The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 533 pages of information about The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete.
rooted purpose than the mere desire of personal distinction.  His ambition appeared to consist, not in being the first to reach or scale the fort, but in placing himself wherever the balls of the enemy flew thickest.  There was no enthusiasm in his mien, no excitement in his eye; neither had his step the buoyancy that marks the young heart wedded to valorous achievement, but was, on the contrary, heavy, measured, yet firm.  His whole manner and actions, in short, as reported to his brother on the return of the expedition by those who had been near him throughout the affair, was that of a man who courts not victory but death.  Planted on the brow of the ditch, at the moment when Middlemore fell, he had deliberately discharged his musket into the loop-hole whence the shot had been fired; but although, as he seemed to expect, the next instant brought several barrels to bear upon himself, not one of these had taken effect.  A moment after and he was in the ditch, followed by some twenty or thirty of the leading men of the column, and advancing towards the bastion, then preparing to vomit forth its fire upon the devoted axemen.  Even here, Fate, or Destiny, or whatever power it be that wills the nature of the end of man, turned aside the death with which he already seemed to grapple.  At the very moment when the flash rose from the havoc-dealing gun, he chanced to stumble over the dead body of a soldier, and fell flat upon his face.  Scarcely had he touched the ground when he was again upon his feet; but even in that short space of time he alone, of those who had entered the ditch, had been left unscathed.  Before him came bellying along the damp trench, the dense smoke from the fatal bastion, as it were a funeral shroud for its victims; and behind him were to be seen the mangled and distorted forms of his companions, some dead, others writhing in acute agony, and filling the air with shrieks, and groans, and prayers for water wherewith to soothe their burning lips, that mingled fearfully, yet characteristically, with the unsubdued roar of small arms.

It was now, for the first time, that Gerald evinced any thing like excitement, but it was the excitement of bitter disappointment.  He saw those to whom the preservation of life would have been a blessing, cut down and slaughtered; while he, whose object it was to lay it down for ever, was, by some strange fatality, wholly exempt.

The reflections that passed with lightning quickness through his mind, only served to stimulate his determination the more.  Scarcely had the smoke which had hitherto kept him concealed from the battery, passed beyond him, when, rushing forward, and shouting—­“To the bastion, men—­to the bastion!” he planted himself in front of the gun, and not three yards from its muzzle.  Prevented by the dense smoke that choked up the trench, from ascertaining the extent of execution produced by their discharge, the American artillerymen, who had again loaded, were once more on the alert and preparing to repeat it. 

Project Gutenberg
The Canadian Brothers, or the Prophecy Fulfilled a Tale of the Late American War — Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook