"It was a duty as well as a pleasure. Your father saved my life at Aboukir. I had been unhorsed and was guarding myself as well as I could against four French cuirassiers, who were slashing away at me, when your father rode into the middle of them, cut one down and wounded a second, which gave me time to snatch a pistol from the holster of my fallen horse and to dispose of a third, when the other rode off. Your father got a severe sabre wound on the arm and a slash across the face. Of course, you remember the scar. So you see the least I could do, was to render his son any service in my power. I managed to get you gazetted to my old regiment, that is to say, my first regiment, for I have served in several. I thought, in the first place, my introduction would to some extent put you at home there. In the second, a cavalry man has the advantage over one in a marching regiment that he learns to ride well, and is more eligible for staff appointments. As you know, I myself have done a great deal of what we call detached service, and it is probable that I may in the future have similar appointments, and, if so, I may have an opportunity of taking you with me as an aide. Those sort of appointments are very useful. They not only take one out of the routine of garrison life and enable one to see the world, but they bring a young officer's name prominently forward, and give him chances of distinguishing himself. Therefore I, as an old cavalry man, should much prefer taking an assistant from the same branch, and indeed would almost be expected to do so. From what I hear, I think that, apart from my friendship for your father, you are the kind of young fellow I should like with me."
"I am delighted, Captain Downes. When I was told, as I came along, of the lugger being captured, I hoped that you might possibly have something like this to tell me, for I had heard, since I came here, that he was still on board her, and as it was not likely he would risk going ashore, I thought perhaps you had got him prisoner. But this is better altogether, for if he had been put on trial for Faulkner's murder, he would, no doubt, have accused Julian, and though I think the evidence was strong enough to fix the guilt on the man, there might have been some who would have believed what he said. Now it will be altogether cleared up. Though when Julian will be found and brought home is more than anyone can say."
"The major ordered that the allowance was to be a pint night and morning for the first four days. If help did not come at the end of that time, it was to be reduced by half. We could see where the water came from. There was a well-worn path from the village to a hollow about three hundred yards away, and we could see that there was a great hole, and it was down this that the women went to fill their water-jars. It was a consolation to us that it was so close, for, if the worst came to the worst, half of us could go down at night and refill the jars. No doubt they would have to fight their way, but, as the rest could cover them by their fire, we felt that we should be able to manage it. For the next four days we held the place. We slept during the day. The Arabs did not come near us then; but as soon as it got dusk they began to crawl up, and flashes of fire would break out all round us.
"You think it very unlikely, Captain Downes, that Mr. Wyatt would deliberately have walked into the fire, and I quite share your opinion; but it has not yet been proved that he was deliberately going towards the fire at all. You say he lifted Mr. Faulkner in his arms. Now it seems to me that, having done so, he would not be able to see at all which way he was going, as Mr. Wyatt's eyes would both be on a level with Mr. Faulkner's chest; moreover, it must be evident that, judging from his present appearance, he could scarcely have seen anything at all, after receiving such a blow. Does it not strike you as being still more likely that, partially blinded as he was, and being unwilling to strike the magistrate in return, however much the latter had forfeited all claim to respect, he closed with him, and in the heat of passion lifted him up and carried him along at random?"
Julian was not present at the interview. He had never been in London before, and after spending the day in strolling through the streets and visiting the principal sights, had gone to a theatre, leaving Frank to talk with the Pole. The latter had not left when Julian returned. He and Frank had found such an abundance of subjects to talk about that they were scarcely aware how the time had passed. The latter proposed that they should go to one of the fashionable taverns to supper. Julian would have excused himself, but Frank insisted on his accompanying him. As they were sitting there, two gentlemen passed by their table. One of them stared hard at Frank, and then with an angry exclamation turned away. Then Strelinski said: