently, let's
get Donald back first, and then we can be chival-
rous all you want. Perhaps they are keeping him
to fatten him up for the Odd Coons' Bank Holi-
This, as the wily Sammy knew, was calculated
to stir up the wrath of his general more than any-
thing else he could say. For at the annual Bean
Feast of the Honourable Company of Odd Coons,
a benefit secret society of convivial habits, a sheep
was annually roasted whole. It said an ox on the
programme, but the actual result, curiously enough,
was mutton and not beef.
We attack to-morrow at daybreak," said Field-
THE ARMY OF WINDY STANDARD.
Marshal Smith grandly, as soon as Sammy Carter
had finished speaking.
This, however, had subsequently to be modified
to nine o'clock, to suit the breakfast hour of the
Carters. Moreover Saturday was substituted for
Tuesday, both because Cissy and Sammy could
most easily shirk" their governess on that day,
and because Mr. Picton Smith was known to be
going up to London by the night train on Friday.
On such trivial circumstances do great events
When the army was finally mustered for the
assault, its armament was found to be somewhat
varied, though generally efficient. But then even
in larger armies the weapons of the different arms
of the service are far from uniform. There are,
for example, rifles and bayonets for the Line,
lances for the Light Horse, carbines, sabres, and
army biscuits, all deadly after their kind.
So it was in the campaigning outfit of the forces
of Windy Standard. The historian can only hint
at this equipment, so strange were the various
kits. The Commander-in-Chief wished to insist
on a red sash and a long cut-and-thrust sword,
with (if possible) a kettle-drum. But this was
found impracticable as a general order. For not
only did the two divisional commanders decline to
submit to the sash, but there were not enough
kettle-drums intact to go more than half round.
So General Smith was the only soldier who car-
ried a real sword. He had also a pistol, which,
however, obstinately refused to go off, but formed
a valuable weapon when held by the barrel.
SIR TOADY LION.
Cissy was furnished with a pike, constructed by
Prince Michael's father, the dethroned monarch of
O'Donowitch-dom, out of a leister or fish-spear-
which, strangely enough, he had carried away
with him from his palace at the time of his exile.
This constituted a really formidable armament,
being at least five feet long, and so sharp that if
you ran very hard against a soft wooden door
with it, it made a mark which you could see quite
a yard off in a good light.
Prissy had a carpet-broom with a long handle,
which at a distance looked like a gun, and as
Prissy meant to do all her fighting at a distance
this was quite sufficient. In addition she had
three pieces of twine to tie up her dress, so that
she would be ready to run away untrammelled by
flapping skirts. Sir Toady Lion was equipped
for war with a thimble, three sticky bull's-eyes,
the haft of a knife (but no blade), a dog-whistle,
and a go-cart with one shaft, all of which proved
The two Generals of Division were attired in
neat stable clothes with buttoned leggings, and
put their trust in a pair of catties" (otherwise
known as catapults), two stout shillelahs, the na-
tional batons of the exiled prince, manufactured
by himself; and, most valuable of all, a set a-piece
of horny knuckles, which they had kept in constant
practice against each other all through the piping
times of peace. Both Mike and Peter knowingly
chewed straws in opposite corners of their mouths.
The forces on the other side were quite un-
known, both as to number and quality. Hugh