Excerpt: ..."After that we may either find some place more suitable
for defence, or else die in our tracks." "We can die fighting,"
said the younger guide. "Well, then," said Harry, "every minute
counts. If we can get through we may be able to cover some miles
before dawn is upon us. We must hold together, however. There will
be no time to go back to look for one who is lost." They now
prepared themselves to make this last and desperate bid for
freedom. They played for the highest stakes, for liberty and life.
They could not advance, however, without acquainting Peter Klein of
their intention, and when the man was told of what they proposed to
do he set to shaking in his limbs. Harry was in no mood to humour
him. He had long since lost all patience with their uninvited
guest. "You have two minutes," said he, "in which to choose. Either
you come with us, or stay here, or else you can go over to the
enemy. It does not matter very much to us which you decide to do."
The man picked up his rifle. He tried to speak, and stuttered. He
was incoherent from fear, though it was his own countrymen who
opposed them. German and German-trained native troops were in the
valley in about equal numbers. "What am I to do?" he asked. "Remain
at my side," said Harry. "Do not fire until I tell you to. We are
going to creep as near to the enemy as we can, and then charge
through together." Klein said nothing, but they heard the bolt of
his rifle shake in his hand. Then all five began to crawl down the
hill, picking their way carefully over the stones, advancing as
stealthily as possible. The enemy's fire had somewhat abated.
Perhaps they also--true to the traditions of the Prussian
army--contemplated an assault. Instead of the continuous rattle of
musketry that had lasted for so long, only an occasional shot
resounded in the valley. Inch by inch, they drew nearer to the
enemy's position, and when not twenty yards from the place where a
German officer was shouting hoarse, guttural...
|Country of origin:
||246 x 189 x 3mm (L x W x T)
||Paperback - Trade
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